Silver Donald Cameron

Environmental, Green, Entrepreneurship, Sailing, The Blue Nose

Travels From: Halifax, NS
Fee Range: $ 4000+

Bio

Silver Donald Cameron is one of Canada’s most versatile and experienced professional authors. He is currently the host and executive producer of TheGreenInterview.com, an environmental website devoted to intense, in-depth conversations with the brilliant thinkers and activists who are leading the way to a green and sustainable future. His guests on The Green Interview include Vandana Shiva, Farley Mowat, Robert Bateman, Ronald Colman, James Lovelock, Jane Goodall and the Prime Minister of Bhutan. A recent partnership with Gale Cengage Learning has made the Green Interviews available in 15,000 libraries around the world. Dr. Cameron is also the writer and narrator of The Green Interview’s two documentary films, Bhutan: The Pursuit of Gross National Happiness (2010) and Salmon Wars: Salmon Farms, Wild Fish and the Future of Communities (2012).

His literary work includes plays, films, radio and TV scripts, an extensive body of corporate and governmental writing, hundreds of magazine articles and 17 books, including two novels. His non-fiction subjects include history, travel, literature, politics, nature and the environment, community development, ships and the sea, as well as education and public affairs. His most recent books are Sailing Away from Winter and A Million Futures: The Remarkable Legacy of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

His books have received the Evelyn Richardson Award, the Atlantic Provinces Booksellers Award, and the City of Dartmouth Book Award. His TV drama Peggy was named Best Short Film at the Canadian Film Celebration and the Moonsnail Awards, and was also a Gemini Award finalist. His magazine articles have received four National Magazine Awards. Four of his radio dramas have been ACTRA Award finalists; The Sisters (available on CD) was also nominated for the international Prix Italia. He has also won a Mercury Award and a Wilmer Shields Award for corporate writing.

He has been Writer-in-Residence at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the University of Prince Edward Island, and the University College of Cape Breton. He has been a member of numerous Canada Council juries, and has served as a consultant to many corporate, governmental and non-profit clients, including four federal departments, five provincial departments, several important corporations and major charitable foundations.

Dr. Cameron is also a distinguished educator, having served as the first Dean of the School of Community Studies at the University College of Cape Breton (now Cape Breton University). He previously taught at Dalhousie University, the University of British Columbia and the University of New Brunswick. He holds a B.A. from U.B.C., an M.A. from University of California, and a Ph.D. from the University of London, England. In 2004 he received an honourary Doctor of Civil Law degree from the University of Kings College, and in 2007 Cape Breton University awarded him an honorary D. Litt. In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

Dr. Cameron was the founding Chairman of Telile, Isle Madame’s community television station, and was also a founding director of Development Isle Madame. He has served on many volunteer boards, including several terms on the executive of the Writers Union of Canada, of which he is currently Treasurer.

Topics

YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE: THRIVING IN THE EXPLODING GREEN ECONOMY

“Your money or your life!” snarled the bandit, brandishing his pistol.

“Take my life, but please don’t take my money!” cried the little old lady. “I’m saving that for my old age”

We laugh, but that’s exactly what we’re doing as a culture and a species – hoarding our cash at the cost of our lives. We’re thus missing a spectacular opportunity to create a dazzling new economy – and to do well by doing good.

How do I know this? For nine years, I’ve hosted a web site called www.TheGreenInterview.com Recently I was asked to describe the core benefit of the site. The answer simply tumbled out of me.

“Every month,” I said, “you get to spend an hour with a great thinker, imagining the future.” That’s how we choose our interviewees. They share a passion for a better, greener future, a determination to help us get there, and an ability to talk about their passion with great eloquence.

They’ve described an economy changing at warp speed. Volvo will make only electric cars after 2019, and will provide Uber with 24,000 self-driving shared cars by 2021. Farewell, family car. Lab-grown “beef” now costs $11 a pound. Rooftop organic farms deliver fresh food to Montrealer’s every morning. Renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuels. Automation displaces human workers; by 2030, 1/3 of existing US jobs will disappear. Wherever you look, the ground under the traditional economy is shaking.

What’s changing faster than all is minds. People’s expectations, their desires, their values – all of these are in flux. So who is the new consumer? Who is the new investor? And what do those people want?

They want to save their money and their lives.

