Monday, June 26, 2017




Christopher Wheat

Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

  Christopher Wheat  

Chris Wheat serves as Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  Chris coordinates policies and projects across City Agencies to advance the Mayor’s sustainability agenda.  His work has included expansion of the Retrofit Chicago Partnership, the passage of Chicago’s Disposable Bag Tax, and efforts to improve the City’s recycling program.

Previously Chris worked in a variety of policy areas as Director of the Mayor’s Innovation Team.   Chris’ initiatives included the development of youth intervention programs, the establishment of Chicago’s minimum wage, and creation of the Mayor’s Second Term Priorities Report.  Chris started his career in management consulting at Roland Burger Strategy Consultants and in finance at Stephens, Inc.

Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Chris earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and BA from Washington University in St. Louis.


Catherine N. Hurley, P.E., LEED AP, ISSP-CSP

Sustainability and Environmental Program Manager
Argonne National Laboratory


Catherine Hurley is Sustainability Program Manager for Argonne National Laboratory where she provides strategic direction and management for Argonne's Site Sustainability Program.  She oversees projects that address greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable buildings, water management, pollution prevention & waste reduction, transportation efficiency, sustainable procurement, and climate change resilience.  Prior to joining Argonne, Catherine served as Sustainability Manager for the City of Evanston, Illinois, where she was responsible for implementing programs and policies to support environmental, economic and social sustainability for Evanston. She managed the City’s Climate Action Plan and sustainability performance management through the STAR Community Rating.  Catherine started her professional career as a Civil Engineer, working for MWH Americas Inc. where she was a Supervising Engineer and Project Manager, and Resource Efficiency Management Group Leader.


Catherine serves on the Board of Directors for STAR Communities and the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP).  Catherine has a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Dayton and is a Registered Professional Engineer, a LEED Accredited Professional and an ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional.


Title: Sustainability 2.0 - Shifting focus to livability

Sustainability is journey that requires continuous improvement to address social, environmental and economic factors.  This model can over simplify a very complex and interconnected system.  When applying this model to an individual community, it is helpful to more specifically define what success looks like and how to measure incremental progress.  The City of Evanston integrated a sustainability framework into the government's operations and framed community-wide measurement and tracking of progress using the STAR Community Rating System.  Through this framework, Evanston focuses on a comprehensive set of sustainable community pillars: Built Environment, Climate & Energy, Education, Arts & Community, Economy & Jobs, Health & Safety, Equity & Empowerment, and Natural Systems.  The City branded its efforts the "Livability Initiative" to help community members connect this effort to their daily lives.  Implementing Evanston's Livability Initiative is also a complex process.  Through a multi-year journey, significant success has been achieved through a variety of key strategies.  These strategies along with lessons learned from Evanston's local progress will be shared by Catherine Hurley, who served as Sustainability Manager for the City of Evanston from 2010 - 2016.


Dr. Thomas P Seager

Associate Professor, School of Sustainable Engineering & the Built Environment
Arizona State University, Tempe AZ.


Dr. Thomas P Seager is an Associate Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering & the Built Environment at Arizona State University in Tempe AZ.  Dr. Seager leads research teams working at the boundaries of engineering and social science to understand innovation for resilient infrastructure systems, including the life-cycle environmental consequences of emerging energy technologies, novel approaches to teamwork and communication in socio-technical integrative settings, and engineering ethics education.  Current research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, the US Army Corp of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and several industry partners.  Dr. Seager is the Faculty Director of the Resource Innovation Solutions Network (RISN), a partnership of between ASU, City of Phoenix and other local municipalities for fostering circular, closed-loop economies. Additionally, Dr. Seager serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of two startup companies.  The first is eXperiential Sustainability Ethics Training (XSETGames, LLC) creates digital simulations for examining economic and ethical dimensions of wicked problems including pharmaceutical pricing, intergenerational equity, and the Tragedy of the Commons.  These simulations have been used by corporations, government agencies, and higher education clients, including dozens of Universities on three different continents.  The second is Building Integrated Solar Thermal Electricity Generation (BISTEG-USA, LLC), which is developing full-scale working sculptures that create electricity from sunlight without using photovoltaics.  BISTEG is currently working with the City of Adelaide, Australia to create a technology demonstration wall that will help realize their vision of becoming the first carbon neutral city in the world.  Lastly, Dr. Seager founded the non-profit Sustainability Conoscente Network as a mechanism for sharing knowledge related to systems approaches to sustainable technologies.


