Our team

Robin Cox, Director of the Resilience by Design (RbD) Lab

Robin is the Director of the RbD Lab, which houses the Adaptation Learning Network and other research and capacity building projects related to climate change and disasters. She is a Professor in the Disaster and Emergency Management Master of Arts program at Royal Roads University and the Program Head for the MA in Climate Action Leadership at Roy Roads University. 

Robin leads multiple action research and educational initiatives that focus on understanding and enhancing the capacity of youth and adults to address the complex and intersecting challenges of climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Robin has a PhD in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia, a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the BC Institute of Technology, and a professional background in film production and theatre.



Vivian Forssman, Program Manager

Vivian is a consultant focused on transforming access to education through technology, openness, and fresh approaches to curriculum design. She has held leadership roles at several post-secondary institutions, working at the intersection of curriculum and technology. She was Director of Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies at Royal Roads University; Director, Learning and Technology Services at UBC Sauder School of Business, and Director, Centre for Instructional Technology and Development, at SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary. Vivian has designed and taught post-secondary courses in both credit and non-credit programs, including project management, knowledge management, experiential learning, and e-business. She holds a Masters’ in Business Administration from University of Cape Town.  



Brigit Forssman, Program Coordinator/Digital Communications Lead

Brigit provides day-to-day coordination of the project including logistical support, network building, and marketing of courses. Brigit holds a Diploma of Tourism: Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Management from Capilano University. Brigit also has a background in Anthropology and Gender Studies.

Brigit has spent time as a Grizzly Bear naturalist and interpretive guide on Vancouver Island north coast and BC's central coast and has witnessed firsthand the undeniable effects of climate change on sensitive ecosystems. She has worked in environmental education focusing on youth engagement, facilitating young people's relationships with their local wild space. The hope is this deeper relationship with nature will deepen young people's want to save it. Brigit holds a certificate in nature-based counseling from Royal Roads University and uses the principles of place-based education and nature therapy in her interpretive practice.

Nigel Deans, Research Coordinator

Nigel is Research Coordinator for the ResiliencebyDesign (RbD) Lab which houses the Adapatation Learning Network. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Victoria.

Nigel’s interest in climate change adaptation stems from his first-hand experience of disaster. Following the flooding in southern Alberta, and his hometown of High River, in 2013, he and his family were evacuated and spent two weeks living with nearby friends and relatives. In the following months and years, he witnessed the lasting impact of the Southern Alberta floods on the people and places affected by them. His love of nature, experience with the impacts of climate change, and grounding in the behavioural sciences have since grown into a passion for the environment, focused on the extreme risks of our changing climate.


Susanna Niederer, Climate Resilience Consultant

Susanna works as a climate resilience consultant in Switzerland. She is also part of the ResiliencebyDesing (RbD) Innovation Lab and co-designs the Climate Change Adaption Competency Framework. She completed her Master’s Program in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads University and wrote her thesis on “Transformative Climate Adaptation among Youth”.

In her former position as Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator of The City of Calgary, Susanna led Calgary's Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Prior, she worked as a Business Continuity & Recovery Planner with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency. She brings over ten years of experience in client and project management with large international corporations, including IBM and Ogilvy & Mather, as well as with smaller Startup companies.


Denise Withers, Story Strategist

Denise is a leadership story coach. Her job is to help global change-makers use stories to lead change, for good. 

Denise started doing this work over 35 years ago, spending two decades making award-winning documentaries for Discovery Channel.

As an expert in leadership, innovation, story, engagement design, Denise has taught at universities across Canada, written for SSIR online and published a book about her work. To make her expertise more accessible, she also hosts a top 100 podcast called Foreward: How Stories Drive Change.


Tannis Morgan, Creative Commons & Course Design Liaison








Zac Abelson, Digital Marketing Specialist