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The Victoria Forum 2024
The Victoria Forum 2024 - Bridging Divides: Turf, Trust and Truth

3 days of constructive discussions

Victoria Forum 2022

Over the three days, we had over 500 individuals connect with the Forum to tackle some difficult issues and discuss solutions for bridging economic, social and environmental divides.

We have had excellent feedback about the quality of the dialogue and witnessed the passion people feel about making the world a better place. We have lots to do on that front, but thanks to your efforts, we took a significant step forward.

We look forward to continuing the discussion and are preparing a report that we will share with the public later. In the meantime, please view the recordings from the plenary sessions below. 

Please view the event photos here. 

Day One

Members of the Commonwealth working group on the lək̓ʷəŋən Sport Declaration on Truth, Reconciliation and Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and delegates, dignitaries and youth of the Victoria Forum joined a canoe entourage to paddle for a short distance across the Victoria Harbour.

Songhees Nation Chief Ronald Sam and Esquimalt Nation Chief Rob Thomas have welcomed the rowing party, delegates and dignitaries to the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən people. 

Please view the event photos here. 

Songhees Nation Chief Ronald Sam has organized a Lacrosse Exhibition Game with the collaboration of Tewanee Joseph, Squamish Nation, and Kevin Sandy, a member of Six Nations.

The Lacrosse Exhibition Game is North America’s oldest team sport, integral to First Nations culture. At this Exhibition, Games have created a unique opportunity to hear from leaders and experts about the game’s significance for bridging divides and resolving conflicts.

Please view the event photos here. 

Host: Dr. Saul Klein, Chair Victoria Forum, Dean of Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Speakers:

  • The Honourable George J. Furey, The Speaker of the Senate, Senate of Canada (via pre-recorded video message)
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (via pre-recorded video message)
  • Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (via pre-recorded video message)
  • Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Sport
  • The Honourable Yonah Martin, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Dr. Kevin Hall, President, University of Victoria

 

Our world is divided along many environmental, social and economic fault lines. The Victoria Forum 2022 launched with an inspiring and provocative panel with Ambassador Bob Rae, The Honourable Janet Austin and Ovide Mercredi, Former Assembly of First Nations National Chief. Our distinguished speakers shared their perspectives on the state of the world’s divisions and set the stage for two days of constructive conversations for bridging divides. The panel discussions focused on bridging divides from turf, truth and trust perspectives.


Featuring: Janet Austin, Ovide Mercredi, Bob Rae and Tricia Thomas (Laxelewetstnaat)

Learn more about the session speakers. 

 

Day Two

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations delivered her closing remarks via a pre-recorded video.

“The world’s greatest challenges are shared challenges, so the solutions can only be developed together.” – Amina J. Mohammed

Covid-19 has highlighted the magnitude of inequalities and their spread worldwide. It has also shone a spotlight on the many ways in which these inequalities are interconnected and lead to people the world over becoming marginalised and socially excluded. Any pathways toward our common goals of people, planet, and prosperity will need to place action on social exclusion at their heart.

 

Featuring: Jill Hanass-Hancock, Kate Higgins, Ilona Kickbusch, Oliver Schmidtke and Paul Genest.

Learn more about the session speakers.  

Humanity faces the dual risk of climate change and loss of natural capital and biodiversity, leading to what scientists call the “sixth mass extinction;” where as much as half of all present species could be extinct by 2100.

 

Featuring: Balgis Osman Elasha, Don Shafer, Kresse Wesling, Rosa Galvez, Wendy Smith

Learn more about the session speakers.  

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.

Questions:

  • 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?

Featuring: Pedro Antunes, Ricardo Hausmann, Carol Anne Hilton and David Miller

Learn more about the session speakers.  

