CRITS 2020 Symposium | Full Online Event

Building a New World in the Shell of the Old to Face the Climate Crisis : Between Transition, Resilience and Resistance

From 12 November 2020 to 14 November 2020

On November 12, 13 and 14, the Center for Research on Innovations and Social Transformations (CRITS) will hold its second annual symposium entirely online, entitled “Building A New World in the Shell of the Old to Face Climate Crisis : Between Transition, Resilience and Resilience”. 

The issue of climate justice is a crucial theme. The year 2020 has begun with multiple alarm signals related to the environmental crisis, which have manifested themselves all over the globe. These include the ravages caused by forest fires in Australia and more recently in California, the devastating locust invasion in India, and the recent blockades of the Wet’suwet’en community (BC, Canada) against the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The coronavirus pandemic, which has caused a global health crisis, has more than ever revealed the need for a profound transformation in our production and consumption systems. With the post-COVID recovery proposed by the officials, a multitude of social groups are mobilizing to claim that to build the After it is necessary to act in the face of the climate emergency, in order to create a just and resilient world.

To contribute to collective reflection on social and ecological transition strategies, CRITS is offering a two-day conference (November 13 and 14) to which practitioners, researchers, academics, activists and community organizers are invited. In addition, we invite you to a Opening Conference and a Closing multidisciplinary Event (November 12 and 14). In this sense, we wish to open a space for dialogue and knowledge sharing in order to stimulate exchanges around the issues, challenges, obstacles and possible victories of citizen initiatives and collective mobilizations.

Register now! 
For the Opening Conference with Starhawk and Christi Belcourt, it’s HERE
For the Symposium, it’s HERE
For the Closing multidisciplinary Event with Valérie Lefebvre Faucher, Ileana Hernandez Camacho et Franklin Lopez, it’s HERE

Detailed program

Thur. 12 November

Starhawk is an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher, and a prominent voice in modern earth-based spirituality and ecofeminism. Starhawk founded Earth Activist Training, teaching permaculture design grounded in spirituality and with a focus on activism. She travels internationally, lecturing and teaching on earth-based spirituality, the tools of ritual, and the skills of activism.

Christi Belcourt (Michif from the Metis community of Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta) is a visual artist, environmentalist, social justice advocate, designer, and avid land-based arts and language learner. Her work is found within many public gallery collections across North America. She was named the Aboriginal Arts Laureate for 2014 by the Ontario Arts Council. In 2016 she received both the Premiers Arts Award and a Governor General’s Award for Innovation. Even though she is a prolific visual artist and designer, Christi’s work as an activist in environmentalism, social and community-based justice is the work that takes up the majority of her time and is the life work that she feels is her most important.

Frid. 13 November

Marie-Louise Perron, indigenous elder at St.Paul University will present a opening word.

With guestspeaker Marie-Louise Perron, Indigenous elder at St.Paul University

Intervener : Jonathan Durand Folco

When it comes to ecology, some people tend to argue that transition is neither right nor left, but ahead (Laure Waridel, 2019). For this presentation, I would like to show, on the contrary, that there is a multitude of political discourses concerning the environment, ranging from green neoliberalism to some more revolutionary perspectives. To better map the multiple currents of political ecology, I propose to replace the traditional left/right axis with two axes: 1) ecocentrism vs. technocentrism; 2) liberalism vs. radicalism. By giving concrete examples of social movements and well-known figures, my intention is to provide a “compass” to shed light on the tensions, divergences, and possible rapprochements between different factions of the ecologist movement. Instead of a consensual approach that seeks to bring together all ideological tendencies within the vague paradigm of the “Transition”, I will put forward the strategy of opposing an “ecology of 99%” to the “ecology of 1%”

Jonathan Durand Folco is a professor at the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation at Saint Paul University. His work focuses on participatory democracy, commons, degrowth and municipalism.

Co-moderated by Julie Châteauvert and Alice Trudelle

Interveners : Arnaud Theurillat Cloutier, Mélanie Busby, Colin Pratte and Josée Provençal

Participative workshop

Arnaud Theurillat-Cloutier, PhD candidate in sociology (UQAM), member of the research group Social Ecology of Advanced Capitalism (ESCA), philosophy teacher, author of Printemps de force (2017, Lux éditeur)

Colin Pratte is a Phd candidate in sociology at UQÀM and previously studied law. He is also an associate researcher at the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS).

