Ambassadors Kick Off Their Climate Action Projects

By Kim MacLean and Madelyn Webb

On June 22, the second St. James Town Climate Ambassador training day was held.  After the Land Acknowledgement, Michael Seaman of Trinity Life and the New Common, a partner with RSI on the CCA project, provided opening comments and perspective.

Tricia Clarke, Public Engagement Officer introduced the City of Toronto’s Green Champions, a complementary energy conservation resident engagement initiative aimed at residents of high-rise buildings. Debra Cohen developed the program that has been piloted in some apartment buildings to spread the word how day-to-day energy conservation helps, when adopted en masse by residents in an apartment building.

Later in the afternoon, Madelyn Webb presented on Emergency Preparedness, the steps we all need to take to be prepared BEFORE the emergency happens.  Madelyn emphasized having a 72-hour emergency kit for your family, and what it should contain.

In two Interactive sessions, the Climate Ambassadors shared insights that informed their Team projects with guidance from Kirk Johnson, Co-lead, Ambassador Training. Ambassadors, following the CIRSI model, compiled resident Concerns, Impacts, Requests, Strategies, and Ideas about minimizing Resident Energy Use, Costs, and GHG Emissions in St. James Town. 

Agile tools & strategies were applied to create Personas, composite profiles of residents, and to compile User Stories describing solution-set elements and benefits. The four Team projects cover Heatwave Adaptation solutions, Emergency/Resiliency Hubs, Tower Energy Retrofits, and Food Security Workforce Development Training.

Julia Baronovsky, one of our Ambassadors-in-Training, had this to say about the day:

“I’m really glad I joined the program. I’ve been interested in climate change, and doing things as an individual for a long time, but now I have some knowledge on how to influence the community in a positive way in regards to climate change issues.”

We look forward to July 6th   when renowned guests speak on Food Security trends/innovations, Deep Tower Retrofits, and High-Rise Heating/Cooling projects that increase comfort, reduce energy/food costs, enhance resiliency, and significantly reduce GHG emissions.