Program and Speakers

for the

Virtual Victoria Forum 2020

Please join us at the 2020 Virtual Victoria Forum on November 12, 13 and 19. This year’s Forum focuses on understanding the long-term implications of the pandemic and developing solutions and responses to it. Our world is divided in many ways and along different fault lines. The 2020 Forum will focus on ways to bridge economic divides, social divides and environmental divides.


Nov 12, 2020

All times are in Pacific Time Zone (PT)

8:30am – 10:15am | Welcome and Opening Plenary


  • Territorial Acknowledgement
  • Welcome Remarks
  • Opening Plenary

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the limitations of existing institutions, structures and systems to address the socio-economic divides we are experiencing. It is reshaping the way we interact, work and see others around us. The pandemic is deepening existing divides by disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable societies, enterprises and workers. It may permanently alter global supply chains as the move to ‘build back better’ may seek to favour local or more diverse sourcing and supply chains. Battered economies with ballooning public debt are experiencing a rise in protectionism and isolationism. The pandemic has also deepened social divides by fuelling populism, racial animosity, discrimination and suspicion of others, despite the uplifting examples of solidarity and collective resilience that come through. The unexpected positive impact of the pandemic on the environment is noticeable in many regions of the world. Much of this environmental reprieve will likely be short-lived as economic activity resumes.

This plenary will approach these complex divides through the following questions:

  1. What are the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic, social and environmental divides worldwide?
  2. How should we expect the global geopolitical situation to shift post-COVID-19? Should we rethink the “old normal”?
  3. The pandemic offers avenues to ‘build back better.’ What should be the priority policy solutions and actions to address social, economic and environmental divides?


Saul Klein
Chair, Victoria Forum


Nahlah Ayed
Journalist, CBC


Honourable Janet Austin
Lieutenant Governor British Columbia

Kevin Hall
President, University of Victoria

Mayor Lisa Helps
City of Victoria


Akinwumi Adesina
President of the African Development Bank

Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Hakima Elhaite
President of Liberal International.

Closing Remarks

The Lord  John Alderdice FRCPsych
House of Lords

10:15am – 10:30am | Transition & Networking

10:30am – 12pm | Roundtables


Major challenges facing youth (unemployment, modern slavery, forced marriage, erosion of rights and citizenship) have been made even greater by the impact of Covid-19. Youth, and especially young women, are being impacted in various ways including significant gender wage gaps and occupational segregation between young women and men, and an increase in unpaid care and household work. Greater numbers of youth are experiencing mental health challenges and rising anxiety. Loneliness, isolation and fear of the uncertain can be paralyzing, and severely impact youths’ (and adults) ability to strive and for their future development. We need urgent and targeted policy responses to prevent lost opportunities and further youth exclusion, but we also need to engage youth on what they need if they are to be supported, included and empowered to navigate these uncertain times. In this roundtable we will explore the nature of these crisis through a solutions-oriented lens and identify what we can do to bring about positive change. We will do this by engaging participants on four dimensions of crisis – opportunity; stability; protection; and citizenship – to better understand lived experience of youth. Together we will explore tangible solutions that are addressing these challenges via three key questions:

  1. How can we better understand the transformations and interventions that underpin job creation but also account for the opportunities, stability, protection and citizenship dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis, and its generational, racial and gendered dynamics?
  2. 3What do youth today need to thrive in a changing world, how do they exercise agency as young local-global citizens and which skills do they need to ensure they are active agents of change?
  3. How and in which ways do young people mobilise to resist and navigate barriers of economic uncertainty and the future of work?


Crystal Tremblay
Department of Geography, University of Victoria

Peter Taylor
Director of Research, Institute of Developmental Studies


Zara Chaudhry
Project Manager (Youth & Events)
Organization: The Inclusion Project

Zara is a Muslim-Canadian youth focused on youth engagement, newcomer and immigrant involvement, and event planning. She immigrated from Pakistan and is currently studying Biology and Psychology at the University of Victoria. She has been involved in Fresh Voices and was awarded the Cross-Cultural Dialogue award, involved in the initiation of Equitas’s Speaking Rights platform and a previous member of the City of Victoria’s Youth Council. She is the Youth & Sports Director of the local mosque, a member of Vancouver Foundations LEVEL advisory and Vice-President of UVIC’s Muslim Student Association. As Project Manager of Youth & Events at The Inclusion Project, she is the lead on youth engagement priorities, including youth-informed frameworks for racial, gender and climate equity, intergenerational partnerships, and capacity development.

Tariqa Tandon

Tariqa Tandon is an independent research consultant, based in Delhi, who works with the development sector, NGOs and post-secondary institutions on varied issues including gender, development, politics and education, in global locations, including Canada and India. Her knowledge and interest areas converge around the subjects of comparative politics, development theory, immigration, gender and qualitative research methodologies. She is one of the founding Board Members of the Martha Farrell Foundation, an organisation committed to attaining gender justice, which works on the issues of violence against women and girls and sexual harassment at the workplace. She has a master’s degree in Political Science from Carleton University, Canada. My M.A. thesis was titled “Re-imagining Nationalism: Exploring the Narratives of Tibetan Women in Canada,” and focused on Tibetan women’s narratives to understand how Tibetan nationalism is reconfigured and sustained in exile in Canada, and analysed the themes of authenticity, citizenship, and exilic nationalism.

Sage Lacerte 
Lake Babine Nation
Founder and CEO of Sage Initiative since 2019.

Sage Lacerte is Carrier from the Lake Babine Nation and has served as the Founder and CEO of the Sage Initiative since 2019. The Sage Initiative is the first Indigenous womxn`s impact investment collective that will generate a circular economy by facilitating the flow of capital from Indigenous womxn investors to Indigenous social enterprises. Between 2018-2020, Sage has served as the National Youth Ambassador of the Moose Hide Campaign Development Society – a grassroots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys that works to end violence against women and children in Canada, with a particular focus on post-secondary initiatives. Sage holds a degree from the University of Victoria in Gender Studies and has been informed by Indigenous knowledge from all her relations across Turtle Island and beyond. ​


The COVID19 pandemic has affected every sector; however for those of us in Canada and US we also are in the midst of elections. The US Presidential election and an election called in British Columbia. Politics across Canada and the US at times feel surreal thanks to the prevalence of social media use by candidates, their supporters, and detractors. Join Dr. Janni Aragon for a presentation and discussion about these issues. Aragon will focus more on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok in her presentation.


