Session Information

Zero Emissions, Big Business: How Can the Private Sector Help Cities Deliver on the Promise of Paris?

Date: Wednesday, March 2

Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Format: Pecha Kucha

How can businesses help cities deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement? Come and listen in as global urban resilience leaders highlight the emerging opportunities as local governments cut carbon and commit to 100% renewable energy targets.  How do robust municipal climate and energy policies spur job creation and business development at the city scale? How do these policy signals attract investment? How will the private sector help foster better more livable cities? Take away the latest intelligence on the mutual benefits of ambitious targets and promising opportunities for business in the renewable cities of tomorrow.

Topic Speakers

Michael Small is Executive Director of Renewable Cities and Carbon Talks, two programs of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. He joined the Centre on January 1, 2015 after a thirty-three year career as a diplomat and senior executive in the Canadian foreign service.

Immediately prior to coming to Vancouver, Michael was Canada’s High Commissioner to Australia from September 2010 until December 2014. Before that, he served in Ottawa as Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Issues, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In the latter capacity, he co-ordinated Canada’s representation across a wide range of multilateral fora, including the G8, the United Nations, the Commonwealth, La Francophonie and the Arctic Council. From 2000-2003 he was Canada’s Ambassador to Cuba. Earlier in his career, Michael was posted to Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Malaysia.

Michael has had a life-long interest in the international policy issues around sustainable development. He became very involved in the issues around tropical deforestation in Brazil when he lived there in the late 1980s He was one of the founders of the Brazilian Agro-Forestry Network, and then served for two years as the Co-ordinator for the Canadian delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. More recently, he has worked on climate change issues as Canada’s communiqué negotiator for the 2007 and 2008 G8 Summits. He also has extensive experience in designing dialogues that bridge different communities of expertise, in particular around the issues of peace-building in fragile states and around corporate social responsibility and the extractive sector. He brings his fascination with the intersection between science, public policy, and international relations to Centre’s programs on Renewable Cities and Carbon Talks.

Michael Small earned an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University in 1978; a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Toronto in 1980; and a M.Phil in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University in 1981. From 2003-2004 he was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is also author of “The Forgotten Peace: Mediation at Niagara Falls, 1914”, published by the University of Ottawa Press in 2009.

His personal interests include scuba diving, biodiversity and marine malacology. He has curated two travelling photographic exhibitions in previous postings: “Pacific Currents”, a vision of the marine life along the Pacific coast of North America; and “Canada-Cuba: One Hundred Years in View”, a photographic retrospective of the relations between the two countries. 

Pekka Sauri is Deputy Mayor of Helsinki. He was born in Helsinki in 1954.  He graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1977 in psychology, education, psychiatry and philosophy.  He gained his Doctorate of Philosophy in 1990 from Brunel University, London, where he was also a visiting lecturer.

He was editor- in-chief of Suomi magazine in the 1980’s and was a radio journalist at Radio City Station and then Finnish Broadcasting Company until the early 2000’s with Nightline, a live phone-in programme for listeners in distress or mental crises. In total, he talked to over 12 000 people in live broadcast.

He became Party Secretary of the Green League of Finland in 1990, and was Chairman of the party from 1991-93 and President of the Federation of European Green Parties from 1995-97.

In the 1990’s he was consultant in mental health projects in several Finnish universities, including the Sibelius Academy, Academy of Fine Arts, Academy for Drama and University of Helsinki.

Dr. Sauri was President of Helsinki City Council from 2001-2003. He was elected Deputy Mayor of Helsinki in 2003 and re-elected in 2010 for a second seven-year term.

He has also worked as an independent researcher, educator, writer, translator and cartoonist.  He has published a number of books on psychology, communication and education. His first novel “Better Than Sex” (in Finnish) came out in 2014. He gained the degree of Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Aalto University also in 2014.

Dr. Sauri lives in Helsinki with his family.