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Chris Turner

Sustainability & Global Cleantech Expert

Chris Turner is an author, speaker and strategist, providing Canada’s authoritative voice on sustainability and the global cleantech boom.  He’s the author of The War on Science, and the bestsellers, The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need and The Great Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy where he sheds light on the global sustainability movement. His reporting on energy, climate and sustainability issues appears regularly in The Walrus, The Globe & Mail, Canadian Geographic and many other publications.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Unmuzzled: Talking Canada’s War on Science
Connecting the dots between the recent budget cuts to research, the muzzling of government scientists, and the Conservative government’s actual agenda – a concerted dismantling of Canada’s longstanding traditions of leadership in natural science and environmental stewardship.

The Great Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy
Chris Turner believes the most vital project of the twenty-first century is a shift from our unsustainable way of life to a sustainable one–a great lateral leap from a track headed for economic and ecological disaster to one bound for renewed prosperity. He presents a field guide to making that jump, drawing on recent breakthroughs in state-of-the-art renewable energy, cleantech and urban design.

The Leap In The City
We are living in the first truly urban century, and the way we build cities today will determine whether we survive and thrive in the sustainable economy. “The Urban Leap” shows how the Copenhagen and other cutting edge urban models of livable urban design can help us build our brightest possible future and how “tactical urbanism” provides the quick and inexpensive toolkit of to get started. The Urban Leap surveys the state of the art in urban sustainability from Melbourne to Montreal and Dallas to Dawson City.


Going Carbon Neutral
Chris Turner, author of The Geography of Hope, describes innovative and forward-looking projects from around the world — both grassroots and governmental.

Canada 150

Why Canadian History Isn’t as Boring as You Think
We are the stories we tell each other about who we are, and for too long Canadians have believed their collective story to be a nice but boring one. Why? In large part because the myth of the polite, helpful, law-abiding Canadian became the default Canadian story through images of the North-West Mounted Police in the Klondike gold rush, disseminated through American popular culture. As American storytellers revisit the Klondike saga to film a Wire-style miniseries, it’s time for Canadians to reclaim the true, exciting stories of their past.

  • Chris provided a thought-provoking and stimulating presentation on the need for a change in the way we live. His passion for the subject matter certainly came through in his detailed and energetic presentation. He left us with a renewed sense of the need for (and benefits of) sustainability as a core principle in transportation planning and city-building.

    - CITE Conference
  • Chris Turner's presentation was powerful and delivered with passion. It was exactly what we were looking to provide to our audience.

    - Better Buildings Conference
  • The War on Science is a tremendously important book and you owe it to your country to read it.

    - National Post Review 2013

Summary Profile

“Would this – this place, this machine, this social system or way of life – be capable of continuing on its present course for the foreseeable future without exhausting the planet’s ability to sustain human life at something like the current population and quality of life?”

Whether the topic is the state of the art in sustainable business, the practical art of building livable cities or the trenchwork of grassroots politics, Turner’s engaging presentations always make our brightest possible future seem near at hand.

Turner is an author, speaker and strategist, providing Canada’s most authoritative voice on sustainability and the global cleantech boom.  Whether speaking on the global cleantech economy or  democratic renewal at community scale, Turner is boundlessly optimistic about the future and refreshingly pragmatic about the path that leads us there.

Rather than lending his voice to the chorus of recriminations heard in recent environmental tracts, acclaimed author and journalist Chris Turner traveled the globe in search of hope for a sustainable future and now points to the bright light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

Turner chronicles his findings in his best-selling book and popular speaking topic: The Geography Of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need, a result of year long travels with his family criss-crossing the globe in search of people living sustainably and lessons to be learned.

His result is a global survey of the state of the art in sustainable living and he shares his findings in his entertaining and eye-opening multimedia presentations.

His upbeat presentations — emboldened by his experience traveling the world and meeting with global leaders of the sustainability movement —  inspire sustainable change in corporate, community, and educational audiences alike.  With unparalleled expertise and candor, Turner empowers audiences to both understand and embrace sustainable solutions that  will enable us to not only survive, but to thrive with renewed prosperity in the twenty-first century economy.

His magazine writing – mostly for the late, great Shift Magazine – has earned him nine Canadian National Magazine Awards, including the 2001 President’s Medal for General Excellence (the highest honour in Canadian magazine writing). His writing and reporting on culture, technology and the environment have also appeared in The Independent (UK),  Time Magazine, Maclean’s, Canadian Geographic, The Walrus, Azure and Utne Reader. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife, the photographer Ashley Bristowe, and their daughter, Sloane.

Turner has also written a monthly feature series on sustainability for The Globe and Mail. He is the author of the international bestseller Planet Simpson: How A Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation (2004), and his book The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy, sheds light on the global sustainability movement.

If sustainable change is your goal — for your community, corporation, school, or political organization — let Turner be  your guide. His keynotes educate and inspire audiences about what is possible with change, and then, he shows them how.