Canada in 2050
In recent years, the combination of climate change, declining natural resource prices and demand, and a slow collapse of manufacturing has forced Canada to consider a very different future. The rapid advance of technological change, immigration and the uneven effects of globalization have affected all Canadians and reshaped the national economy. Looking ahead to the world that our children and grandchild stand to inherit raises important questions about personal and collective choices. The future, after all, is what we make it!
Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
The transformations of the past decade, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to major decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada, has forced all Canadians to contemplate the future of Indigenous peoples within Canada. While much is made of protests, poverty, and conflict — all of which are real and important — the reality is that Aboriginal people in Canada have become increasingly active in business, partners in resource development, and collaborators at the community-level. While the current situation is far from ideal, the reality is that Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians are finding creative and important ways to come together.
Few people, looking forward from the year 1990, would have contemplated such developments as social media, media convergence, remote surgery and autonomous vehicles. And this is only the early stages of a technological revolution that has the potential to transform profoundly our daily lives, the world of work, and all of other aspects of life. Understanding the technology that is available today, and the exciting and quirky technologies currently under development, is essential to preparing properly for the new world that is approaching.
Over the past few decades, rural and small town Canada have faced immense strains. Migration of young people to the cities, changes in agriculture, mining and manufacturing have undermined local economies. But rural Canada will not go quietly, but instead is determined to preserve its special place within Canada well into the 21st century. Defining the lifestyles and economic prospects of rural and small town Canada requires creativity, community spirit and a full understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie before us all.
Keynote or Workshop | Making Science and Technology Work for Society
The current scientific and technological revolution is one of the most remarkable in human history. There are worrying signs, however, that digital technologies will undermine or replace a great deal of human labour, without alternatives in place. How do we make sure that the age of innovation works for society at large and makes major contributions to improving the quality of life?