Waterloo leading on equity, innovation

 
 
 

President Feridun Hamdullahpur welcome Honourable Navdeep Bains to the stage.

President Hamdullahpur welcoming the Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains to the Waterloo Innovation Summit stage.

Those of you on an academic term this fall will know that our main campus has been filled with activity. Let me take a step back to put two specific areas in perspective for the campus community, as we ramp up to one major event and reflect on the success of another. These initiatives beautifully underline our University’s core strengths and values.

#HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10

I’m thrilled to highlight some exciting news about equity.

As you know, in May 2015 I accepted an invitation from the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign for UWaterloo to participate in their IMPACT 10x10x10 framework as one of ten global universities to do so.

Today, I join my fellow IMPACT 10x10x10 university presidents at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to unveil the first ever HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 University Parity Report. Watch the live webcast today at 11:00 a.m. The report provides a full update on our progress, as well as a look forward at new and emerging opportunities for equity in our sector.

In fact, we will be extremely well represented in NYC: Anya Forestell, one of our HeForShe scholarship recipients, will speak at a global HeForShe gala event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York about her experiences as a female working in a STEM discipline.

Engage the conversation using #HeForShe, and learn more about Waterloo’s HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 commitments.

#WIS16

Waterloo is a Canadian innovation leader, and the Waterloo Innovation Summit (WIS)— which we proudly co-hosted this year with our partner Communitech from September 14-16 — is our annual opportunity to convene the broadest discussion possible on a theme that has always defined our university.

Canadian and international thought leaders from Amanda Lang Speakers during Waterloo Innovation Summit workshop.to Waterloo grad Chamath Palihapitiya to Emma Sinclair all  shared their experiences with Summit participants. We were also pleased to host several honourable ministers, including Navdeep Bains, Kirsty Duncan, and Bardish Chagger, all of whom eagerly took part in the Summit dialogue as the federal government’s national Innovation Agenda gains steam.

Here’s a recap of the discussion on Day 1 of the Summit, in which equity and creating inclusive growth was front and centre. Here’s a summary of Day 2, where the focus was talent development.

At WIS I also introduced a major University of Waterloo undertaking: GEDI – the Global Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Innovation Initiative. Check out the link to learn more about this opportunity to connect the business and technology needs of industry with the research, innovation, talent, and startups of the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor universities. Tweet me your thoughts @UWaterlooPres.

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WIS and HeForShe are two incredible examples of our university bringing innovation leadership to Canada and the world – thank you to the hundreds of students, faculty, and staff who have been involved in both efforts! All of these successes depend on the strength of our whole team, of which I am extremely proud to be a part.

And finally, students: it’s still only September, but I hope campus is feeling like home. I speak for our whole campus community when I say it’s been terrific welcoming you all (back) for Fall 2016. 

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