Michaela Slinger

High Ground 2023 Conference Coordinator

Michaela is a proud generalist with the kind of wide-ranging, Millennial-specific work experience that forever befuddles her grandparents. Since graduating Quest University—Canada’s unique experiment in liberal arts education—her professional life has been anchored by a passion for community engagement and gathering, with specific interests in climate work, youth engagement, urban planning, and arts and culture. Past work includes running climate labs, municipal elections outreach, events, and communications for CityHive; supporting values-driven communications campaigns with Ideacamp; facilitating zero-waste workshops in elementary classrooms with Elements Society; and convening virtual roundtables and discussions with the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria. Michaela is also a musician, songwriter, and recording artist signed to 604 Records.    

Juliana Cao

Events and Communications Coordinator

Juliana first joined the Columbia Institute in early 2022 as a Digital Media Intern and now serves as the Events and Communications Coordinator. She studied Natural Resources Conservation at the University of British Columbia. She has returned to the University as a Communications & Knowledge Translation Assistant at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm. Connect with Juliana via email.

Kevin Millsip

Executive Director

Kevin works as the Executive Director of the BC Libraries Cooperative where he is developing a project to support libraries engagement in helping tackle the climate crisis. He also works on a climate leadership program in Alberta. He co-founded Check Your Head and Next Up, has served as an elected Vancouver School Board (VSB) Trustee and subsequently worked for the VSB as their first Sustainability Coordinator. He serves on the boards of the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Wilderness Committee, and Upstream.net.

Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado


Before joining the Columbia Institute, Amor Verdeflor-Alvarado worked with Amnesty International-PRO as Office Coordinator for one year and with FORGE, a non-profit organization based in the Philippines, as HR/Administrative Officer for eight years. Amor earned her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology and Master’s in Business Management from the University of the Philippines. She has also completed her office administration program from Vancouver Community College.