Title: Organizing Knowledge for Resilient Infrastructure Research

Despite federal policy directives to strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure systems to extreme weather and other adverse events, several knowledge and governance barriers currently frustrate progress towards policy goals, namely: 1) a lack of awareness of what constitutes resilience in diverse infrastructure applications, 2) a lack of judgement about how to create resilience, 3) a lack of incentives that motivate resilience creation, and 4) obstacles that prevent action or reform, even where incentives exist, within existing governance systems.  This talk presents a theory of resilience that is generalizable to infrastructure systems, psychology, business and other systems, presents several examples that illustrate the explanatory power of the theory and the testable hypotheses that result.


Tuesday, June 26, 2017


Andrew Morlet

Chief Executive
Ellen McArthur Foundation


Andrew joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2013 to define and launch its business programs and became Chief Executive in 2014. Previously Andrew was the Global Managing Director for information and technology strategy at Accenture and a partner with McKinsey & Company, developing corporate and business unit strategy, working at the board level of leading global companies across multiple sectors in the USA, UK/Europe and Asia. Prior to entering consulting Andrew worked in the not for profit sector as a clinical epidemiology and healthcare research scientist.


Title: Accelerating the transition to a circular economy

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, establishing the circular economy on the agenda of decision makers across business, government and academia. It works in five key areas: Education & Training, Business & Government, Insight & Analysis, Systemic Initiatives and Communications.


Andrew Mangan

Founder, United States Business Council for Sustainable Development

Managing Director, Pathway21, LLC


Andrew Mangan founded the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development, a non-profit association of businesses launched in 1993. The Council combines the capabilities of its members to develop, test and scale sustainability solutions. Current focus areas include energy, water, materials and ecosystems. Mangan also serves as managing director of Pathway21, LLC, a software development company established in 2016 to scale US BCSD programs that are ready for commercialization.


He received a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and attended the Columbia School of International Affairs as an International Fellow. Prior to organizing the Business Council, he served as deputy commissioner for natural resources with the Texas General Land Office, worked as a congressional correspondent for the Associated Press, and commercially fished salmon in Southeast Alaska.


Title: Expanding the Circle

As interest in Sustainable Materials Management grows within both the public and private sectors, an historic Materials Leadership Council has been established by the Environmental Council of the States, representing state environment commissioners, and the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development, representing business leaders. The purpose of this partnership is to connect the capabilities and interests of state and business leaders to promote creative material reuse across industries and develop policy solutions that support these shared goals. This discussion will spotlight innovative ideas toward achieving circular economy objectives. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2017


Dr. Dajian Zhu

Distinguished Professor of School of Economics & Management
Director of Institute of Governance for Sustainable Development
Vice Chairman of University Academic Committee
Tongji University, Shanghai.


Dr. Zhu Dajian's research interests include sustainable development and green economy, urban and regional development, public service and public private partnership,corporate social responsibility. He was a senior research scholar at Harvard University in 2005 and a visiting research fellow at Melbourne University in 1994-1995. He was awarded the special allowance by China’s State Council in 2000 and the Circular Economy Leadership by World Economic Forum(WEF)in 2016.

