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Gord Hume

One of Canada’s leading proponents of creating great cities

Gord Hume is one of Canada’s most respected commentators on local government issues.  As an entrepreneur, councillor and successful business leader, Gord brings his unique perspective in his dynamic presentations on designing and building 21st century cities.

London, Ontario, Canada


The Leadership Crisis 
“Leadership” is the hottest topic at conventions today.  There is a huge need for smart, contemporary leadership for Canada’s towns and cities.   As a best-selling author, elected official and expert on local government, Gord Hume is ideally positioned to provide training for elected officials and administrative staff, and as a keynote speaker on Leadership at conferences.   He looks at the real-life situations facing leaders today, and offers smart ideas and inspiring directions for our government leaders.   Gord’s 6th book, “The Leadership Crisis” is a contemporary look at the “7 C’s” of great leadership, reveals the national survey of attitudes inside city halls, and presents the ‘goods and bads’ of local government in Canada.  A must-see presentation that appeals to a wide audience.

Building Great Cities for the 21st century:  “Places and Spaces”
Public places and spaces are becoming the new urban living room.  How municipalities design their public realm strongly influences their economy and culture.  Why did people in one major city ‘fall out of love’ with their city?  How do places and spaces help to shape the civility of cities and the people in them?  Great urban design.  These are just some of important themes in this exciting presentation by Gord Hume.  This is how modern, prosperous and successful cities are built in the 21st century.  “Places and Spaces” is Gord’s 5th book and is a brilliant look at our public domain, how the public and private realm intersect and often collide, and what we have to do as a society to ensure we provide sustainable, livable and prosperous cities.

The Financial crisis facing our cities and our nation
“Infrastructure” is the buzzword today.  Our municipal infrastructure is crumbling.  There is a municipal infrastructure deficit of hundreds of billions of dollars; local governments cannot pay for these basic community building blocks on the property tax base.  Gord Hume’s provocative look at how we have to change the system, invest in infrastructure or risk falling behind our global competitors is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at conferences.  Billions of dollars will be spent by all levels of government in Canada over the next few years.  Gord’s dynamic speech about what we can do about these critical challenges that are changing government priorities is a contemporary and stimulating look at what is becoming the biggest challenge facing our nation.

The Canadian political system, why it is broken, and how we can fix it 
The property tax system in Canada is broken and can’t be fixed.  Our national infrastructure is crumbling.  Dynamic new cities in Asia, SE Asia and the Middle East are becoming global leaders. Will our next generation be the leaders of the world, or the labourers of the world?  80% of us now live in urban areas in Canada, but local governments get only 8 cents of the tax dollar.  We can’t build 21st-century cities on a foundation of 17th-century tax systems and a 19th-century governance model.  Your conference will enjoy Gord Hume’s fascinating look at Canada’s urban future and why we need to change the system.  A passionate presentation that will inspire delegates attending your next conference or seminar.

  • Gord Hume is a speaker who excites audiences with his innovative ideas, his passion and his practical advice on how to get things done. Gord understands the theory but he delivers more than that. He leaves his audiences with a call to action and a plan to implement the vision. He inspires others to take action in their communities. You won't be disappointed.

    - Dean, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
  • Gord was invited to speak at the 2015 Ontario Library Association Super Conference. He was the Spotlight Speaker for the library boards division and spoke on the subject of library spaces from the perspective of library leadership.
    We received great feedback on the content of the talk and many of the trustees considered it the highlight of their conference.

    - Manager, Education Programs at Ontario Library Association
  • Gord Hume has not only 'been there' and 'done that' but has an amazing ability to communicate to his audience, in a direct but humourous way, the processes involved in re-inventing places for the 21st century economy. More people need to hear what he has to say.

    - Professor, OBE, Niagara University, New York
  • Thank you for coming to the Capital Region and thank you for a wonderful presentation. You hit the mark … and thank you for taking the approach you did. You were bold and straight.

    - Mayor of St. Albert, AB
  • Gord Hume is a champion of culture as an essential part of community development. His engaging speaking style combined with his experience working at the municipal level make him truly inspirational.

    - Brantford Cultural Network Coordinator
  • It was a rare pleasure indeed to see my students sit enthralled through a presentation and to be so animated during the question session. I can't thank you enough.

    - OBE, American university professor
  • I’ve been coming to these conferences for 30 years, and [Gord’s speech] was the best speech I’ve heard.

    - Veteran municipal planning official, Alberta
  • His thought-provoking presentation swept our audience along, and inspired us to consider a better future for Caledon. Gord’s writings and presentations will push you to consider the public realm and the way we develop for future generations, how we form policies and civic decision-making processes.

    - Mayor, Town of Caledon

Summary Profile

Gord Hume is recognized as one of Canada’s leading voices on strengthening local government, and is an articulate and thoughtful commentator on municipal governance and community issues. He is a popular and sought-after public speaker known for his passionate and inspiring presentations.  He has addressed major conferences and local governments across Canada, as well as in Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  Gord was the keynote speaker at the UNESCO Congress on Creative Cities in South Korea. Gord is the best-selling author of six important books on building strong, prosperous and creative cities, and the co-author of two others.  

His books are in more than 22 countries around the world. His latest book Getting Cities Right is about the future of local government in the face of challenges.  It is about creating modern urban centres that will flourish by embracing innovation, technology, and a more global perspective.  It is about getting cities right. 

Gord was elected to London City Council four times.  He had a distinguished career in Canadian business: President of radio stations, and the founding Publisher of a newspaper.  Gord has been honoured with two “Broadcaster of the Year’ awards and several other national and international awards. Gord is a national columnist for the Municipal Information Network from Montreal, and is a regular contributor to Municipal World.  He writes for many newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent commentator on radio and television.