Janni Aragon
Director, Technology & Society Program, University of Victoria

Edwin Hodge
Centre for Global Studies and Department of Sociology, University of Victoria


The global pandemic has changed, is changing, and will radically change the nature of societies and humanity.  At one level, COVID-19 has exposed and exacerbated the economic inequalities that permeate our economic system. At another, it has highlighted our inter-dependency and the risks involved therein.

Faced with increasing demands from customers, employees, regulators and other stakeholders, businesses are redefining their sense of purpose. They are being called upon to do more to address the dramatic changes occurring around us and to play a larger role in developing solutions to the world’s problems. At the same time, many businesses are facing serious threats to their business models as a result of these changes. Business schools, in turn, have to do more to ensure that leaders are well-equipped to take on these challenges.

This roundtable will bring together Business School Deans and Business Leaders in a grounded discussion on what needs to happen in the short, medium and long term.  Questions for discussion include:

  1. How are businesses transforming in response to the increasing demands put upon them?
  2. What does this mean for the skills and abilities that leaders need to have?
  3. Are business schools providing these skills? Are they doing so in the most effective manner? Is micro-credentialing a better solution than university degrees?
  4. How is the increasing ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence changing the skill-sets needed for the future?


Sudhir Nair
Associate Professor, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria


Senator Pamela Wallin
Senate of Canada


Merrick Abel
CEO, Primeserv Group

Per Cramér
Dean, University of Gothenburg, School of Business, Economics and Law

Vanitha Datla
Vice Chairperson & Managing Director, ELICO Ltd.

Wendy Hansson
President & CEO, Sault Area Hospital

Andrew J. Hoffman
Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

Christian Kittleson
Partner, Deloitte Canada, National Indigenous Practice Leader

Nicola Kleyn
Dean of Executive Education, Rotterdam School of Management, Netherlands

Percy Marquina
Director General, Centrum PUCP Business School

Maury Peiperl
Dean, George Mason University, School of Business

Raj Srivastava
Dean, Indian School of Business


1. Drawing on public and private sources and governed by global standards and norms, how do we create good and sustainable jobs in a post-COVID world?

2. How do we protect the livelihoods of workers within global supply chains, and provide high-quality jobs and training, particularly for women and girls, marginalised groups and those living in poverty?

It is now clear that COVID crisis is as just as much an economic crisis as a health crisis. The economic crisis has been global, but as usual the global south has been particularly hard hit: not only have most countries been unable to provide public social safety nets to their populations, but most were already confronting an uncertain economic future to start with as the forces of the fourth industrial revolution and the knowledge economy, the imperatives of climate change, and ongoing changes in global value chains challenge historic models of economic development.

How does the COVID crisis provide another impetus to revisit old models of economic development? Has COVID accelerated these trends to create new economic and business models challenging conventional approaches, decision making systems and “business as usual” culture?

What is the agenda of public investment that can create the basis for good, green and sustainable jobs in the wake of COVID? What is the best way to harness and deploy private investment? Are there new ways of blending finance or coordinating activity across sectors to bolster sustainable productive activity and good jobs for the vast majority of humanity? How do we ensure that these investments ensure equal opportunities for women, minorities, and other historically marginalized populations?


Elissar Sarrouh
Governance and Sustainability, CEO, Expert Consulting on Governance

Khalil Z. Sharrif
CEO, Aga Khan Foundation


Khalil Z. Sharrif
CEO, Aga Khan Foundation

Khalil Shariff has served as Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), a leading Canadian global development agency, since 2005. He was previously with the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company, an international management consultancy, where he advised governments, financial institutions, and health care providers on strategy, organization, and operational improvement. He has also served in a variety of research and policy capacities with the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He currently sits on the Boards of the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Rideau Hall Foundation, and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and served a term as an elected School Trustee in his hometown of Richmond, BC, in his youth. He holds a BA from the University of British Columbia and a JD from the Harvard Law School.


Carol Anne Hilton
CEO, Indigenomics

Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute. Carol Anne is a recognized First Nation’s business leader and adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management (MBA) from the University of Hertfordshire, England, a partnership through Vancouver Island University. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.

Carol Anne currently serves on the BC Emerging Economy Task Force as an adviser to the Minister of Jobs, Trades and Technology as well as on the BC Indigenous Investment Council for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Carol Anne was appointed as a senior advisor to the federal Finance Minister on the Canadian Federal Economic Growth Council.

Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called #indigenomics- the building and strengthening of Indigenous economies. Carol Anne is currently authoring ‘Indigenomics- a Global Power Shift.’

Carol Anne’s work has been recognized with an ‘Outstanding Business Achievement Award’ from the BC Achievement Foundation, a ‘Creating Wealth Award’ from the National Indigenous Council of Elders and ‘Business of the Year Award’ from the Nuu chah nulth Economic Development Corporation and most recently the ‘Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award’ from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

Carol Anne currently serves as Director on the McGill University Institute of the Study of Canada, the National Canadian Community Economic Development Network as well as a juror on the national Smart Cities Challenge. Carol Anne is an instructor at Simon Fraser University’s Community Economic Development Program and a faculty lead at the Banff Center’s Indigenous Business Program where she was also a Fleck Fellow.

Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-Moleketi
Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela University

Geraldine Joslyn Fraser-Moleketi, is the Chancellor of the Nelson Mandela University, Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA); Chair of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) an expert body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); Lead Independent Director for Exxaro; Non Executive Board member of Standard bank Group and Standard Bank South Africa. Chairman Designate of the Tiger Brands Group.

Ms. Fraser-Moleketi previously served as Special Envoy on Gender of the African Development Bank; former Director of Global Democratic Governance Practice of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Former Minister of Public Service and Administration; and Former Minister for Welfare and Population Development in South Africa. Whilst serving as the Deputy Minister of Welfare and Population Development, she was Deputy Leader of the South African Delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, in 1995.

She has worked in inter- governmental structures, interacted with political leaders, business leaders and civil society, and have been involved in complex negotiations across different issues and sectors. She also served as a member of the Reference Group on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review (OCPR) of the United Nations Development System.

