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The Global Energy Challenge: What is the Future of Fossil Fuels?

September 13, 2017

University of Calgary downtown campus

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Global consumption of fossil fuels has steadily marched upwards for many decades, buoying the economies of natural resource-rich countries such as Canada. Will this historic trend continue in the future? Recent technological advances in low carbon alternatives, such as batteries for electric vehicles and renewable power generation, are challenging the dominance of oil and natural gas as energy sources.

For expert insights, please join us at this special event, “The Global Energy Challenge: What is the Future of Fossil Fuels?” featuring a keynote lecture by Professor Michael Greenstone, University of Chicago, and a discussion by Steve Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer, Suncor Energy Inc. and Richard Dicerni, Adjunct Professor, Ivey Business School. The event is jointly organized by The Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre and Haskayne School of Business.

Event Information

Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Cocktail reception to follow
Location: University of Calgary downtown campus
Tickets: $40 (regular), $30 (students)

This event is now sold out and registration is closed.

Keynote Speaker

Michael Greenstone | Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, University of Chicago; Director, Energy Policy Institute of Chicago; and Director, Becker Friedman Institute

Michael Greenstone is the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, the College, and the Harris School, as well as the Director of the interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Energy & Environment Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs. He is also Director of the Becker Friedman Institute. He previously served as the Chief Economist for President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and currently serves on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board. Greenstone also directed the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project, which studies policies to promote economic growth, and has since joined its Advisory Council. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and editor of the Journal of Political Economy. Before coming to Chicago, Greenstone was the 3M Professor of Environmental Economics at MIT.

Greenstone’s research estimates the costs and benefits of environmental quality and society’s energy choices. He has worked extensively on the Clean Air Act and examined its impacts on air quality, manufacturing activity, housing prices, and human health to assess its benefits and costs. He is currently engaged in large‐scale projects to estimate the economic costs of climate change and to identify efficient approaches to mitigating these costs.

His research is increasingly focused on developing countries. This work includes an influential paper that demonstrated that high levels of particulates air pollution from coal combustion are causing the 500 million residents of Northern China to lose more than 2.5 billion years of life expectancy. He is also engaged in projects with the Government of India and four Indian state governments that use randomized control trials to test innovative ways to improve the functioning of environmental regulations and increase energy access.

Greenstone received a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University and a BA in economics with High Honors from Swarthmore College.



Steve Williams | President and Chief Executive Officer, Suncor Energy Inc.

Steve Williams is President and Chief Executive Officer of Suncor Energy Inc. His career with Suncor began in May 2002 when he joined the company as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer. He then served as Executive Vice President, Oil Sands and Chief Operating Officer. Steve has more than 40 years of international energy industry experience, including 18 years at Esso/Exxon.


Richard Dicerni | Adjunct Professor, Ivey Business School; and Former Deputy Minister of Alberta Executive Council

Richard Dicerni was appointed Deputy Minister of Alberta Executive Council in October 2014. He held the position of Deputy Minister of Industry Canada from 2006 to 2012. Since 1969, he has held a number of executive positions in the federal public service, including Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Health and Welfare, and Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet. In 1992, he joined the Ontario Government as Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy.



Guy Holburn | Professor, Suncor Chair in Energy Policy, and Director of the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre

Harrie Vredenburg | Academic Director, Global Energy EMBA, and Suncor Chair in Competitive Strategy and Sustainable Development at Haskayne School of Business



Panel Events

  • Energy Policy and Management
  • Guy Holburn
  • Events