Forced Migration and Displacement of Peoples

Increasing numbers of people are being forcibly displaced around the world, both within and between nations. By the end of 2021, those displaced by war, violence, persecution, and human rights abuses – and inter-connecting combinations of conflict, climate change, and land-grabs for extractive industries or agricultural intensification – stood at close to 90 million, double what it was ten years ago. This roundtable considered what it will take for nations to address this form of social divide through a commitment to a truly global human rights regime that decouples ‘the right to have rights’ (Arendt) from national citizenship status. It also identified radical implications for government actions and civil society networks needed to achieve this.

Discussants

  • Sharmarke Dubow, Councillor, City of Victoria
  • Skw’akw’as (Sunshine) Dunstan-Moore, Community Climate Justice Coordinator, VIDEA (Victoria International Development Education Association)
  • Dr. Deondre Smiles, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

Moderator

  • Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
  • Dr. Crystal Tremblay, Director of CIFAL Victoria, University of Victoria

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Getting to Net-zero and Climate Positive

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called the climate crisis a “code red for humanity” and warns that we are “sleepwalking to a climate catastrophe.” The Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact have called on countries to significantly reduce their emissions to limit the rise of average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels. While many countries have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, what is imperative is follow-through. Yet despite various countries, and sectors, ramping up their commitments to addressing our climate crisis we are still not moving quickly enough to avert a climate catastrophe. In this roundtable, panelists  discussed solutions for accelerating action on climate change.

Discussants

  • Jonathan Fowlie, Chief External Relations Officer, VanCity
  • Brad Liski, CEO, TruEarth
  • Nathan Gillett, Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Moderator

  • The Hon. Rosa Galvez, Senator, Senate of Canada

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Business and Business Schools Bridging Divides

Businesses are facing increasing demands from customers, employees and investors to play a more active role in addressing societal challenges. These groups do not see any conflict between a business’s financial success and having a positive societal impact and are pushing businesses to articulate a more comprehensive sense of purpose than simply maximizing shareholder value. Such a shift requires leaders to think and act differently in their organizations. This session examined how both businesses and the business schools who are developing the next generation of business leaders are and should be responding to this challenge and how, in turn, they can help to bridge the divides in our societies.

Discussants

  • Prof. Dr. Eric Cornuel, European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), Brussels
  • Mette Morsing, Head of Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), United Nations Global Compact, New York
  • Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer, TELUS, Vancouver

Moderator

  • The Hon. Marty Deacon, Senator, Senator of Canada

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Building Resilient and Sustainable Communities/Economies

Bridging divides often begins at the local level and this session investigated how building resilient and sustainable communities and economies helps to achieve the broader purpose.

The importance of resilience has been amply demonstrated over the past two years where our communities and economies have been battered by external shocks. These shocks have, in turn, widened the fault lines in our society. Similarly, sustainability is critical, from both social and environmental perspectives. This session highlighted the need for economic growth as well as the need to ensure equity and positive impact. The role of cooperatives is also explored as a way to resolve these underlying tensions.

Discussants

  • Alicia Dubois, Chief Executive Officer, Royal BC Museum
  • Danny Graham, Chief Engagement Officer, Engage Nova Scotia
  • Lucie Moncion, Senator, Senate of Canada

Moderator

  • Rosemary Thompson, Founding Executive Director, Coalition for a Better Future

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Inequitable Access to Quality Healthcare

Covid-19 has had the most significant impact, where socioeconomic inequities and inequalities have been most pronounced, and communities have had the weakest capacities to respond. Global health requires equitable, inclusive responses beyond system rivalries, informed by research, evidence and learning. However, existing health research infrastructure globally and nationally is often afflicted by weak institutional mechanisms, the perpetuation of power imbalances, evidence hierarchies and silos. It excluded and devalued different knowledge and lived experiences. In the wider context of global health measures currently being considered by multilateral organisations.

This roundtable drew out and learnt from the experiences of those in the roundtable who are observing positive changes in their specific contexts; drawing on these “bright spots,” it explored potential actions and pathways to help improve healthcare systems that focus particularly on those who are most marginalised by social divide.

