Day 2 - Plenary Session 1

August 29, 2022, 9:35-10:50 PST

Bridging Economic Divides: Origins and possible pathways to effect change

Inequalities are not only driven and measured by income, but are affected by other factors: gender, age, origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, class, and religion. These factors determine inequalities between countries and lead to economic divides. Poverty is expected to remain a tenacious challenge for middle-and low-income countries. Identifying who is excluded and why is a first step in assessing inequalities.


  • Why does our current economic system produce extremes of wealth and poverty? How entrenched are they?
  • What are the recent patterns and drivers of economic inequalities globally/in specific regions or Countries?
  • What are the key factors limiting inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities (such as access to quality/decent jobs, markets, assets, finance, etc.)?
  • How can we reduce economic inequality among disadvantaged groups and vulnerable regions?


Shelagh Rogers

Veteran Broadcast-Journalist, CBC Radio

Shelagh Rogers is a veteran broadcast-journalist at CBC Radio, currently the host of, and a producer for, The Next Chapter, the program devoted to writing in Canada. She has hosted other national radio programs such as This Morning, Sounds like Canada, The Arts Tonight and she was Deputy Host of Morningside with Peter Gzowski.

Off-air, Shelagh has dedicated herself to public service. She is a vocal advocate for recognizing mental health care as the same priority as physical health care, for adult literacy, and for a reckoning with the truth of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. In 2010, Dr. Allen Benson, CEO of Native Counselling Services of Alberta, presented Shelagh with NCSA’s Achievement in the Aboriginal Community Award. In 2011, she was inducted as an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a life-changing honour. Also that year, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, for elevating the cause of adult literacy, fighting against the stigma of mental illness by sharing her own story of depression, and for promoting Canadian culture. Trent University named Shelagh The Jack Matthews Fellow for 2014. In 2016, she received the inaugural Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy. She holds eight honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Victoria. In 2021, UVic’s Division of Student Affairs recognized Shelagh to the “honorary degree of Doctorate in Chancellation”, chancellation being the act and art of being a chancellor.

Shelagh co-edited the three books in the Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s “Speaking My Truth” series about residential schools, truth and reconciliation. In 2019, she was named an inaugural Library and Archives Canada Scholar, acknowledging “the outstanding contribution of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the creation and promotion of the country’s literary and historical heritage.” This spring, it was announced that Shelagh is the 2022 Symons Medallist, recognizing “an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life.”She believes passionately in the power of dialogue and above all listening as a means to making positive societal change. Shelagh is a member of the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, and is honoured to be participating in the Victoria Forum.


Pedro Antunes

Chief Economist, The Conference Board of Canada

Pedro Antunes is the thought leader and spokesperson for the Conference Board’s suite of economic forecast products, as well as other reports and economic indicators that relate to Canada and its regions. Mr. Antunes has provided expert testimony before parliamentary committees. He makes numerous presentations on economic topics and dialogues with Canadian leaders, the public and media about issues important to Canada.

Mr. Antunes joined the Conference Board in 1991 after working with the Canadian Forecasting Group at the Bank of Canada. In addition to his contribution to regular forecast products, Mr. Antunes led research on the impact of demographic change on the financial sustainability of public health care, productivity and other issues affecting the long-term economic growth for Canada and its provinces. He also worked on several international projects, helping decision-makers in Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan and Ukraine develop appropriate forecasting and policy analysis tools.

Pedro is fluent in both official languages. He is married with one son and enjoys hikes with his dog and playing soccer. Mr. Antunes holds an M.A. (Economics) from Queen’s University and a B.A. (Honours Economics) from Bishop’s University.

Carol Anne Hilton

CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute

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

Carol Anne was recently appointed as a senior advisor on the Canadian Federal Economic Growth Council. The Council advises the Federal Finance Minister Morneau on Canadian economic growth. Carol Anne was also recently appointed to the BC Economic Task Force advising the Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology. Carol Anne is currently authoring ‘Indigenomics- a Global Power Shift’ Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called indigenomics- building and developing local Indigenous economies.

Carol Anne’s work has been recognized with a BC Aboriginal Outstanding Business Achievement Award, 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. Carol Anne currently serves as Director on the McGill University Institute of the Study of Canada and the National Canadian Community Economic Development Network and is also serving as a juror on the 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.

Ricardo Hausmann

Former Minister of Planning of Venezuela & the founder and Director of Harvard’s Growth Lab

Dr. Ricardo Hausmann (born 1956) is the Rafik Hariri Professor of the Practice of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the founder and director of the Growth Lab, dedicated to do fundamental and applied research on growth, productive transformation and social inclusion and help countries, regions and cities with their development strategies. He is also a former Venezuelan Minister of Planning of Venezuela and a former Chief Economist of the Inter-American Development Bank where he founded the Research Department. He co-introduced several regularly used concepts in economics including original sin, growth diagnostics, self-discovery, dark matter, the product space, and economic complexity.

His work has been published in some of the top journals in the world, including Science, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Economics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of International Money and Finance, Economic Policy, and the Journal of Economic Growth, among many others. These publications have been cited more than 42,000 times, and their main findings have been highlighted in mass media outlets such as The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Since launching the Growth Lab in 2006, Hausmann has served as principal investigator for more than 50 research initiatives in nearly 30 countries, informing development policy, growth strategies, and diversification agendas at the national and sub-national levels.

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