Sustainable Food System Solutions Research Fair

Thursday, March 9, 2023 15:00to19:30
Thomson House Ballroom, 3650 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 1Y2, CA

The Sustainable Food System Solutions Research Fair continues McGill’s tradition of participating in Sustainable Development Goals Action and Awareness Week, a week organized by the University Global Coalition to promote awareness of the SDGs within higher education institutions. This event, hosted by the Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security and the McGill Office of Sustainability, is specifically focused on SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Its main goal is to promote innovative student research being performed at the Macdonald Campus and to encourage cross-collaboration between the two campuses. The event will also mark the launch of the M.A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security Student Nexus, a network designed to connect students based on the downtown and Macdonald campuses. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to receive a reminder about the event.

We are proud to announce that our event has been awarded Platinum Sustainable Event certification by the McGill Sustainable Events program run by the McGill Office of Sustainability.


3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. — Student research fair

This portion of the event will feature four student exhibitors, whose research is focused on food product development for improved food security, food as medicine, and Indigenous food resiliency and nutrition. Participants will also be invited to learn about the new M.A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security Student Nexus, and McGill’s Zero-Waste Ambassadors will present information about food waste on campus. Alongside the students will be two McGill alumni who founded a local vertical farming start-up, Interius Farms, providing a demonstration of their rotating hydroponic tower.

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Lecture and networking

The second half of the event will feature guest speaker David McInnes, who is the coordinator of Canada’s National Index on Agri-Food Performance, a tool designed to affirm Canada’s sustainability leadership and to mark progress on societal and environmental priorities. The talk will be followed by a discussion period and networking session open to all event participants.


Thomson House is located on a steep section of McTavish Street, but it is accessible by car. The Peel metro station (Green Line) and Peel / Du Docteur-Penfield (Bus #107) are the nearest public transit points. You can use the McGill Interactive Accessibility Network Map to determine the best route for you.

Thomson House is accessible to people who use a wheelchair via a ramp adjacent to the building's parking lot. The washrooms in the Ballroom (on the third floor) are accessible to people who use a wheelchair, but they are not gender-neutral. There are two gender-neutral, single-occupancy washrooms located on the first floor, with a third gender-neutral, single-occupancy washroom located on the fourth floor. These three washrooms are accessible via a small elevator.

Since the building is used for multiple purposes, Thomson House cannot guarantee a scent-free environment, but we ask that you refrain from applying scented products such as perfumes, cologne, and shampoo prior to attending this event. We appreciate your cooperation in making this an accessible space for all.

About the M.A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security

Launched in 2010, the vision of the Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security is to become a globally recognized Institute for research management, innovation development, consultancy and knowledge transfer in matters related to food security. It's mission is to act as a hub of knowledge and training in food security. In alignment with this, IGFS will focus on operational research, applied education and effective outreach that will address the needs of industry and society.

About the McGill Office of Sustainability

Established in 2010, the McGill Office of Sustainability embeds climate action and sustainability into all of the University’s activities. It engages, supports, and connects students, staff, and faculty by providing strategic guidance and resources to foster a sustainable community.

The Office of Sustainability stewards McGill’s flagship Sustainability Projects Fund, oversees the implementation of the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025, and offers sustainability programming for students, staff, and faculty members.

About David McInnes, Principal of DMci Strategies

As Principal of DMci Strategies, David is a strategic advisor, speaker and facilitator on change and the opportunities facing the Canadian and global food system.

As part of this role, he initiated and is currently leading a private-public coalition of 122 partners to develop Canada’s first agri-food sustainability index, the National Index on Agri-Food Performance – a novel tool to affirm Canada’s sustainability leadership and to mark progress on societal and environmental priorities. David is the Coordinator of this unprecedented initiative.

David is a Member of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), a Governance Committee Member of the Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Initiative (CASI), an Arrell Food Fellow with the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph, an Affiliate of McGill University’s Institute for Global Food Security, and a Global Advisor for Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Previously, David was the President and CEO of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute. He held executive management positions with MDS Nordion, a Canadian-based global supplier of medical isotopes and cancer treatment technologies. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Canadian Bankers Association, Scotiabank, and a Royal Commission on the economy. More recently, David is a former Senior Fellow of Canada 2020 (an Ottawa-based think tank) and a former Contributing Editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit. He was also a Chair of WaterAid Canada and Trustee of London-based WaterAid International, an NGO dedicated to clean water and improved sanitation across the developing world.

Among many published newspaper articles and reports in recent years, David co-edited Virtual Water: Its Implications for Agriculture and Trade with the universities of Nebraska and Kansas State, 1st Edition, CRC Press (2019). He also authored Taking It to the Hill – the Complete Guide to Appearing Before Parliamentary Committees, 2nd Edition, The University of Ottawa Press (2006).

He is a graduate of the London School of Economics (MSc.) and Dalhousie University (B.A.).

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