3ThoughtThursday – CNA conference, Excellence in Manufacturing, why language matters

This week we have a CNA Conference update, a great chat with the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium, why language mattersand well wishes to my friend Dave Shorey!


1) Day two of CNA and the NII team is ready to go.

Chad Richards and I are managing the NII booth, Stellina Williams is logging on to moderate a session, and Susie Ho is making final changes to her notes for her presentation. This is a dream team.


Although the team is missing our CNA friends in real life, the virtual platform has offered fabulous opportunity for networking and meaningful discussion.

At the NII booth you’ll find a video tour of the Nuclear Innovation Institute, in Port Elgin, Ontario, and with a click of a button you can face time Chad or I to answer questions and learn more.


The NII team is proud of the work we do. Stop by to learn more about our organization.


2) I had a really interesting call with the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium. Such an impressive organization, and their head office is right here in the tri-county region! With over 40,000 employer members (over 600,000 manufacturing employees!), this group is driving innovative thinking and supporting change in the manufacturing sector. During an hour-long conversation, I heard examples of training and development, industry leadership, and change management.


EMC shared a priority around education and awareness when it comes to energy use in the industry. We talked about the manufacturing industry’s decarbonization efforts, NII’s Net Zero Partnerships program, the Plugging In electric vehicle report, and discussed potential alignment.


When it comes to connecting people, programs and working toward net zero, the NII is all in. Our organization is here to support industry leaders, like EMC, to share our learning and to leverage networks and knowledge.


3) Carbon offsets, decarbonization, net zero, carbon neutral, carbon credits, oh my. As I continue to listen and learn, I’m hearing all sorts of language used all different ways. In a recent conversation an economic development peer said to me “I don’t really understand offsets and all that stuff”.


I told her that was okay. In fact, my response was something along the line of “I’m starting to kind of understand, but it seems the context of the language continues to change”. I have more to learn in this space.

Back to language. Language matters. Net zero may not necessarily mean the same as carbon neutral, and the words we use continue to be up for debate. Conversation with all levels of government and industry leaders continue as we try to define terms these terms.

So, what I’m saying is:

a) Language matters (not just in this case, but in general)

b) It’s okay to not know it all. We’re still figuring it out.


With that, I’m off to catch Susie’s CNA presentation, and then celebrate a colleague and friend, Dave Shorey.


Dave has resigned as the Innovation Officer for the Municipal Innovation Council, where he worked closely with the NII team. The most fabulous news of all is that Dave has accepted the role of Executive Director for the Owen Sound campus of Georgian College.


This is a tremendous opportunity for him and what an incredible catch for Georgian! Congratulations to my friend Daveyou’re going to do such great work and I’m so glad you’ll continue to share your brilliant mind with the region.

Jessica Linthorne is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.