Get into the GLOBExCHANGE Groove with Elizabeth Shirt

We spoke withGLOBE Series’ President, Elizabeth Shirt, for insider insight into GLOBExCHANGE 2023 (taking place February 27th – March 1st at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel), including her take on how we can accelerate a net-zero future through inclusive collaboration and partnership — both at GLOBExCHANGE and beyond. 


What are this year’s themes of GLOBExCHANGE and who will be there? 

GLOBExCHANGE builds on our 10×10, which are the 10 areas where we need to take action in the next 10 years to get to net zero. We very deliberately took note of what our community was telling us at GLOBE Forum, and the 10×10 captures the action areas that they think need to be prioritized. We built the GLOBExCHANGE program to drive the critical exchanges of ideas, skill sets, solutions, policies, regulations, and dollars that will help us make progress in these areas. 

The “who” is something I’m feeling excited about. GLOBExCHANGE is where we’re leveraging the GLOBE community’s “big tent.” We’ll see government of all levels; Indigenous leaders; civil society; NGOs; young changemakers; not-for-profits; leaders from Canadian and multi-national corporations; solution and service providers who are bringing the innovative technologies and processes that we need; and the financial community. We’re actually partnering with the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative to host their North American member roundtable so we’ll see the finance community coming out to this event. It really is all of these folks that we need at the table to make action happen. 


How is GLOBExCHANGE different to GLOBE Forum and GLOBE Capital?  

Historically, GLOBE Forum happened on even years in Vancouver, and GLOBE Capital would be hosted in the intervening years in Toronto. GLOBE Capital was a little more narrowly focused on sustainable finance. GLOBExCHANGE is essentially an evolution of GLOBE Capital. Yes, we need to drive exchanges of capital to reach net zero, but there are also other critical exchanges that need to happen – and individuals and organizations beyond the finance sector have a role to play in driving those exchanges and transactions. The other big difference is that deliberate connection between the outcomes from GLOBE Forum (the 10×10) and the accountability at GLOBExCHANGE to deliver on them. 


What are you most excited about at GLOBExCHANGE? 

Folks who know me know that I’m an off-the-charts extrovert, so I can’t wait to be together with our community in Toronto. One of the things I’m excited about is the investments that GLOBE has made with our partners to increase the accessibility of GLOBExCHANGE and support the participation of folks who might not otherwise attend an event like this. We’re ensuring that youth are in attendance by partnering with Leading Change Canada, and we’re making sure that Indigenous thought leaders and young people, including from more remote areas of the country, are there by partnering with organizations like SevenGen and Yukon University. And we’ve partnered with groups from civil society and leading ENGOs to deliver diverse content and perspectives. We can always do better. But I’m excited to look around the room and see the growing diversity of faces in our GLOBE community and know that it’s not just the usual suspects who have a seat at the table. 

 Plus, the sessions are much more action oriented than ever before – we said no panels and we stuck to it. We have many more open-door workshops, curated roundtables, and carefully planned but informal networking moments and business-to-business connections. We’re very intentionally creating these moments so that there’s a two-way and multi-way flow of dialogue and also opportunities for action. 


How can people get the most out of their GLOBExCHANGE experience?  

Take a look at the program because, man, is it cool. We’ve got some really diverse content that’s being led or delivered in partnership with a huge variety of organizations – from Microsoft to World Wildlife Federation to MakeWay to SNC Lavalin to Environmental Defence Canada. So don’t forget to look at the program and attend a bunch of different sessions – you might uncover things that you never thought you needed or wanted to do! We’ve also got meetups designed around those critical action areas from the 10×10, so step outside your comfort zone and maybe show up at a networking event that you might not typically go to. 


Do you have any final words on GLOBExCHANGE for the CBSR community? 

Mitigating climate change is a team sport – we can’t reach net zero alone. This year we’ve incorporated more CBSR programming, speakers, and leaders throughout the event than even before. This really speaks to that opportunity for collaboration and partnership. Keep fighting the good fight, and thanks for being leaders who always strive to do better and for being a part of this GLOBE community. Now let’s get down to business at GLOBExCHANGE! 


Join Canada’s premier community of climate and sustainability leaders at GLOBExCHANGE to accelerate our net-zero progress and make the connections you need to succeed in a net-zero future. Learn more and register here.