NSB Logo Chris Turner Chris Turner

Chris Turner


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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.

Keynote Speeches

Tracking the Global Energy Transition

The global economy is undergoing the greatest transformation since the dawn of the industrial age as it shifts from an energy regime built on fossil fuels to one run by clean, renewable power. Award-winning author and sustainability strategist Chris Turner has been documenting this energy transition for more than a decade, and his presentation combines insights from his bestselling books on the cleantech revolution, The Leap and The Geography of Hope, as well as analysis of the transition’s impact on the conventional energy economy drawn from his most recent book, The Patch. Turner explains where the energy transition leads, what our energy future looks like, and what it means for the strategic decisions businesses and organizations need to make to survive and thrive in the new energy economy.


Taking the Leap: Embracing the Sustainable Economy

Chris Turner is one of the world’s leading voices on climate change solutions and the global energy transition, who draws on recent breakthroughs in state-of-the-art renewable energy and urban design to paint a vivid portrait of a new, sustainable world order that will allow individuals and businesses alike not only to survive but to thrive in the twenty-first century economy. Come and hear Mr. Turner as he speaks about ways that we can embrace the challenge of climate change and develop a more sustainable local economy.


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.

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.[/nsb]

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Workshop | 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.

Audience reviews:

  • 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

Speaker Biography

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, Chris 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 is an author, speaker and strategist, providing Canada’s authoritative voice on climate change solutions and the global energy transition. His latest book is The Patch: The People, Pipelines and Politics of the Oil Sands. He is also the author of the bestsellers The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy and The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need, both of which were National Business Book Award finalists. His 2014 book How to Breathe Underwater, a collection of his award-winning essays and feature writing, won the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. His reporting on energy, climate and sustainability issues has appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, and many other publications.