Discussants

  • Dawn Thomas, Vice President, for Indigenous Health & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Island Health
  • Mathew Fleury, Manager of Research and Knowledge Exchange, First Nations Health Authority
  • Ry Moran, Associate University Librarian, Reconciliation, University of Victoria
  • The Hon. Kim Pate, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Jacqueline M. Quinless, Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria
  • Ronald W. Rice, Executive Director, Victoria Native Friendship Centre

Moderator

  • Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
  • Dr. Crystal Tremblay, Director of CIFAL Victoria, University of Victoria

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Inclusive Housing and Jobs

The impact of growing inequality is increasingly evident in our cities and urban regions.  Actions taken in our urban areas by City Governments and others to address inequalities evident in housing and employment have an important role in addressing the underlying causes of inequality.  What are the latest innovations?  How can we address the affordability of housing, and ensure that people from all backgrounds have access to good well-paid jobs?  This panel featured a conversation between leading researchers, advocates, and leaders of institutions, all of whom were addressing the unequal outcomes of our current economic and social arrangements.

Discussants

  • Dallas Gislason, Director of Economic Development, South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP)
  • Jenna Dutton, Senior Planner, City of Victoria
  • Tamara Krawchenko, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria
  • Luke Mari, Principal, Development, ARYZE
  • Suzannah Kelly, Director of Communication, BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc

Moderator

  • David Miller, Managing Director, C40 Centre for Urban Climate Policy and Economy
  • Sudhir Nair, Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Student Voices: Featuring Finalists of the Bridging Divides Essay Contest 2022

In 2022, the Victoria Forum and the Global Business School Network collaborated to launch the Bridging Divides Essay contest, which welcomed 300 registered individuals and teams (347 total students) from 65 institutions, 27 countries, and six continents! This international group of students was prompted to submit original, unpublished essays and accompanying creative pieces that share experiences and perspectives, which inspire efforts to bridge existing divides. These written pieces also had to include a subtheme bridging social, economic, and/or environmental divides. Through two extensive rounds of judging, the Top 3 submissions (including the essay and creative piece) were determined, and the authors were welcomed to join this esteemed panel to discuss their stories and efforts to bridge these divides. These authors joined the panel with the second/final round judges, who selected their pieces and discussed their comments and feedback from the submissions. The Global Business School Network’s CEO, Dan LeClair, led the panel. Students strived to make intentional efforts and are tirelessly working to bridge many divides.

🥇 Anne Venema & Andrew Sahaydak

🥈 Mufudzi Chihambakwe

🥉 Zainab Siddiqi
Congrats to all teams! The top five submissions can be read here: http://bit.ly/3C6YOop

Discussants

  • The top five submissions have been invited to join a panel of elite judges to discuss their essays at the Victoria Forum. Top three teams were announced and present essays during the session.

Moderator

  • Dan LeClair, CEO, the Global Business School Network

Duration: 1h 30 min

Learn More

Day Three

Trust is the foundation for bridging divides between people who increasingly face various types of inequality related to their cultural, racial, and social backgrounds that affect their ability to perform their tasks and meet their daily challenges. It is widely recognized that trust between nations, between and among people and their institutions is critical to solving problems, overcoming challenges, and seizing opportunities. For example, recent studies have shown that in many places around the world, people are losing the trust in democracies that are crucial to their success. Therefore, it is our responsibility to create a better and safer world. One way of doing this is by sharing information and knowledge across academic disciplines, which can help break down cultural, social, and political barriers, promote peace and prosperity and build trust among global communities.

In this plenary session, Susan Black, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Conference Board of Canada, interviewed The Right Honourable David Johnston on how trust can shape the future well-being and prosperity of the world.

 

Featuring: David Johnston and Susan Black

Learn more about the session speakers

Sport has a unique power for bridging divides. Our world is fractured along many fault lines, yet, throughout history, all stripes of people gathered around sports and sporting events despite their differences. Nelson Mandela famously said, “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

This plenary session engaged in a constructive conversation around the role of sport in bridging economic, social and environmental divides around the world. The panel of distinguished speakers explored different constructive ideas and use cases (such as the Commonwealth lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) Sport Declaration on Truth, Reconciliation and Partnership with Indigenous Peoples) to develop solutions and recommendations.

Featuring: Ava Hill, Dame Louise Livingstone Martin, Alice Pepper, Dr. Wilton Littlechild and Richard Powers

Learn more about the session speakers.

To address questions from among the following, from an Indo-Pacific sub-regional perspective:

  1. What is the current state of trust and engagement in the Indo-Pacific?  What are the main drivers contributing to mistrust?
  2. How do we understand state behavior in Asia?  What are the main institutions, blocs, and partnerships in the region?  How do we ensure trust-building among these actors?
  3. What is the region’s future direction with respect to state-level engagement and trust?  How much should we conceptualize regional leadership and governance when determining future scenarios?
  4. What role can outsider powers/actors play in the region?  International organizations?  NGOs?
  5. What are the unique strategic features at the sub-national level?  NE Asia? SE Asia? China? Oceania?

Featuring: Kristi Govella, Van Jackson, Atsushi Sunami and Yuen Pau Woo

Learn more about the session speakers.  

Financial institutions are awakening to the fact that they are on the front lines of climate risk and recognizing the need to evolve if we are to limit average global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels. In March 2022, Senator Galvez, a pollution expert and independent Senator from Quebec, introduced the Climate-Aligned Finance Act which seeks to hold the financial sector accountable for their role in fueling the climate crisis and kickstart the transformation to a sector that makes sustainability a priority.

Speaker: The Hon. Rosa Galvez, Senator, Senate of Canada

Moderators: Basma Majerbi, University of Victoria and Amr Addas, Concordia University.

Understanding the Fragility and Vulnerabilities of the Global Supply Chain (Part 1)

Discussants

  • Andre Kushniruk, Director and Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria
  • Alexander Rekik, CEO, Charcolive International SA (Tunisia)
  • Bruce Williams, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Cheryl Mitchell, Assistant Teaching Professor & Academic Director for MBA Programs, University of Victoria
  • Elizabeth Borycki, Professor of Health Information Science, University of Victoria
  • Gerri Sinclair, Innovation Commissioner, Government of British Columbia
  • Samir Trabelsi, Professor of Accounting and Governance, Goodman School of Business

Moderators

  • Stephen Flynn, Founding Director, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University
  • Dr. Adel Guitouni, Associate Professor of Management Sciences, University of Victoria

Duration: 1h 30min

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Indigenous Perspective On Bridging Divides

Indigenous Peoples in Canada are developing their own economies and their own approaches to economic self-sufficiency, sustainability and success. Indigenous Peoples and their economies throughout Canada have tremendous potential to revitalize regional economies, contribute to national prosperity, and strategically move forward on their agendas with respect to governance, cultural protection and sustainable community development. How can Nations and Communities build a foundation of solid Indigenous governance within a framework that reflects traditional knowledge and respect for Indigenous peoples and their cultures? Our focus was to invite the audience to explore ideas and learn from examples through this dialogue and to create the platform for further conversation on ‘wise practices’ for bridging divides through collaboration with leaders from Indigenous governments, other governments, business and social services sectors to advance Indigenous economic innovation and economic health throughout Canada.

Discussants

  • Cliff Fregin, Indspire
  • Dr. Mary Jane McCallum, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Leslie Varley, British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

Moderator

  • Miles G. Richardson, National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development

Duration: 1h 30 min

Learn More


Citizens Disempowered by Constraints on Civil Society

Location: UVIC, David Turpin Building, B215 (in-person only)

In many countries, States have used the opportunity of the pandemic to crackdown on, and constrain the freedom of speech of citizens who wish to have their voices and views heard in an open society. Issues: The pandemic has accentuated social inequality and seen the lives of most vulnerable social groups deteriorate substantially. While the initial public sentiment was that we ‘are all in it together’, the gap between the poor and the rich has widened domestically and globally. This roundtable will explore pathways towards establishing a new social contract and a new culture of public dialogue. It will identify opportunities based on participants’ experience to re-establish trust by building on the experience of the pandemic: securing fundamental, universal services and social rights for all citizens, building resilient – locally based – communities that can overcome social divides, and rethinking modes of democratic dialogue and engagement.

