Jan 26, 2022


2022 Theme
Emerging Vs. Emerged Climate Change & Extreme Weather Risks

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Dr. Blair Feltmate

Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation,

University of Waterloo

Dr. Maryam Golnaraghi

Director, Geneva Association

Dr. Susan J. Elliott

Professor, University of Waterloo
Adjunct Professor, United Nations University

Dr. Francesca Cardwell

PhD, University of Waterloo


Emerging Vs. Emerged Climate Change & Extreme Weather Risks

The lines are blurring between what we refer to as ‘emerging risks’ versus ‘emerged’ ones. Not long ago, the more palpable indications of climate change and associated extreme weather events, were more erratic in nature and difficult to attribute. Yet in the summer of 2021, the frequency and severity of extreme weather events crossed a marked threshold, with record-breaking heatwaves in North America, Turkey, North Africa, the Arctic, and Finland, wildfires across North America, Western Europe, Turkey, Greece, and Siberia, flooding throughout Western Europe and China’s Henan province, and landslides in India. Death, violence, and destruction featured widely across all of these events, be it mortalities in the elderly from extended heatwaves, civil unrest from water shortages, or outright casualty from flood, fire, or storm.

When emerging risks begin to materialize, our causal frameworks have to be rewired. Our mindsets have to change, along with our models. And our preparedness and adaptability end up being the measure of our resilience. We need a new understanding of the ‘everyday’ risks we can expect to face and how to prepare for them. Extreme weather events, and the associated impacts on lives, businesses, and industry, are no exception.

With the landmark 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report conveying code "red" to the general public, we are clearly not acting with sufficient haste to mitigate climate risks – why not? This session will focus on specific means – with accountabilities – to facilitate action to address both current emerged and more nascent emerging risks. The speakers will explore science-based strategies surrounding extreme weather events, the associated health impacts on society, and how we can shift the way we think about emerging and emerged risks.

26 JAN 2022

9:30 - 11:30



Join a conversation on emerging risks with renowned experts in climate change, policy, and public health.

Dr. Blair Feltmate

Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo

Blair is the Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. Previous positions he has held include Vice President, Sustainable Development, Bank of Montreal; Director, Sustainable Development, OPG; Partner, Sustainable Investment Group/YMG Capital Management; and President, Sustainable Systems Associates. Blair has written textbooks on Sustainable Banking (University of Toronto Press), and Aquatic Ecology (CAB International). He is generally interviewed by the media 100-150 times per year.
Blair is a member of the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council, Global Risk Institute. He is Chair, Adaptation Committee, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). He is on the Advisory Board on

Climate Change, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Ontario. He was Chair, Federal Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation and Resilience Results, and Chair, Electricity Transmission and Distribution Adaptation Standard, Canadian Standards Association. He is former Chair of Pollution Probe, and he was Chair/Founder of the Sustainable Electricity Program, Canadian Electricity Association.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maryam Golnaraghi

Director, Climate Change and Environmental Risks, Geneva Association

With over 20 years in executive and senior advisory roles, Dr. Golnaraghi worked directly with a wide range of stakeholders to develop proactive policies, strategies and innovative solutions to building socio-economic resilience to extreme events and climate risks. Currently, as the Director of the Extreme Events and Climate Risks Program of The Geneva Association, Dr. Golnaraghi is leading several strategic projects related to: (1) resilience of critical infrastructure; (2) innovation in climate risk assessment and risk pricing tools;  (3) socio-economic benefits of preventive and risk transfer  measures; and, (4) investment strategies for transitioning to a low-carbon economy and innovation in alternative energy sources. Prior to joining The Geneva

Association, for 10 years Dr. Golnaraghi was the Chief of the international program on Disaster Risk Reduction at the World Meteorological. Organization, and between 1997-2004 she was CEO and President of Climate Risk Solutions. Dr. Golnaraghi holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.Sc. in Applied Physics and a Ph.D in Physical Oceanography from Harvard University. She serves in a number of international, national and industry advisory boards.

Dr. Susan J. Elliott

Professor, University of Waterloo
Adjunct Professor, United Nations University

Susan Elliott is a health geographer whose primary area of research focuses on relationships between environment and health, broadly defined. Dr Elliott holds a PhD in medical geography and is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo and the Head of Geographies of Health in Place (GoHelP) lab and Adjunct Professor with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), a partner in much of the global water and sanitation research that she undertakes. Her current research activities focus on three broad themes that relate health with built, socially constructed environment and physical environment. Susan’s research is characterized by a strong commitment to science-policy bridging. Dr Elliott is

currently leading two large-scale research projects: i) Development of Canadian Food Allergy Strategy (CanFAST; linked to her leadership role in AllerGen, the National Centre of Excellence focused on gene-environment interactions as they affect allergic disease); and ii) Global Index of Wellbeing (GLOWING) -linked to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. She published extensively in a range of health-related areas including the psychosocial impacts of environmental exposures, the geographies of health promotion, and individual and community level impacts of a range of environmental exposures. At UNU-INWEH she contributes to Water Without Borders programme and work on water-related health risks.z

Dr. Francesca Cardwell

PhD University of Waterloo

Francesca is a health geographer, interested primarily in the relationships between the environment and health. She completed her PhD in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo (2018), and is currently working on an integrated knowledge translation project that aims to investigate how individuals with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) access and trust health information. Her research interests include environment and health risk perception, the social and environmental determinants of health, qualitative research methods, health equity, and chronic illness.


9:30 AM

Samantha Bennett

Welcome address

9:35 AM

Dr. Blair Feltmate

Adapt Now or Pay Later: Canada's Need to Prepare for Climate Change and Extreme Weather Risk

10:00 AM

Dr. Maryam Golnaraghi

Keynote Speech

10:30 AM

Dr. Susan J. Elliott

Innovative Integrative Knowledge Translation (iiKT): Applications to (re-)emerging risks to health and wellbeing

11:00 AM

Dr. Francesca Cardwell

Toward an Understanding of Scientists' Understanding of the Know-Do Gap

11:25 AM

Samantha Bennett

Closing Remarks


We're committed to addressing emerging risk issues through the power of crowdsourcing

Lifeguard.org is a unique platform that represents the first ever effort to provide the infrastructure, collaboration tools, and incentives needed to enable and encourage peer-reviewed science, focused on complex public health and environmental issues, on a massive scale. Our goal is to  makes it easier for scientists and experts with complementary skill sets and expertise to connect, collaborate, and prevent avoidable emerging risk issues through their research.

Our vision is to create a world where multi-disciplinary teams collaborate to conduct peer-reviewed scientific research that finds defective or harmful products and by-products and prevents them from ending up in the hands of consumers, being exposed to workers in occupational settings, and harming the environment.


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