I’ve spent nearly a decade talking with the people who are shaping the emerging green economy – studying their work, visiting their labs and businesses, absorbing their vision of the world. It’s been thrilling. The new economy will be dominated by millennials who want durable and re-usable, not disposable. They want use – sharing, leasing, renting – rather than ownership. They value conservation over consumption, rich experience over rich lifestyles, services over goods, thrifty over ostentatious. They often view possessions as burdens. Some even disdain the use of money.

The new consumers support business organizations radically different from the corporate model. Patagonia (US) and Riversimple (UK) are privately-owned, environmentally-oriented companies which answer only to the visionaries who own them. Urgenda (Netherlands) is a self-financing, entrepreneurial foundation. The Eden Project (UK) is a registered charity that runs a green theme park. Renewal Funds (Canada) is a green-only venture capital fund. The Samsø Energy Academy (Denmark) is an educational organization. But all of them are high-functioning businesses, and all appeal to the new consumers.

And in the next couple of decades the new consumers will inherit $50 trillion dollars from their boomer parents – the largest transfer of wealth in history, a tsunami of cash to power the tsunami of change.

This richly-illustrated, deeply personal keynote is an inside look at the perils and possibilities of a brilliant green economy that is taking shape before our eyes. Any organization – indeed, any person –that wants to prosper in the coming decades needs to hear this startling report from the future.

Format: 30-45 minute keynote, with Q&A if desired.

This program is perfect for: Business audiences Chambers of Commerce and other business organizations Economic development agencies and conferences

The audience members will leave with: A sharpened sense of the possibilities for new ventures and personal growth in a rapidly-greening world A set of inspiring stories about green businesses and sustainable innovations from all over the world A renewed sense of hope about the future of the planet, and about their own agency and authority

WHAT CAN ONE PERSON DO?

“What Can One Person Do?” began as a TEDx talk created in response to the despairing question of a student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. “The problems are so huge,” she said, “so various, so overwhelming. What can one person do?”

As a matter of fact, one person can do an amazing amount. This keynote presents stories and video clips of astonishing people from The Green Interview whose lives and careers constitute a stirring response to that question.

In this talk, the audience meets, among others

*an Icelander who has single-handedly ended most commercial fishing for Atlantic salmon *an Englishman who builds hydrogen-powered cars and aims to reform the whole automobile industry *a Dutch woman who forced the Netherlands government to honour its climate-change commitments *a Canadian who has created the world’s first commercial organic rooftop farm *a Bengali educator who turns peasant grandmothers into solar engineers and entrepreneurs *a British scientist whose work on chimpanzees changed our understanding of human beings *an Irishman who abandoned the use of money – and now has 43,000 followers in 168 nations *an Ecuadorian who won a $9.5 billion lawsuit against Chevron for polluting the Amazon. These stories of bold, pioneering social adventurers are a tonic for the spirit and an antidote to despair – and that’s what this surprising and entertaining keynote is designed to provide.

What can one person do? One person can change the world.

And that one person can be you.
******* The original TEDx talk can be streamed at http://ow.ly/XmgoO Some of the people in it are included in the book Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth and the 67-minute feature documentary film, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. The book and film are part of the Green Rights project (www.GreenRights.com).

The trailer for the Green Rights film can be screened here:

http://ow.ly/er1330gE7cZ and a private link to stream the film is available on request.

A screening of the film, and/or a deeply discounted bulk purchase of the book can be packaged together with the presentation.

Format: 20-35 minute keynote, with Q&A if desired.

This program is perfect for: Student audiences Environmental organizations Anyone who needs to be reminded of the power of the individual to effect change

The audience members will leave with: A renewed sense of their own agency and authority A set of inspiring stories about environmental successes from all over the world A refreshed sense of hope about the future of the planet

USING THE LAW TO DEFEND THE FUTURE

It’s been called “the most important lawsuit in the history of the planet” – and none of the plaintiffs is over 21. In the “Our Children’s Trust” case, 21 young Americans are suing the US government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property through its continuing support of industries that cause climate change. They say it’s the duty of government to safeguard the well-being of its citizens – including the citizens of the future.

Bold? Yes. Historic? Yes. Unprecedented? No. In the Netherlands, a charitable foundation won a sweeping climate-change case against the Dutch government. In the Philippines, one feisty lawyer established that future generations had a legal right to inherit a healthy environment. India, New Zealand and Ecuador have recognized the legal rights of their rivers. New York and San Francisco are suing the major oil companies over their contribution to climate change.

