Power & Influence (or something)

Earlier today on Twitter, Liberal MP Justin Trudeau tweeted a picture of his bedside table:

Awakening the day after a long evening pounding the stuffing out of a Conservative Senator, Justin was obviously delighted to find this reminder of his father's proud political legacy. And once he was done basking in that, he was clearly ready to dig into an instruction manual for the future of Canadian progressive politics.

This reminded me of another surprising picture, this one from a retrospective gallery that a friend sent along in the wake of Jack Layton's untimely passing:

This photo is from 2008, I believe. Layton, obviously prepping for the greatest electoral breakthrough in the history of the New Democratic Party, was evidently cribbing from my book, The Geography of Hope, as he composed his platform.

I don't want to make too much of this coincidence - Layton reads GOH, wins Official Opposition status; Trudeau places The Leap on his bedside, finds the power to kick Conservative ass - but I'm beginning to suspect that I am the conduit through which the future unity of Canadian progressivism flows. Clearly if you care about the future of this great country, you'll go buy one of my books ASAP.


Since I'm on my own on this tour and I'm simply not very good at taking pictures of myself while talking, I don't have a lot of pictures (or any, really) of me in front of audiences on this German Leap tour. Those are kind of repetitive, anyway, though, so here are a few behind-the-scenes type takes on the tour (with my hearty thanks to the Embassy and Toronto Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany and local partners the Sustainability Network, Sustainable Waterloo Region, and Sustainable Prosperity for their help with the tour.)

Düsseldorfer Altbier! The real deal! At the German Consulate in Toronto, they had a keg of genuine imported Altbier from a previous event, and they generously donated it to the German Leap event. There were also German soft pretzels and other goodies. Plus we were expecting 90 people and got something like 200. An excellent night all around.

The day after my Ottawa event, Senator Grant Mitchell - an Alberta Liberal, believe it or not! - generously had me as his guest for lunch at the parliamentary dining room and then toured me around the Hill. This is not a particularly flattering photo of either of us. Thanks, anyway, Senator Mitchell!

Somewhat more flattering: I'm seated at the table where Pierre Trudeau sat with Queen Elizabeth II and signed the Canadian Constitution. The table is now in the office of the Speaker of the Senate.

Detail of the elaborate woodwork above the door leading from the antechamber of the Senate Speaker's office to the formal dining room (where President Obama, among others, dines when he's in Ottawa). Those are some seriously vicious-looking squirrels on that crest. If this whole beaver thing falls through, Canada could reinvent itself as the Land of the Badass Squirrel.


I'm finally getting around to posting a few pictures from the multi-leg publicity tour for The Leap. First stop: my Calgary home!


This is the WordFest Calgary book launch at Vertigo Theatre. Best part of the photo is the little girl in white directly in front of me - my daughter, Sloane, waiting patiently to be thanked for her contributions to the book, many of which involved Lego.


Canadian Club luncheon, Fairmont Palliser, Calgary. A great crowd to address - open-minded, informed, attentive. Really appreciated the opportunity to address a club older than the province!


For a limited time, a sample chapter of The Leap is available for reading online. it's Chapter 3: The Leap in the Nation, which focuses on Germany's dramatic jump to the forefront of the global green economy. Click below to have a read!


Globe & Mail review

Andrew Nikiforuk's laudatory review in the Globe & Mail, 11 November 2011

"one of the most arresting arguments for building a green economy yet in print"

Dates for The German Leap - a four-city tour of central Canada


Attention Upper & Lower Canadians: 

I'm headed your way again. The German Foreign Office is sending me on a four-city speaking tour starting next Monday to talk up Germany's pacesetting role in the global green economy. These aren't technically book events, but they do draw heavily on the German chapter of The Leap, as well as new research conducted this June in Berlin, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Essen.


Here are the details:


Monday, 21 November:


co-sponsored by the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Toronto

and the Sustainability Network

5pm to 7pm

Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany

2 Bloor Street East, 25th Floor

RSVP: rsvp@toro.diplo.de

Invitation with full details


Tuesday, 22 November:


co-sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

and Sustainable Waterloo Region

5pm to 7pm

WalterFedy office

675 Queen Street South, Suite 111, Kitchener

Online registration

Invitation with full details


Wednesday, 23 November:


co-sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

and Sustainable Prosperity

5:30 to 7pm

University of Ottawa - Desmarais Building, Room 12110

55 Laurier Ave East

RSVP: info@sustainableprosperity.ca

Invitation with full details


Monday, 28 November:


co-sponsored by the Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Montreal

and the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce

5:30 to 7pm

Goethe-Institut Montreal

418, rue Sherbrooke Est


Here's the event overview blurb:

The German Leap:

Innovation in Sustainable Design and the Cleantech Sector in the World's Leading Green Economy

In a new presentation sponsored by the German Foreign Office, Chris Turner (author of the new book The Leap: How to Survive & Thrive in the Sustainable Economy) showcases the latest and greatest innovations in German cleantech and sustainable design. For more than a decade now, Germany has been the global pacesetter in renewable energy and sustainable industrial development. From industrial boomtowns in Saxony's "Solar Valley" to offshore wind ports on the North Sea coast, from self-sufficient solar communities in the sunny south to Hamburg's grand experiment in sustainable urban redevelopment at HafenCity, from rejuvenated Berlin's fashion houses to thriving Düsseldorf's architectural wonders to coal plants reborn as green design models in the Ruhrgebeit, Germany is a country reborn on sustainable foundations. Chris Turner's tour provides a vibrant series of portraits of this German Leap.

Full Source Notes for The Leap now available for download

I decided not to publish Source Notes in the new book to keep page counts down. If you're wondering where my facts come from, a full list of sources for The Leap is now available for download in pdf format.

Canadian Club of Calgary

The Leap presentation and luncheon at the Canadian Club of Calgary. Non-members welcome.

Full details and ticket info at the Canadian Club website.

Date / Time: 
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 12:00pm
Palliser Hotel

The tale of The Leap so far

After a little over a week on tour with The Leap, here are a few highlights:

Canadian Geographic published a thoughtful and very positive review of the book by noted journalist Marq de Villers (in brief: "an argument of considerable reach and subtlety" by a writer who is "an engaging tour guide, mixing reportage with conversation, anecdote and artfully inserted research")

Toronto urban affairs writer Edward Keenan wrote a review/meditation on The Leap for the excellent Toronto weekly The Grid

The Winnipeg Free Press reviewed The Leap as well (in brief: "a believable mélange of individual, corporate, state and grassroots innovations and actions already proven on the city-wide, or even national scale")

My local alternative weekly, Calgary's FFWD Weekly, featured me in a cover profile story

Another careful review appeared at the By the Book Reviews blog

I appeared on CTV News Channel (alongside WWF Canada's Zoe Caron) to discuss the costs of climate change and the necessity of The Leap

I had a great chat with David Gray on The Eyeopener, CBC Radio's Calgary morning show

Joseph Planta posted a phone interview with me to Thecommentary.ca, his long-running author profile site

I wrote an op-ed for the Ottawa Citizen in defence of Ontario's Green Energy Act, which is a direct copy of the German feed-in tariff that is a central case study in The Leap

I wrote a feature essay on the Alberta oil pipeline controversy for The Globe & Mail

Much more to come as the tour rolls on across western Canada.

The Leap's official launch in Toronto!

Official book launch for The Leap (co-sponsored by WWF Canada and Random House Canada) is tomorrow night, Wednesday, 28 September at the Gladstone. Looking forward to it. Apparently we're near capacity as of Tuesday afternoon, so do RSVP if you want to secure a last-minute admission.


Full details:

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