President's Message - December 2022

Dear friends,

Twenty years.

Twenty trips around the sun during which the world was transformed; a chapter of our history marked by the upheaval of our modes of communication and our relationship to society.
In 2022, far from the echo chambers of our social networks, how can we build a real democracy, a place of open dialogue between citizens and leaders? How can we provide access to the knowledge that allows us to make more informed individual and collective decisions? The environment, global economy, language and culture, human rights, inequality, and community interdependence: let’s encourage tomorrow’s leaders to courageously speak out and shed new light on sensitive, sometimes unifying, sometimes polarizing, but always essential issues.

Let’s help them enter into the delicate dance where intelligence waltzes to the same rhythm as intelligibility, a dance that every citizen is invited to join.

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Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has been committed to fostering a collision of ideas, shaping a space where we can talk about any topic without taboos or clichés, and where much-needed bridges between academic intellectuals and the real world are created.
Twenty years of inviting young thinkers to open their eyes, offering them a 360-degree view of the world, and acknowledging all blind spots, as we build a democracy where everyone is seen and feels engaged.
At the end of the year, when we take stock, I invite you to look at what lies ahead: a future characterized by openness and transparency. That the next twenty years will transform the Foundation into a true springboard for action for its Scholars, enabling them to fully embrace their role as agents of change.

Together, we can contribute to bridging the gaps with interconnected communication, reflection and action.

Let’s paint a world in our own image and display its true colours!


2022: Doors open to the world

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2022. We are back to cruising speed and our cohorts are finally back in the field. What a pleasure! We feel as if we have returned to our roots, that we are more firmly grounded in one of our great founding themes: Canada and the World.

Moncton, Winnipeg, Paris, Montreal, Quebec City: the 2020, 2021, and 2022 cohorts have travelled across Canada and the world to meet other Scholars, leaders, and inspiring personalities, at times taking the pulse of associations that fight poverty, at other times hearing the perspectives of high-level government and economic leaders.






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Paris: promoting Francophone leadership

When Pierre Elliott Trudeau was prime minister, he passed the Official Languages Act, which remains one of Canada’s strongest symbols. Of course, we at the Foundation cherish this legacy and, in 2019, took it a step further by adopting the Policy on Language: BilingualismPlus — a policy unique in the country and indeed in the world as it allows our Scholars to learn French, English, and Indigenous languages.


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On November 29, 2022, we signed a partnership with the Association nationale France-Canada in Paris. This is the beginning of a reciprocal relationship between our nations, networks, and our ways of knowing. From this meeting, a commitment was born — to organize joint activities each year with the goal of creating lasting links on both sides of the Atlantic.


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Lights, Camera, Action!:
Introducing Scholars to the public arena

The motivation behind this event was to highlight the importance for a researcher to know how to explain their research, to become an expert in accessibly addressing the general public, and to democratize knowledge so that citizens can live in a true democracy. We organized a week at the PHI Centre with the 2020 cohort that included journalist Alexandra Szacka and filmmaker Patrice Sauvé, as well as several other Fellows and Mentors.

In this unique and privileged setting, Scholars were able to learn how to speak with composure in front of the media, write powerful opinion pieces, develop good communication skills, and express themselves with confidence.


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Providing personalized coaching to help Scholars develop communication skills that focus on clarity of message, dialogue, knowledge transfer, and listening skills that consider all points of view is at the heart of our ambitions at the Foundation.


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 Learn more about our Strategic Plan!


Twentieth anniversary of the Foundation: celebrating the democratization of knowledge

Depuis la révolution, je suis en expansion
Je cultive l’innovation, la standardisation
J’incite à la création, à la destruction
Que voulez-vous? J’adore les contradictions
(Since the revolution, I am expanding
I cultivate innovation, standardization
I encourage creation, destruction
What else is there to say? I love contradictions)

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From: I am the Global Economies
A collaborative bilingual poem by Barbara Grantham, Michelle Liu, Jean-Frédéric Morin, and Alexandre Petitclerc, representing the 20th cohort of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation

The Foundation’s 20th anniversary was held at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. It was a smashing success including 210 guests where members of the active and alumni cohorts, Directors of the Board and Members, donors and friends of the Foundation were gathered for a memorable evening.

The community’s enthusiasm was palpable. The evening was driven by a desire to reach out internationally to broaden the scope of Canada’s leaders of tomorrow, guided by the shared desire to use science in the service of people.


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We used the opportunity to remind ourselves of the need to engage in sometimes difficult and thought-provoking discussions, to push young leaders to embrace the challenge of wanting to go further, and to dare to challenge the status quo, even in cases of disagreement. Emboldened by the conviction that we are all moving in the same direction, the attendees felt the magnitude of the responsibility of assembling a unique toolkit for the Scholars.


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A celebration of the last twenty years, but also of the next twenty!
A big thank you to everyone, whether you attended in formal attire or in thoughts.


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Read the President’s Speech!

Watch our video to get into the spirit of the celebration!



Thank you for contributing every day to the development and influence of the Foundation every day, for bringing the dream of a better world to fruition with us, a dream from which a benevolent truth springs.


Give Now!

Read our Annual Report


May this time of rest be sweet, simple, harmonious, and full of hope.

Happy holidays!







Pascale Fournier
Présidente et cheffe de la direction





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