2023 Desmarais Family Summit preview

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

We are delighted to invite members of the University of Waterloo community and friends and colleagues beyond campus to join the Global Engagement 2023 Desmarais Family Summit on the evening of Wednesday, April 5. The Summit is a public, interactive exhibition where students from the interdisciplinary Global Engagement Seminar share insights from their research projects on this year’s theme,  Energy at a Crossroads: Society, Technology, Environment, Health.

Our Summit will start with land acknowledgements at United College’s Ceremonial Firegrounds at 7:00 p.m. We will then gather in Alumni Hall (United College) for a keynote address by Catherine Abreu, followed by student presentations. Everyone is welcome to stay for refreshments and conversations with students and course instructors.

About the keynote speaker

Catherine Abreu is the Founder and Executive Director of Destination Zero and an advisor on Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body. She has deep roots in Canadian environmental organizations, and is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the leading voices advancing climate justice and a transition from fossil fuels.

About the 2023 Global Engagement Seminar

Students and instructors in power plant
Global Engagement Seminar students visit the Niagara Power Station.

This year Waterloo students from across the university worked together to identify possible paths forward through the challenges we face globally in ensuring equitable and sustainable access to energy. Students were encouraged to take creative risks beyond their disciplinary comfort zone and embrace innovative and collaborative problem-solving. Guided by co-instructors Dr. Angela Carter (Political Science) and Dr. Magdy Salama (Electrical and Computer Engineering), the students also drew upon experiences and insights from six external mentors, the Jarislowsky Fellows. Our Fellows, who were drawn from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, and who had worked with diverse national and international organizations and bodies including with First Nations, shared their experiences and provided first-hand insights into the technical, regulatory, health, political, economic, and social contexts which will help determine future solutions.

We hope you can join us. Please register to join the Global Engagement Desmarais Family Summit, on Wednesday April 5, 2023. If you have any questions about this event, please email Rebecca Zehr.