Break Into The Green Building Industry!

CaaNNxKUcAEcxnNThis Thursday the Emerging Green Builders kicked off 2016 with our first event, a speaker session on starting your career in the green building industry.

Our speakers were Andy Schonberger (@BuildSmartAndy) of Cisco Systems, and Jim Lord (@Jim__Lord) of EcoVert – two guys with extensive experience in the green building field.


Here’s a list of the top 4 take aways from the event!

  1. Be patient.One of the things that I really enjoy was the fact that neither speaker got to be where they are today by just graduating with a degree and landing a great job.  Don’t expect things to come easy, but also don’t get discouraged just because you don’t start off exactly where you want to be. Also, be flexible and open to new things.
  2. Be involved in your industry. This should be super easy for anyone in the sustainability/green building community because there are a ton of volunteer opportunities, conferences, and committees out there to join. Also, from my experience, everyone is super nice and open, so there’s no need to be shy.
  3. NETWORK. NETWORK. NETWORK. But, as Jim Lord said, “be genuinely interested in people”.  Instead of just looking for job opportunities, try to make real connections.  One of the greatest tips I heard was, “if you don’t have what that person needs, but know someone who does, help get connect them”.  I think a lot of students just focus on where we can get jobs and that’s about it, but selfish networking is not effective for creating long-term connections.
  4. Any job can be a sustainability job. “You can add the sustainability piece to any job. It’s that passion and bringing that passion to your work,” is another great piece of advice.  This is something that I also heard at the UofT Sustainability Conference earlier this month, when Bob Willard discussed how sustainability changes, surprisingly enough, are not always a top-down order but instead come from the initiative of regular “middle” employees, just because they had the passion and drive to see it through.

CaaSxz-VAAAdHbYOverall, it was a great event with wonderful and engaging speakers. I was happy that many young people from the green building field came out to enjoy it.  I met young professionals and students from a variety of focuses like construction, renewable energy, interior design, and urban planning, just to name a few.

If you’re interested in learning more about EGBs click here!  Our next event will be a mentor mixer in May, details tba!


Happy Holidays

See you in 2016!

Hello everyone!

You might have noticed it’s a bit quiet around here. I’m sure the holidays have been keeping us all busy!

I just thought I’d write a personal note letting you all know what’s going on in my life.  My #DigitalEdu course at UofT (which was the motivation for starting this blog) just wrapped up. It was a great experience and I’m hoping I can take the time to apply even more of what I learned to writing for Urban SimpliCity in the future.

I’m currently working on a number of personal projects including grad school applications (yikes!), and possibly applying to some conferences, which has been keeping me busy. But don’t worry! I have quite a few ideas in the works for Urban SimpliCity that I’m hoping to launch in 2016 . If all goes as planned there’s going to be some great new content, so get ready!

In the mean time, the event calendar for January is already filling up, so make sure you take a look! I’ll probably be at at least a few of them. If you see me feel free to reach out, I’d love to connect!

Until then, take care and have a happy holiday!



D-1 Until COP21

The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (or COP21 for short) is about to kick off in Paris tomorrow and will run until December 11th.  We’ve all heard about it in the news lately I’m sure, especially as Prime Minister Trudeau has invited opposition party leaders and premiers to attend the event, showing that Canada should be all-in on the climate issue.  Even though Trudeau is going into this conference with the same climate plan as the previous government, his attitude says a lot and I’m really hoping to see a Canadian government with a more open-mind at this year’s talks.

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National Housing Day Rally 2015

On November 20th I gathered with the crowd outside the Supreme Court of Justice, waiting for this year’s National Housing Rally to begin.  This was my first rally – ever –  I had no clue what to expect.  But the Supreme Courts, which had failed to recognize housing as a public right just two years earlier, were certainly the perfect starting grounds for affordable housing advocates to voice their discontent.

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Zero Waste Conference 2015

This Thursday was the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference 2015, broadcast for the first time with Toronto as a satellite city, and showcasing many amazing speakers from both locations.  For those of you following me on Twitter or who checked out #ZWC2015, I’m sure you saw the highlights!  It was a unique experience where participants also got to interact with the speakers via Pigeonhole Live, and I enjoyed asking questions and seeing what my peers were interested in!

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