Dr. Prateep Nayak
Professor (University of Waterloo, ON, Canada)
Prateep Nayak is an Associate Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. He has an academic background in political science, environmental studies, and international development, and holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from the University of Manitoba. He engages in interdisciplinary scholarship with an active interest in combining social and ecological perspectives.
Prateep’s research focuses on the understanding of complex human-environment connections (or disconnections) in coastal-marine systems with particular attention to social-ecological change, its drivers, their influence, and possible ways to deal with them. His main research interests include coastal commons, environmental change and governance, social-ecological system resilience and regime shifts, environmental justice, and political ecology. Prateep is currently implementing collaborative research projects that focus on small-scale fishery systems in South and South-East Asia. He is also actively involved in a number of global research networks such as Too Big To Ignore (TBTI), Community Conservation Research Network (CCRN), and Dried Fish Matters (DFM). Prateep is a member of the Human Dimensions Working Group of the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) and a Lead Author for the IPBES Global Assessment on Sustainable Use of Wild Species. In the past, Prateep worked as a development professional in South Asia on issues around community-based governance of land, water, and forests, focusing specifically on the interface of research, implementation, and public policy. He is a past SSHRC Banting Fellow, Trudeau Scholar, a Harvard Giorgio Ruffolo Fellow in Sustainability Science, and a recipient of Canada’s Governor General Academic Gold Medal.
Dr. Laxmi Pant
Professor (University of Guelph, ON, Canada)
Laxmi Prasad Pant, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Food Systems at the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich and remains associated with the University of Guelph through projects he is currently working on. His research focuses specifically on capacity development for agricultural and rural innovation, sustainability transitions, public engagement in emerging technologies, and teaching controversial issues.
He has worked at multiple universities, including Queen’s University and the University of Waterloo, in Canada and internationally.
Laxmi has taught at the University of Guelph and the University of Waterloo for undergraduate and graduate courses on international development, rural extension, communication, capacity development, community development, and research methods. Before coming to academia, he worked as an extension facilitator engaging smallholder farmers in participatory research and development, such as farmers’ field schools, agroecosystem analysis, and on-farm trials.
Dr. Alicia Sliwinski
Professor (Wilfred Laurier University, ON, Canada)
Dr. Sliwinski received her Ph.D. (2005) and M.Sc. (1996) in Anthropology and a B.A. in Art History (1991) from the Université de Montréal. She also received a post-graduate diploma in management from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in 1998. Prior to her doctoral studies, De. Sliwinski worked as a consultant in international development projects and in program evaluation.
She grew up in Montreal and speaks French, English, and Spanish. Her research has focused on the moral economies of humanitarian action and the dynamics of post-disaster reconstruction, namely in Central America. Dr. Sliwinski is interested in topics relating to the politics of community participation, social inequality, theories of gift and exchange, and questions about hope, value, and utopianism as they manifest in development and salvational practices.
(Guelph, ON, Canada)
Narinder Sharma is a dedicated Humanitarian and Development professional, with over 30 years of experience providing leadership and developmental assistance within developing countries including Uganda, Sudan (Darfur), Syria, Iran, Somalia, Angola, Yemen, Kenya, and India. Notably, he has spent over 25 years with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) holding the positions of Chief of Field Offices, Program coordinator, and Water and Environmental Sanitation Expert.
He has led and managed teams of up to 180 staff members, as well as managed programs with yearly budgets of more than $25m. These programs included development and humanitarian assistance related to refugee and internally displaced persons, and coordinated large-scale relief operations in natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, disease outbreaks, and drought. In all these situations, he was involved in program management, including recovery and reconstruction, infrastructure development, provision of drinking water and sanitation, primary education, primary healthcare (women and child health) and nutrition, child rights, and community/youth development, along with particular interventions such as FGM, HIV/AIDS, Gender Violence, Gender Equality, and Child Soldiers
Narinder has diplomatically handled challenging assignments and negotiated with national governments, rebel, and armed militia groups. The countries he served in have a history of challenging political environments and armed conflicts that have caused the major humanitarian crisis. His assignments also included UN Area Coordination in northern Uganda and coordinating security of UN/NGO staff as the UN Security Coordinator in East Africa and the Middle East.
Narinder has frequently lectured at the University of Guelph and Centennial College in the areas of international development, refugee assistance, and humanitarian response. Recently, he was part of the Dalhousie University team to initiate a World Bank project to support the Ministry of Education of Uganda, in transforming the Bukalasa Agricultural College “a centre of excellence.” He is also currently serving as the Vice President of the Canadian Association of Former International Civil Servants (CAFICS) with headquarters in Montreal. Narinder holds a Master’s degree in Geology and is a seasoned expert in water and sanitation projects.