Supervising Faculty

Dr. Satoshi Ikeda, Canada Research Chair in the Political Sociology of Global Futures
Dr. Satoshi Ikeda was born in Japan and obtained both of his doctorate degrees in the United States, beginning with a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan and later a Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Dr. Ikeda was an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta before joining Concordia in 2007, where he now holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Political Sociology of Global Futures. He is an associate of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy, Concordia University.

Dr. Ikeda’s current research tackles the political sociology of global futures, social economy, sustainable agriculture, and Japan and East Asia using the method of Polanyi-Hopkins historical sociology informed by the world-system perspective. He is examining the failure of corporate economy, the crisis of neoliberal globalization, and emerging social economies as democratic, egalitarian, sustainable, and just alternatives to corporate economy. He is organizing Global Futures Forum, a discussion and research forum examining social economies.

His research projects have looked specifically at the trajectories of 150 countries under neoliberal globalization, as well as sustainable agriculture in rural Alberta, masculinity and 'masculinism' under globalization, Japan's neo-feudal tendencies under globalization, and Canadian perspectives on peace construction in East Asia. Dr. Ikeda has also specialized in economic development, international trade, and finance.

Dr. Norma Rantisi, Assistant Professor, Geography, Planning & Environment
Dr. Rantisi has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an M.A. in Political Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.R.P. from the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. She received her Ph.D. (2002) from the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation examined the geography of design innovation for the New York City’s women’s wear industry. Dr. Rantisi’s current research looks at the innovation system for the Montréal apparel industry and assesses the role that government policy can play in promoting design-oriented production strategies for local manufacturers. She is also engaged in a collaborative study on the governance of the design sector in Montréal with Dr. Deborah Leslie, Department of Geography, University of Toronto.

Dr. Margie Mendell, School of Community and Public Affairs
Concordia economist Marguerite Mendell is committed to partnership research, or to what she refers to as the "co-construction of knowledge." For more than two decades, Mendell has collaborated with practitioners in community economic development, the social economy and the growing social finance sector, resulting in important innovations in public policy.

At the School of Community and Public Affairs, she has brought this methodology to her students, engaging them in community based research. Her work on the social economy and social finance in Quebec has generated international interest and is part of an ongoing dialogue on innovative economic initiatives to reduce poverty and develop new collective forms of wealth creation. Mendell is also the co-founder of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy established at Concordia University in 1988.

With Kari Polanyi-Levitt, the daughter of Karl Polanyi, she created the Karl Polanyi Archive, an extraordinary research tool for scholars in all disciplines interested in and inspired by the work of Karl Polanyi, considered one of the ten most important thinkers of the 20th century. The global financial crisis and impending world recession have increased the importance of the work of Karl Polanyi today.

Dr. Alan Nash, Department of Geography, Environment and Urban Planning
Dr Nash obtained his PhD in historical geography from the University of Cambridge and, after a spell as a Junior Research Fellow in geography at the University of Sheffield in England, came to Canada in the early 1980s. He taught population geography and historical geography at Queen’s University in Kingston, and then held research associate positions at the University Of Western Ontario’s Centre for Canadian Population Studies, and at the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Ottawa. Since joining the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University, Dr Nash has served, on two occasions in the past, as the department chair and has also been the Secretary-Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Geographers. He currently teaches the introductory undergraduate course “Place, Space and Identity” (GEOG 220) and an upper-level course on the geography of food (GEOG 321: “A World of Food”). His current research focuses on two projects: the patterns of cultural diffusion (or spread) of gravestone designs (using Caribbean and Icelandic examples), and the development of restaurants in Montreal – with case studies so far completed on the increase in restaurants serving international cuisine between 1951 and 2001, and on those restaurants that by delivering meals to the home, brought “the world on a plate” into the domestic sphere.

Project Coordinators

Cameron Stiff has been working in the field of sustainable development for 6 years. He studied sociology at Concordia from 2003-2006, and worked for Sustainable Concordia on energy, climate change and transportation projects. He coordinated youth engagement in and around the UN Climate Change Conference in 2005 in Montreal and 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya, following up with work with the Canadian Environmental Network on youth engagement in national climate change policy. In 2008 he founded Greening Duluth, a community environmental development project in his neighbourhood in the Plateau of Montreal, and in 2009 worked with a green business investment group to build Challenge Your World, an online platform focused on sustainability entrepreneurship. He co-founded the Concordia Food Systems Project in the spring of 2010 with other passionate individuals at Concordia University. He has also worked as a chef and is passionate about the relationship between food, health, community and the environment. He is 28 years old, fluent in French and practices yoga, hockey and guitar.

