Gateway Gazette

University Students Lead Discussions about Canada’s Future with imagiNation 150

UCalgary first post-secondary campus in the country to participate in imagiNation Café conversations

University of Calgary students participate in the inaugural imagiNation Cafe on Feb. 18. They discussed key themes about the future of Canada with table hosts Deborah Moynes-Keshen, Rita Egizii, Susan Mide Kiss, and Chancellor Robert Thirsk. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
University of Calgary students participate in the inaugural imagiNation Cafe on Feb. 18. They discussed key themes about the future of Canada with table hosts Deborah Moynes-Keshen, Rita Egizii, Susan Mide Kiss, and Chancellor Robert Thirsk. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Sharing a common passion to spark a nationwide movement of reflection and imagination centered on Canada’s milestone birthday in 2017, the University of Calgary and imagiNation 150 have partnered together to enable and inspire Canadians to celebrate our nation and become part of building Canada’s future.

“We see Canada’s 150 birthday in 2017 as a call to encourage conversations about what our nation can become,” says Colin Jackson, imagiNation chair and university senator. “It is also an opportunity to decide how we as individuals and in our organizations, businesses and institutions will play our part in building that future.”

The university was eager to bring these conversations to campus and worked with imagiNation 150 to gather 24 talented and inspiring university students to participate in the country’s inaugural imagiNation Café on Feb. 18.

Students share vision for Canada’s future in round table conversations 

Based on the World Café methodology, round table discussions were designed to stimulate conversations about what is possible for the future of Canada. Students were encouraged to contribute their unique insights, knowledge and experience to address opportunities, challenges and barriers related to four key themes: Use of Resources, Pluralism, Innovation and Healthy Communities.

Chancellor Robert Thirsk also joined the conversation, welcoming students to the event and moderating the discussion that centered on healthy communities.

“As the first university to host such vital conversations, I am beyond proud to say that our students are leading the way in shaping Canada’s future,” he says. “I am truly inspired by their visions for Canada, and I am hopeful for what our future has in store.”

Inaugural event to be used as model to encourage other post-secondary institutions 

Going forward, imagiNation 150 will use this imagiNation Café as a model for hosting campus conversations across the nation. The hope is to encourage other post-secondary institutions to join the conversation and share their vision for Canada’s future.

The results of the imagiNation Cafe will also be shared with both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council as they are working to launch a project called Imagining Canada’s Future, and with the Public Policy Forum of Canada that is currently developing a policy for Canada as a creative and connected nation.

For more information about imagiNation 150, visit i150.ca.

Source UofC

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