Should Universities Teach ‘Startup Culture’?

Friday, 24 September 2021 via Zoom

Speaker: Chris Evans

Should Universities Teach ‘Startup Culture’

Lecture Summary:

An emerging trend in university offerings is training in entrepreneurship through hands-on experience of what one might call “startup culture”. This is often described as an important learning experience for students. Why are universities devoting scarce resources to doing this? Is it an appropriate activity for publicly funded universities to engage with? How do universities actually do this? Is this just a passing fad, or is it here to stay? And, most importantly, does this experience have any particular value for students? These are a few of the questions I’ll try to answer in my Almonte Lecture. For the most part, my comments will be offered in the context of Ryerson University’s Zone Learning experience.

Bio: Chris Evans:

Dr. Chris Evans holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Ottawa and is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at Ryerson University. Always a bit of a generalist, Chris has taught in the Faculties of Science, Engineering and Architectural Science, and Communication and Design. And as self-confessed “curriculum nerd”, Chris led a number of ambitious developments including a major redesign of the undergraduate curriculum structure, the rollout of Ryerson’s university-wide quality assurance process, and design of curriculum with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.

At Ryerson, he has served in many roles including faculty member, department chair, Vice Provost Academic, and interim Provost. Since September 1, 2021 Chris has been on secondment to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance as Executive Director, Quality Assurance.

Prior to joining Ryerson, Chris was a faculty member at the University of Iceland. His scholarly interests include organic photo-chemistry, deterioration of archival photographic images and experiential learning pedagogy.

No Shhhing in the Library!

Friday, 29 October 2021 via Zoom

Speaker: Christine Row

Lecture Summary:

I believe public libraries have entered a renaissance period. What were once quiet places filled with books are now vibrant and creative community spaces. From Halifax to Calgary, cities across Canada are choosing to showcase their creative innovative spirit through their public libraries. Not only are library spaces transforming but also library services are growing to meet new needs such as teaching courses on 3D printing to partnering on community art projects. To be a successful library system today, you must reflect the community you service. How does the Mississippi Mills Public Library reflect our residents? How have we changed and where are we going? These are just some of the topics I will explore.

Bio: Christine Row:

I have always been a library patron. Growing up, my parents would regularly bring me to the Halifax and Musquodoboit Harbour public libraries. I continued to join any library along my path. In 2001, I moved to Portland, Ontario with a family of my own and started working part-time at the Rideau Lakes Public Library.  I was inspired by how libraries can change lives. Libraries bring people together and create community engagement, particularly in small towns. After years at the Rideau Lakes Library, I decided to get my Master of Library and Information Science through Syracuse University. My library path has branched-off into new exciting routes which has led me to beautiful Mississippi Mills.

Dirty Secrets of the Oil Industry in Canada

Friday, 26 November 2021 via Zoom

Speaker: Bill Adams

Lecture Summary:

I will show how oil spills on our Canadian coasts are handled under a closed industry-controlled system that places priority on creating the impression of “world-class” capability to cleanup spilled oil which is not based on reality. The regulators are captured by the industry which makes it very difficult to improve the system and to provide optimum protection for the coastal communities that bear the brunt of oil spill impacts such as those on the West Coast of Canada where shipping operates in dangerous waters and narrow channels. Arctic communities are also at risk as they depend on oil deliveries for their communities and the moratorium on oil developments in the Arctic is shortly to be revisited and may be lifted which again puts the Canadian Arctic at risk. Expansion of tar sand activities and the Transmountain Pipeline in Western Canada are a threat, not only to the coastal waters of BC, but to the health of all ecosystem down-stream of the extractive operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Bio: Bill Adams:


During the 1970s Dr. Adams was a Research Scientist with Environment Canada where he conducted Arctic research on oil spill impacts and then a senior Defence Scientist with DND where he did research on high energy battery systems until 1986. He was the founder and Director of the Electrochemical Science and Technology Centre of the University of Ottawa over the period 1986 to 1995 which conducted research on electric vehicles, medical power sources (artificial heart project), and defence power sources. From 1995 he was President of the first spin-off company from the University of Ottawa. Dr. Adams is currently VP, Strategic Planning for RESTCO that was formed in 2010 (see www.restco.ca) that has been actively working on oil spill remediation technologies.