Heather M. Hall is one of the leading scholars on innovation and economic development in rural and northern regions in Canada. She grew up in Northern Ontario and has a professional and personal interest in researching issues that are important to the North, including: the impacts of new technologies in the mining and agricultural sectors; the community impacts of large-scale industrial projects; and innovation and economic development policy, planning and practice in rural and northern regions. Her work has been recognized nationally and internationally, and has informed government policy in Canada, Northern Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Sweden. Professor Hall is also the co-lead of the University of the Arctic’s Thematic Network on the Commercialization of Science and Technology for the North.
Ken Coates is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. He is also the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Senior Policy Fellow in Aboriginal and Northern Canadian Issues. He has served at universities across Canada and at the University of Waikato (New Zealand), an institution known internationally for its work on Indigenous affairs. He has also worked as a consultant for Indigenous groups and governments in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as well as for the United Nations, companies, and think tanks. He is the author of Treaty Peoples: Finding Common Ground with Aboriginal Canadians. He has previously published on such topics as Arctic sovereignty, Aboriginal rights in the Maritimes, northern treaty and land claims processes, regional economic development, and government strategies for working with Indigenous peoples in Canada. His book, A Global History of Indigenous Peoples; Struggle and Survival, offered a world history perspective on the issues facing Indigenous communities and governments. He was co-author of the Donner Prize winner for the best book on public policy in Canada, Arctic Front: Defending Canada in the Far North, and was short-listed for the same award for his earlier work, The Marshall Decision and Aboriginal Rights in the Maritimes. Ken contributes regularly, through newspaper pieces and radio and television interviews, on contemporary discussions on northern, Indigenous, and technology-related issues.
Sarah-Patricia Breen is the Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development at Selkirk College in British Columbia. She has over 10 years of experience in research, public policy, and project management. Her current research includes projects related to connectivity (broadband), digital skills, local delivery of economic development services, community resilience, place-based policy, and access to data - all with a specific focus on rural. Sarah holds a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University, a Masters in Geography from Memorial University, and a Bachelor's degree in Geography from Lakehead University in her hometown of Thunder Bay, ON. In addition to her role as the Regional Innovation Chair, she is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan.
Joelena Leader is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development (SEED) working on projects in the areas of northern innovation and development examining the impacts of disruptive technologies in the mining and agri-food sectors in Canada. Joelena holds a M.A. in Sociology and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Saskatchewan with an emphasis on technology and society. Her research is in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) with a focus on understanding users' experience, and technology design and use in a variety of contexts. Her work blends user-centered design and community-based research approaches that crosses the disciplinary areas of sociology, health, policy, and human-computer interaction.
Leanna Butters is a PhD student in the Transdisciplinary Sustainability program at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. Her research to date has involved community-based research conducted with rural and resource-dependent communities in Canada, including mining communities. Her PhD work will investigate relationships between infrastructure and social sustainability in Canadian mining communities.
Kelly Vodden is Professor (Research) with the Environmental Policy Institute and Associate Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. She has been engaged in community and regional development research, policy and practice across the country, and particularly in Newfoundland and Labrador for more than twenty-five years. She has published and led projects on topics ranging from rural regional governance and development models to climate change adaptation, rural drinking water systems, innovation and labour force mobility and has written and presented widely on these topics. For more on Kelly's work and that of the Rural Resilience research group visit the Rural Resilience website.
Matt Thomas Burdett is a first year master’s student in the Sustainability Management program at the University of Waterloo. His main points of interest in research involve the best practices of marketing and communicating value in sustainable development and, more specifically, the mining industry.