Renewable Cities Global Learning Forum

May 13 to 15, 2015 - Vancouver, Canada

Building on the leadership to support cities through the transition to 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Global Learning Forum is a gathering of city staff, utilities, individuals from the private sector, key innovators and thought leaders, government officials, and researchers. Its aim is to mobilize knowledge from leading jurisdictions and enhance the ability of cities and utilities to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy in their electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation sectors. As the first step of Renewable Cities, a 5-year program of the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, BC, the Global Learning Forum will convene participants from around the world to engage in a solutions-focused dialogue.

The Renewable Cities Reality

As providers of energy services to the majority of the world’s population, cities are uniquely positioned to accelerate the transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The benefits of doing so are numerous and include increased energy security, localized decision-making, job-creation, health, and climate change mitigation.

Many cities have made major strides in improving energy efficiency and conservation, as well as implementing renewable energy. A few cities, including Reykjavik, Iceland, have achieved 100% renewable heat and electricity status, while many others, including Malmo, Sweden and San Francisco, USA, have committed to the goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2020. Despite some early “shining lights,” very few cities have integrated renewables into both heating and electricity supply and none have shifted to 100% renewable energy-powered transportation systems.

Renewable Cities is building on the leadership to support cities through the transition to 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Renewable Cities Approach

Renewable Cities is a 5-year program of the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, which partners with government, business, and community groups to generate non-partisan ideas and create actionable outcomes that impact the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of our communities. We provide the platform to discuss, define, and manage the transition to 100% renewable energy in cities.

Situated in the city of Vancouver, Canada, which aims to be the greenest city in the world by 2020 and has been internationally recognized for its Greenest City Action Plan, Renewable Cities will leverage its expertise as a research-based based dialogue convener to support the work of our municipal, private sector, and civil society partners in the 100% renewable energy movement.


The core of the Global Learning Forum is small group capacity building sessions where participants will have an opportunity to learn from implementers and key innovators who have made strides in advancing energy efficiency and urban renewables in their jurisdictions. They’ll have a better understanding of the ingredients—legislation, political will, finance, and technology—that form the basis for action in cities and utilities.

In addition to the capacity building sessions, an opening evening will set the stage for a cultural shift and inspirational panels throughout the three day Global Learning Forum will highlight the progress and potential for urban renewables and energy efficiency. Optional site visits will give participants the opportunity to take in cleantech innovators, renewable energy projects, and Vancouver’s breathtaking vistas. The Forum will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver.