22 March 2016

Are multicultural societies more or less prosperous than the alternatives? Is transnationalism an opportunity or a threat? And is Canada making the most of social diversity in its cities and towns?

These are a few of the questions being addressed by the pluralism project led by 2015 Trudeau fellow Bessma Momani of the University of Waterloo and 2015 Trudeau mentor Jillian Stirk of the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue, and supported by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Entitled, “Pluralism, diversity, and the future of citizenship: The economic dimension,” this 18-month project combines academic research with a series of consultations with globally connected Canadian businesses in Canada and abroad to explore such issues as the links between pluralism and economic competitiveness and innovation, policies that encourage student and labour or professional mobility, employment as a tool for promoting social cohesion, and the role of global networks and experience in trade and investment.

The goal is to integrate the latest research with practical experience, with a view to recommending policies in support of pluralism and global connectivity and generating an informed public debate about the long-term benefits of pluralism in a competitive global environment.

Project Schedule

  • Spring 2016: Academic workshop at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Spring/Summer/Fall 2016:  Roundtable consultations with stakeholders across Canada
  • 16-17 November 2016: Presentation of the preliminary findings at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s annual conference in Vancouver
  • January 2017: Launch of the policy brief launch in Ottawa
  • Throughout: Focus groups, individual consultations, and community engagement

Opportunities for collaboration

Trudeau scholars interested in observing a focus group and conferring on the results are invited to contact project manager Anna Klimbovskaia at klimbovskaia [at] gmail . com

This project is one of several that the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is supporting in the area of diversity, pluralism, and the future of citizenship. Keep posted for more.

Visit the project website

Read their article in the Globe and Mail

Bessma Momani

Professor Bessma Momani is an expert on global economic governance issues, Canadian foreign policy, Arab Spring, Arab Canadians and Arab youth.

2015 Fellows

Jillian Stirk

Retired after 30 years of service in the foreign service, she brings strategic expertise in foreign policy and multilateral negotiations.

2015 Mentors