Josée Provençal is a PhD in Political Science (University of Ottawa), a postdoctoral researcher at the Labo Climat Montréal (INRS) and a member of the independent research group on degrowth, Polémos. She is interested in the governance of energy and the power relations that compose it. For more infos : 

Mélanie Busby participated in the coordination of the Québec ZéN Roadmap development process at the Common Front for Energy Transition. For more infos :

Podcast created by Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique Latine (CDHAL) :

Voix FR, sous-titré en EN

Documentary episodes “Un territoire à protéger”,  produced by Santiago Bertolino

Co-moderated by Simon Tremblay-Pepin and Sophie Élias-Pinsonneault

Interveners : Bengi Akbulut, Mathieu Dufour, Jonathan Durand-Folco, Audrey Laurin-Lamothe, Frédéric Legault et Éric Pineault.

Amongst the varied visions put forth of how a postcapitalist society could be structured, democratic economic planning stands out in its attempts to reconcile the need for broad coordination, the preservation of local autonomy and self-determination and the fulfillment of human needs. The decision-making mechanisms it proposes are able to integrate a variety of considerations that may be of importance to communities and individuals in shaping society and the economy. However, many of the early proposals in that tradition left relatively space for environmental concerns, focusing more on social and economic processes. With the mounting environmental crisis in the last decades, some of the authors of these models have recently started to integrate environmental issues in them. While these efforts are certainly useful in moving the discussion forward, we believe that there is scope for further work in order to account for the biophysical and ecological basis of the socio-economic processes within a democratic planning framework. In particular much can be gained by drawing on tools and insights developed in recent decades to describe the metabolism of societies in terms of biophysical flows and stocks and their impact on natural sources and sinks as well as metrics that capture the social colonization of ecosystems and human appropriation of biological productivity.

This workshop will present three fundamental questions that we should think about when envisioning a postcapitalist economy capable of overcoming the ecological crisis: (1) the fulfillment of human needs, (2) the impact on the social metabolism on the ecosystem and (3) ways of planning the economy democratically.

The CRITS research project on democratic economic planning is working on how to envision a post-capitalist economy. It has three objectives: (1) to establish the structures and institutions of models of democratic economic planning, (2) to update these models by trying to combine or even merge them, but also by adapting them to realities that they do not sufficiently address; (3) to conduct empirical research on the application of these proposals. For more information : here

Co-moderated by William-Jacomo Beauchemin and Miguel Gosselin Dionne

Interveners : Laurence Guénette and Louis-Joseph Saucier

Participative workshop

Trained in political science, environmental sciences and sociology, Louis-Joseph Saucier is a counsellor in research and public services advocacy at the Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec.

Laurence Guénette holds a Master’s degree in Law and Society from UQAM. An environmental and human rights activist, she is interested in the potential of law in the struggles.

Satu. 14 November

Co-moderated by Audrey Rousseau and Marie-Dominik Langlois

Interveners : Jaydene Lavallée, Sakej (James Ward), Dany Chilton, Samuel Castonguay, Marie-Ève Marleau, Noémie Bautista Gonzalez and Jen Gobby

Participative workshop

Jaydene Lavallée is a Two-Spirit Michif-Cree woman currenlty living in Dish with One Spoon Territory (Hamilton, ON). She spends most of her efforts on antiextractive and land defense struggles but has also dedicated herself to defending Hamilton against gentrification, fighting patriarchy inside and outside of organizing circles, and pushing for animal liberation. 
Sakej (James Ward) belongs to the wolf clan. He is Mi’kmaw (Mi’kmaq Nation) from Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church First Nation, New Brunswick). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Masters in Indigenous Governance. Sakej has a long history of advocating and protecting First Nations inherent responsibilities and freedoms

Dany Chilton is the father of two daughters and a member of the Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Nation. He grew up on the Wemotaci reserve where he was a police officer for two years. He speaks and writes fluently in Atikamekw. He is a recognized specialist in intergovernmental relations and Indigneous governance. He was a political advisor to the Wemotaci Atikamekw Council. Mr. Chilton also acted as negotiator for the Atikamekw Nation – Hydro Quebec, Province of Quebec. From 2015 to 2017, Mr. Chilton was the Director of Aboriginal Relations at Canadian National – CN, head office in Montreal. He was responsible for the implementation and strategic vision of CN’s approach towards indigenous people. In 2017, Mr. Chilton was hired by the Council of the Atikamekw Nation (CNA) to coordinate the CNA’s Territorial Secretariat. In June 2020, he was appointed Executive Assistant to the Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation.

