Diversity, inclusion, and the what’s next for the world: Victoria Forum Report released

March 21, 2018 - From Nov. 17-19, 2017, the University of Victoria, in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, launched the inaugural Victoria Forum to explore diversity and inclusion issues facing society today.

On March 21, 2018, the Global Centre for Pluralism released the Victoria Forum Report, which may be accessed here: www.victoriaforum.ca/final-report/

Bringing together policy makers, business leaders, academics, and leaders of civil society, the Victoria Forum addressed the overall objective of creating a better world for all. Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of Canada’s agenda to promote prosperity and sustainability both at home and abroad and were the focus of the 2017 forum.

The summary of recommendations and next steps in the Victoria Forum Report include:

  • A pluralistic society requires inclusive socio-economic institutions where power and benefits are widely held. The success of Canada will be determined by the ability of its inhabitants to create, maintain, and perfect these  inclusive institutions during a time of populism and protectionism.
  • Canada should continue to embrace its differences while making more space for Indigenous identities, both through legislative and institutional reforms.
  • Canada must commit to building a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples.
  • Socio-economic development of this country will depend on its ability to invest in Indigenous prosperity.
  • Sustainable socio-economic development must reflect issues of climate justice and requires an urgent mobilization of all levels of government, society, and business to address the impacts of climate change on people and      ecosystems.
  • Human rights obligations should be incorporated as a foundational requirement for policy in order to combat discrimination, inequality, and barriers to fair immigration practices.
  • Global trade must be more inclusive, with a strongly supported open system that defends national policies.
  • Building capacity for international engagement involves the active participation of key stakeholders in all communities and gaining experience in countries/cultures that will matter most to Canada’s future.
  • Impact investing could provide Canada with financial instruments to progress the diversity and inclusion agenda at home and abroad.
  • There is a need to better educate Canadian citizenry on the critically important role of philanthropic foundations as processes of social innovation and institutional change.
  • Smart cities should be based on participatory decision-making processes to allow a stronger voice for all constituencies, and, most importantly, the most vulnerable.

The Victoria Forum highlights the importance of acknowledging and embracing our history, but also the need to move beyond our past and to create better future. The three-day event was attended by 476 delegates and more than 90 nationally and internationally recognized speakers.

In addition to the Gustavson School of Business, the Victoria Forum included participation from UVic’s Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, the Centre for Global Studies, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development, the Faculty of Law and the Office of the Vice President Research. Supporting partner organizations include the Conference Board of Canada, Haida Enterprise Corporation, the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Philanthropic Foundation of Canada, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Canadian International Council.

More about the Victoria Forum is available at: www.uvic.ca/victoriaforum

Contact: Dianne George, Gustavson School of Business  dgeorge@uvic.ca