Building a better future, together

Friday, November 10, 2023
Man with tech headset on

Our world is changing — in so many ways. At the University of Waterloo, we have a history of adapting and innovating for the world’s current needs. Our institution was founded with a game-changing model that integrated work with a traditional post-secondary education.  

Today, we recognize the need to adapt again. The world continues to face multiple, compounding major crises that cut across society, health, the environment, technology and the economy. Those crises require new approaches of teaching and learning, as well as collaborative solutions. UWaterloo is ready to build a better global future. Recently, our community gathered through multiple events to explore the many ways that technology is changing, and how that might improve lives.  

Last month, alumni entrepreneurs and business leaders gathered in Miami to discuss how the technology sector might evolve. The event featured opening remarks from Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor, highlighting the Waterloo at 100 vision and the future we imagine for humanity and the planet. His remarks were followed by a fireside chat that explored software and technology, entrepreneurship, and the power of community. The event offered a valuable opportunity for attendees to forge new connections, creating potential for collaborative innovation. 

On November 1, we celebrated another collaboration that extends beyond the alumni community. UWaterloo was pleased to host leaders from Rogers Communications on campus as we renewed a commitment to our partnership to advance 5G research and development in Canada. As part of the celebration, I was honoured to emcee an armchair chat between President Goel and Ron McKenzie, chief technology and information officer at Rogers. It was a fascinating chat that explored the many ways 5G technology could transform lives — from widespread internet connections to research innovations and economic opportunities. The audience, full of students, faculty, staff and friends from Rogers, left the event with a better understanding of 5G’s ability to change lives. I left the event with a strong sense of pride in our commercial partnerships. 

Continuing with the theme of technological futures, the University hosted a special conference on November 8: WatSPEED’s Tech Horizons Executive Forum. Canadian business leaders joined the event to hear from tech and business luminaries and UWaterloo researchers, who explored emerging technologies, competitive strategies and what could lie ahead for our world. The event was preceded by an exclusive Tech Futures dinner, hosted by President Goel. Guests joined to discuss the Waterloo at 100 vision and possibilities for our technological future in an intimate setting.  

All of these event centre around collaboration within and beyond the UWaterloo community. Alumni, faculty, researchers, staff and friends all played important roles. But there’s one more group that is vital to our pursuits for a better future: donors. On November 15, we will celebrate National Philanthropy Day, thanking donors and noting the many things made possible by their support — from state-of-the-art research equipment to financial support for students, enhanced co-operative education programs and extracurricular opportunities. Later in the month, from November 21 to 28, UWaterloo will celebrate Giving Tuesday, an annual event where community members will join forces and raise funds to support a variety of initiatives on campus.  

Without our supporters, UWaterloo wouldn’t have been able to make history and introduce a new form of education in Canada more than 65 years ago. Today, as we embrace a new era of change, the next generation of supporters — alumni, donors, faculty, staff and friends — will make our goals possible. Here’s to a collaborative community, and our shared vision for a better future! 

Nenone Donaldson 
Vice-President, Advancement