Some of Geraldine’s early achievements include working on the preparation of the African National Congress for its first democratic elections in 1994 as National Deputy Elections Coordinator of the African National Congress. She was elected to South Africa’s first democratic parliament in April 1994 and served in three consecutive parliaments until her resignation in September 2008.
Geraldine serves on various boards across academia, government and development organizations on issues including youth, women empowerment, capacity development & education, governance and poverty eradication.

She is a fellow of the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University, and has completed a Leading Organisational Change course at Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Geraldine holds a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and has received several awards including the OP Dwivedi Public Service Award from the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and a Special Award for Outstanding Achievement from University of Pretoria’s School of Public Management and Administration. In 2017, she was awarded a D Phil Honoris Causa by Nelson Mandela University.
Geraldine Fraser Moleketi was named “2016 New African Woman of the Year”, an award made by London-based magazine New African.

Lisa Sachs
Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Lisa Sachs is the Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. Since joining CCSI in 2008, she established and now oversees CCSI’s robust research portfolio on Mining & Energy; Land, Agriculture & Food Systems; Investment Law & Policy; and Sustainable Finance.

She has overseen advisory work in Chile, Guinea, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Paraguay, Tanzania and Timor-Leste, among other countries. She teaches a masters seminar at Columbia Law School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development, and lectures at Externado University in Colombia on International Investment Law.

She has served on World Economic Forum Global Future Councils on International Governance and on Mining & Metals, and is a co-chair of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s thematic group on the Good Governance of Extractive and Land Resources.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University, and earned her Juris Doctor and a Masters degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, where she was a James Kent Scholar and recipient of the Parker School Certificate in International and Comparative Law.

Nasser Saidi
Nasser Saidi & Associates

Dr Nasser H. Saidi, heads Nasser Saidi & Associates a niche consultant and advisor to the banking & financial sector, governments, central banks, regulators, multi-national and regional companies. He is the former Chief Economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) from 2006 to 2012, where as a senior executive he built & promoted the centre and its strategic development and developed the links with governments, central banks, IFIs, banks & financial institutions and international financial centres. Dr Saidi is the Founder and former Executive Director of the Hawkamah-Institute for Corporate Governance and the Mudara Institute of Directors, 2006-2012.

He was senior adviser to the UAE Minister of Finance, 2004- 2006. Dr Saidi was the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry of Lebanon between 1998 and 2000. He was the F irst Vice-Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon for two successive mandates, 1993-1998 and 1998-2003, a period of spanning reconstruction of Lebanon’s economy & its banking and financial sector. He was a Member of the UN Committee for Development Policy (UNCDP) for two mandates over the period 2000-2006, a position to which he was appointed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his personal capacity.

Dr Saidi is Chairman of the regional Clean Energy Business Council, promoting clean energy solutions & policies in the MENA countries. He is a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA and a member of the Advisory Board of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) and a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Global Corporate Governance Forum, an institution of the I F C / World Bank driving global corporate governance reforms, and Co-Chaired OECD MENA Corporate Governance Working Group. He is active in FinTech, crowdfunding, and seed funding in MENA. In 2013, he was named among the 50 most Influential Arabs in the World by The Middle East magazine, for the fourth consecutive year and named among the 500 Most Powerful Arabs in the world by Arabian Business for the second consecutive year. He is the author of numerous articles and has written a number of books and publications addressing macroeconomic, capital market development and international economic issues in the MENA region, the GCC countries and Lebanon. Hisresearch interests include macroeconomics, financial market development, FinTech, payment systems and international economic policy, corporate governance, climate change and digitalisation.

Prior to his public career, Dr Saidi was a private banker and served as an economic adviser and director to a number of central banks and financial institutions in Arab countries, Europe and Central and Latin America. Dr Saidi was an academic, serving as a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics in the University of Chicago, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, CH), and the Université de Genève. He also served as a lecturer at the American University of Beirut and the Université St. Joseph in Beirut. Dr Saidi holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester in the USA, a M.Sc. from University College, London University and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.

Elissar Sarrouh
Governance and Sustainability, CEO, Expert Consulting on Governance

Elissar Sarrouh is a Founding President and CEO/Expert Consulting on Governance. She is a seasoned executive leader and former UN Diplomat/Representative with over 30 years of experience in international development, global governance, diplomacy and political representation. She brings a wealth of expertise with particular strength in areas of Agenda 2030, financing for development; Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy; corporate governance and sustainability, business development, and women economic empowerment with focus on gender impact investment. Ms. Sarrouh brings strong geographical knowledge and in-depth understanding of the history, culture, politics and development challenges of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab Gulf States.
Ms. Sarrouh is Professor of Practice at ISID/McGill University. A former United Nations Diplomat/Representative, she held senior leadership positions and diplomatic postings in Egypt, Belgium, Lebanon, New York, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. She is a member of the External Advisory Board of the Victoria Forum and a Board Member and a former Vice-President of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP).


This dialogue explores how collaboration between Indigenous knowledge and Western science improves public health outcomes throughout Canada in the face of COVID-19. Preliminary reports from Indigenous Services Canada suggest that First Nations communities have limited the impacts of COVID-19 to 1/4 of the infection rate and 1/5 of the mortality rate experienced by the broader Canadian population. The dialogue will explore how Indigenous Peoples have leveraged their millennia of experience enduring past pandemics to protect their communities and foster their resilience in the face of the global pandemic.

Speakers Elder Dr Dave Courchene, Jr, an Anishinaabe Elder and spiritual leader; Grandmother Katherine Whitecloud, a Dakota knowledge keeper and Indigenous health and wellness advocate; Miles Richardson, OC, a Haida political leader and negotiator focused on Nation-to-Nation relationships between Indigenous Peoples and Canada; Tom Swanky, JD, a historical researcher focused on the role of smallpox in the foundational relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown in British Columbia; and Dr Sabina Ijaz, a medical doctor who has built deep relationships in Indigenous communities, in dialogue with moderator Darrin Mah, JD, will discuss the history of what Indigenous Peoples have learned in responding to pandemics, how this informs their responses to COVID-19, and what can be learned more broadly within Canadian society and the global community from these lessons.