Discussants

  • Anne-Catherine Bajard, Executive Director, British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC)
  • Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)
  • The Hon. Marilou McPhedran, Senator, Senate of Canada
  • Dr. Sarah Marie Wiebe, Assistant Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria

Moderators

  • Peter Taylor, Director of Research, Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
  • Dr. Crystal Tremblay, Director of CIFAL Victoria, University of Victoria

Duration: 1h 30min

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It’s a Small(ish) World: De-Globalizing Winds: The Future of International Cooperation

Location: UVIC, David Strong Building, C118 (in-person only)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has destabilized a world hoping for a change for the better following the far-reaching impacts of Covid-19 that included border closings, disrupted global supply chains, and the prioritization of national security. From lockdowns to travel restrictions, the pandemic was already making life more limited, but recent geopolitical tensions have added a new overlay of risk. The broader impact of geopolitical crises adds plenty of unknowns to Canada’s role in the world and our own economic outlook. Join us as we discuss how a less globalized world leads to higher prices, disrupts trade, hampers movement of people, and ultimately, reduces our capacity for international cooperation and global citizenship.

Discussants

  • Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist and Primary Spokesperson, The Conference Board of Canada
  • Jeff Nankivell, President and CEO,  Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • The Hon. Yuen Pau Woo, Senator, Senate of Canada

Moderator

  • Sohaib Shahid, Director of Economic Innovation, The Conference Board of Canada

Duration: 1h 30min

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The Promise of Democratic Innovations for Student Voice in Universities

Location: Virtual Only – Please Register

Students around the world have long been granted the opportunity to shape university decision-making through various forms of student voice, whether through their student unions, representatives on university decision-making bodies, or through student experience surveys. These approaches have faced growing concerns, including about the extent to which they meaningfully include the diverse perspectives of the broader student body and the extent to which they can have a consequential impact on decision-making. A small but growing number of universities and student unions around the world are reimagining how they engage students through the use of innovations like student panels comprised of students selected through the use of democratic lotteries. Join us as we discuss how we can reimaging how to engage students in in university decision-making in the future.

Discussants

  • Jeff Kennedy, Assistant Professor, Queen Mary University of London’s School of Law
  • Matthew Jenkins, Policy and Campaigns Coordinator, Leeds University Union
  • Mel Stevens, Director of Programmes, Democratic Society Network
  • Ricardo Visinho, Head of Student Voice, LSE Students’ Union (LSESU)
  • Jennifer Vornbrock, Executive Director, Community and Government Relations, University of Victoria

Moderator

  • Simon Pek, Associate Professor, Gustavson School of Business

Duration: 1h 30min

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Climate Risks And Opportunities

Location: UVIC, David Turpin Building, A120 (in-person only)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis” concluded that it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land. Policymakers, investors, businesses, and academics are using climate scenarios to project the impact of global warming on society, the economy, and financial markets. The panelists will share how their organizations are evaluating both the risks and opportunities in their respective domains.

Moderator

  • Michael King, Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Discussants

  • Greg Flato, Acting Director, Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Adam Goehner, Director, ESG Strategy & Risk, BCI
  • Merran Smith, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Clean Energy Canada
  • Miguel Molico, Senior Director, Climate Analysis Team in the Financial Stability Department (FSD), Bank of Canada

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Sustainable Global Supply Chains For Bridging Divides (Part 2)

The climate crisis has emerged as a major threat to the continuation of the human experience. Global supply chains account for a large portion of greenhouse gas emissions and therefore have a major impact on air, land, and water biodiversity. In fact, a typical company’s GSN is responsible for eighty percent of its greenhouse emissions, and more than ninety percent of its contribution to air pollution, which are generated in the production and distribution of a consumer product. The impact of GSNs also extends to social issues. Increased inequality, violation of human rights, the COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical events have exposed the fragility of our socio-economic systems and global supply chain networks. For example, the problem of forced labour is well-known in today’s GSNs resulting in more than 24.9 million people documented working in slavery conditions around the world.

