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Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in General News

UNACTO celebrates International Mother Earth Day

UNACTO – 200 Bay Street Toronto ON M5J 2T6

Former Green Party leader Jim Harris set to be one of four guest speakers


Toronto, April 10, 2014- The United Nations Association of Canada Toronto Branch (UNACTO) is celebrating International Mother Earth Day on April 29 this month. The theme of the event is sustainability for success and will be held at Tecumseh Auditorium in the Ryerson Student Centre. Former Green Party leader and author of international bestseller “Blindsided”, Jim Harris will be one of the keynote speakers presenting at the event.


The event also brings attention towards goal number seven, ‘ensure environmental sustainability’ of the United Nations (UN) eight millennium goals. Initially set in the year 2000, the deadline for the millennium goals is in 2015, which is why UNACTO is taking time to raise more awareness about them.


“We think our Sustainability for Success event is a great opportunity, “says Helen Mo’ungaloa Kavouras, president of the board of directors at UNACTO. “It provides students and professionals the chance to hear from some of the best in their field, implement their tips on sustainability in their own businesses and lives. It’s an occasion for us all to come together as a community for an important cause.”


There will be five guest speakers at the event including; Jim Harris, author of Blindsided and former leader of the Green Party of Canada, Dr. Rob Watters, president and CEO of Watters Environmental Group, John van Nostrand, founding principle at planningAlliance, Klaudia Olejnik, sustainability manager at PwC and James Temple, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Office of Inclusion also from PwC.


UNACTO’s celebration for International Mother Earth day will go from 7pm to 9pm. Guests are encouraged to arrive between 6:30pm to 7pm for registration. The event will also include entertainment, a networking opportunity and complimentary food and refreshments will be provided. To purchase tickets visit,


About the United Nations Association of Canada-Toronto Branch


UNACTO is a branch of the United Nations Association of Canada. It follows the official mandate to promote the fundamental principles the United Nations (UN) is comprised of. It works to encourage Canadians to become active participants in their communities and think globally. For more information, visit




For more information contact: Asma BaJunaid, MBA Event Manager

Co-chair, Human Rights Committee |Member of the Board of Directors | (647)-345-0395






About our Speakers:


1. Jim Harris

An Author, environmentalist, and politician. He was leader of the Green Party of Canada from 2003 to 2006.


Jim Harris is one of North America’s formost management consultants, authors and thinkers on sustainability, innovation, future trends, change, leadership, and multigating risk. Association magazine ranked him as one of the nation’s top ten speakers.

Mr. Harris is the Program Director for the Centre of Excellence on Sutainability and Innovation at the Schulich School of Business Executive Education Centre at York University. Schulich has been rated #1 in the world for Corporate Social Responsibility by Corporate Knights magazine for seven years in a row.

Mr. Harris was recognized for his work in the field of sustainability with the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award by Green Living Enterprise. His last book, Blindsided! Is published in 80 countries worldwide and is a #1 international bestseller.


2. James Temple, CSR-P

PwC | Director, Corporate Responsibility & Office of Inclusion


James Temple leads Corporate Responsibility efforts at PwC including oversight to the Canadian firm’s Environmental Stewardship work, the Office of Inclusion and the PwC Canada Foundation.

He’s considered one of Canada’s leading voices on corporate social innovation and speaks internationally about how businesses and communities can work together to use their skills, voices and relationships to become catalysts for change.

James has been featured in articles and videos for TEDxCalgary,the Globe and Mail,, Strategy Magazine and Canadian Business. In 2012, he was named one of the world’s top sustainability practitioners by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence and was an inaugural Young Professional of the Year.

James holds a degree in Geographic Analysis from Ryerson University, a Certificate in Advertising and Media from the Canadian Marketing Association and is a Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner.


3. John van Nostrand

Founding Principal, planningAlliance,


John van Nostrand is the Founding Principal of planningAlliance and affiliated firms regionalArchitects and rePlan. Over the last three decades, he has been the driving force behind the firm’s international planning and urban design practice.


John has extensive experience leading large, multi-disciplinary consulting teams on sophisticated architecture and urban development projects across Canada and around the world, including a number of major mine-related housing projects in Africa, Latin America and Canada. He has worked in a wide range of developed and developing countries on the planning, design and construction of new communities ranging in size from 150 to 150,000 persons.


John has been widely recognized for his expertise in the planning and design of sustainable housing and community design, as well as transportation and transit infrastructure. His work has been recognized with many international and national awards.


4. Klaudia Olejnik

PwC | Sustainability Manager


Klaudia Olejnik is a Sustainability Manager at PwC and an MBA student in the Sustainability Program at the Schulich School of Business.


At PwC, she manages stakeholder engagement, reporting and environmental stewardship. She is an avid volunteer and passionate about corporate responsibility, communicating her ideas through her blog


Klaudia holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University and is a Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner.


5. Dr. Rob Watters

President& CEO, Watters Environmental Group Inc.


Robert Watters is the President & CEO of Watters Environmental Group, but has held several senior leadership positions in large engineering firms. He has a PhD in environmental sciences and has been in the environmental consulting industry for over 25 years.


Rob’s focus in business has been to offer strategic advice to corporations to do the right thing, for their business, for their employees, customers and neighbours, and for the environment. He is a regular speaker at environmental conferences and a strong advocate for environmental stewardship. He has worked across Canada, the United States and internationally, and has a strong passion for sharing his insights and experience with anyone interested in wanting to make Earth a better place to live!