2023 RCA Circular Economy Conference – Speaker Session Announcement – Scaling Mount Doom: Lightning Talks

Get ready to embark on an exciting journey at the 2023 RCA Circular Economy Conference, set against the stunning backdrop of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, from October 18 to 20. This year’s theme, “There and Back Again: The Journey to Circularity,” draws inspiration from the epic Lord of the Rings saga. Prepare for a transformative experience as we dive deep into the circular economy with three days of captivating insights and engaging discussions.

Get ready for an exciting voyage through the dynamic world of circular economy innovation in our “Scaling Mount Doom: Lightning Talks” session. This session is our version of RCA TED talks, where speakers will deliver rapid-fire presentations that promise to keep you on the edge of your seat. Get ready to keep pace with the fast-paced exchange of ideas, insights, and inspiration. This session promises to ignite your curiosity and fuel your passion for the circular economy.

Session Sponsored by TOMRA Canada Inc.

Moderator: Mikhael Metauro (Cascades Recovery+) 


  • Dr. Adetoyese (Toye) Oyedun (NAIT) – Plastics Research in Action
  • Anna Rajkovic (NOVA Chemicals)
  • Dr. Rafiq Ahmad (University of Alberta / Eco Additiva) – Plastic Recycling With Eco Additiva: A Novel 3D Printing Technology
  • John MacInnes (Earthware)
  • Jaime White (Loop Resource)
  • Dayton Skei (EverGen Infrastructure Corp.)
  • Omid McDonald (Dairy Distillery) – Vodkow
  • Briggs Gibbins (Last Shot Apparel)

Find detailed speaker bios for this session below, and stay tuned for updates on speakers for our other sessions!

Secure your registration now and explore sponsorship options or host a tradeshow exhibit during the event. Visit www.conference.recycle.ab.ca for the program and more details. For any further inquiries, please contact the RCA at 403.843.6563 or email us at info@recycle.ab.ca.

Dr. Adetoyese (Toye) Oyedun – NAIT

Dr. Adetoyese (Toye) Oyedun is a professional chemical engineer and experienced research project manager with over 15 years of expertise in project management, operational process development, process integration, and research engineering in environmental sustainability, including waste management and wastewater treatment.

He earned a Master’s degree in Advanced Chemical Engineering with Process Systems Engineering from Imperial College London, UK. He has a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering with Energy concentration from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

He has worked on diverse projects worldwide, focusing on greenhouse gas emission reduction, clean energy, water footprint analysis, plastic waste/municipal solid waste management, and clean fuel production. Toye has also contributed to bio-economy initiatives in Canada while working as a research/program analyst for the Government of Alberta. Currently, he serves as the Senior Project Manager (Research) for the Plastics Research In Action (PRIA) collaboration at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), where he leads a project on testing recycled plastics in asphalt for Alberta’s climate conditions.

Anna Rajkovic – NOVA Chemicals Corporation

Anna Rajkovic is the Circular Economy Market Manager at NOVA Chemicals. In her role, she is responsible for the company’s PCR product portfolio, and more broadly driving circularity with plastic converter customers and across the entire plastics value chain. Anna joined NOVA Chemicals in 2008; prior to her current role she was an applications development specialist in the circular economy space as well as a technical service specialist for the drum and pipe markets. She has also been deeply involved with industry associations like the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

Prior to joining NOVA Chemicals, Anna was a regional sales manager at KWH pipe in Calgary and an account manager at Jana Labs. Anna graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

Rafiq Ahmad, Ph.D. – University of Alberta / Eco Additiva

Dr. Rafiq Ahmad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. He is the founder and director of the “Smart & Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Laboratory (SMART Lab)”, which focuses on systems design and engineering. Dr. Ahmad is also the founder and director of “Aquaponics 4.0 Learning Factory (AllFactory),” a unique learning factory researching system design and development for plants and fish production in an indoor, vertical, symbiotic ecosystem soil-less environment.

Dr. Ahmad is an expert in smart manufacturing and remanufacturing technologies, systems design and engineering, methods-&-algorithms based on artificial intelligence and computer-vision, automation/ robotics, sensor-based data and knowledge modeling. Dr. Ahmad is a leading expert in sustainable and smart manufacturing systems/technologies to enable innovations in industries through digitization (Industry 4.0), smart additive manufacturing, and clean and green technologies (Industry 5.0).

Dr. Ahmad is the recipient of the prestigious Edmonton’s 2022 Top 40 under 40 Award by Edify Magazine for his serial innovation and streamlined technology development to impact our society. He is also the director and founder of the Canadian not-for-profit ProBEEs Digital Education Society. Dr. Ahmad is also one of the founders of Eco Additiva, a new spin-off company for recycling of plastics with novel additive manufacturing technology.

