Future Forums get underway in Alberta

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation officially began the Future Forums in Edmonton. It is the start of a series of consultations in every province and territory. The goal is to get feedback from a broad swath of Canadians – from Foundation community members to industry, to Indigenous communities, industry and activist groups. The feedback the Foundation gets will help innovate its mission supporting scholarly pursuits in key areas including human rights, the environment, and Canada’s place in the world.

The themes discussed at the ground-breaking Future Forums session at the University of Alberta were Inclusive Excellence and Engaged Leadership. Participants examined and discussed questions such as why some people have traditionally been excluded from leadership and the decision-making process.

Dr. Kisha Supernant is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, and participated in the discussion. She said the Foundation is in a position to set itself apart from other scholarship-granting institutions.

“Maybe the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation can play a different role … to promote an environment where inclusive excellence is possible,” Dr. Supernant said.

Participants in the discussions raised many points regarding Inclusive Excellence and Engaged Leadership, and the challenges associated with achieving both. Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation 2018 Scholar William Schultz spoke on behalf of his group and noted inclusion means ensuring a diverse array of voices get heard when ideas are being shared.

“The person on the stage should not be the same person who appears on TV,” Shultz said.

Foundation President Pascale Fournier expressed thanks to the participants, and said their contribution of ideas will “help make the Foundation more forward-looking, more modern, and more effective at fostering communities that are inclusive, open-minded and diverse.”