Lennard Fruehling completed his B.A. in Human Environment and a Minor in Political Science from Concordia University. He enjoyed a broad education that made him particularly aware of nature/culture dichotomies, sustainable socio-ecological systems, and environmental policy. Growing up on an organic farm in Northern Germany, Lennard has always been aware of issues related to local and organic food production. While living in the city he has developed a strong interest in applied urban agricultural solutions to food system deficiencies. His extra curricular work was focused on environmental education, community participation and practical work in food production. His principle focus is on the development of the Loyola Farm Project, exploring the potential for the development of urban agriculture initiatives and food production education at Concordia's NDG campus.

Harvest Festival and Mapping Coordinator: Kim Fox (Summer 2010)

Kim moved to Montreal from Toronto in 1999 to attend design school. During this time she discovered a passion for painting and spent the next 6 years pursuing the life of starving artists. She has participated in and organized several group and solo painting shows and has actively sold in the streets, by way of commission, and privately. Kim is a firm supporter of social and environmental justice. During her painting years she was involved in several event productions which sought to unite various communities in celebration. There-in she developed a drive for fast-paced high-stress work (she’s not sure if this is a gift or a burden). In 2007 after an injury that left her immobile for several months, Kim returned to school to develop her understanding world issues. Kim has been researching the food crisis as well as the current food movement ever since. To Kim, the issue and move for reform is an inspiring example of the power of people to stand-up to injustice and pursue change. Kim's work is being made possible through a grant received from the Concordia Sustainability Action Fund.

Project Intern - Winter 2011

Jessica Watchorn is in her final semester of a double major in geography and studio arts, and finishing up her permaculture design training. She has spent her time at Concordia volunteering at the greenhouse and the Peoples Potato where she also served on the
board of directors, as well as trying to set a record for attendance of Cinema Politica screenings. Growing up rural and witnessing first hand the shift towards larger scale factory style farming first sparked her indignation with the main stream food system and continues to inspire her quest for a happier alternative. As an intern with the Loyola Farm Project she will be using and adding to her research on urban farming to investigate and prepare for the possibility of keeping bees and chickens on the loyola farm! Ask her all about it.

Project Interns - Fall 2010

Leah Chandler is currently completing her third year as an undergraduate student in Human Environment at Concordia University. She began practicing permaculture design methods while traveling and working in California this past summer and came on as an intern for the Food Systems project this fall. Her interests lie in the practical aspects of permaculture. She will be teaching workshops to youth in the spring, while moving forth with the establishment of an incubator farm on campus and plans to continue to educate herself in this field while working towards food security.

Shauna Pigeon is a third-year Sociology Student at Concordia, planning to graduate in Fall 2011. She has been working with different community organizations for the past 6 years. Some organizations include Sun Youth, West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped (W.I.A.I.H.) and Girl Guides.  Most of her experience is in recreation work with special needs and children, from animator to administrator. She eventually plans to go on to work as a community organizer to promote accessibility to social services, recreational leadership, as well as creating some solutions to social isolation. Other areas of interests in the social field include youth empowerment, intergenerational relationships and therapeutic recreation. Her main interest in the Concordia Food Systems Project is to create educational programs for kids around food systems and gardening. Montreal-born and raised, urban agriculture is a new and vested interest of hers. She loves hosting dinner parties, making music, knitting and watching old movies.

Aaron Barcant
Bio Forthcoming

Aaron Johnston

Bio Forthcoming

Nicholas Taylor recently graduated from Concordia with a degree in environmental science and has studied trees and plants since he was sixteen, living on a small sustainable farm outside Montreal for the greater part of his life ( His experiences there have made him question Canada’s current food system and inspired him to change Canadian farming, one farm at a time, with as many like-minded people as possible. However, he realized that farms aren’t the only avenue for change. Thus, he joined up with the Concordia Food Systems Project in the fall of 2010 and is currently working on the Loyola Farm Project, spearheading the fruit tree planting plan. 

Project Interns - Summer 2010

Chelsey Ancliffe is in her third year of studies at Concordia University, pursuing a B.A. with Honours in Anthropology and a double Minor in Philosophy and Diversity in the Contemporary World.  She has a strong interest in an interdisciplinary approach to academics and community based development.  She has volunteered within the university and community in many diverse sectors; from working with Le Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec (FIFEQ) to teaching ESL for a women's center in Montreal, and, now, working on issues of sustainability at the university with the Food Systems Working group.

Laura Beach is a student of anthropology and geography at Concordia University. She is the Co-Founder of TAPthirst, a QPIRG affiliate group dedicated to promoting awareness of issues of water privatization, with a focus on bottled water on campus. She is interested in issues of food quality, security and sovereignty and the influence of corporate control on university food systems. Laura is excited to be working with the Food Systems Working Group with the hope of creating more space on campus for local, organic food and the social economy.

