Satya Brata Das
Satya Brata Das (born 1955) is a seasoned strategist, author, board director, and policy guru. He is a frequent commentator and public speaker in both French and English, in media and on stage. Satya’s volunteer work is deeply informed with a lifelong commitment to human rights as a way of life, and the principles of human dignity espoused by M.K. Gandhi.
Satya's books span some of the most compelling challenges of our times, offering intimate vignettes and deep exploration of the points where society, culture, economy, and environment come together.
Dispatches from a Borderless World (1999), based on testimonies and personal experience growing up in a borderless world, portrays societies and culture in transition. The writer imagines how borderless societies try to find identity in a new world through their stories.
The Best Country (2002) is set in Canada, where "capital and skilled people are mobile, and political borders are no longer clear-cut markers of identity and sovereignty.”. Here, Das views Canadian global leadership from a human—as opposed to a military or political—perspective.
In Green Oil](2009) he contends that Alberta's oil sands can be profitable and responsibly developed. His take on this estimated $15-trillion oil sands resource is the paradox of green oil, paving a clean energy]] future for his adopted western Canadian province, in the 21st Century.
Us (2019) is about humans who live together enjoying freedom from fear and freedom from want: in community, with dignity, in harmony with one another and with the natural world.
Das, a former newspaper journalist, runs a consulting company called Cambridge Strategies, based in Edmonton, Alberta.
Das was born in the East Indian state of Orissa in an Oriya family. His parents, J.P. Das and Gita Das are trained psychologists and established writers. They moved to Edmonton when Satya was twelve- years-old. He attended the King Edward and Harry Ainlay High school in Edmonton and later went to study Economics, French and Political Science in the University of Alberta. In 1987, he migrated to England as a Nuffield Fellow in the University of Cambridge. His career as a journalist started with The Edmonton Journal. He was the first foreign affairs writer for The Edmonton Journal and served in various positions of the newspaper for more than a decade.
Satya married his wife, Mita Das, in 1984. They are happily married and have two daughters and a grandson all based in Edmonton.
- Native-speaker proficiency: Oriya, English, French.
- Working proficiency: Hindi, Spanish.
- Working knowledge: Bangla, Italian, Bahasa Indonesia.
- Reading: Sanskrit, Latin, Greek.
January 2001-Present: Cambridge Strategies Inc., principal of strategic advisory assisting leaders with strategy, policy, advocacy and diplomacy. Mentorship, coaching and guidance for entrepreneurs with a particular focus on greentech and cleantech.
April 1977-December 2000: Journalist with Edmonton Journal and Southam (later CanWest) Newspapers. Canada-based foreign correspondent and national columnist; Member of the Editorial Board, Edmonton Journal (1984-1996); assistant city editor, entertainment editor, copy editor, reporter.
September 1974-July 1976: Reporter and copy editor; Red Deer Advocate
- Member of the Editorial Board, Edmonton Journal, 1984-96: development and stewardship of editorial policy and positions.
- Vice-Chair and Trustee, Heritage Community Foundation, 2004-2010: charitable trust with enterprise value of $43 million upon dissolution.
- Member of the Board, Deep Well Oil & Gas, Inc., 2011 to present: listed energy company reporting to U.S. SEC and Alberta Securities Commission. Compensation Committee Chair, Audit Committee, Corporate Governance Committee.
- Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, STItech Industries Inc., 2015-2017, a cleantech firm that aims to clean the world’s waste.
- Chair, Edmonton Heritage Council, 2015, and board member since 2010: agency created by City of Edmonton to unite the diverse heritages of Canadians and to reconcile indigenous cultures with settler cultures.
- Member of the Board, Canada 2020, from 2005 to 2010: governance of organisation devoted to public-policy advocacy.
- Founding Board member, Canadians for a Civil Society, advocacy group intent on establishing human rights as a way of life; with a focus on the human rights of women and girls exemplified in its signature event Daughters Day.
- Member of the Board, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, 2012-2015: governance and stewardship of national arts organisation, Fundraising Committee.
- Member of the Board, Student Vote Canada, 2006-2009: governance of charity dedicated to increasing student and youth understanding of Canadian democracy.
- Member of the Board, John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, 1998-2005. Founding member; governance of organisation fostering human dignity.
- Member of the Board, NeWest Press, 1994-2003. Governance of premium Canadian publisher of award-winning literature.
- Member of the Board, People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning, 2003 to present: policy development and governance of international human rights organisation.
Volunteer Experience & Activities
- Canadian Observer, Human Security Network
- Canadian Representative, UN Conference on Human Rights, Vienna 2008
- Advisory Committee, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta
- Advisory Committee, Campus St-Jean, University of Alberta
- National Conference of Editorial Writers, USA
- Advisory Board, Mahatma Gandhi Canadian Foundation for World Peace
- Judge National Newspaper Awards
- Judge Alberta Literary Awards
- Co-owner and manager of a French restaurant for 3 years
- Investor/partner in enotri, importer of artisanal wines from ancient Roman vineyards.
- Skilled in integrating energy, economy, and environment; federal-provincial relations; policy development; strategic planning.
- Strong network of high-level international, national and local contacts through business, professional and personal connections.
- Seasoned board director including enterprises, volunteer bodies, trusts and government agencies; well-versed in audit and accountability design and implementation.
- Assisted Alberta with northern development, immigration policy, value-added economy, risk management, international marketing, health care delivery, environmental stewardship, aboriginal policy, social policy framework.
- Assisted Canada with addressing western disaffection, diversifying Western Canadian economy, innovations in agriculture, developing effective international trade policy.
- Advised the Premier’s Council on Alberta’s Economic Future on building a “green future” for the province (2008-09).
- Devised regional municipal infrastructure strategy for Alberta, foreseeing “just in time” delivery of strategic infrastructure.
- Developed concepts for Government of Alberta to create ART (Alberta Rapid Transit) a high-speed rail network linking major centres in the province; and Port Alberta, a network of logistics and transport hubs across the province enabling “one stop” service for exports, imports and value-added processing and manufacturing.
- Opinion leader and commentator on air, in print, and on podiums in both of Canada’s national languages; on all networks in Canada and on PBS and NPR in the United States.
- Developed a formal United Nations role in peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction (in the volume Building Sustainable Peace, edited by Andy Knight and Tom Keating, United Nations University Press), later adopted in creating the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
- Provided back-channel diplomacy between Alberta Executive Council and Privy Council Office after federal government’s adoption of Kyoto Protocol.
- Dispatches from a Borderless World (1999) NeWest, Edmonton, ISBN 1-896300-42-1 Search this book on .
- The Best Country: Why Canada Will Lead the future (2002) Sextant Publishing, Edmonton, ISBN 0-9731134-0-5 Search this book on .
- Green Oil: Clean Oil for the 21st Century? (2009) Sextant Publishing, Edmonton, ISBN 978-1-926755-00-7 Search this book on .
- Us (2019) Details coming soon
Awards & Recognitions
- Nuffield Fellowship, University of Cambridge, 1987
- Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Media Fellowship, 1992
- Citation of Merit Editorial Writing, National Newspapers Awards, 1996
- Media Human Rights Award, League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada, 1998
- The Alberta Human Rights Award, by Province of Alberta, 1999
- City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence, 2001
- Alberta Centennial Medal, 2005
- The Edmonton Journal review, 15 September 2002
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