For nearly a decade, Silver Donald Cameron has been reporting on the new uses of the courts to assert the rights of people, nature and future generations. His film Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World tells about the victories of slum dwellers, children, NGOs and aboriginals as well as unborn generations and charitable foundations. His book Warrior Lawyers includes extended interviews with 17 trailblazing lawyers from eleven countries.

In a world where governments and corporations conspire against both human beings and the natural world, these lawyers and their courageous clients fight back. Their chosen battleground is the courts, which are moved by logic and evidence, not by the next election or the next quarterly report. They are part of a broader movement that seeks respect not only for the rights of all humans, but for the rights of all living things – animals, rivers, forests, oceans, insects and birds.

Often mischievous but always serious, these advocates love to upend conventional thinking. They revitalize dormant laws, find new interpretations for existing laws, and press for the creation of new laws to meet our new challenges – a law of ecocide, for instance, to mirror the existing prohibition on ecocide. They are passionate, articulate, courageous and — surprisingly — entertaining. One reviewer called Warrior Lawyers “a romp with some of the finest legal minds on the planet… You get to the end and realize you have feasted on both revolution and hope.”

If your audience is ready for a feast of revolution, entertainment and hope, call on Silver Donald Cameron. This is the keynote for you.

********** “Using the Law to Defend the Future” is a companion presentation to the book Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth and the 67-minute feature documentary film, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. A screening of the film, and/or a deeply discounted bulk purchase of the book can be packaged together with the presentation.

The trailer for the film can be screened here:

http://ow.ly/er1330gE7cZ

A copy of the e-book and a private link to stream the film are available on request. The book and film are keystone components of the Green Rights project  which tells the stories of citizens and lawyers who are literally changing the world, one lawsuit at a time — a powerful antidote to hopelessness and despair.

Format: 45-60 minute illustrated keynote with Q&A if desired

This program is perfect for:
Audiences focused on sustainability, politics or social change Environmental organizations and community groups Lawyers, law schools and legal conferences

The audience will leave with: Inspiring examples of small groups and dedicated individuals who are literally changing the world An appreciation for the power of the law as an instrument for social change An understanding that even an unsuccessful lawsuit can be a win A transformative grasp of the legal system’s core values of sound reasoning and solid evidence

Testimonials 

“He did such an excellent job — and received such glowing remarks from attendees — that I truly could not suggest improvement.”
Larry Kennedy, Human Resources Development Canada

“Sometimes hilarious and sometimes heart-rending. In the short term, his comments were entertaining. In the long term, his ideas were thought-provoking.”
Anne Heinze-Silvis, University of Illinois

“Stimulating, insightful and provocative.”
Peter Nemetz, Vancouver Institute, University of British Columbia

“A master at his craft — intelligent, funny, poignant, thoughtful. Our conference was a great success— and Silver made it gold.”
David Hopper, Canadian Land Reclamation Association

“Your poignant and thought-provoking remarks set the tone for the weekend and played an important part in the success of the whole event!”
Dave Crumby, Easter Counties Regional Library

“We wanted someone who was witty, thoughtful, known to people, and who could lead the participants through an enjoyable, productive and stimulating day. Silver Donald Cameron was great to work with and did a superb job for us. Nice style, good quips, good anecdotes!
Renee Lyons, Atlantic Health Promotion Research Centre

“I congratulate you on blowing them away!!”
Sue Rickards, Selby Associates Inc.

“Silver Donald Cameron has the ability to grasp his audience with stories that reflect his zest for life, his compassion for those less fortunate, the humorous characters that have crossed his path and especially his passion towards protecting our planet.”
Terry MacIntyre, Nova Scotia Salmon Association

“I’m sure it was as clear to you as it was to me that the crowd thoroughly enjoyed your tales. (The story of the peddler from Canso was new to me and surely must count among your greatest hits.) I believe the underlying message hit home, too. Thanks again. ”
Rick Alexander, Government of Nova Scotia

“Silver Donald Cameron was the perfect speaker for an evening celebrating Nova Scotia beaches. His unique insight about the complexity and beauty of our beach systems paired with his ability to describe coastal processes in clear and moving ways is rare. His wit and wisdom, his easy-going manner and his adventurous spirit really made the evening.”
Jen Graham, Ecology Action Centre, Halifax, NS

“Silver Donald Cameron is very down to earth and related well to the audience. He used stories and examples that the group found stimulating and useful. He also gave us lots of laughs! Overall, our group really enjoyed his speech.”
Liz Roberts, Manitoba Association of Agricultural Societies

 

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