Session Information

Culture Capital: Empowering Employees to Drive Change

Date: Friday, March 4

Time: 10:00am - 11:00am

Format: SPARK Talk

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Brand leaders are investing in cultural capital by connecting purpose and strategy for their competitive advantage. But you can’t have an effective corporate sustainability strategy unless bring your employees into the picture. They’re in the best position to identify inefficiencies and propose solutions. In this session, you’ll hear from leading brands on how they have effectively empowered, incentivized, engaged, and invested in their people to help them more effectively compete in the global solutions economy.

Topic Speakers

Kelly has twenty years of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors specifically focused on environmental science and policy, both domestically and internationally. Kelly’s earlier days were grounded in science that took her on an Arctic research expedition and other research projects, and then into the realm of environmental assessments with a large Canadian environmental engineering firm.

Kelly has extensive federal government experience developing policy on many cutting edge environmental and sustainable development files including the United Nations Convention on Environment and Development Rio + 5, the Arctic Council, Oceans Act and integrated oceans management, climate change including the Kyoto Protocol, Aboriginal economic development, Mackenzie Gas Pipeline and the federal/provincial/territorial Energy and Mines Ministers Conference among others. Her network covers many departments and at all levels.

Kelly’s non-government organization experience has been with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) where she conducted climate change policy research. She also spent considerable time at the Tata Energy Research Institute in New Delhi, India where she developed the idea of an Adaptation Fund for climate change related issues for developing countries. That idea was then taken to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where it changed the dialogue between the North and the South.

Kelly has also delivered on projects for industry associations, mining and energy companies, either developing policy or communication strategies. Her breadth and depth of subject matter related to sustainable development issues and corporate social responsibility are far reaching.

Kelly has traveled extensively through most of southern Africa, central and South America, India and Europe. She holds an undergraduate science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in International Environment, Development and Policy from the University of Sussex in England. Kelly is bilingual in French and English.


Daniel Kreeger is a co-founding board member and executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) and has a unique familiarity of key climate and sustainability leaders at and efforts by most Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions and North American government entities.   Dan has led ACCO’s programming efforts, as well as establishment of the CCO Certification, the first comprehensive climate change credentialing and training program designed for executives and professionals across sectors. Dan led ACCO's partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality in 2011 and 2012 in co-producing the GreenGov Symposium, was a co-founding steering committee member for the consortium that jointly administered EPA's Climate Leadership Awards from 2012-2015 and serves on the steering committee for the National Adaptation Forum.

An accomplished business executive with more than 15 years of cross-functional experience in change management and enterprise business strategies within business-to-business, government, and consumer-centric sectors, Dan focuses specifically on the human capital, economic and operational implications of climate change.  He serves on the Dean's Council of Advisors at the FIU College of Architecture and the Arts, and is a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer at industry events and at top sustainability focused graduate and executive education programs.

Stefan began his retail career with a marketing and economics degree from IHM Business School in Malmö, Sweden. Stefan made a commitment early in his career to expanding his expertise in the retail space and has continued to build strong management skills by attending leadership training courses. This foundation led Stefan to develop a strong reputation as a leader in senior level executive positions internationally with a focus on marketing, sales, innovation, and change management.

Prior to joining IKEA, Stefan quickly climbed the ranks at several high-profile international organizations including OLW, a leading consumer snack brand in Sweden, where he rose became CEO; Besthand, a start-up company where Stefan was tasked with building the company and creating strong organic growth; and finally Weibull Trädgård, a horticultural and garden supply company, where Stefan acted as CEO for the Nordic market.

Stefan shares IKEA Values and Vision to create a better every day life at home for the many people and has a passion for home furnishings and design. He is committed to securing IKEA’s position as the leader in life at home.

He joined the company in 2007 as Global Manager, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands to build up a new supply chain for Green Plants, as well be part of building the new purchase process within IKEA.

After two years, Stefan transitioned to IKEA of Sweden, which is IKEA’s design house, where he was chosen to be one of seven global leaders in product development. In 2012, Stefan joined IKEA France as Senior Vice President. In this role, Stefan was responsible for the commercial team, marketing, IKEA Food, as well as nine stores in southern France.

Stefan is best known for his high energy level, drive and results-focused attitude. Further, he has been described as a curious person with a high interest in others - always engaged and asking questions. These qualities will play a strong role in helping Stefan transition to his new position as President, IKEA Canada.

New to Toronto, Stefan has spent many years abroad, living with his family in cities across Sweden, Netherlands and France. Stefan is married to his wife Helén and has three children.


Coro Strandberg is the President of Strandberg Consulting. She is a leading sustainability and corporate responsibility consultant with over 25 years of experience advancing sustainability in business. She advises companies, governments and industry associations on strategies to embed sustainability in business models, functions, roles, decisions, systems, sectors and supply chains. She specializes in integrating sustainability in board governance, corporate strategy, finance, risk, procurement, product development, human resources and marketing. Advisory roles include benchmarking and gap assessments on sustainability embedment, advising on sustainability competency models and incentive programs, and advising professional associations on strategies to embed sustainability into professional development programs, the latter with The Natural Step. Coro has conducted leading research into sustainability talent management, such as strategies to embed sustainability into CEO succession planning and recruitment, leadership development, incentive pay and organizational competency models.

Coro has a tri-sector background in business, government and non-profit leadership working in social, environmental and financial roles. She has 20 years of experience as a Corporate Director and six years of industry association experience.  She is a faculty member of Director’s College where she trains business leaders and corporate directors on sustainability governance. She is an Associate with Canadian Business for Social Responsibility. Coro regularly publishes blogs, articles, research, tools and guides on sustainability and corporate social responsibility leadership on her website at Recently Coro produced a guide on transformational sustainability featuring next generation practices in social purpose business, vision development, stakeholder engagement, sustainability governance and culture, employee engagement, enlightened leadership and sustainable public policy advocacy. Coro was named the top CSR consultant in 2015 by Canada’s Clean50 for her leadership and impact in sustainability consulting in Canada. She lives in a LEED Gold certified home which she built with her partner in Burnaby, BC.