Parkland Fall Conference 2021
November 19-21, 2021, University of Alberta

Building the Future We Need

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and exacerbated many of the world's problems. Even as the COVID-19 crisis evolves, we must return our attention to those issues. We also face the challenges of tackling the climate crisis, addressing growing inequality and racism, and impending government austerity. But there is an urgent desire for transformation and action to address systemic issues and the ongoing legacy of racism and colonialism that sparked Black Lives Matter and the decolonization movement. We must seize this opportunity to transform the social and economic structures of Alberta and our world to build a more just, more sustainable society. “Building back better” is not enough. We can and must begin to build the kind of future we need. This year’s Parkland Institute annual conference explores how to build that future.

Parkland Institute's 25th annual conference will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, the conference is free for current Parkland Institute supporters.

Full conference registration for non-members is $50, and $20 for students and people on low-income. Individual keynote sessions are $15.

Register for the conference →

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Full Conference

Parkland Supporters: free
for Non-Members: $50
Students / Low Income: $20

Individual Keynote Sessions

Tickets: $15

GO →

Keynote Presenters

2021-11-19 Talk Title

Friday speaker • Nov 19, 7PM

Talk title

with Dr. Pamela Palmater

Description to go here


2021-11-20 Changing Work, for Good, After COVID

Saturday Session • Nov 20, 10:45–noon

Changing Work, for Good, After COVID

with Jim Stanford

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented economic catastrophe: entire sections of the economy were deliberately shut down to protect health, and unemployment soared to Depression-like levels. Recovering from this catastrophe will require years of economic and social rebuilding, that must inevitably be led by government: with its unmatched financial resources, planning capacity, and regulatory and social authority. It will take years to recreate decent work for Canadians who saw their livelihoods evaporate. As we rebuild the quantity of work, however, we must also improve the quality of work: its safety, fairness, and sustainability.

Long-standing fault lines in Canada’s labour market were brutally exposed by the pandemic. Repairing those structural failings is essential for reconstructing the national economy on a sustained basis. Reforming work is not just a moral imperative: something we desire, because we would like a fairer and more inclusive labour market. It is also an economic necessity: put simply, Canada’s economy will not be able to function successfully after the pandemic, without focused and powerful efforts to fix these long-standing problems in the world of work. This presentation will identify 10 concrete ways that work must change for good after the pandemic.

Sponsored by (TBC)

2021-11-20 Doughnut Economics for Thriving Communities

Saturday Session • Nov 20, 9—10:15 AM

Doughnut Economics for Thriving Communities

with Kate Raworth and Ben Geselbracht

Doughnut Economics seeks to create 21st-century economies that meet the needs of all people within the means of the living planet – so what would it look like to aim to get there? Join this session and discussion to explore new economic thinking of regenerative and distributive design, from principles to practice. Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics, will introduce the core concepts of the approach, including how it can be downscaled to a town, city or province, and Coun. Ben Gesselbracht will talk about how these concepts are currently being put into practice in the city of Nanaimo.

Sponsored by the University of Alberta Sustainability Council

Saturday Session • Nov 20, 1-2:15 PM

Taking Action Workshops

with ____


Saturday session • Nov 20, 2:45-4PM

Youth Activist Panel

with ___

Sponsored by (TBC)

Sunday session • Nov 21, 10:45-noon

Taking Action Workshops

Description to go here

2021-11-21 Why we should all be activists: What Haudenosaunee philosophy can teach us about our responsibility to the Earth

Sunday session • Nov 21, 2:30–3:45 PM

Why we should all be activists: What Haudenosaunee philosophy can teach us about our responsibility to the Earth

with Alicia Elliott

It seems that every week another scientific study comes out telling us climate change apocalypse is imminent. Latest estimates put us at 2050 – a short 30 years from now. But to look at the decisions Canadian politicians are making on behalf of the entire country, you wouldn’t be able to tell. In this talk, Alicia Elliott leads us through the history of Haudenosaunee philosophy and literature to examine the nature of activism, and who is considered dangerous “activists” in a post-Oka, post-Caledonia Canada. How is an Indigenous person’s free speech impacted when practicing their culture, when merely existing is considered an impediment to national “progress?” From there, Elliott examines what the role of a government actually is. In our post-capitalist society, is government’s responsibility to the people it governs, or is it to capital? What do we lose by allowing one over the other? And what would happen if we all decided that a person’s responsibility isn’t only to themselves and their families, or even to the government of Canada, but also to the Earth upon which all of us depend? Maybe the time has come, Elliott argues, for all of us to be activists.

Saturday night celebration

Saturday Celebration • Nov 20, 7PM

Parkland Party Celebrating Trevor Harrison

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