The speakers will discuss issues including:

  • How Indigenous knowledge has been marginalized by a presumption within policy- and decision-making circles that (Western) science is the only valid form of knowledge upon which to base and inform their work;
  • How the devastation of Indigenous populations during previous smallpox and Spanish Flu pandemics has influenced Indigenous responses to COVID-19;
  • How Indigenous Peoples have exercised their sovereignty and self-determination to protect their nations and communities;
  • The role of traditional medicines and healing practices in protecting community health and recovering from the pandemic;
  • How Indigenous knowledge has helped mitigate negative health outcomes that may result from factors such as remoteness from healthcare facilities, food security challenges, higher poverty rates and housing shortages on reserve;
  • Opportunities for collaboration between Indigenous knowledge and science for improved health and social outcomes as we navigate our way through the pandemic together.

We invite you to join this important Dialogue on Friday, November 13 at 10:30 am – 12:00 pm PST.


Darrin Mah, JD
Associate Lawyer, Munnings Law


Anishinaabe Elder Dr. Dave Courchene Jr.
Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness

Dr. Sabina Ijaz
Medical Doctor and Operations Manager, The Turtle Lodge

Miles Richardson, OC
Director, Reconciling Ways of Knowing Conference Society

Tom Swanky, JD
Lawyer and Author of The Great Darkening: Introduction

Dakota Grandmother Katherine Whitecloud
Community Leader and Knowledge Keeper from Wipazoka Wakpa Dakota First Nation


Over the last decade, analysts have tracked a marked decline in the free expression and protection of democratic values and freedoms internationally. During this same period, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen sharply, bringing us ever closer to the dangerous limits that our 2030 global climate targets seek to avoid. At home and on the streets, divisions in public opinion and political ideology – on climate and otherwise – appear to be widening. Global protest action has reached levels beyond that seen during the Vietnam or Civil Wars, and online, information ‘wars’ show no signs of abating. The last few years, and indeed months, have shown us how and where the systems and structures on which modern societies have been built have fractured in the face of cascading crises.

Many are calling for new visions of the future. A future economy untethered from fossil fuels; a resilient global society and earth system that flourishes rather than flounders alongside human progress, and; a just and inclusive transition that recognizes the contributions of past generations and charts a better world for future ones. Undoubtedly, this November’s US election and its aftermath will be a critical waypoint in orienting our global democratic and climate trajectories. It will also be a test of our collective response. In this session, our speakers will explore what they see as key levers to achieving a bold new vision for society.


Kristy Faccer
Program Manager, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria


Saliem Fakir
African Climate Foundation

Richard Florizone
President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD, Task Force for a Resilient Recovery.

Gretchen Goldman
Union of Concerned Scientists

Ted Parson UCLA


Kristy Faccer has two decades of experience working in Canada and internationally as an advisor, researcher and practitioner in the fields of climate change and sustainability.  She has been invited to speak and participate in projects on nearly every continent and in the process, engage with and learn from leaders and innovators across all sectors of society.  Kristy’s written work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, books and the popular media and covered topics from most recently, corporate sustainability and the green economy to climate resilience.  She is a trained facilitator, holds a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto and a PhD in management from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.  Her doctoral dissertation drew on framing and social movement theory to explain how attention to context and collaboration between unlikely allies can positively shape climate action within and beyond individual organizations.


Richard Florizone is President and CEO of IISD, and President Emeritus of Dalhousie University. Originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Richard has also held senior roles with the Boston Consulting Group, Cambridge University, Bombardier Aerospace, and the International Finance Corporation. Part scientist, part strategist, Richard has a strong track record of forging collaborative partnerships to build institutions and communities that are intelligent, inclusive and inspiring. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Saliem Fakir is the Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation. Prior to establishing the ACF, Saliem served as the Head of the Policy & Futures Unit of WWF South Africa for 11 years. Saliem has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and an Associate Director for the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at Stellenbosch University. Prior to that he served as Director of the World Conservation Union, South Africa (IUCN-SA) for eight years. Saliem has served on a number of Boards and is a prolific writer who contributes regularly to leading South African publications like Engineering News, Business Day and the Daily Maverick.

Gretchen Goldman is the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. For nearly a decade, Dr. Goldman has led research efforts on the role of science in public policy, focusing on topics ranging from scientific integrity in government decision-making, to political interference in science-based standards on fossil energy production, climate change, and environmental justice. Dr. Goldman has testified before Congress and currently serves as an expert on the Public Health Rulemaking of the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) of the Department of Conservation; the UNESCO and American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Consultation Group on how the US science ecosystem compares to the UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers. Additionally, she serves on the 500 Women Scientists Leadership Board,  the advisory board of InfluenceMap, and the Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Her words have appeared in Science, Nature, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, BBC, NPR, and MarketPlace. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in atmospheric science from Cornell University.

Edward A. (Ted) Parson is Dan and Rae Emmett Professor of Environmental Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles. Parson studies international environmental law and policy, the role of science and technology in policy-making, and the political economy of regulation. His articles have appeared in Science, Nature, Climatic Change, Issues in Science and Technology, the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. His most recent books are The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change (with Andrew Dessler) (2nd ed. Cambridge, 2010), and Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy (Oxford, 2003), which won the 2004 Sprout Award of the International Studies Association and is widely recognized as the authoritative account of the development of international cooperation to protect the ozone layer.


The US Election are quintessentially crucial within an American prospective but also for its impact on the international scene specifically in this regard on the Middle East and the Gulf region. The Last four years have greatly impacted thin equilibria in this region. The meddling of old and new international actors in the region’s affairs added to the regional political instability and long lasting problems, which unfortunately contributed to fueling hate and widened divisions. The US is a major actor in the region and the US elections will have unpredictable ripple effects in the Middle East. This roundtable will try to frame the debate in context of promoting understanding of the region but also exploring solutions for bridging divides.


