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 the 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's 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 counselling from Royal Roads University and uses the principles of place-based education and nature therapy in her interpretive practice.


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

Tannis has been working in open education since 2005 and is currently an Advisor, Learning and Teaching and Researcher, Open Education Practices at BCcampus.  For almost 10 years she was the Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning, & Innovation at JIBC where she was responsible for developing and implementing an e-learning strategy, and leading open education, educational technology and research projects. Tannis is one of the founding members of the OpenETC, a community of educators, technologists, and designers sharing their expertise to foster and support open ed-tech infrastructure for the BC post-secondary sector. 





Zac Abelson, Digital Marketing Specialist

Zac is a Digital Marketing Specialist concentrating on course promotion, website design and social media growth. He is a student at the University of British Columbia pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Sauder School of Business.

Zac moved with his family to Vancouver from South Africa in 2008. He has a keen interest in community climate adaption and city planning. Drawing from his skills as an Assistant Researcher to a marketing professor during his early years of University, Zac and the Adaptation Learning Network team have developed a marketing plan focused on climate change awareness in professional industries aimed at building a collaborative community for knowledge and skill sharing.