More than 70 people from Kelowna to Vernon attended our first Fresh Dialogues event. WAKING THE FROG: Solutions to Our Climate Change Paralysis attracted people all sector and age groups, creating meaningful and productive event dialogue. A big thanks to  our guest speaker, Tom Rand, panelists, sponsors,  and our partner Lake Country’s Creekside Theatre. Watch for news about our Fresh Dialogues event next spring called Harnessing the Power of Hindsight for Community Innovation.




Fresh Dialogues is a series of grassroots conversations intended to inform, inspire, and innovate solutions to critical community issues. Each event tackles a single issue through a keynote session and/or a multi-sector workshop.

A keynote session features a renowned expert in the overall theme of the event (e.g., energy literacy, water rights, economic reform). In addition, community professionals from related fields help participants explore the issue from a local perspective. Each sector is represented during panel discussions (i.e., government, business, academia, and the nonprofit sector), as are all ages, following the keynote. Participants have ‘power talks’ with fellow attendees throughout the keynote session to internalize and share what they’ve learned; to identify potential actions at home, work, and play; and to foster potential collaborations within or among sectors.

A multi-sector workshop, if held in conjunction with a keynote session, builds on the experts’ teachings and provides multiple innovative and interactive opportunities for attendees to explore local solutions to theme-related challenges. A free-standing workshop includes a keynote presentation as well as panel discussions and facilitated exercises. Importantly, the workshop portion of Fresh Dialogues ensures that representatives from all sectors can explore collaborative opportunities that will optimize creativity, innovation, and the use of natural, human, and financial resources.


Communities everywhere face environmental, social, cultural, and economic challenges that compromise their health and prosperity in the short and long terms. In keeping with FOF’s vision, we know that solutions can be found most meaningfully through grassroots conversations that inspire collective action. To be effective, this dialogue must reflect current science along with the insights, ideas, and passions of community leaders from all sectors and a robust cross-section of residents. More specifically, Fresh Dialogues uses leading-edge social-learning and behaviour-change tactics and tools to inform, inspire, and illicit positive change at the individual, organizational and community scales. Intended outcomes are to:

  • Build clarity around community sustainability issues (e.g., unique characteristics and assets that influence challenges and opportunities)
  • Explore global best practices and successes that can be customized and applied locally
  • Foster communication and collaboration among people from all sectors and the general public, thereby maximizing creativity, innovation, and buy-in
  • Address unique challenges and opportunities through collective action to optimize the use of natural, human, and financial resources from all sectors.


KEYNOTE SESSION: November 17th / 6:30-9pm / Creekside Theatre

REGISTRATION: Keynote Session $25 / Student Rate: 3 for price of 1 for Keynote ($25)

Fresh Dialogues informed, inspired, and thought of innovative solutions to critical community issues. Each event tackles a single issue through an evening keynote and/or workshop. For this particular Fresh Dialogues event, FOF partnered the District of Lake Country, and was entitled WAKING THE FROG: Solutions to Our Climate Change Paralysis.

The keynote featured venture capitalist, author, entrepreneur, engineer, and philosopher Tom Rand, explained why climate disruption is our very own pot of hot water. Every attendee received a complementary copy of Rand’s latest book. We also shared a supporting presentation from Steven Pacifico of Energy Exchange, a division of Pollution Probe. In his presentation he expanded participants’ energy literacy and promoted a future in which Canadians are united in their energy prosperity, rather than divided by their energy options.







WAKING THE FROG: Solutions to Our Climate Change Paralysis


6:30pm Fostering Energy Literacy, Rights, Security & Prosperity

  • Steven Pacifico, Energy Exchange

6:50 Panel Dicussion / Q&A / Power Talks

  • Alison Shaw, Flipside Sustainability
  • Peter Robinson, Community Energy Association
  • Bob McCoubrey, Former Mayor of Lake Country
  • Amy Smith, Students Without Borders Academy

7:20 Refreshment Break


8:15 Panel Discussion with Tom Rand / Q&A / Power Talk

  • Government:Tom Kadla, Village of Lumby
  • Business: Angela Nagy, GreenStepSolutions
  • Industry: Darren Frew, BC Bioenergy Network
  • Arts: Sharon McCoubrey Lake Country Public Art Commission
  • Youth: Landon Colvin, Students Without Borders Academy










FIRST SPEAKER: Fostering Energy Literacy, Rights, Security & Prosperity

  • Steven Pacifico, ED of Energy Exchange. Steven has a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences from the University of Guelph, and a Masters of Environmental Studies from York University.


