About

What is the LSS ?

The Living Soils Symposium is a bilingual event bringing together farmers, land managers, researchers, agronomists, businesses, NGOs, decision makers, citizens
to discuss the most innovative ways to contribute to regenerating soil health across sectors.

Our aim is to create the conditions for all of these people to discover their role in improving the health of our soils, to connect the diversity of people involved in this journey and to break silos across sectors relating to soils.

Objectives

The Living Soils Symposium aims to promote the regeneration of soil health in order to mitigate climate change and promote a healthy agroecosystem, by

  • Raising awareness among citizens regarding the importance of soil regeneration and about ways they can contribute;
  • Creating a network and facilitate cross-pollination between stakeholders across all sectors relating to soils;
  • Transferring knowledge in terms of best practices that allow to regenerate soils across sectors;
  • Facilitating interdisciplinary discussions including the scientific, practical, economic, political and social aspects of soil regeneration.

Why this Matters

Soil regeneration is the least known, most promising solution to climate change.

Regenerating the health of our soils also helps address numerous other environmental and social justice issues, such as food security, water pollution and scarcity, biodiversity loss, desertification, public health and safety.

 

Most agricultural soils have lost

50 to 70%

of their original soil organic carbon pool.

More than

40%

of the global population is affected by water scarcity

Land degradation is largely contributing to mass migration:

135 million

people are predicted to be displaced by 2045 as a result of desertification.

Since its beginnings, agriculture has caused the loss of

133 gigatons

of soil carbon, which has largely been emitted to the atmosphere as CO2, therefore contributing to climate change.


12 million hectares

of productive land becomes barren every year due to desertification and drought, an area roughly the size of England.

Living soils have the potential to store

Billions of tons of carbon

each year, allowing to mitigate climate change, to combat desertification and water scarcity and to increase agricultural productivity.

The Team

Gabrielle Bastien

Event Director

Gabrielle’s life mission is to promote regenerative land management as a way to mitigate climate change and foster healthy food systems. This passion arose while obtaining her Master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University, completed in 2016, where she realized that soil regeneration presents the greatest opportunity to simultaneously alleviate the food, climate, water and biodiversity crises.

Interested in diving in deeper in the practical aspects of permaculture, Gabrielle did an apprenticeship on Ben Falk’s Whole Systems Design farm in Vermont in 2015 and focused her Master’s thesis on the economic viability of permaculture-inspired farms in Quebec.

Prior to her graduate studies, she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at HEC Montréal and gathered years of work experience in communications, project management and event planning.

Gabrielle led the team that launched the Living Soils Symposium Montreal in 2017 and founded Regeneration Canada.

Isabelle Lemaire

Program & Logistics Coordinator

Isabelle is passionate about complex systems, regenerative practices, sustainable business, architecture, the environment and living in a world that promotes peace and diversity. She has traveled widely, from the Sahel to the glaciers of Patagonia passing through the silk road and is now calling Montreal home. Having worked in contexts ranging from a research institute, to a university, small NGOs, a multi-national paper company, a small consulting outfit and many African farmer’s fields, Isabelle has a proven track record on being highly adaptable and open to new perspectives. Isabelle also holds a bachelors in communication and cinema, a first masters in environment and development and second one in human systems.

Antonious Petro

Logistics Assistant

Antonious Petro is a biologist and a certified permaculture designer whose vision of an ideal society would be a symbiotic collaboration of permaculture principles, circular economy and social justice. He has a Bachelor's degree in Biology From Minia University, Egypt and a graduate degree in Community Economic Development from Concordia University. He is passionate about soil regeneration, social innovation and bike mechanics. Since his arrival in Montreal in 2013, he has gathered a vast experience in project coordination in sustainability, food security, business development and ecological land management. At Regeneration Canada, Antonious coordinates the soil education program and is the administrative assistant.

Laurence Côté-Leduc

Communications Assistant and Artist Coordinator

Laurence is a community organizer with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector.

She holds a M. Sc. in public health from Université Laval, a B.A. in international studies and sustainable development from HEC Montréal, has done a semester abroad at University of Western Australia, is leading and implementing community events and green alleys to promote healthy lifestyles, and studies permaculture design and regenerative agriculture.

Her passion for community building has led her to projects in Québec (Canada), Costa Rica, West Africa and Haiti.

Sarah Barsalou

Network Coordinator

Sarah is a trained lawyer and holds Bachelor degrees in both International Studies and in Law. For several years, she practiced as a lawyer representing victims of workplace harassment. When she realized the urgency of the state of our planet, she knew she had to work towards finding solutions to combat climate change. Sarah is passionate about cooking and sustainable food systems. She loves learning about regenerative agricultural practices that are healthier for our food and our planet. She has done many workshops on foraging, has volunteered on farms, and loves to go camping and to cook in the outdoors. At Regeneration Canada, Sarah is in charge of managing the community of members, creating partnerships and expanding our network of leaders in the soil regeneration sector.

Ananda Fitzsimmons

Consultant – Program & Content

Ananda Lynn Fitzsimmons is an out-of-the-box thinker, visionary and environmentalist, with a passion for soil and growing food. She has had lifelong interest in sustainable food production and land management as well as social change and personal empowerment. She spent many years experimenting with microbial potions based on naturally occurring microbes extracted from plants, composts and soil. In 2008, she teamed up with Dr. Margaret Bywater Ekegard and they founded Inocucor Technologies. The company, now called Concentric, commercializes products for agriculture based on consortia of naturally occurring beneficial microorganisms. She now works as a consultant promoting soil health and regenerative land management practices.

Tom Czerniecki

Consultant - Event Strategy

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Michelle Holliday

Consultant – Event Design & Hosting

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Dany Beaudoin

Production Manager

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The Scientific Committee

Joann Whalen

Professor and William Dawson Scholar, McGill University

President, Canadian Society of Soil Science

Alain Olivier

Professor of Agroforestry, Université Laval

Luis Salgado

Technical Director, Eco-Tierra

Benoît Lafleur

Professor, Forest & Soil Ecology, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Michel Labrecque

Associate Professor, Phytoremediation, Université de Montréal

Odette Ménard

Engineer and agronomist, Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec

Jordan LeBel

Associate Professor, Marketing of Food, Concordia University