At home he is appointed as a member of The National Foundation for Social Sciences, a member of the Social Science Commission under the Chinese Education Ministry, a member of the Experts Commission on Sustainable Development & Resource and Environment under the Chinese Construction Ministry, a special policy advisor for Shanghai Municipal Government and some other Chinese cities, and a sustainable development advisor for Expo 2010 in Shanghai.


Internationally he is a member of Urbanization(2010-2012),Circular Economy(2014-2016) and Sustainability Governance(2014-2016) under Global Agenda Council of World Economic Forum(WEF),has involved in policy research projects from international organizations such as UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF,WB, ADB etc. and serves on some international journals’ editorial board like Ecological Economics,International Journal of Public Management,Environmental Policy and Governance etc. He is also members of International Expert Committee of Enel Foundation in Italy,Ellen MacArthur Foundation in UK and Firmenich in Switzerland.           


Title: Green Economy Transition in China and Global Sustainability

China’s remarkable economic achievements over the past three decades were attained at huge natural resource and environmental costs. China is currently undergoing a grand green transition, which is critical to both the Chinese people’s well-being and global sustainability. While pursuing high-level welfare for the world’s most populated country, future development should only be pursued within ecologic limits and carrying capacities. This presentation discusses a two-stage transition pathway for China from focusing on rapid urbanization and industrialization (first stage, approximately 2010-2030) to technological and social innovations (second stage, after 2030). Illustrations are provided in a scenario analyses based on the IPAT model (using 2010 as a base year). Discussions will focus on the four key strategies that China would need to successfully decouple economic growth from resource stressors and environmental degradation: 1) shifting to a new-type of urbanization model, which pursues compact land use by developing mega-city-agglomerations inter-linked by the high speed railway system; 2) implementing a new-type of industrialization, which greatly increases resource and environmental efficiency through promoting cleaner production and ICT technology innovations; 3) guiding sustainable consumption characterized by environmentally friendly consumption concepts and lifestyles, increasing societal benefits for the mass population while maintaining a lower environmental footprint; and 4) developing an overall circular economy, where both traditional measures (e.g., reducing, recycling and reusing discarded materials) and emerging product- and service-sharing systems are soundly implemented.


Dr. Richard Dawson

Professor of Earth Systems Engineering,
School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Associate Director, Institute for Sustainability
University of Newcastle

  dr richard dawson newcastle university  

A civil engineer by training, Richard's research has focused on the analysis and mitigation of environmental risks to infrastructure networks and urban areas, and he has pioneered the development of approaches to understand the interactions between engineering, environmental and socio-economic systems.


Richard has published over 50 journal papers and led the Infrastructure section of the 2017 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. He has awarded a number of prizes for his work, including the Lloyds Science of Risk (2012) prize and the Institution of Civil Engineers Robert Stephenson Award (2009) and Robert Alfred Carr Prize (2004).  He has editorial roles for the journals Climatic Change, Infrastructure Asset Management and Smart Infrastructure and Construction.


Amongst a number of research projects, Richard leads the £3.5m iBUILD Infrastructure Research Centre that is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and leads Newcastle University's involvement in the £138m UK government funded UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) programme.


Title: Infrastructure Business Models to Support Sustainable and Resilient Communities

Our infrastructure provides services such as sanitation, drinking water, warmth, mobility and communication.  These generate jobs and economic activity, provide security and deliver health benefits – greatly improving our quality of life.  Extreme weather, increased demands from a growing population, new technologies such as electric vehicles, coupled with ageing infrastructure assets, pose sharp challenges to the continued reliability and quality of these services. 
Delivering infrastructure that supports resilience and sustainability is especially challenging because existing infrastructure business models are too narrow or short-term to capture the wide range of benefits to the economy, society and environment. New research on infrastructure business models - how we deliver, fund, value and manage our infrastructure - are urgently required.  After reviewing these challenges I will introduce new research on infrastructure business models.  Supported by case studies and advances in infrastructure systems modelling, I will highlight how these can better assess and capture a richer set of infrastructure values and thereby support resilient and sustainable communities.