Tom Rand earned a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of
Waterloo), an MSc in the philosophy of science from the University of London and the London School of Economics, and an MA and PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto.waking-the-frog-sized

After many years as a very successful software entrepreneur, Tom switched his focus to carbon mitigation. He is active in Cleantech venture capital, technology incubation and commercialization, and public advocacy. He is managing partner of the privately-backed Arctern Ventures, and Senior Advisor at the MaRS Discovery District.

He also sits on the boards of numerous clean energy companies and organizations.

Tom believes that we have yet to have a serious, public conversation about the threat of climate change, and the economic opportunites afforded by the global transformation to a low-carbon economy.

That’s why he came to Fresh Dialgoues; generously waived his speaking fee and donated 250 copies of his WAKING THE FROG book, which we’ve distributed to local municipal councils, schools and, of course, to each of you.


  • Alison Shaw, Flipside Sustainability, which informs, influences, and inspires clients from all sectors in their transition toward sustainability. Alison is also my partner in SustainAbility Support Services Inc., which is a social enterprise of the Fresh Outlook Foundation.
  • Peter Robinson, Chief Technology Officer, Community Energy Association, which supports local governments in developing and implementing climate action plans, community energy plans, and local action plans. CEA also help local governments with carbon neutral action plans for their operations.
  • Bob McCoubrey, Former Lake Country Mayor, is very active in the community on a variety of sustainability fronts, including the Lake Country Community Garden.
  • Amy Smith, Students Without Borders Academy in Vernon, where students develop leadership skills through active citizenship.


  • GOVERNMENT: Tom Kadla, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Lumby / Vice President of the Local Government Management Association. He also recently earned a Masters in Leadership from Royal Rhodes University.
  • BUSINESS: Angela Nagy, Founder of Green Step Solutions Inc., which provides sustainability certifications, software, and consulting for small and medium businesses… and which won a BCorp Best-in-the-World Environment Award for 2016.
  • ART: Sharon McCoubrey, an internationally renowned art educator, heads up Lake Country’s Public Art Commission, Art Gallery, and ArtWalk.
  • INDUSTRY: Darren Frew, Director of Planning & Communication, BC Bioenergy Network, which is an industry-led initiative that helps deploy near-term bioenergy technologies and supports research toward building world-class bioenergy capacity in BC.
  • YOUTH: Landon Colvin, Students Without Borders Academy, where hands-on learning is at the core of the program, and where students engage in activities that leave our world a better place (e.g., a five-week international field study in Panama)


Who will be there?

At Fresh Dialogues,  expect individuals from all sectors (ie. government, business, academia, and non-profit). For discussion to be meaningful and productive, we need many diverse perspectives.

At WAKING THE FROG: Solutions to Our Climate Change Paralysis, we were able to round up a group of local high school students from Students Without Borders Academy, the general public, city hall officials, and other sustainablity enthusiasts.

Specials thanks to:

  • Tom Rand (Keynote Speaker)jo-jill-in-foyer-cropped
  • Ryan Donn (Lake Country Creekside Theatre)
  • Steven Pacifico & Katie Ungard (Energy Exchange/Polution Probe)
  • Dan Segal (Holiday Park)
  • Panelists
  • Promotional Partners
  • Joanne de Vries, Jillian McQuiggin, & Ryan Cope (Fresh Outlook Foundation)



Evaluation results showed what worked and what could be done better next time. We’re thrilled to report that:

  • 93% of respondents said their commitment to personal climate action has increased because of their FD experience.

Upload  Evaluation Summary