John MacInnes – Earthware

A native Calgarian, John MacInnes received his early education at Strathcona Tweedsmuir School in Calgary and then Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario. He later studied Economics at Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Quebec. John financed his university education by founding, and operating two successful companies.

In November 2021 John launched his newest venture, Earthware, which is a reusable container service for restaurant takeout and delivery. The goal of Earthware is to stop one million single use containers from going into our landfills by 2025.

John’s mission is to be involved in the creation of one million jobs. He believes his passion for and experience in entrepreneurship gives him the unique skills to influence other business owners to create new jobs. Since 2012 John has advised dozens of companies via very structured engagements built to make sure these companies are growing and creating new jobs. John will also continue to start and build his own businesses.

John is a proud family man who loves raising his 18 year old son, Bayne, with his wife of 20 years, Dawn.

Jaime White – Loop Resource

Jaime White is the New Projects Director at Loop Resource, a food reclamation program that helps to close the loop on organic waste disposal in the food supply industry, taking food from the end of the line at the store, back to the beginning as feed and compost at local farms. At Loop, we believe that making the right environmental, social, and sustainable choices should not be complicated, full of liability, or unreasonably expensive for any organization. Loop aims to offer solutions that cost less than traditional landfill disposal methods, that have net positive effects on the environment, while encouraging and supporting farms and charities in local communities.

As one of the first farms participating in Loop when it began in 2017, and with his background in business, Jaime has been active as the New Projects Director almost since the beginning. His continued involvement has helped Loop expand coast to coast in Canada. Loop remains rooted in local farms connecting with each other and with local grocery stores and has gradually grown to involve 300+ stores, 3000+ farmers, and 200+ charities.

Jaime and his wife and kids split their time between the family farm near Dawson Creek BC, and enjoying the more temperate coastal air around Vancouver Island BC.

Dayton Skei – EverGen Infrastructure Corp.

Having been in the waste industry since 2016, Dayton currently manages the organic waste feedstocks for EverGen Infrastructure. EverGen has two biogas facilities and two conventional composting facilities in BC and AB. Like EverGen, Dayton sees the importance of increasing regional capacity for organic waste processing and renewable energy opportunities. Engaging with farmers, food processors, waste haulers and municipal governments, he offers creative, transparent and cost-effective solutions to their organic waste challenges.

Omid McDonald – Dairy Distillery

Dairy Distillery founder Omid McDonald is an eclectic serial entrepreneur whose past startups range from medical devices to software for DJs. An engineer and prolific coder, Omid has several patents and academic articles to his credit. Omid saw an opportunity to pursue his dream of starting a distillery when he learned of the problem of excess milk sugar plaguing the dairy industry.  Omid is applying his engineering and entrepreneurial skills to help dairy farmers and the environment by developing high value applications for excess lactose.

Briggs Gibbins – Last Shot Apparel

Briggs is the youngest of four and grew up on an acreage outside of Spruce Grove, Alberta. She was surrounded by farmland, ponds, wild berries and the odd dirt bike. Her parents believed in education, arts and sports but there was one activity that caught her attention more than any other. At two years old, she took her first dance class and hasn’t looked back. Dance has taken her across the world. Some of her professional credits include: Celebrity Cruise Lines, Paramount+ “School Spirits”, “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies”, Hallmark “Dream Moms” and Disney+ “Motherland”. She has worked on many music videos and commercials and travels across the country teaching masterclasses and adjudicating at various competitions. In 2016, she competed with Team Canada at the World Hip Hop Competition in Graz, Austria. After graduation, she studied history at the University of Alberta. However, she soon realized her passion for dance was stronger than she realized and decided to transfer to a commerce degree with Athabasca University and move to Vancouver. She has balanced a professional dance career and post secondary education all while laying the foundations for what is now known as Last Shot Apparel. With her exposure to endless sporting events, Briggs soon realized promotional merchandise is sold and given away in abundance. Oftentimes these items are donated or discarded in brand-new condition. On average, there is a dump truck size of clothing being discarded into a landfill every second. It was statistics like this that urged Briggs to come up with a solution for the unnecessary textile waste ending up in landfills.

In 2022, Last Shot Apparel was launched as an eco-friendly and human-friendly alternative to bulk promotional apparel. Briggs is working closely with textile recyclers, yarn mills and fabric manufacturers around the world to develop a close-loop apparel manufacturing process. Briggs believes wholeheartedly that Canada has the means and talent to localize clothing manufacturing and significantly reduce textile waste. Last Shot Apparel operates with two values at the forefront of their decisions: people and the planet. With the localization of the manufacturing process and a sustainable textile recycling program, together, we can significantly reduce carbon emissions and promote a safe and healthy work environment for Canadian seamstresses.