Ford+Munk 2023: The Energy Transition
Toronto, ON | March 24-26

Conference Schedule

FRI 24

Panel Discussion & Networking Reception

Location: Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON
Time: Panel Event from 7-8pm (Doors 6:30pm); Reception with refreshments from 8-9pm
Attire: Business Casual

Meet our panelists!

Aakash Harpalani is the Director of Clean Energy at The Atmospheric Fund, a climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, working to accelerate the decarbonization of the GTHA’s energy systems including its electricity grid. Aakash has over a decade of diverse experience in energy and transportation across the private, public, and non-profit sectors including roles with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the City of Toronto.

Rachele Levin is an energy and climate change expert with provincial, federal and international experience working on policy and programming related to decarbonization. Rachele currently leads the Ontario Energy Board’s energy transition work, sits on the Board of Directors of Canada’s Smart Grid Innovation Network, and is Program Chair of the 2023 CAMPUT Conference for Canadian energy regulators. Rachele also led the development of North America’s first regulatory innovation sandbox in the energy sector and authored the Policy Landscape chapter of REN21’s annual international renewable energy report. Rachele is an enthusiastic thought leader in all things related to energy transition, decarbonization, innovation and energy policy.

Phil De Luna is currently an Expert, Sustainability at McKinsey & Company where he advises corporations, governments, and non-profits on decarbonization to enable sustainable inclusive growth. He is a Governor General Gold Medal winning scientist, ranked in the top 0.01% in the world in his field, a mentor at Creative Destruction Lab, and chair of Carbon Management Canada. Prior to McKinsey, Phil was the youngest-ever Director at the National Research Council where he built and led a $57M R&D program developing disruptive technologies to decarbonize Canada. He was on the founding team of CERT Systems, a carbontech startup and finalist in the $20M Carbon XPRIZE. He is a Member of the Royal Society of Canada, an adjunct Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto, a former Member of Parliament candidate, a Globe & Mail Top 50 Changemaker, and a Forbes Top 30 Under 30.

George Vegh is a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy where he is also Adjunct Professor of Energy Law and Regulatory Governance.  He was also Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Law School, the University of Calgary Law School, and Osgoode Hall Law School, where he is also the Director of the Masters Program in Energy and Infrastructure Law.  George’s legal practice involves strategic advocacy and advisory services for private and public sector clients. He is consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in his field. George is also Vice-Chair at the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). 

SAT 25

Group Work (Day) & Social (Evening)

Group Work

Each group has an assigned room from 8am-5:30pm on Saturday in either Canadiana Gallery (14 Queens Pk Cres W) or The Observatory (315 Bloor St. W). Room assignments are below. Snacks and lunch will be provided. Slide decks are due no later than 5:30pm. Please have one group member submit slides to in PDF format.

Group 1 | Canadiana Gallery, Rm CG-160
Group 2 | Canadiana Gallery, Rm CG-361
Group 3 | The Observatory, Transit House
Group 4 | The Observatory, Rm B019
Group 5 | The Observatory, Rm B217
Group 6 | The Observatory, Rm B020
Group 7 | Canadiana Gallery, Rm CG-145

Evening Social

Location: Track & Field, 582 College St, Toronto, ON
Time: 7pm
Attire: Casual

Join us for some bocce and drinks at Track & Field! We’ve reserved a bocce lane on the main floor from 7-9pm. Drinks can be purchased at the bar and food can be brought in or ordered in.

SUN 26


Location: Campbell Conference Facility, 1 Devonshire Pl, Toronto, ON
Time: 8:30am to 12pm; Doors open at 8am
Attire: Business Casual

Presentation Schedule

8:35 to 8:50am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 1

8:55 to 9:10am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 2

9:15 to 9:30am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 3

9:35 to 9:50 am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 4

~15 minute break~

10:05 to 10:20am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 5 

10:25 to 10:40am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 6 

10:45 to 11:00 am | Presentation + Q&A | Group 7 


11:00 to 11:20am | Judges Deliberate 

11:20am to 11:50am | Winners Announced & Closing Words 

Meet our judges panel!

Ann Chih Lin is Director of the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, Lieberthal-Rogel Professor of Chinese Studies, and Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.  Dr. Lin studies attitudes towards China and their impacts on Chinese migrants in the U.S.  She is especially interested in immigrant political socialization — how immigrants learn about and relate to government authority in their new country – and immigration policy – how governments choose to recruit migrants.  She was co-principal investigator on the Detroit Arab American Study, a landmark public opinion survey of Arab Americans in Detroit. With Yan Chen and Kentaro Toyama, she is exploring methods to reduce bias against Muslims in two metro Detroit cities.  She received her BA in history from Princeton University and her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago.  Prior to receiving her PhD., she was a social worker with Covenant House in New York City and a member of the Covenant House Faith Community.

Maurice Bitran is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.  A former senior executive in the Ontario Public Service, he was the CEO and Chief Scientist of the Ontario Science Centre, Assistant Deputy Minister of Environmental Policy, Economic Development Policy, the Premier’s Jobs and Prosperity Council, and was Ontario’s Chief Negotiator for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union.  A native of Chile, Maurice was selected as one of the Ten most influential Hispanic-Canadians in 2012, received the Public Service Award from Life Sciences Ontario in 2013, and the Leadership Award from the Transformation Institute for Leadership Innovation in 2019.  He holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Florida (USA) and is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.

Amy Harris is a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Her research interests are in foreign aid, international development, public participation and public contracting. She examines the relationship between foreign aid contracting and on-the-ground international development work. Her current research in this area looks at how government contracts influence participatory development approaches that seek to engage project beneficiaries in decision-making about aid activities. She uses qualitative and mixed methods approaches in her research, including fieldwork in developing countries. Prior to starting her PhD, Amy worked as a project manager in foreign aid implementation with Chemonics International, managing both U.S. Agency for International Development and World Bank projects. Amy received her PhD from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in 2020, where she also received an MS. She has an MA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a BA from Middlebury College. She received an award for excellence in teaching from the Evans School in 2017, after which she was an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University’s Institute for Public Service.

John Whytock is Director of Communications at the Ontario Ministry of Energy. In this role, he has been involved in numerous initiatives affecting the energy sector, including the closure of Ontario’s coal plants, extensive consultations to inform long-term planning, and the transition of Hydro One from a Crown corporation to a publicly-traded company. He has also held leadership roles at the Ministries of Health, Northern Development and Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, Infrastructure, and Environment. Prior to government, John worked in social marketing and risk and crisis management.

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