Yasser Dhouib
President, CCRG Think Tank, Canada

Abdulfatah Muhammad
Senior Research Fellow, Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Doha


Jim Munson
Senator, Senate of Canada


Sultan Barakat
Director Of Research, Doha Brookings Center

Martin Bunton
Department of History, University of Victoria

Mohammed Cherkaoui
George Mason University

Yasser Dhouib
President, CCRG Think Tank, Canada

Chris Kilford
Former Canadian Forces Colonel and Member of the Executive Board, Canadian International Council

Dr. Chris Kilford is a member of the national board of the Canadian International Council (CIC), President of the CIC Victoria branch, and he holds a PhD in history from Queen’s University with a focus on civil-military relations in the developing world. Today, Chris is a Fellow with the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, a Research Fellow with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and a sessional professor with the Canadian Forces College where he teaches online courses focused on geopolitical issues. His long career in the Canadian Armed Forces was capped with postings to the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Canadian Deputy Defence Attaché from July 2009 until July 2010 and then to the Canadian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey as the Canadian Defence Attaché from July 2011 until August 2014.  Since retiring from the military in late 2014, his articles and opinion pieces on Canadian defence and foreign policy issues, plus Turkish and Middle Eastern matters have appeared in many Canadian and international publications and he has conducted numerous television and radio interviews on similar subjects.

Talha Kose
SETA Brussels

Abdulfatah Muhammad
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Doha


Ava Hill
Former Chief of the Six Nations

12:30 – 2:30 pm | Enchancing Financial Inclusion

This RoundTable has Two Consecutive Sessions


An open discussion on ways to enhance Financial Inclusion from a broad spectrum of participants. The session is structured to facilitate the conversation among high level speakers to address the two following topics:

  • Open banking as a solution for financial inclusion in Canada and around the world (12:30-1:30 p.m. PT)
  • The role of FINTECH in cross border remittances for poverty alleviation and micro-investment in developing countries (1:30-2:30 p.m. PT).

Famine and disease stalk poor countries where the economies have collapsed due to the pandemic many of which already had among the world’s lowest rates of Financial Inclusion. Yemen for example, already suffering from a protracted war and single digit Financial Inclusion rates, has experienced a 80% drop in remittances due to Covid restrictions on and evictions of migrants by the Saudis. Hundreds of millions of people are being pushed back into abject poverty with more people predicted to die of the economic effects of Covid, than from the disease itself.

In this environment, how can Regulators, financial institutions and service providers work together to accelerate Financial Inclusion, improve micro-loans and allow more affordable, secure and legally compliant flow of funds to those in most need?  Discussions will include how to avoid negative effects of regulations, benefits of Open Banking,  the importance of Cash In and Cash Out , the role Fintech’s and new technical initiatives such as Mojaloop’s standardization may play and the core question of  “Do the poor actually need a bank account to be financially included?”

Session 1:Open Banking as a Solution for Financial Inclusion in Canada (12:30-1:30 p.m.)


Yuen Pau Woo, Senator, Senate of Canada


Colin Deacon, Senator, Senate of Canada

The Honourable Colin Deacon’s entrepreneurial background brings a unique perspective to Canada’s Upper Chamber. Before his June 2018 appointment to the Senate as an Independent Senator representing Nova Scotia, Senator Deacon spent much of his career turning ideas into organizations, products and services that improve lives.

In 2009, he founded BlueLight Analytics, a company in the restorative dentistry field. The company has successfully commercialized new technologies that improve the longevity of dental fillings. Their products were sold in dozens of countries, and they worked with most dental multinationals. Until 2006, he served as CEO of SpellRead, which improved reading skills among children and adults, and was regularly cited as one of Atlantic Canada’s fastest-growing companies. Senator Deacon has also contributed to the charitable sector, where he has been an active member on the board of several organizations, including those dedicated to children’s health and well-being, mentorship, and celebrating social innovators.

His career has focused on enabling collaboration between research and business, and Senator Deacon continues to be a strong advocate for knowledge mobilization.

As part of the Senate, he has been a strong advocate for entrepreneurs, harnessing the digital economy, updating Canada’s privacy legislation, ensuring global competitiveness of Canadian firms, and promoting Canadian leadership on climate change.

Senator Deacon is staunchly independent and believes in collaborative work amongst senators of all groups, and all parliamentarians. He supports efforts that enable the Senate to become a less partisan, more independent-minded, modern and transparent institution.

When appointed to the Senate, he was tasked with one request: to hold the government to account and challenge it to be better. He intends to continue disrupting the status quo and challenging the federal government to improve for the benefit of all Canadians.

Since 2018, Senator Deacon has been an active and highly engaged member of the Standing Senate Committees on Banking, Trade and Commerce as well as Agriculture and Forestry.

Jonathan Fowlie, Vice President, Government Relations, Public Affairs and Community Investment, Vancity

As Vancity’s Vice President of Government Relations, Public Affairs and Community Investment, Jonathan oversees the organization’s reputation, leading its engagement with governments, media and other key stakeholders. Jonathan also oversees the work Vancity does with community partners to reinvest its profits and create healthier communities, and is on the board of the Vancity Community Foundation.

Jonathan began his career in journalism, first at The Globe and Mail and then at The Vancouver Sun. He covered multiple assignments including the Tour de France, the war in Afghanistan and served six years as The Sun’s legislative bureau chief in Victoria. Following that, he worked as a communications and public affairs consultant, advising some of B.C.’s top organizations.

Jonathan has degrees in Film Studies and Journalism, and is an alumni of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values Leadership Academy. He also serves on the board of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation.

In his free time, Jonathan enjoys running, cycling, skiing and exploring the Gulf Islands with his wife, kids and dogs.

Martin Rohner, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Banking on Values

With formal education in Economics, Business Administration and Development from prestigious Swiss and UK Universities, Martin Rohner has served as CEO of both Alternative Bank Switzerland and the Max Havelaar Foundation (Switzerland), Member of the Board of Fairtrade International and Head of Division for International Financial Institutions of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economy SECO.

Isle Treurnicht, Member, Advisory Committee on Open Banking 

Leila Wright, Associate Deputy Commissioner, Competition Bureau of Canada

The Directorate leads the Bureau’s advocacy initiatives, provides input into departmental and government-wide policy initiatives, oversees the Bureau’s Parliamentary relations, and advances the Bureau’s strategic planning.

Session 2: Role of Fintech in Cross Border Remittances For Poverty Alleviation and Micro-Investment in Developing Countries (1:30-2:30 p.m.)


