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Session 2: Rethinking development for people and a changing planet


Rethinking development for people and a changing planet


With the advent of a form of global ‘polycrisis’ resulting in the amplification of complex social challenges through by effects of as-of-yet unattenuated climate change and biodiversity loss, it is vital we take stock of a) what is preventing necessary change, b) what examples there are of the types of change needed, and c) to highlight how a diversity of worldviews and Ways of Knowing could lead to desired systemic change.
This session will dive deeper into the paradoxes, tensions, and opportunities of the international development paradigm to help stimulate thinking about for a re-think of how practices can better serve critical adaptation and biodiversity needs in an uncertain future.


How can we develop sound and impactful adaption strategies when the cause of climate change has yet to be curtailed?

What are examples of adaptation and biodiversity ‘successes’? Why are the practices and policies underpinning those successes not mainstream or general national development policies?

What novel systemic changes in the global international development framework would accelerate adaptation and biodiversity successes?  

What are pre-colonial examples/stories of Nature-positive development practices/approaches that could serve as guideposts for international development facing a socio-ecological polycrisis?

How can fully integrated youth leadership help transform international development facing uncertain climate and biodiversity futures?


Yannick Beaudoin, Ph.D, Director of Climate Change, Alinea, applies a science of change and participatory social processes to a variety of themes that include: adaptation to uncertain climate futures; embedding of local, traditional and Indigenous knowledge in policy-, decision- and choice-making; enabling conversations and innovation for new development and economic paradigms; promoting a transition to a sustainable relationship between society and Nature.  

Presenters / Panellists:

Heather Stager is the Deputy Director for Strategy and Planning on Global Affairs Canada’s climate finance team. In this role, she is responsible for strategic planning, programming policy and has oversight of the budget and investment planning related to Canada’s $5.3 billion (CAD) climate finance commitment. With a background in disaster risk management and more than a decade of experience working on climate change and disaster programming in the Caribbean, she is passionate about understanding vulnerability and the interconnectedness of socio-ecological systems to address climate impacts. Drawing from her experience evaluating climate change programming, Heather also integrates effectiveness and impact into her policy thinking, while her interactions with communities also inform her practical problem-solving approach.

Dr. Graeme Reed is a Strategic Advisor with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), where he advocates for the inclusion of First Nations in international, national, and regional climate change and energy policy dialogues. As AFN representative he is a board member of Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac), member on the Canadian Environment Domestic Advisory Group (CEDAG), and Indigenous North American Representative to the Facilitative Working Group of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

Mark Redwood is the Director of In Exchange - Water, Climate, Environment. From 2016-2023, Mark worked with Cowater International on several climate change-related assignments including as the Executive Director of the FCDO-IDRC Funded Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC) initiative. More recently, he has been advising the Indonesian-Australian Partnership for Infrastructure (KIAT) programme supporting water utilities in the development of their climate action plans. His areas of focus are climate change, water resource management, agriculture, and pastoralism in the international development context.

Laura Kimberley is a Climate Programme Manager at the United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC), leading the Building Young Entrepreneurs - Green Jobs of the Future programme. With a background in Political Science and a Master's degree in Business Administration focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility, she is dedicated to economic and social development, and believes environmental protection and cooperation are crucial for achieving development goals. Her advocacy also emphasizes the significance of addressing youth-related issues, recognizing them as the key to shaping a promising future for our world. Through her work, Laura strives to create a lasting impact on both the environment and the lives of young people.