Striving for Local Change Amid Global Climate Crisis
Taking action at the local level that contributes to knowledge and results through climate-focused projects is at the heart of the fourth annual TEDxSelkirkCollege Countdown event that works to unite the planet in a proactive way.
As part of a worldwide effort to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, this free event will be hosted at the Castlegar Campus on November 23 from 4 pm to 6 pm.
“We are on a tight timeline to achieve net zero and avoid the worst impacts of a changing climate,” says Kayla Tillapaugh, sustainability coordinator at Selkirk College. “We need passion, community, and big, hairy, audacious ideas worth sharing. That’s the magic of TEDx and TEDx Countdown, and we are extremely excited to be able to offer this outlet right here at the Castlegar Campus.”
The climate crisis is intensifying, both locally and around the world. This year is on track to become the hottest on record globally, with clear consequences such as the historic wildfire season in B.C. and other parts of Canada. Added to the unfavourable outcomes is the mental health impacts of climate change that are being recognized as a growing concern.
The Countdown event aims to showcase some positive local initiatives and incredible individuals who will be featured in short TED-style talks ranging from grassroot initiatives to industry-focused projects. A musical performance by a student in the Selkirk College’s Contemporary Music & Technology Program, will also be included.
The seven featured TEDxSelkirkCollege Countdown speakers include:
- ·Melissa Dorey – Moccasin Telephone: News from the Land and Indigenous Communities on Our Changing Climates. An Indigenous educator and researcher from Mi’kima’ki, Dorey has combined Mi’kmaw ancestry (received from her maternal and paternal grandmothers) and French ancestry (southern France). Her research has mainly focused on species at risk, Indigenous food sovereignty, eco-cultural revitalization and water protection. An alumna of the college, Dorey currently works at Selkirk College as the Indigenous project lead with Indigenous Services and is an instructor for the School of Environment & Geomatics.
- Cecilia Jaques – From Climate Anxiety to Transformative Action: Developing a Skill Set for Systems Change. Jaques works at the intersection between strategy, engagement and sustainability, and is driven by her mission to build an equitable and resilient future. She is a certified change management practitioner, and in her current role stewards the implementation of the City of Nelson’s climate plan, which contains some of the most ambitious climate targets in Canada.
- Patricia Dehnel – You Can Get There from Here! Regional Active Transportation Planning. Dehnel is a registered professional planner passionate about healthy and connected community. She currently serves as the West Kootenay Cycling Coalition’s project coordinator for the Castlegar-Nelson Active Transportation Corridor Vision, and has a strong interest in walking and cycling in the Kootenays.
- Todd Kettner – Harnessing Eco-Anxiety for Climate Action. A psychologist and instructor at Selkirk College, Kettner is focused on an increasing awareness of the research demonstrating high levels of eco-anxiety, especially in youth. This talk will focus on effective ways to manage climate dread in order to resiliently continuing working toward solutions.
- Rhonda Belczyk – Why Leadership Matters in the Fight Against Climate Change. A social worker 27 years, Belczyk holds Master of Social Work with a specialty in leadership. Currently an instructor in the college’s School of Health & Human Services, Belczyk received a Premier’s Award in recognition of her work in community development, service coordination and collaborative practice.
- Gerald Corderio – Reimagining Wildland Urban Interface Forests in the Face of Climate Change. Corderio has more than 25 years of experience in the forest industry. His varied background includes field work, planning, harvesting, road and bridge construction, and manufacturing. He gained recent experience in interagency collaboration on a large wildfire risk reduction project.
- Nicole Charlwood & Leslie Garlow – Watershed Work as Economic Driver and Community Protector. Charlwood is a local politician, former City of Nelson councillor, former executive director of the West Kootenay EcoSociety and former executive director of the West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative. Garlow is the vice chair of the West Kootenay Watershed Collaborative. She is of mixed ancestry—Haudenosaunee from Six Nations of the Grand River, Osweken, Brantford Reserve, Cayuga, Turtle Clan, as well as Italian and Irish heritage.
The November 23 event is free and open to everyone in the region. Although pre-registration is not required, it is appreciated for planning purposes. Snacks and light refreshments will be available.
“As a young person, I think the best thing I can do for myself, my community and the world, is to be involved in climate conversations and climate action,” says Tia Huttemann, a Selkirk College student and the event’s host.
“Seeking out like-minded individuals and positive, solution-focused spaces helps me to reframe the climate emergency into understandable and actionable pieces. Come join us at the TEDx event if you too are looking for change and don’t know where to start.”
The public can find more information and links to registration at https://selkirk.ca/events/tedx-selkirk-college-countdown