Brian Doyle,  Director, Ayodo Foundation


Yuen Pau Woo, Senator, Senate of Canada


Miguel Arce, Executive, Pago Digitales Peruanos

Gregory Chen, Policy Lead, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor

Brian Doyle,  Director, Ayodo Foundation

Marouane El Abassi, Governor, Central Bank of Tunisia

Dilip Ratha, Lead Economist, Migration and Remittances, The World Bank

Leslie-Ann Vaughan, Product Manager, Moialopp Foundation

Leslie-Ann has been working in emerging market digital financial services since 2005. She’s one of the creators of M-PESA for Vodafone, and she managed its operationalization as it grew fromerships and “coopetition.” Lesley-Ann’s expertise also lies in retail banking, alternative payments, credit scoring based on alternative data sets, practical agent network management, and digital bank zero to 20 million active users.

In the last 5 years, she’s been working as an independent consultant with organizations such as CGAP and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as commercial enterprises such as Tigo/Millicom, Co-op Bank Kenya, BTPN Bank, Microsoft and fintechs on multiple continents. She’s passionate about the potential of APIs to unlock the next generation of partnering proposition design for MSMEs, business processes, risk management, and operating model thinking for “digital all the way down.


Nov 13, 2020

All times are in Pacific Time Zone (PT)

8am – 9:30am | Plenary


Covid-19 requires funders, researchers and practitioners alike to reposition themselves in response to the pandemic. There are needs for immediate adaptation and reorientation in the light of possible secondary impacts, but also the potential for mid- to longer-term transformations in ways that support and contribute to building a world differently. This plenary session will provide insights drawing on theoretical knowledge and actual, practical experience accrued over time by researchers from a number of countries, bringing these together in an integrated and forward-looking way. It will highlight particularly the importance of engagement with, and learning from, the communities and citizens who experience the most profound challenges in finding solutions and ways forward. Distinct viewpoints will be shared on how the pandemic is influencing different policy issues – for example on gender, social protection, food systems – and consider ways in which these priorities can be addressed by different strategies, including bridging public and private investment for resilient economies and inclusive recovery. It will take a systemic approach that demonstrates the interconnectedness of the issues addressed at a very important period of unique global challenge. Audience members will be invited and encouraged to engage in a virtual interaction with the presenters.


Manuel Balán
Director, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University, Canada

Mary McCarthy
Policy Lead – Nutrition | Development Cooperation and Africa Division (Irish Aid), Ireland

Lord Jake McConnell of Glenscorrodale
Lord, House of Lords, UK

Sohela Nazneen
Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, UK

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler
Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, UK

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler is a Development Economist with over 20 years of experience working in areas of rural development, institutional analysis and social protection, including 2.5 years leading research on Land Policy in Albania and 2.5 years as Chief Social Policy and Research for UNICEF Rwanda. A Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex since 2001, and a co-Director of the Centre for Social Protection, she has worked on areas of poverty analysis relating to PRSPs, social protection, rural livelihoods and migration in many countries (including 9 African countries). She has published on issues of rural institutions in post-soviet transitions, law and development, social protection in Africa, migration and poverty, and has worked for numerous international agencies. Since the mid 2000s, Rachel has been centrally involved in a numerous large research programmes that explore understandings of risk and vulnerability both conceptually and empirically. These studies include, the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), Ethiopia; the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP), Kenya; the Child Support Grant (CSG), South Africa; and a number of studies on home-grown school feeding programmes in Africa. Rachel’s work continues to cover areas of poverty and vulnerability research and social safety nets for vulnerable groups, with a focus on the rural sector. She is currently the co-Executive Director of the Better Assistance in Crisis (BASIC) programme that focuses on delivering social provision in fragile states.

Khalil Z. Shariff
CEO, Aga Khan Foundation Canada

Khalil Shariff has served as Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC), a leading Canadian global development agency, since 2005. He was previously with the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company, an international management consultancy, where he advised governments, financial institutions, and health care providers on strategy, organization, and operational improvement. He has also served in a variety of research and policy capacities with the Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He currently sits on the Boards of the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Rideau Hall Foundation, and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, and served a term as an elected School Trustee in his hometown of Richmond, BC, in his youth. He holds a BA from the University of British Columbia and a JD from the Harvard Law School.

Peter Taylor
Institute of Development Studies, UK

Crystal Tremblay
University of Victoria, Canada

9:30am – 10:30am | Transition & Networking

10:30am – 12pm | Roundtables


Despite a gradual move towards a universal agenda and many efforts to “decolonise”, development, its related bodies of knowledge are still mired in capitalist, (neo)colonial and unequal hierarchies and power structures. Inequities and inequalities so widespread today are produced by racial, class, gender, sexual, religious, linguistic, ecological, and epistemological power hierarchies. All these challenges contribute to the likelihood of those already marginalised suffering more acutely from the onslaught of Covid-19. Decolonizing knowledge requires us to call into question the principles that sustain the current dominant knowledge and understanding of what society should be like. It demands that we question the norms and structures that often determine how people should behave, what kind of knowledge is valued, and which knowledge is encouraged, silenced or simply not supported at all. It becomes a process of liberating ourselves from assumed principles, values and domination of Western-centric/colonial world systems and embracing a diversity of knowledges and ways of being. It is also an important framing to help support reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples, as these require actions that promote social repair and systemic change, including creating spaces that help bridge the void between competing and conflicting systems of law and legislation, norms and knowledge. Decolonising knowledge and knowledge production in all its forms needs to include and be driven by the people whose lives are most affected by the decisions and policies being made.  In this round table, we invite a diverse group of participants to focus on the strengths, resilience and wise practices within communities. By engaging with lived experience we will address the following questions:

  1. In the context of COVID-19, what is our evidence and experience of efforts to decolonize knowledge and power as a means of reducing social divides?
  2. What strategies, approaches and methods for decolonization have worked well, where do we still need to improve in our question for more widespread social justice?
  3. What concrete steps are needed towards “building back better” beyond the pandemic, by decolonizing the world in ways which transcend turf, welcome truth, and build trust?


Peter Taylor
Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies


Paul Lacerte
Managing Partner, Raven Indigenous Capital Partners

Martha Mutisi
Senior Programme Officer with the International Development Research Centre

Currently, Martha Mutisi is a Senior Programme Officer with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)’s Governance and Justice Programme. Based in IDRC’s East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), Martha oversees research projects in the region, focusing on promoting youth resilience to violence and vulnerability; promoting women’s roles in peace and security; strengthening women’s leadership in education and science systems; and addressing the impacts of forced migration on local governance, and among others.

A recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship and Josh Weston Fellowship, Martha Mutisi Martha has more than 15 years of experience in research, training, policy influence and program design, implementation & management in peace, security, governance and development. Mutisi has worked with diverse stakeholders, including national & local governments, traditional and religious leaders, regional organisations, civil society institutions, women and youth groups. Previously (from September 2010- October 2013), Martha worked with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD); first as Senior Researcher in the Knowledge Production Department and then as Manager for the Interventions Department.

Before joining IDRC in November 2015, Martha Mutisi also briefly worked with UN Women (Zimbabwe Country Office) as a Programme Specialist on Gender, Peace and Security.  Martha holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University (USA), a Master’s in Peace and Governance from Africa University, a Master’s in Sociology and Anthropology and Bachelor’s Degree Honours in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe.

Kathryn Toure
IDRC’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa (based in Nairobi)


The global health pandemic has shown us the gaps in our systems – economic, social and political – with many of the groups that have been historically disenfranchised becoming more so. On the heels of systemic racism are intersecting issues of classism and ageism as new trends emerge from the fight against colonialism, racism and other forms of systemic discrimination. People within equity-seeking groups, including Black Indigenous and other People of Colour, are leading calls for reforms and systemic changes to policing and healthcare, among others, around the world. Civil society is seeking ways to work with government to address the most pressing needs in societies and communities around the world. Corporate organizations are paying more attention to their role in responding to social needs. There is a shared onus for leadership, responsible citizenship and participatory democracy among diverse populations.

Through this discussion, we will be seeking to answers the following questions:

  • On the heels of global responses to system racism, what intersecting issues are more visible in the post-covid world?
  • What forms of localized leadership are emerging from racialized communities and minority groups around the world?
  • How do we centre our leadership on decolonization and goals for a truly inclusive future?


Ruth Mojeed
Chief Equity Officer, The Inclusion Project


Carol Anne Hilton
CEO, Indigenomics


Rochelle Prasad
The Inclusion Project/SPARK Foundation

Nadia Theodore
Former Consul General of Canada in Atlanta


2020, the year of the pandemic, was also the year of behavioural science: all early measures against Covid-19 were based on the need to change behaviours to adjust social interactions. Behavioural science offered an amazingly effective—and sometimes controversial—contribution to anti-Covid measures. The various knock-on effects of Covid—such as the adjustment to remote working and its impact on people’s wellbeing—allowed additional practical use of behavioural insights. Seeing behavioural science effectively in action warrants broader questions about what role behavioural science can play in other global issues. What have we learned from the insights that behavioural science brought to the challenges of 2020? What are the lessons for how we need to integrate behavioural science when dealing with other big issues of the day? What role can behavioural science play in global development? What are the behavioural insights that can help address social cohesion or political and governance challenges? Can behavioural science help in adjusting the relationship between international and national actors? Does it provide a tool to improve mitigation for fragile and conflict-affected places? What information is missing when it comes to understanding behavioural mechanisms in different cultures, of different groups and in different settings?

Moderator & Champion

Mareike Schomerus, PhD
Vice President Partnerships at the Busara Center


Salim Kombo
Busara Center

Susan Michie
Professor for Health Psychology, UCL

Jonathan Papoulidis
Executive Advisor on Fragile States, Worldvision

Neela Saldanha
Senior Advisor on Global Development and Behavioural Science

Gideon Too
Bursa Center


The COVID-19 pandemic has not shone a favorable light on Western democracies. As of October 5, eleven of the top twenty countries in the world, in terms of deaths per capita, were European or North American democracies, and another nine were Latin American democracies. Meanwhile, China, one of the world’s most coercive states, has, for all intents and purposes, eliminated the disease within its borders. Democracies’ widespread failure to effectively address the pandemic is mirrored by policy failures in other areas, most notably on the critical issue of climate change. Not a single democracy has reduced carbon emissions at anything close to the rate required to avoid a climate catastrophe. (To be fair, no non-democracies have succeeded in implementing such reductions either.)

The session will consider the weaknesses of democracies as they relate to solving humanity’s critical problems, including their near-term time horizons and short attention spans, structural inability to address challenges of high causal complexity and cross-cutting values, and vulnerability to influence by well-resourced vested interests. It will propose ways of overcoming these impediments.


Thomas Homer-Dixon
Director, Cascade Institute, Royal Roads University


Jack A. Goldstone
George Mason University

Mayor Lisa Helps
City of Victoria

Thomas Homer-Dixon
Director, Cascade Institute, Royal Roads University

Jennifer Welsh
McGill University

10:30am – 12:30pm | Roundtables


La pandémie de coronavirus a révélé l’étendu des fractures et des clivages socio-économiques et environnementaux à travers le monde, surtout que les sociétés et les économies les plus vulnérables sont affectées de manière disproportionnée. Les ravages du COVID-19 sont historiques. Cette réalité pressante nécessite, entre autre, que l’enseignement supérieur assume un leadership mondial pour réduire ces clivages et fractures. Les institutions universitaires, qui passent à des environnements d’enseignement virtuels, ont la capacité d’atteindre la majorité des populations à travers le monde. Ces institutions sont aussi responsables de la formation des dirigeants et des leaders. Le respect des différences et l’acceptation de la diversité des manières de connaitre peut conduire à la réhabilitation de connaissances produites ailleurs afin d’adresser les problèmes urgents.

Ce panel de dirigeants d’établissements membres de l’Association Universitaires Francophones va se pencher sur les questions suivantes:

  1. Quels rôles devraient jouer les universités pour combler les clivages et les fractures socio-économiques et environnementales surtout auprès des populations les plus vulnérables?
  2. Comment faciliter l’accès à un savoir diversifié (ex. : traditionnel, ancestral, autochtone) et encourager l’inclusion des compétences? Faut-il décoloniser le savoir?
  3. Quelles sont les solutions aux problèmes urgents tel que les inégalités économiques, les discriminations, le changement climatique, l’extrémisme et les pandémies? Faut-il repenser les partenariats face à ces problèmes urgents?

