'Integrated thinker' on speaking tour

It is hoped the visit of Canadian financial and energy analyst Nicole Foss will "supercharge" local efforts to build an environmentally sustainable and resilient Dunedin, local organiser Scott Willis says.

Mr Willis, from the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, said he was excited a person of the calibre of Ms Foss was visiting Otago and North Otago on her "whistle stop" South Island tour.

"She has some very interesting opinions ... We hope her visit will get people engaged and get conversations going."

Ms Foss runs the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario and is in demand internationally as a commentator and speaker.

Mr Willis described her as an "integrated thinker". She comments regularly on a blog site on wide-ranging topics including finance, the stability of the global economy and its impact on local communities, energy, environment, climate change, nuclear safety, and social cohesion.

As well as addressing public meetings, Ms Foss will speak to Dunedin City Council staff and councillors, to Otago Chamber of Commerce members and at a business breakfast in Oamaru.

Mr Willis said her visit was "timely" as Dunedin grappled with issues such as rates rise pressures and Forsyth Barr stadium and Otago Rugby Football Union funding.

"Nicole would say the issues we are facing are not simple issues - that they are part of a larger economic picture which we don't often think about."

Her visit was an opportunity to "explore challenges and opportunities" and "intensify the search for solutions", he said.

- allison.rudd@odt.co.nz

Public meetings
Monday, March 19, Waitati Hall, 7pm:
Panel discussion on developing community resilience with writer and environmentalist Murray Grimwood, financial planner Charles Abraham and recreation planner Jackie Fanning.

Tuesday, March 20, University of Otago Archway 4 lecture theatre, 5.15pm-6.45pm: Panel discussion on local government challenges with Dunedin City Councillor Jinty MacTavish, visiting Canadian energy researcher Dr Stephen Hill and Generation Zero climate change group member Louis Chambers.

Wednesday, March 21, 7pm: Presentation at Hampden.


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