Marie-Ève Marleau, coordinator of the Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL), has been involved for fifteen years in social struggles against extractive projects. For more infos :

In her PhD research in anthropology, Noémie Gonzalez Bautista is interested in the social relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous people within multi-actor networks involved in forest fire management. She is particularly interested in the social inequalities and relations between human and non-human beings. Noémie’s research interests also include gender issues and intersectional feminist approaches as well as the challenges of contributing to decolonization movements as a white European researcher in Canada, interests that are also expressed in her activist activities.

Jen Gobby is an activist-scholar and postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University. She is interested in climate justice, social transformation, and relations of solidarity within and across social movements. See more at


Co-moderated by Martin Samson and Lindsey Barr

Interveners : Lindsey Barr, Founder of World-Changing Kids, and a team of environmental activists, ages 8-13, from her Upstanders Academy

Since the pandemic started, World-Changing Kids has been running online workshops with children, between the ages of 7 – 13, where we discuss real life, social justice issues and actions we can take to help make things better. To date, we have discussed plastic pollution, textile waste, food insecurity and food rescue, caring for our elders, racism, LGBTQ+, reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and refugees.

For this symposium, we’ll work with a group of children to build a workshop where each one will present an action that will help make things better in the area of environmental activism.

Lindsey Barr, Founder, World-Changing Kids – dedicated to leadership development, community building, social justice – will be presenting with awesome kids, ages 8-13, from her Upstanders Academy. For more infos :

Interveners : Marianne Ariganello, Rosalie Thibault and Aliénor Rougeot, James Hutt and Maya Menezes. Moderator : Youth Climate Lab

Participative workshop

Youth Climate Lab : Dominique Souris works to enable youth create just, climate-resilient futures as the co-founder and Executive Director of Youth Climate Lab, a youth-for-youth organization focused on transformative climate action. Naia works as Events Coordinator. Passionate about building movements rooted in justice and equity, she also organizes with Climate Strike Canada, and Sustainabiliteens Vancouver. Disciplined as an urban planner, Shalaka is interested in pursuing questions around value relating to power and authority, and how to move towards reconciliation through climate justice. Shalaka works as the Design & Community Manager. For more infos :

Rosalie Thibault et Aliénor Rougeot : Alienor is a founder of Fridays for Future Toronto and student at the University of Toronto in Economy. Rosalie is a Founder of the Coaliton Étudiante pour un Virage Environnemental et Social (CEVES) and student at McGill University in Environment and Economy.

James Hutt is the Senior Manager of Programming at The Leap and Maya Menezes is the Director of Programming at The Leap. For more infos :

Marianne Ariganello : Marianne is a mother of two young children. While currently on parental leave from her scientific work at Health Canada, she has helped to create the Ottawa/Gatineau Chapter of For Our Kids.

In partnership with le Centre des arts actuels Skol

Hosted by Julie Châteauvert

Valérie Lefebvre-Faucher believes enough in the power of words to devote herself to writing and publishing. She has published Procès verbal (2019, Écosociété) and soon Promenade sur Marx (Remue-ménage). She can also be read in Faire partie du monde, réflexions écoféministes.

Ileana Hernandez Camacho explores themes related to femininity, nature, vulnerability and the fragility of being. For several years, she has been working with camouflage as the foundation of her artistic research. She is interested in camouflage as survival. Camouflage allows her to analyze the dynamics of interaction, issues of power in society, social norms and humanity’s insensitivity to the environment. She builds fictional characters and surreal images to create and explore different types of human interactions. She uses paper and textiles as extensions of my body.

 Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, producer and editor Franklin López has been making political films for over 30 years, with a focus on social justice and environmental issues. He has published hundreds of films online since 1998 under the name subMedia, which have been watched by millions, broadcast on international TV networks and screened in alleyways and movie theaters all around the world. He has received accolades from the New York Times and Wired Magazine and had an entire chapter dedicated to his work in Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmakers, Videotape Guerillas, and Digital Ninjas.