  • Afrique centrale et des Grands Lacs :
    • Bruno Jean Richard ITOUA, Ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur du Congo.
  • Afrique de l’Ouest :
    • Monsieur Sidi OULD SALEM, Ministre de l’enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche Scientifique et des Technologies de l’information et de la Communication (Mauritanie).
  • Asie :
    • Mme NGUYEN Thi Cuc Phuong, Vice-rectrice de l’Université de Hanoi.
  • Amériques :
    • Sophie D’Amours, Présidente d’Université Canada et Rectrice de l’Université Laval à Québec.
    • Senator Josée Forest-Niesing, Sénatrice, Sénat du Canada
  • Caraïbes :
    • Madame Michèle Pierre-Louis, ex-Première ministre et Ministre de la Justice d’Haïti.
  • Europe Centrale et Orientale :
    • Madame Monica Jiman, PDG de Pentalog (Roumanie – Moldavie, …), Roumaine.
  • Maghreb :
    • Monsieur Abdeljalil LAHJOMRI, Secrétaire perpétuel de l’Académie du Royaume du Maroc, Prix de la Francophonie de l’Académie Française, prix de la plus haute distinction de l’AF
  • Afrique de l’Est :
    • Dr. Nabil Mohamed Ahmed, Ministre de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche de la République de Djibouti.

12pm – 1:30pm | Roundtables


The negative impacts of the current pandemic are undeniable. However, the panelists will bring their many years of practice and expertise to look beyond pessimism and concretely explore the opportunities afforded by the pandemic in moving beyond the “old normal” and reimagining a “renewed reality” at the community and global levels — for the benefit of all.

Rather than bridging divides, the panel will focus on concrete examples of how we can eliminate those divides and discuss why divides prevent an urgently needed systems view to address the complex challenges we face in the 21st Century. One key question the panel will address is whether the pandemic will provide a much-needed impetus to design new pathways of ideas and experience. These pathways lie between the on-ground realities faced by local communities and the current global governance policy and law that seek, but often fail, to improve life and livelihoods in communities around the globe.

During the roundtable, moderator Dr Manuel Balan, Interim ED of ISID, will lead a conversation with five ISID Professors of Practice (PoPs). Between them, they will explore different aspects of the debate based on their practical and applied work. After 3 minute presentations by each PoPs, the floor will be open for discussion.


Manuel Balan
Acting Director, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

Elissar Sarrouh
Governance and Sustainability, CEO, Expert Consulting on Governance

Elissar Sarrouh is a Founding President and CEO/Expert Consulting on Governance. She is a seasoned executive leader and former UN Diplomat/Representative with over 30 years of experience in international development, global governance, diplomacy and political representation. She brings a wealth of expertise with particular strength in areas of Agenda 2030, financing for development; Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy; corporate governance and sustainability, business development, and women economic empowerment with focus on gender impact investment. Ms. Sarrouh brings strong geographical knowledge and in-depth understanding of the history, culture, politics and development challenges of the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab Gulf States.
Ms. Sarrouh is Professor of Practice at ISID/McGill University. A former United Nations Diplomat/Representative, she held senior leadership positions and diplomatic postings in Egypt, Belgium, Lebanon, New York, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. She is a member of the External Advisory Board of the Victoria Forum and a Board Member and a former Vice-President of the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP).


Manuel Balan
Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

Mark L. Berin
Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

Timonthy J Hodges
Former Canadian diplomat, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

Rachel Kiddell-Monroe
Lawyer, humanitarian and activist, Global Governance Lab, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University

Elaine Ubalijoro
Deputy Executive Director for Programs, Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN)

7pm – 8:30pm | Roundtable


What are the prospects for multilateralism with a second Trump or new Biden Administration? How will this next presidency engage in trade policy (e.g., US-China, regional trade agreements), impacts on Taiwan and East Asian regional politics, COVID-19, climate & energy, and security. Join our speakers to debrief on the US election results and the implications for US-Asia foreign policy over the next four years and beyond?


Wen-Chen Chang
Dean and Professor, National Chiao Tung University School of Law & Professor, National Taiwan University College of Law

Melissa Low Yu Xing
Research Fellow at the Energy Studies Institute, currently pursuing her PhD studies part-time at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Geography

Michael Peil
Vice Dean and Associate Professor, Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, Bhutan

Hugh Stephens
Principal, Trans-Pacific Connections, Vice-Chair of the Canadian Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation (CANCPEC), Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and Executive Fellow at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary


Victor Ramraj
Professor, UVic Law & Director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives

Oliver Schmidtke
Professor, Depts. of Political Science & History & Director of the Centre for Global Studies


  • Canadian International Council (CIC), Victoria Branch
  • Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives
  • Centre for Global Studies
(One Week Later)


Nov 19, 2020

All times are in Pacific Time Zone (PT)

9am – 10:30am | Roundtable Debrief and Closing


  • Adel Guitouni, University of Victoria


  • Saul Klein, Chair Victoria Forum, Dean of Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria
  • Sébastien Beaulieu, Associate co-chair Victoria Forum, Canada’s Ambassador to Senegal


  • John Alderdice, Lord, House of Lords
  • Janni Aragon, Director, Technology & Society Program, University of Victoria
  • Manuel Balan, Acting Director, Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University
  • Alain Charbonneau, Vice-recteur, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie
  • Yasser Dhouib, President, CCRG Think Tank
  • Brian Doyle, Director, Ayodo Foundation
  • Kristy Faccer, Program Manager, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria
  • Ava Hill, Former Chief of the Six Nations
  • Thomas Homer-Dixon, Director, Cascade Institute, Royal Roads University
  • Darrin Mah, Associate Lawyer, Munnings Law
  • Jack McConnell, Lord, House of Lords
  • Abdulfatah Muhammad, Senior Research Fellow, Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Doha
  • Jim Munson, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Sudhir Nair, Associate Professor, Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria
  • Victor Ramraj, Director, Centre for Asia Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria
  • Elissar Sarrouh, Governance and Sustainability, CEO, Expert Consulting on Governance
  • Oliver Schmidtke, Director, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria
  • Mareike Schomerus, Vice President Partnerships, Busara Center
  • Khalil Shariff, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation Canada
  • Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies, UK
  • Crystal Tremblay, University of Victoria
  • Yuen Pau Woo, Senator, Senate of Canada

Closing Remarks:

  • Chris Horbachewski, Vice-President External Relations, University of Victoria

The Virtual Victoria Forum 2020, the webinars and the Victoria Forum 2021  are jointly hosted by the University of Victoria and the Senate of Canada.

Founding partners: