Wayne Roberts: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Food Activists

City and Regional Planning International Planning Colloquium

Wayne Roberts manages the Toronto Food Policy Council, a citizen body of 30 food activists and experts that is widely recognized for its innovative approach to food security. As a member of the City of Toronto's Environmental Task Force, Roberts helped develop a number of official plans for the city, including the Environmental Plan and Food Charter. Roberts also chaired the Toronto-based Coalition for a Green Economy for 15 years. In 2002, Roberts received the Canadian Environment Award for his contributions to sustainable living. NOW Magazine named Roberts one of Toronto’s leading visionaries of the past 20 years, and in 2008 he received the Canadian Eco-Hero Award.

Prior to his involvement with environmental issues, Roberts worked for two decades in the fields of community organizing, university teaching, media, labor education, industrial relations, and union administration. During this time he chaired the Charles Street Tenants' Association during the longest and biggest rent strike in Canadian history, serving as the senior negotiator in talks with the Ontario Housing Corporation.

Roberts earned a doctorate in social and economic history from the University of Toronto in 1978. He writes and speaks broadly about issues related to social justice, public health, green economics, and strategies that combine food security, community empowerment, environmental improvement, social equity and job creation. Some of his books include Get A Life! (1995), a manual on green economics, Real Food For A Change (1999) and his most recent The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food (2008).