Several stakeholder and advocacy groups (e.g., regulators, investors, customers, employees, social media, and the general society) are placing pressure on businesses, multinational corporations, and other economic actors to take responsibility for the impact of their global supply chains’ activities on the environment and society. For example, investor-led initiative such as Climate Action 100+ (comprising 615 global investors with more than US$60 trillion in assets under management) targets publicly traded companies to reduce their emissions. More than 15,268 companies in over 163 countries signed on the UN Global Compact initiative by committing to the UN SDGs. Governments are also enacting legislation to combat modern slavery.

This roundtable explored opportunities and challenges for transitioning toward sustainable global supply chains, and solutions for corporations to achieve their sustainability and corporate responsibility strategies.

Discussants

  • Andre Kushniruk, Director and Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria
  • Alexander Rekik, CEO, Charcolive International SA (Tunisia)
  • Bruce Williams, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
  • Cheryl Mitchell, Assistant Teaching Professor & Academic Director for MBA Programs, University of Victoria
  • Elizabeth Borycki, Professor of Health Information Science, University of Victoria
  • Gerri Sinclair, Innovation Commissioner, Government of British Columbia
  • Samir Trabelsi, Professor of Accounting and Governance, Goodman School of Business

Moderators

  • Stephen Flynn, Founding Director, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University
  • Dr. Adel Guitouni, Associate Professor of Management Sciences, University of Victoria

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Regenerating Our Depleted Ecosystems to Address Climate Change

As humans continue to deplete our natural environment, we face what scientists call the “sixth mass extinction” where as much as half of all present species could be extinct by 2100. Urgent action is needed to prevent such destruction and to regenerate our life-supporting ecosystems.  In addition to supporting life, and providing us with meaning, beauty and natural resources, our ecosystems and biodiversity provide essential services that are critical to our efforts to combat climate change.  In other words, by regenerating and protecting our ecosystems, we also help mitigate extreme events such as wildfires, floods, and drought.  In this Roundtable, our panelists together with the audience will discuss the barriers to, and strategies for, regenerating our depleted ecosystems to address climate change.

Discussants

  • Brittany Hull, VP Marketing, Earth’s Own
  • David Ranson, Executive Director, BC Parks
  • Natalie Slawinski, Director, Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation, University of Victoria

Moderator

  • The Hon. Mary Coyle, Senator, Senator of Canada

Duration: 1h 30 min

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STEM Graduate Employability/Entrepreneurship in Africa: Harnessing the 4IR to Africa’s Advantage

It is more important than ever that Africa´s youth is prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know-how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions. Precisely these skills are developed in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, collectively known as STEM. But university graduates in STEM are far from being familiar with the world of business or entrepreneurship. And, even if they were actually aware of the career opportunities awaiting them in business they often do not have any idea how to take the first step. In this panel discussion, we will be speaking to individuals with expert knowledge in Africa, and the STEM, employability and entrepreneurship ecosystem of the continent. Our focus will be to bring the audience to “Engage with Africa” through this dialogue and to create the platform for further conversation on how best practices of Canada and the west can be employed to help accelerate the African growth and development narrative.

Discussants

  • Prof Neil Turok, Founder, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences
  • Prof Greg Moran, Executive Chairman, Academics Without Borders
  • Shaheen Nanji, Executive Director, SFU International, Simon Fraser University

Moderator

  • David Attipoe, Managing Director, Industry Immersion Africa

Duration: 1h 30 min

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Moderator

  • Shireen Salti, Former Executive Director, Canadian Arab Institute

Panelists

  • Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
  • Dr. Wilton Littlechild, Grand Chief

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