Monthly Meetings‎ > ‎

2019-03-12 - #078

Creating a Culture of Sustainability in Canada‘s first commercial net-positive energy multi-tenant office building

This month our speaker is Dr. Manuel Riemer Director of the Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Ontario, Canada (WLU VERiS). Dr. Riemer is an associate professor of community psychology and sustainability science at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Dr. Riemer's work at WLU VERiS, which takes a community psychology lens to explore how to create (organizational) cultures of sustainability is highly aligned and complementary with the work of the members of the SSBMGroup, including all the established practice and research projects of our members. 

Dr. Riemer’s presentation will focus on cultures of and for sustainability, with a particular interest in the community psychologies of sustainable organizations, in the context of the WLU evolv1,  Canada’s first commercial net-positive energy and carbon-neutral multi-tenant office building.  Dr. Riemer's interdisciplinary research team and their community partners have developed a comprehensive engagement strategy that is applying principles of system thinking, community engagement, and organizational learning and change. In this presentation, Dr. Riemer will present the rationale for using a COS approach, the theory of change, and some initial experience with implementing the COS approach in evolv1.


Flourishing Enterprise Institute - 1st Node to be hosted by WLU VERiS

This meeting also provides you an opportunity for all SSBMGroup members to get to know Manuel as a useful prelude to future conversations about the development of the Flourishing Enterprise Institute - the planned evolution of this community.  The leadership of the SSBMGroup and Dr. Riemer sees significant and powerful intersections between the WLU VERiS Culture of (Organizational) Sustainability and the established focus of this group.  Together with with Dr. Riemer we are now actively working towards establishing the first node of the Flourishing Enterprise Institute’s network at WLU VERiS.   

Further, SSBMGroup leadership and Dr. Riemer have started to engage with other SSBMGroup members interested in hosting nodes of the Institute.  Please email the community animators of the SSBMGroup for more information.



So, all in all, we are delighted that this month that Dr. Riemer will review his research and practical experiences in this critical area of research and practice to enable strongly sustainable business model design and outcomes as a prelude to a significant evolution of this group and our community of innovation practice.

As usual, we are meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of the month
  • Date: Tuesday, March 12th 2019 
  • Time: 90 minutes starting  13h30 PST / 16h30 EST / 21h30 GMT / 22h30 CET / 05h30 JST (+1 day)

To join the meeting please see the virtual logistics posted to our LinkedIn Group in this post.

The slides presented plus a link to the unedited recording of this meeting will be available via our GoogleDrive in the folder for this months meeting. 

Anyone who joins the LinkedIn forum is considered a member of this group and is welcome to join at the meeting

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1El-gcN0_x1ZCeo3eIXX-U5Lej9uoIoxV


To introduce his talk, Dr. Riemer describes his presentation with the following:


As the unfolding global climate change crisis increases pressure to act, it is becoming clearer that technological solutions alone will not be sufficient to mitigate the issues that contribute to the crisis. In this presentation the Dr. Riemer will present a case study of engaging the citizens of evolv1 into a culture of sustainability (COS). A COS is characterized by shared values, norms, language, and practices focused on making individual and societal choices that foster social, economic and environmental sustainability. evolv1 is Canada’s first commercial net-positive energy and carbon-neutral multi-tenant office building. Dr. Riemer and his team have been given permission to turn the building into a living-lab in order to study the process of developing a COS over time as well as the building-people interaction more broadly. The interdisciplinary research team and their community partners have developed a comprehensive engagement strategy that is applying principles of system thinking, community engagement, and organizational learning and change. In this presentation, Dr. Riemer will present the rationale for using a COS approach, the theory of change, and some initial experience with implementing the COS approach in evolv1. Dr. Riemer will also use system theory to explore the relationship between the culture of sustainability and organizational leadership relating his work to that of SSBMG members.

As Background Dr. Riemer provided the following information:

Dr. Riemer received his PhD in Psychology from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, where he also served as research director at the Centre for Evaluation and Program Improvement. At Laurier, he has served as the director of the Centre for Community, Research, Learning and Action (CCRLA) from 2012-2018 and the Community, Environment and Justice Research Group since 2009. Since May 2018, Dr. Riemer is leading the endowed Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS), with a focus on human aspects of sustainability and fostering a culture of sustainability. Using community-engaged research and principles, Dr. Riemer applies community and other psychology principles, theories, and tools to address issues related to sustainability, including global climate change mitigation and resiliency, with a special interest on engagement and in promoting a culture of sustainability in organizations and communities. Dr. Riemer is also the co-founder and scientific advisor for the Sustainable Societies Consulting Group, a Certified B Corp soccial enterprise.

"The Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS) was founded in 2018 as a successor of the Viessmann European Research Centre. VERiS is a research centre for community engagement and sustainability research designed to accelerate the transition toward a culture of sustainability across multiple spheres of society.

With a strong emphasis on applied research and collaboration, the centre is ideally located in the evolvGREEN innovation hub, Waterloo Region’s foremost collaborative workspace. The evolvGREEEN innovation hub is part of Canada’s first net-positive, multi-tenant office building, evolv1, developed and owned by the Cora Group. The evolv1 facility serves as a living lab for VERiS.

VERiS brings together university- and practice-based experts from a variety of disciplines and sectors as active and affiliated members of the centre. With the intention of affecting regional, provincial, federal and international policies, and community-based change, our research bridges the rigour of science-based evidence with the utility of applied knowledge."

You can read more about Dr.Riemer's work at VERiS here.

The link to the recording of the meeting will be posted as a comment to the Linkedin Post about this meeting, along with on-going discussion about the meeting by our members.  A copy of the recording will be stored in the GoogleDrive folder for this months meeting.

Attendance list is updated at the event to record attendance (if a location is not provided participant was F2F in Toronto)

  • Dr. Manuel Riemer, Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS) at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada
  • Antony Upward, SSBMG Co-founder, Convener Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit ProjectAdjunct Prof. OCAD University Faculty of Design, Adjunct Prof. Halmstad University Department of Innovation Management, Toronto ON
  • Nicole Norris, SSBMG Community Animator, OCADU MDes SFI Student/Georgian College, Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation, Barrie ON
  • Morris Fedeli, Researcher, Gold Coast, Australia, USQ
  • Bill Craig, BizMundi Inc., Edmonton
  • Randy Sa'd, REFOCUS - Cambridge, ON, Canada
  • Eric Fath-Kolmes, Flourishing Enterprise Innovation Toolkit, Groningen, Netherlands
  • Ondine Hogeboom, Co-founder Lean4Flourishing, Montreal
  • Douglas Worts, WV Consulting, Toronto
  • Gil Friend, CEO Natural Logic Inc, founder Critical Path Capital
  • Simon Robinson, Holonomics Education, São Paulo
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