Tyler Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton is a Canadian author, award-winning journalist, and outspoken advocate for developing a green economy in Canada. Hamilton is Editor-In-Chief of Corporate Knights, North America’s only business magazine dedicated to corporate sustainability issues and the promotion of responsible economic growth. He is also a senior advisor to the Council for Clean Capitalism, through which some of Canada’s largest corporations from across industries are working together to influence public policy changes that reward responsible corporate behaviour.

Hamilton spent nearly 10 years as business and energy writer for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, and through his popular Clean Break column reported on the people, companies and technologies that are moving the world toward a low- carbon future.

In fall 2011, Hamilton published the book Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and Their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy (ECW Press), which details the journey of energy invention and struggles that many unconventional innovators and entrepreneurs face in their efforts to be taken seriously.

Before joining the Toronto Star, Hamilton was technology reporter for the Globe and Mail, and in 2003 co-authored Privacy Payoff (McGraw-Hill Ryerson) with then Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian. Hamilton is also an adjunct professor at York University’s faculty of environmental studies, where he also works closely with the Schulich School of Business.

Speech Topics

1) Why being environmentally and socially responsible is good for business: It’s generally believed that companies which embrace a sustainability ethic will hinder their ability to generate profits, but evidence is increasingly pointing to the contrary. Research shows that company productivity, corporate reputation and employee happiness (including mental health) are all boosted by genuine efforts to improve environmental and social performance, and that this leads to better long-term financial performance.

2) Innovations to save the world: The lessons we learn from failure Drawing from examples in Hamilton’s book Mad Like Tesla, this presentation will look at entrepreneurs and inventors who are doing some crazy but important work, even if they end up failing. Most companies pushing in this direction die on the vine, but their efforts leave behind a trail of knowledge that others can — and do — build from and improve upon. The presentation will also explore some of the barriers that contribute to such failures.

3) Why what you’re doing matters: This presentation is geared toward employees of organizations that see themselves as examples of social and environmental best practices, or which are developing products that are considered “green” or “socially progressive.” Through examples from the clean technology sector, it will talk about the importance of every person’s role in such an organization and how individual contributions, no matter how small or mundane, can lead to positive change if they are collectively pushing in the same direction.

4) The glass half full: staying optimistic in a world with big environmental challenges. This presentation will start by providing an overview of climate and environmental trends and build towards a concluding message that is optimistic and hopeful. It will refer to unprecedented developments around technology, consumer and corporate behaviour, public awareness, and government regulation, and give the audience a much-needed morale boost during seemingly dire times.

5) Tracking sustainability: How does your company stack up? For large companies, this presentation would look at where a company ranks relative to its sector peers on sustainability, what it’s doing right, and where it could improve. As part of this, it will talk about why tracking and disclosing key sustainability performance indicators is increasingly important to investors, consumers and employees.

6) Mental health in the age of climate change: This presentation will cover the under-researched, little-discussed area of mental health within the context of climate change, and how concerns for the environment and how an organization is perceived as helping or hurting the situation can have an impact on employee happiness and productivity.

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