who is moonlight · institute?


We are a group of dreamers. Our mission at moonlight is to nurture a sustainable framework for an equitable and just future.

Why did you start moonlight · institute?

moonlight · institute was borne out of discussions we were having in our community about the urgent need to transform our societies, to confront the substantial changes we face in the world. We must prepare for impending climate chaos as well as rapid technological changes that will overhaul our ways of life. Through these discussions we quickly realized the necessary frameworks and pathways to a stable, resilient, and flourishing world are not well defined.

Communities small and large, global and local lack the tools, policy, and communication methods to realize such a future. At moonlight · institute, we foster policy research, support the development of tools and communication strategies, as well as tell stories of hope, illuminating pathways to a sustainable, equitable, and just world for generations to come.

With so many non-profits working on sustainability, equity and justice, where does moonlight · institute fit in?

We aren’t interested in duplicating work, in reinventing the wheel. There are so many non-profits, activists and community leaders working globally to solve the various existential threats we face. Even so there are a lot of gaps and there really is a lot of work yet to be done! We founded moonlight · institute to identify those gaps, and to build shareable frameworks and tools for those gaps to be covered. But not all of this is building new things from scratch. Some of this is translating and collating work already done, and democratizing access so that everyone is empowered to change their community.

At moonlight · institute, we commit to taking on the unpleasant work, the complex work, the work that isn’t incentivized and covered elsewhere and to share the fruits of our labour universally.

Why “moonlight”?

We are named “moonlight” after Eliza Chandra Prabha Kuttner, who was a beloved instructor of computer science at Capilano College (now University), and yoga teacher trainer in pranayama and meditation at Salt Spring Centre of Yoga. It is in her memory that we dedicate the work of this organization to create a world she would have been proud to see. It follows in the spirit of her compassion, and commitment to equity and justice, not only for humanity, but for every living thing with which we share this planet. As she did, and as the moon does, we hope to shed a gentle light onto the pathways forward to a wonderful future. 


Board of Directors

Stephnie Watson

Chairperson

Stephnie Watson (they/them) is an Environmental Science Professional with a MSc from the University of Lethbridge. They advocate & educate for science & evidence based policy & legislation that is inclusive and accessible for all peoples. They use their drag (Killa Watt), political, and social platforms to achieve the goals of creating a more inclusive and accessible future for all. They reside as a Settler on traditional Indigenous lands in Canada and are actively committed to the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action.

Nick Harrison

Vice-Chairperson

Nick Harrison (he/him) is an operator and strategist focused on exploring the relationships between entrepreneurship and the social contract – how can we use our work to help society? As an HBA graduate of the Ivey Business School, he has steadily taken on new challenges in a variety of industries, from technology to theatre and everywhere in between. Currently, he serves as the Director of Partnerships for Synapcity, a civic engagement non-profit based in Ottawa – as well as the sole associate for BreakawayGrowth Fund, a venture capital firm.

Jim Hankle

Treasurer

James Hankle (he/him), B.S. is a software researcher / designer currently working for Digital Keystone, a company specializing in Digital Television. The recent focus of the company is applying AI to compressed video for search, summarization and robot teleops purposes. James has designed video scheduling software for television operators, a video on demand system for a large U.S. cable company, and served as VP of Engineering. He also spends time doing community activism, volunteers for the Green Party as a financial agent and sits on the board of the East Vancouver Electoral District Association. James is an avid bicyclist, gardener and loves his willful dog.

Lily Barraclough

Secretary

Lily Barraclough (she/her) resides on the unceded land of the Mi’kmaq in Halifax, Nova Scotia with her partner Caden, dog Anna, and horse Alamar. She is a Master of Environmental Studies student at Dalhousie University; her research has focused on creating tools to help communities adapt to and mitigate climate change and increase community health and well-being. She currently studies how politically active youth in Mi’kma’ki experience and express climate grief. Lily also serves on the board of the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group, various advisory committees to the Halifax Regional Municipality, and founded iMatter Youth Canada. In her free time Lily loves to read, play piano and viola, and hike.


Staff

Anthony Hughes

Chief Operations Officer

Anthony Hughes (he/him) recently left a decade long career as a Quality Assurance engineer at Mozilla, the non-profit foundation behind the Firefox web browser. Anthony has held several governance positions since 2015 including CEO for the Green Party of Canada’s Vancouver Granville electoral district association (EDA) and prior to that, the CEO for the party’s New Westminster EDA. He currently serves as the Chairperson for the Green Party of Vancouver where he has helped guide the party’s strategic vision and governance since 2017. In his spare time Anthony enjoys hiking in the temperate rainforest in and around Vancouver, Canada.

Kito Romero

Policy Director

Kito Romero (he/him) is a graduate of the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.  His honours thesis and surrounding research focused on human rights, the Canadian mining industry, and legal and political avenues through which to seek justice and strengthen our regulatory structures. Since graduation, he has worked as a policy advisor and researcher, led policy research and development for Dr. Amita Kuttner’s 2020 Green Party of Canada leadership campaign, and remains dedicated to creating innovative, sustainable, and evidence-driven policies.


Volunteers

Prof. Anthony Aguirre

Project Advisor

Anthony Aguirre (he/him) is the Faggin Presidential Professor for the Physics of Information at UC Santa Cruz, and has done research in an array of topics in theoretical cosmology, gravitation, statistical mechanics, and other fields of physics. He also has strong interest in science outreach, and has appeared in numerous science documentaries. He is a founder and core team member of the Future of Life Institute, is a creator of the science and technology prediction platform Metaculus, and is a founder and co-director of the Foundational Questions Institute. He is the author of the recent book Cosmological Koans.

Joseph Fall

Technology Advisor

Joseph Fall (he/him) is an instructor of Computing Science at Capilano University and an independent, open-source software developer.  His academic interests include systems dynamics, ecological modeling, and cyber-privacy and security.  He lives with his family on an off-grid island in the Salish Sea where they meet their basic needs by collecting rain water, growing their own food, and generating power and heat from renewable sources.  He also serves on the Board of the local non-profit Internet Access Society, which provides broadband Internet to island residents; and he maintains the community’s web site and other digital communications infrastructure.

Caden Hebb

Communications Coordinator

Caden Hebb (he/him) is a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Environmental Studies program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He advocates locally as a member of the queer and disabled communities for climate and social justice, and brings this passion to the Moonlight Institute as a volunteer. Caden is currently serving as a Board Member of the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group, and as a volunteer with Our Time Halifax and ElderDog Canada. He held various board positions with the Nova Scotia Youth Project from 2016-19.