Ron Dembo
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Dr. Ron Dembo is one of the world's leading authorities in risk management. He is also the Founder and CEO of Zerofootprint, a cleantech software and services company that makes environmental impact measurable, visible, and manageable for corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals.  Zerofootprint's solutions mitigate environmental risk and drive cost reductions through behavioural change.

Ron is also the founder and former CEO of Algorithmics Incorporated, growing it from a start-up to the world’s largest enterprise risk-management software company, with offices in fifteen countries, over 70% of the world's top 100 banks as clients, and consistent recognition as one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies. Prior to this, he had a distinguished ten-year academic career at Yale University where he was cross appointed in Computer Sciences and Operations Research. Dembo has published over sixty technical papers on finance and mathematical optimization, and holds a number of patents in computational finance.
 
In May 2007, Ron was made a lifetime Fields Institute Fellow. This fellowship is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Fields Institute, its programs, and to the Canadian mathematical community.
 
He currently sits on a number of boards and is a member of the Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee Canada and was appointed to the Steering Committee of the World Urban Campaign, coordinated by UN-Habitat.

Entries by Ron Dembo

Cycling in Toronto: Why Can't We Get it Right?

(1) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 12:16 PM

A big truck screams by me and I can't help thinking of the poor woman who got crunched by a truck while riding on her bicycle on Spadina Avenue yesterday. Having ridden up that poorly designed strip many times and been scraped by large SUVs, almost mowed down by TTC...

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My Whirlwind Day in Paris

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 8:27 AM

As that famous French food critic Anton Ego would say: I don't LIKE Paris, I LOVE it! And, just like my daughter who, after not seeing me for a while, wants to do everything she likes doing with me in the space of an hour, I drink in...

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The Wrong Kind of Chill During a Heat Wave

(3) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 5:33 PM

In the past few days I have received a number of requests form Toronto Hydro asking me to conserve. They have also managed to get CBC to announce a need for conservation on every newscast. So when I went into the Body Shop on Bloor Street in Toronto at midday...

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A Room with a View

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 3:58 PM

I write this from a stunning perch almost as far East as you can go in Canada. Ahead of me is the Atlantic Ocean touched by a hardy, austere landscape. A few saltbox houses hang on to the rock. All is calm. I can only imagine this scene when 160...

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Italian Examples of Cities Made for People

(1) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 3:40 PM

I love the Italian Piazza. You find them in every town, big or small. Rome is full of them. They are gentle and filled with human sounds, blended voices and mainly devoid of cars. People stroll in them, they bump into friends, and they talk. Almost always, they are beautiful....

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Youth, an Unstoppable Force for Change

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 8:19 AM

It is an amazing fact that in the next 30 years there will be more youth completing their education than in all of history (Sir Ken Robinson quoting UNESCO at TED2006)! It is so amazing that it is hard to comprehend.

What does this mean for the future of...

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Earth Day: Wake Up People, Climate Change Is Kicking Our Butts!

(7) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 11:16 AM

While it is only eight years since I started getting actively engaged in trying to make a difference in our collective footprint, I already feel like a grandfather. I have sat on boards of organizations that mobilize efforts to reduce environmental impact. I have been privileged to address a meeting...

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The Ocean: A Barometer for Mass Extinction

(53) Comments | Posted December 31, 2011 | 9:59 AM

Early in December I was sitting in the middle of Milne Bay, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, eating my breakfast. To my left at the table was Charlie Veron, one of the world's most preeminent scientists on extinction. We were on our way to see ocean vents where...

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How to Make Kids Care About Climate Change

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2011 | 10:24 AM

Climate change is one of the most hotly debated issues of our time, both from an economic and a moral viewpoint. And whenever someone makes a case for action from a moral stance, most often they'll justify it by invoking the future plight of the world and the children that...

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Towards More Resilient Cities

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 10:49 AM

There is no doubt the word "smart" is overplayed and devalued. A good example is smart meters for measuring home electricity. A smart meter is only as smart as the software and feedback loops generated from its data -- without feedback a smart meter is dumb.

In Ontario we...

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We Are an Amazing Species

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 1:05 PM

In July I spent four days in Edinburgh at TEDGlobal listening to a broad range of talks by amazing people who are doing amazing things. The creativity of these people is inspiring. What we are capable of is truly awesome. It is awesome in the good it can...

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It Is Time We Know What We Breathe All Day

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2011 | 4:51 PM

Stop people on the street and ask them if the air quality in their home matters to them. I bet they would say "yes" across the board -- yet, I'm willing to bet that most of us know more about the fuel efficiency of our cars, or the price of...

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Smart Meters Are Good for Us

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2011 | 9:25 AM

Imagine you and your neighbor buy the same car. They're identical in every way, yet there is one important difference: he paid half as much as you did. How would you feel? The answer is obvious for most Canadians -- you would feel foolish because you work hard for your...
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Eco-Schmeco: A More Sane Way to Rate Eco-Resorts

(2) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 2:29 PM

Just as anyone with access to hot running water and a massage bench can declare they have a spa, almost any resort that uses recycled toilet paper and serves shade grown, organic, fair trade coffee can call itself an eco-resort.

There is no reasonable rating system that exists for eco-resorts....

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At Last, a Model for Retrofit Funding With the Right Design

(6) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 4:20 PM

For some time, Zerofootprint and many others have been highlighting the need to focus on the energy inefficiency of buildings, particularly if we are to make serious inroads into reducing global carbon emissions. We have looked at the issue of how to fund energy efficiency measures,...

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Universal Benchmarking Is Essential in the Fight Against Global Warming

(15) Comments | Posted August 31, 2010 | 9:45 AM

Benchmarking is the process of comparing your performance metrics to industry best practice and/or best practices of other industries. The primary goal is to make improvements that lead to doing things better, faster and cheaper.

Benchmarking involves identifying the best performers and comparing your results to theirs in order to...

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Living Well On a Low Footprint

(2) Comments | Posted June 9, 2010 | 12:31 PM

Global warming, apocalyptic movies about the future and discussions about the environment can sometimes be a drag. It often seems so dire that one wants to try and ignore the facts and carry on in our unsustainable ways, leaving the problem to future generations.

It doesn't have to be so...

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Can Biochar Help Save the World?

(6) Comments | Posted April 26, 2010 | 11:25 AM

On Earth Day, we looked back on a year in which James Cameron's Avatar, a film about environmental crisis and restoration, swept box offices around the globe. What if there were a real-life answer to help solve the real world problems of climate change, peak oil, and global food security?...

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Re-Skinning Competition -- Environmentally Smart Buildings and Cities

(1) Comments | Posted January 15, 2010 | 11:24 AM

Ask anyone about the big causes of global warming and odds are that gas-guzzling SUVs will be a common reply. What those respondents do not understand is that SUVs are responsible for a percent or two of North America's carbon footprint. The big carbon culprits are our cities or, more...

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How Governments Should Fund Retrofits

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2009 | 1:58 PM

On average, buildings in the US are responsible for 40 percent of the carbon emissions that lead to global warming. In big cities it is even higher. In New York it is 79%, Hong Kong 72%, Toronto 69%, to give some examples. It is clear that if we are to...

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