Megan Beneat-Donald began her education in sustainability and community organizing at 16 when she attended the Waldorf College Project in Gloucestershire, England. She left the UK for Canada, where she now studies Public Policy and Community Affairs, along with Arabic, at Concordia University, Montreal. She has had myriad experiences in diverse areas; garden and self-sustainability projects in southern Scotland and the Sinai Desert, Egypt, forestry and woodland management, community building and group mediation in England, along with event planning and media communications in Canada and elsewhere. She is interested in issues ranging from world politics and environmental sustainability, to religion and art.

Jade Cambron is currently completing her Honours in Anthropology with a Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World at Concordia University. After her return from a university exchange in Brazil, Jade began to realize the need for community and social change. She is excited to be a part of the Concordia Food Systems Working group and to see the fruition of their hard work. In the future, Jade hopes to work in the social justice sector at an international level.

Arturo Esquivel Carrillo is toward the end of completing his B.A., Specialization in Anthropology at Concordia University. Among his interests are the development of sustainable communities, indigenous rights, identity, and cosmopolitan studies. He is an active participant in several of the university's student organizations.

Kate Husted is currently studying at Concordia University, soon to complete a B.A. majoring in both Anthropology and Geography. Her interest in good food goes way back, but a university environment has more recently exposed her to the social issues surrounding the topic. It is thus with a wide range of curiosities that she participates in the food movement at Concordia. She has, as well, done food-security related conservation work in Ecuador and is involved with Le Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec. Kate’s current focus as an intern is learning and teaching about the production and use of medicinal herbs as an alternative to industrial pharmaceuticals. 

Robyn Rees is currently completing an Honours degree in Human Environment and a minor in Professional Writing at Concordia.  In the fall of 2009, she became a member of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Concordia and a volunteer at the Urban Ecology Centre of Montreal, sparking her interest in the connection between community development and sustainability. Her main research interests are the interrelationships between society, economics, and the environment, as well as how the notion of sustainability has evolved.  She shares the belief that developing stronger, self-sustaining communities is the key to social equity, economic stability, and ecologic integrity as it involves working together towards common goals for the common good and allows for more efficient, comprehensive management of both the local economy and the natural environment. She believes food - the ultimate connection between humanity and the environment, with strong economic controls and implications – is the ideal community building catalyst and the key to understanding our dependence on a healthy environment.  

Affiliated Researchers

Morgan Buck, Sociology
Morgan Buck has a BA in Honours Sociology from Concordia University.  Throughout her studies, she developed a particular academic interest in North American urban food security issues, inspiring research on alternative food networks in both Canada and the United States.  Originally hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, Morgan is currently working with several food-focused Montreal projects, including the People's Food Policy Project, the Concordia Food Systems Project, and an ongoing community "green alley" project located in Verdun. 

Tara Dourian, Sociology
Tara Dourian is an undergraduate student at Concordia University, pursuing a B.A. with a Specialization in Sociology and a Minor in Mathematics and Statistics.  She works as a research assistant in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, specifically focusing on cardiovascular health issues.  Also, she works within the university as a research assistant to Dr. Bill Reimer (Sociology & Anthropology Department) for the NRE (New Rural Economy) Project, which involves studying diverse social issues across rural communities within Canada.   Having continuously been part of these two different fields, Tara has increasingly developed a concern for topics intertwining health, social matters and sustainability, with a particular appreciation of the quantitative aspects of research. Particularly, she has built an ongoing interest for social demography & population health and how these topics relate to food studies in a westernized urban setting. Currently, she is working on an NRE project analyzing the Montreal food system and is a collaborating member of the Concordia Food Systems Working Group. On the side, she enjoys photography, running and cooking.

Associated Members

Heather Nagy, People's Potato Garden Coordinator
Bio forthcoming

Graham Calder, P3 Permaculture
A child of the wild, Graham was brought up on 75 acres of subsistence farm and pristine forest, on the eastern seaboard of Nova Scotia, Canada. He was gardening before he could walk and was designing rainwater catchment systems by age ten. His childhood was largely sculpted by David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things and by the forestry industry, which stripped the land that he knew. Life led him to study a specialization in The Human Environment with a minor in Biological Ecology at Concordia University in Montreal. At this point in his life, with the glamour’s of academia coming to a halt, he discovered Permaculture: Greening the Desert by Geoff Lawton. Soon after he founded P3 Permaculture Design, People for the Profit of the Planet: A Social Enterprise in 2009. He began with small-scale design projects until he was on his way to Denman Island, to learn how to set up and run the Permaculture Design Certification course (PDC) which he took with Jesse Lemieux, at Pacific Permaculture. Furthering his experience, he undertook various suburban and urban projects in both Montreal and Sydney. After this, he received a two month apprenticeship under Geoff Lawton from The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia (PRI). While in Australia he took specific certifications in Earthworks and PDC Teacher Training. Upon completion of this apprenticeship he returned to consultation and design work while preparing for P3 permaculture designs first ever PDC course, to be taught this June.