Development Drinks


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Development Drinks is a bi-monthly networking event for development professionals run by OCIC volunteers in Ottawa and Toronto. Held the second week of each month – on Wednesday in Ottawa, and Thursday in Toronto – it provides a space to connect with others who are passionate about working, volunteering and learning about the sector. Development Drinks events are free, and registration is required.


Toronto Development Drinks

On Tuesday, February 26th, you are invited to Development Drinks Toronto in partnership with Engineers Without BordersGreen Campus CottonRegenesisWorld University Services of CanadaOPIRG at York and Fairtrade Canada.

We invite you to join us at et al. where you will have the opportunity to meet social and environmental justice warriors, find out about green initiatives on campus and chat with international development professionals, activists, students, and enthusiasts.

It will be a night of fun where you can connect with Toronto’s International Development network and support those working toward sustainable consumption and production on campus! Light sustainable snacks will be provided from et al.

Fee: Admission is FREE – snacks will be provided!

When: Tuesday, February 26 – 5:00PM to 8:00PM

Where: et al. (South Ross 166, York University, 4700 Keele St, Toronto, Ontario, M3J 1P3)

RSVP: Registration Closed [Eventbrite]

Guest speakers include Madison Hopper from Green Campus Cooperatives, Rebecca Russo from et al., and Irina Smith from Engineers Without Borders.

Madison Hopper: Madison has a master’s in business and the Environment from York University. During this time, she specialized in various market intervention strategies for social entrepreneurs that emphasize sustainable practices, particularly focusing on issues of trade justice. Madison now directs a campus incubator called Green Campus Co-operatives that develops small enterprises which are designed to address particular commodity market problems using fair trade, Organic value chains and co-operative principles. Her hope is to create a community of business leaders who can look at market problems and embrace their complexity, so they may develop long-term solutions through various alternative business models. Right now, the co-operative is operating a garment business that sells Fairtrade and Organic Certified clothing to campuses, faith groups, schools, teams, clubs and events. They also co-run a cafe on the York University campus that offers items sourced by sustainability transformative supply chains.”

Chef Rebecca Russo: Rebecca is a chef that focuses on sustainable cuisine. Her personal background has been entrenched in organic and sustainable cultivation, through her family’s biodynamic approach to farming. She is currently the chef manager at Et al a recent winner of a York sustainability award. She is constantly seeking solutions to waste by active research in fermentation and preserving. Chef Russo has built relationships with like-minded vendors to create a menu that is both nutritious and seasonal. Her approach is to create engagement and understanding of procurement. It’s not always easy and she is happy to swim against the tide. The delicate balance with working with farmers so that they be properly compensated is a major goal. Fairtrade and sustainable foods that make the world better and the community more informed.

Irena Smith: Irina is Engineers Without Border’s Campaign Coordinator with the Policy and Advocacy Team. She has a history of making trouble and seeking change, everywhere from the migrant rights movement to student politics to the coffee fields of the Dominican Republic. She leads strategy, tactics, and community mobilization for EWB campaigns. She has over eight years of experience as a community organizer at both grassroots and organizational levels and holds a B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.A. in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto.


Event Partners



Ottawa Development Drinks

Are you interested in learning more about how to solve local or global challenges? Or, do you need another opportunity to socialize over some light refreshments while meeting new people and winning cool prizes?

The Ontario Council for International Cooperation invites you to interact with the accomplished Dr. Ruby Dagher on Wednesday, February 27th between 5:30pm and 7:30pm at the Royal Oak (188 Bank St.). Specializing in international development and evaluation, Dr. Dagher will lead a 45-minute interactive presentation titled, Power, Values and Intentions: Recognizing and Mitigating Evaluation Biases in International Development, exploring the intersection of power dynamics, values and best interests, and the implication for developing sustainable change as it relates to evaluation and true learning.

Throughout the evening, light appetizers will be provided, and attendees will have a chance to win nifty prizes! So, come have a drink, network, and deepen your understanding of how to confront, and operate within, power structures when working towards local and global change.

About Dr. Ruby Dagher:
Dr. Dagher holds a PhD in Public Policy and Administration and has taught courses such as International Development Policy and Program and Project Management at the University of Ottawa and Carlton University. She has six years of experience working in international development at the Canadian International Development Agency and has authored works including, Legitimacy and Post-Conflict State-Building: The Undervalued Role of Performance Legitimacy and The Gendered Politics of Deceit in Egypt: The Instrumentalization of Women’s Rights for an International Geo-Strategic Agenda.

About the Event:
What: An interactive presentation led by Dr. Ruby Dagher, on Power, Values and Intentions: Recognizing and Mitigating Evaluation Biases in International Development.  Light appetizers will be provided and there will be prizes!
When: Wednesday, February 27th between 5:30pm and 7:30pm
Where: The Royal Oak* (188 Bank Street, Ottawa, ON)
*This venue is wheelchair accessible
Cost: Free
RSVP: Registeration Closed [Eventbrite]
Please note that space is limited, so registration is required. If you register for a ticket, but your plans change and are no longer able to attend, please cancel your ticket so that a spot can be opened up for another attendee. Thanks!

Event Itinerary:
5:30pm – 5:45pm: Mingling and light appetizers
5:45pm – 6:30pm: Interactive Presentation by Dr. Dagher
6:30pm – 6:40: Prize Give-Away
6:40pm – 7:30pm: Networking and light appetizers

For Upcoming Events, Click Here.

Questions? Contact Lisa Swainston at | 416.972.6303.

Please Note: Toronto Development Drinks is restructuring and will be moving to a new format with 6 or 7 events per year.