Mr. Cervelli is Executive Director of the Centre for Local Prosperity (www.centreforlocalprosperity.ca) which is dedicated to promoting and inspiring practical blueprints for prosperous and healthy local economies. The Centre initiates conversations intended to encourage communities to begin a shift toward an economy that is properly scaled for the place, resulting in real action for change by creating a new climate for change. The Centre works alongside community groups, businesses and governments to identify opportunities and assess the risks in making the shift to a new economy, through the use of workshops, conferences, and targeted discussions.
Mr. Cervelli is a co-founder and Chair of Transition Bay St Margarets (www.transitionbay.ca), one of the first Transition Initiatives in the Maritimes. He is advising other rural Maritime communities on the process of building Transition Initiatives in order to draw out the skills, processes and projects inherent in local cultures to build resilience and adaptability to global change. Transition Bay conducts projects, workshops and events related to resilience training and skilling. In the span of 3 ½ years, Transition Bay has launched a farmers market, an educational vegetable garden, a community garden and network of cooperative neighborhood greenhouses and a local currency. Robert has helped organize a wide range of workshops on subjects such as permaculture, off-grid housing, alternative energy and local economics.
Robert is the host and co-producer of the Transition Garden (www.transitiongarden.ca) film and TV episode series, which is dedicated to the inspiration and how-to’s of local food production and gardening, during times of a changing and fragile world.
Robert has been a member of the Schumacher Center for A New Economics (www.centerforneweconomics.org)for over 30 years, has corresponded internationally and attended key international events on alternative economics. A particular area of interest is in projects implementing innovative new tools for rebuilding economic resilience at the local and regional levels. His local currency projects include the ‘Bluenotes’ (1993, coupon note issued by 10 Halifax businesses), the “Maritime Hour’ (1994-98, local currency accepted by over 300 businesses), and the ‘Carat’ (2012-present, redeemable currency issued by local Nova Scotia farmers).
Mr. Cervelli also has been an active serial entrepreneur in the life sciences sector in North America for over 25 years. Robert has founded, or helped found, biotechnology companies developing neurological drug discoveries (www.neurodyn.ca), vaccine enhancement technologies (www.imvaccine.com), consumer health products (www.neuragen.com), diagnostics and cancer therapy. He has held leading roles in several agbiotech companies, including the first forest biotechnology company in Canada, and has become particularly knowledgeable in the commercial development of botanical extracts and natural active compounds. Robert has attracted over $15 million in investment as the founder of a consumer health products company.
With a full knowledge base in technology patenting and licensing, Cervelli has successfully marketed patent pending technologies worldwide. Robert’s expertise and knowledge encompasses the full range of capital sourcing, intellectual property and partnering needs for early-stage technology companies.
Mr. Cervelli has enjoyed gardening, and especially food production for decades, and currently manages a mini-farm at his home. He has over 40 years experience in plant propagation, horticulture, fruit crop production, and the pruning and care of fruit and ornamental trees. More importantly, teaching others about growing your own food is an important focus of his time.