1) Understanding Variation in Energy Efficiency Practices in Ontario Hospitals 2) Traditional Indigenous Food Systems and Psychological Resiliency: An Ecosystems Psychology Framework

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 4:10pm to 5:30pm

Room ES B149 (basement), Earth Sciences Building, 5 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto

1) JOHN MAIORANO, Ph.D. Candidate, Adult Education and Community Development, OISE, and Environmental Studies Collaborative Program, School of the Environment Understanding Variation in Energy Efficiency Practices in Ontario Hospitals
2) NICOLE SPIEGELAAR, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences, and Environment & Health Collaborative Program, School of the Environment, University of Toronto 

1) ABSTRACT: Organizational sociologists and institutional theorists question the extent the broader context has on forms of rationality, shared meanings and interpretations and sensemaking. Through a social science approach rooted in grounded theory, this research provides a form of an uncertainty, reflecting how alternate forms of rationality and alternate ways of dealing with uncertainty result in variation in actions and outcomes surrounding energy efficiency practices in Ontario hospitals. Three structural conditions were interpreted from the data, including ‘Patient Care & Public Stewardship’, ‘Budgetary Pressures’, and ‘Issues of Control’, which provide alternate frames for energy efficiency. Hospitals that approach uncertainty by demanding certainty frame energy efficiency through temporal silos and alternate priorities, communicate internally by selling and confirming, and result in risk avoiding organizations with a self-interested organizational culture, where individuals absorb risks from energy efficiency and energy efficiency projects are stalled. Hospitals that deal with uncertainty by Managing Complexity bridge temporal and organizational silos, proffer collaboration and communication, fostering shared meanings surrounding the economic and other co-benefits surrounding energy efficiency. In these hospitals, organizations absorb risks associated with energy efficiency fostering an energy conservation culture. 

1) BRIEF BIO: John Maiorano is a PhD candidate at OISE, collaborative with the School of the Environment pursuing research on how organizations in the public sector navigate uncertainty while implementing sustainability initiatives such as energy efficiency. 

2) ABSTRACT: I will discuss the role of traditional indigenous food systems, or ecological subsistence, on various biological, social and cultural facets of mental health among the Cree of James Bay, Ontario. With the onset of the colonial residential school system, the Cree abruptly transitioned from an autonomous, communal, and nutrient-rich subsistence to an externally imposed, nutritionally-inadequate, import-based food system. From dietary amino acid analysis and interviews with the Cree, I reveal the mental health implications of a mutually reinforcing feedback between inadequate nutritive consumption and socio-cultural fragmentation in the modern Cree food system; I identify how present participation in the harvest can improve psychological resiliency, the ability to cope or recover from trauma. 

2) BRIEF BIO: Nicole Spiegelaar a socio-ecologist with a specialization in rural indigenous mental health in relation to food system transition and environmental change. Her research and teaching expertise over the past nine years has been grounded in the relationship between human and ecological systems as it pertains to the well-being of marginalized communities. She has a history of publications on food security, agroecosytems and adaptive response to climate change in rural First Nations communities. Nicole is currently publishing a series of manuscripts for her dissertation using a bio-cultural ecosystems approach to explore psychological implications of food system transition among the indigenous James Bay Cree.