I have been fortunate to have had Maria as my thought partner and writing partner for several years now. Maria is a talented and accomplished researcher, writer, educator and project manager – a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with.
Mark Roseland, Professor, Author, Speaker, Consultant, Thought Leader, Arizona State University, USA
Maria is passionate about sustainability and a thoughtful and diligent academic. She served as a member of my research team for a Canadian, Social Sciences Humanities Research Council, Knowledge Synthesis Grant on Living within Earth’s Carrying Capacity. Our focus was on “Measuring and Managing Living within Earth’s Carrying Capacity at the City Scale.” Maria brought depth to the research through her insights on the important distinctions between living within Earth’s carrying capacity and living within Earth’s productive capacity. A strong communicator in the English language, Maria’s fluency in multiple languages is also a tremendous asset. I look forward to an opportunity to collaborate again in the future.
Jennie Moore, Director, BCIT Centre for Ecocities, Canada
Maria holds the delicate balance in showing up as a true ally while navigating nuanced conversations and ever-shifting priority areas in moving towards equity-centred processes and outcomes in climate literacy and education. Her systems-wide approach and core belief in empowering youth and students at large to take action is paired with her ability to tenderly hold safe spaces for youth and students to voice their vision, concerns, and desire for climate action and system change. Maria is one of the most genuine and passionate people that I have had the pleasure to work with and I look forward to when our paths inevitably cross again.
Nelly Leo, Executive Director, Embark Sustainability, Canada
Maria is an incredibly thoughtful and inclusive collaborator. Driven by her values, she approaches her work through a systems lens and navigates complex projects with confidence and skill. Maria strives to authentically ‘walk the talk’ whenever she can, centring equity and justice in her project design and work plans. She is a pleasure to work with and an asset to any team.
Lindsay Bunce, M.Ed., Director, SFU Sustainability, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Maria is a strategic thinker who can effectively translate broader policies and approaches into concrete actions. She has the rare ability to focus on actionable initiatives without losing sight of the bigger picture. Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of working with her in a team setting in which SFU’s strategies for addressing climate change and sustainability challenges were developed. Her ability to engage with a broad spectrum of students, staff, and faculty members has been instrumental in developing a university-wide responses to the climate crisis.
Zafar Adeel, Director pro tem, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, Professor of Professional Practice, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, and Executive Director, Pacific Water Research Centre, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Maria is one of the most impactful climate educators and leaders that I have had the pleasure of working alongside. She led the SFU Climate Literacy Education and Skills Working Group that I was part of, to advance the institution’s Strategic Sustainability Plan. This project is essential to building the capacity for climate leadership at SFU, by empowering staff, students, and faculty to lead meaningful action on climate change. I was particularly impressed by Maria’s ability to lead an equity-centered process of engaging these diverse groups of stakeholders. She led ideation, consultation and planning processes that gave everyone a voice and led to strategies that can form the backbone of transformative systems-level change at SFU. Not only did Maria advance sustainability education at SFU, but she also created a community of practice to bolster the sustainability ecosystem across Canada. Maria mobilizes folks from every corner to become climate leaders, making her an asset to any team.
Jill Eddy, Career Educator | Changemaker Lead | Career Liaison for Faculty of Environment, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Having worked with Maria for years within Sympraxis Team (operating in Greece, Belgium, Cyprus, and other countries), I can vouch for her work ethic and integrity, and dedication to the field of sustainability. Whether she talks with a friend or teaches a group of people, her passion for helping create a resilient, equitable, and sustainable world is obvious – her face lights up! Above all, she is a trustworthy person and would be a valuable addition to any team. Maria was actually a terrible loss to my team when she left for Canada to do her PhD – I would reemploy her any time!
Thanos Belalidis, Sustainability Communications expert, Public Speaker, Writer
I had the distinct pleasure of working with Maria on university-wide initiative to understand and advance our work toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and subsequently develop an SFU SDG Framework for Global Engagement. I found Maria to be an exceptional colleague and thought-partner. She has deep academic and applied knowledge about the SDGs, systems change and decolonized approaches to engagement. She is a generous and committed collaborator and took leadership as required. I would jump at the chance to be able to work with Maria again.
Shaheen Nanji, Executive Director, SFU International, Simon Fraser University, Canada
As an academic with a stellar record of research, publications and teaching, Maria possesses that rare ability to translate her knowledge and experience as a scholar into real-life programs, projects and strategies. I’ve had the joy of watching her unwavering commitment to systems change leading to innovative, thoughtful and dynamic designs and engagement in the field of regenerative systems education and beyond. I know I can count on Maria to build strong partnerships and to design and implement impactful sustainability projects in any setting.
Kilim Park, Manager, Research Sustainability, SFU Sustainability, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Over a year, I had the honour and opportunity to work with Maria Spiliotopoulou at SFU Sustainability as we worked together to develop sustainability-literacy initiatives. Maria approaches every issue with interdisciplinary and systemic perspectives and overviews, equipped with critical thinking. I have personally been motivated and challenged to apply them in my own studies and work. With understanding and kindness, Maria inspires those around her with passion and sound knowledge for education and work at every level. Whenever I shared my topics or courses of interests such as, economics, energy, and education, Maria helped me broaden my understanding and knowledge of regenerative systems and their ecological and social importance.
Sooji Choe, Student & Work-study researcher, Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, Canada