Our team

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

Dr. Robin Cox advances leadership in climate and disaster resilience. Drawing on design thinking and open- learning approaches, Cox cultivates climate action leadership through an innovative open-learning master program, the M.A. in Climate Action Leadership (RRU). As the Director of the ResilienceByDesign lab (RbD) at Royal Roads University, she designs and oversees a diverse applied research agenda focused on building leadership for climate action and disaster risk reduction. Working with an interdisciplinary team of faculty, students and external (government, business, academic) partners to conduct regional, national and international research and capacity-building projects. This work aims to enable and optimize the capacity of working professionals, youth, and communities to design and implement innovative strategies and collaborative projects that contribute to climate adaptation and resilience, disaster risk reduction, and youth empowerment. 



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 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.  



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.



Krista Lambert, Consultant

Krista Lambert is an instructional designer who enjoys developing and advocating for open education projects and initiatives. She is currently a project manager at BCcampus on secondment from the Justice Institute of British Columbia where she’s an instructional designer in the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation. She holds an MEd in educational technology and learning design from Simon Fraser University.





Brigit Forssman, Program Coordinator/Digital Communications Lead

Brigit provides day-to-day coordination of the project, including logistical support, network building, and course marketing. 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. She 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.


Austin Lang, Research Associate

Austin supports various communication and administrative tasks to connect and promote courses and project activities. Austin holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Education and Communication from Royal Roads University and has a social innovation and social enterprise background.  Austin previously worked for the Calgary Stampede, where he headed the ISO 14001 environmental management system, developing employee engagement and training programs to reduce risks and adapt to future climate impacts. Witnessing the power of employee training and education, Austin has dedicated himself to exploring educational models to empower communities. Driven by his passion for food systems, Austin is always looking for opportunities to enable climate adaptation through permaculture. He believes these models will help create a resilient future where all beings can thrive.



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.


Janis Brooks, Consultant