Oct. 20, 2021Print | PDF
On Oct. 28, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability (VERiS) will host Disrupt and Evolv: Building the Future Together. The virtual event, co-hosted by Sustainable Waterloo Region, will be the official launch of a new research report about the development of evolv1, Canada’s first commercial net-positive-energy, multi-tenant office building.
The report, Collaboratively Disrupting the Building Industry: The Unique Story of evolv1 in Waterloo Region, documents the unique story of how evolv1 and its green-economy innovation hub, evolvGREEN, came to be through interviews with 19 key stakeholders. It is now available to read on the VERiS website.
“Moving forward on sustainability in meaningful ways and disrupting the way things have been done in the past requires bold ideas, courageous and innovative leaders, and strong collaboration across sectors,” says Manuel Riemer, professor of Psychology at Laurier and director of VERiS. “The story of evolv1 is an outstanding exemplar of all of these and can serve as an inspiration and a guide to others about how to create effective partnerships and integrated solutions for sustainability. Listening to and capturing the stories of the stakeholders we had the privilege to interview for this report has been a highlight of my academic career.”
In partnership with Sustainable Waterloo Region, Riemer has been leading a research program studying the development and impact of a culture of sustainability at evolv1. His team is currently conducting interviews with senior leaders across Canada whose organizations have been identified as having a strong culture of sustainability in order to compare experiences and identify best practices.
Disrupt and Evolv will feature images from a recent online photo exhibition curated by Esther Abel and Kai Reimer-Watts, both completing their PhD research in Laurier’s Department of Psychology. The exhibit explores the experiences of employees at evolv1, including their perspectives on working in the unique building and how it contributes to their well-being.
Registration for Disrupt and Evolv is open to all. The event will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28 and will include remarks by Riemer and Mike Morrice, co-founder of Sustainable Waterloo Region and the recently elected MP for Kitchener Centre.