Pravin Pillay

Prav Pillay is the co-founder of Humanitas Smart Planet Fund, founder of Emergent Performance Consulting, and an artist, researcher, and educator whose creative practice explores how we locate ourselves through the politics of place, culture, and ecology. He has more than 35 years of experience as a social entrepreneur leading, developing and coaching high-performance teams and organizations working on progressive and challenging projects across private, public and not-for-profit sectors. He specializes in Progressive Tech orientation developed over almost 4 decades of involvement in mainframe operations, national data network management, new media and video streaming tech, robotics, AI, SAAS, military-grade surveillance and security, and social tech initiatives.

For several years, Prav was a co-facilitator of Media That Matters - a gathering of media change makers at Hollyhock a leading educational facility on west coast of Canada and more recently served as the Artist and Community Strategist in Residence with R.A.V.E.N. (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs), sessional instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and also an Executive in Residence with VIATEC - a technology incubator in Victoria, BC.

Prav holds a B. Arts and Science from McMaster University, a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, an MBA from McGill University and an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. During his MFA, Prav sought to understand the nature of systems based artworks and collaborated with engineers in Human-Computer interaction to conduct art-science experiments that played in the intersection of art, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

3 words to describe Nature?

Truth. Beauty. Goodness 

3 things Nature taught you?

The meaning of Truth



3 most treasured Nature spots?

The seasonal waterfall in the temperate rainforest near my island home in the Pacific North West

A particular island in a glacier-fed lake in the Xeni Gwet'in territory of British Columbia, Canada

A particular mountain top in the Sinai Desert

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At home

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

At home 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

If active - I am in awe. If dormant - pensive.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

The beingness of the temporal moment in the vastness of time

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Alive and awake 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Clean inside

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Each biome is equally compelling. The call is towards deep wild places.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Raising monarch butterfly caterpillars. First collecting the caterpillars and milkweed from under the bleachers of the suburban high school near my home. Then caring for the caterpillars and observing them undergo metamorphosis to chrysalid form and then to butterfly. Finally releasing the butterflies to nature.