Keynotes & Guest Speakers
Shane Koyczan (November 19, Lunch Plenary)
Internationally renowned spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan will deliver a unique presentation touching on many of the issues facing our sector. Koyczan’s daring poetry has been delivered across a range of mediums — his 2013 anti-bullying video To This Day has had more than 20 million views — so expect this creative dynamo to draw on voice and, of course, spoken-word poetry to deliver his personal insights and experience in this emotional and thought-provoking address.
Johann Hari (November 20, Morning Plenary)
New York Times bestselling author Johann Hari will bring observations from his book on the war on drugs, called Chasing the Scream, to examine the relationships between housing and addiction. Chasing the Scream is the result of a four-year investigation into the global drug war that reveals some startling truths: Our ideas about drugs, addiction and the war on drugs are all wrong. Hari will also give us a sneak peek into his next book on the roots of anxiety and depression.
Emmy Tiderington (November 20, Lunch Plenary)
An assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the State University of New Jersey, Dr. Emmy Tiderington, whose research includes housing and supportive services for homeless populations with complex needs, will share unique observations based on her extensive research into supportive housing and homeless services in New York City. Tiderington will also discuss compelling stories from New York City’s Moving On initiative, and how it has affected the lives of formerly homeless individuals. Hear about New York’s efforts to address housing affordability have resulted in some unanticipated consequences, as well as some familiar challenges.
Al Etmanski (November 21, Morning Plenary)
Author, community organizer and social entrepreneur Al Etmanski has been thinking about what social change wants, why what we are doing is not working as well as we would like, and what we can do about it. He believes housing providers can be a catalyst for lasting change. Etmanski is the co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, which developed the world’s first savings plan for people with disabilities (the Registered Disability Savings Plan), and is co-founder of Social innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact. His latest book, Impact: Six Patterns to Spread your Social Innovation, is a Canadian bestseller.
Waneek Horn-Miller (November 21, Lunch Plenary)
Waneek Horn-Miller has overcome discrimination, self-doubt, and an infamous incident of violence to become a world-class athlete and advocate. With purpose and poise, she traverses the intersection of two generations of Native people, working to mend the relationship between Native and non-Native communities through social and political change. Horn-Miller’s accomplishments include serving as co-captain of Canada’s Olympic women’s water polo team in 2000 and Team Canada’s Assistant Chef de Mission at the 2015 Pan Am Games, as well as former Director of Community Relations with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Hear Horn-Miller’s incredible story, and how home as a safe space can help make dreams come true.
Hon. Selina Robinson (November 19, Morning Plenary)
Selina Robinson was elected as the MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. Selina had previously served as the Official Opposition spokesperson for mental health and addictions, seniors, local government and sports and as a City Councillor in Coquitlam for two terms from 2008 to 2013. Prior to political life, Selina had a 20-year career as a family therapist working in the private, non-profit and public sector, and was the Director of Development for SHARE Family and Community Services.
Kishone Roy (November 19, Morning Plenary)
BCNPHA advocates to government, media and the public for affordable housing in British Columbia. BCNPHA also provides education, events and a range of programs that assist social housing providers in ensuring high quality, low cost procurement. During Kishone Roy’s tenure, BCNPHA has more than doubled in size, become the go-to voice on affordable housing for media and research, and moved its offices into Housing Central: a new hub for housing leadership. Kishone also sits on the board of Encasa financial – a mutual fund company owned by the affordable housing sector. He brings years of experience as a former senior political strategist at the federal and provincial levels, and consultant to the academic and non-profit sectors.
Thom Armstrong (November 19, Morning Plenary)
Thom Armstrong has more than 30 years of experience in the co-operative housing movement. He is currently the executive director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC, COHO Management Services Society and the Community Land Trust, all headquartered in Vancouver, BC. CHF BC is a province-wide federation of housing co-ops.