Friday, February 19th

To our mentors, attendees, YHDs, and sponsors:

Thank you for making our second ever online mentor session such a success! We’re so glad you could join us and share in the spirit of sustainability with Vancouver youth. Be on the lookout for our first half-day conference in April!

Some highlights from this year’s conference:

  • UVic: “How do you manage climate anxiety?”
    • Focusing on the smaller actions is helpful. Although it is not just the individual’s responsibility, sometimes small actions are our only option. No one should feel personal responsibility for the damage of large corporations, but small steps like refusing single-use plastics can create change.
  • UBC: What can COVID-19 teach us about the climate crisis?
    • COVID-19 has shown us that we are capable of working together on a global scale. Countries all around the world are implementing restrictions and fighting for a common goal. This provides hope that the same effort can someday be used to address climate change. 

About ROOTS:


This mentor session will feature professors from the UBC School of Business (Sauder) and the department of political science. These mentors have rigorously investigated how environmental policy relating to carbon taxation, renewable energy, and international relations, can contribute to a more sustainable future. They have also experienced educators who have guided students in re-imagining the path forward for our economy and our society at large through impactful systematic change. 

UVic Environmental Law Centre:

The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) is a non-profit society that partners with the UVic Faculty of Law to provide the legal capacity to community organizations, First Nations, and other individuals to improve environmental health. The ELC envisions a British Columbia where local communities, environmental groups, and First Nations have the legal tools and resources to advocate effectively for the restoration, conservation, and protection of this province’s unique and diverse environment.

Meet the Mentors!

Calvin Sandborn

UVIC Environmental Legal Centre 

Calvin Sandborn, Q.C. is one of BC’s most experienced public interest environmental lawyers. Former counsel to West Coast Environmental Law Association and the Forest Practices Board, Calvin was Associate to the historic Commission on Resources and Environment. He has successfully litigated many high profile cases (particularly in the areas of forestry and endangered species) and instigated broad law reform. In 2011, Calvin was named an Honourary Citizen of the City of Victoria and received the Andrew Thompson Award, BC’s top prize for Environmental Advocacy. He was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2017

Alexa Powell 

UVIC Environmental Legal Centre 

Alexa Powell, BA (University of Victoria), is a Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. Alexa is interested in environmental law, non-profit sector law, Aboriginal law, and Indigenous legal traditions. Alexa currently works as a legal research assistant for an SSHRC-funded project on the common law concept of the rule of law. Previously, Alexa has worked for the Environmental Law Centre and serves on their board of directors. Alexa is an Irish-Swedish settler and intersectional feminist committed to a decolonial future. She currently resides on the traditional territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ nations, in the area known as Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Russell Chiong

UVIC Environmental Legal Centre 

Russell Chiong is a second-year student at UVic Law who was born and raised as an uninvited guest on unceded xwməθkwəyəm (Musqueam), Skxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territory. He is currently working at the Environmental Law Centre as a co-op student and has previously served on their board of directors. Before entering law school, Russell completed his BSc in Environmental Science concentrating on conservation and ecology, with a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies at the University of British Columbia. While he is at his happiest outdoors, Russell looks forward to exploring the intersections between environmental justice and the nuances of cultural identity in the context of the legal field.

Kathryn Harrison


Kathryn Harrison is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Harrison received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering before completing her Ph.D. in Political Science. Before entering academia, Harrison worked as a policy analyst for both Environment Canada and the United States Congress. She also has served as Senior Associate Dean and Acting Dean in the UBC Faculty of Arts. Professor Harrison has published widely on Canadian and US climate policy. She has advised governments at the local, provincial, and national level, and for a time was the parent roadie for Kids for Climate Action. She is a frequent media commentator on climate policy, via op-eds, interviews, and Twitter (@khar1958).

Werner Antweiler


Werner Antweiler is Director of the Sauder School of Business Prediction Markets as well as an Associate Professor and Chair of the Strategy and Business Economics Division. Antweiler received a Diplom-Volkswirt in Köln Germany and a Ph.D. in Toronto. His research interests include international trade, environmental economics and management, and energy and electricity markets. He is currently teaching “International Trading Environment” and “The Economics and Policy of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources”.

Juvraya Veltkamp


Juvarya is Director of the Canada Climate Law Initiative, where she helps to bring resources, tools, and know-how to board directors and trustees so that they can provide effective oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This includes communicating important metrics and targets related to carbon but also wider Environment, Social, and Governance metrics (ESG). Before this, Juvarya spent ten years in a leadership role with the City of Vancouver, developing the city’s green economy strategy and programs, and working to challenge the status quo and address market failures by shifting capital flows towards low-carbon solutions. Juvarya is passionate about finding solutions to ‘wicked problems’, and earned her MBA from the University of British Columbia, as well as her BA (Hons) from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, UK. She lives in Squamish BC, with her husband and two young children.