The Jeanne Sauvé Foundation joined the blue-ribbon group of sponsors of the Canada 2020 Conference in Ottawa (October 1-3). JSF participants included President Désirée McGraw; Special Advisor Liane Benoit; Jeanne Sauvé Fellows David Donovan and Sadia Rafiquddin; and interns Mira Ahmad and Salomé Mirigay.
Désirée was invited to formally thank former Quebec premier Hon. Jean Charest PC following his October 3rd luncheon keynote address. Her phrase, “Monsieur Charest, your ambition for this country is refreshing”, attracted much favorable comment.
With the theme “What kind of Canada do you want in 2020?”, the conference attracted some of the world’s most influential thinkers, organizers, policy developers and business leaders who examined the key questions: By 2020, what do we want to accomplish as a nation? What areas of progress are important to us? And where do we want to be on the world stage?
The Canada 2020 conference, which was followed on October 6 with a masterclass in foreign policy by former US Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, offered an outstanding opportunity to engage with some of the country’s thought leaders and decision-makers – whether they be in government, business, philanthropy, advocacy or media. This is directly in line with the JSF’s mission to engage the next generation of public leadership in Canada and around the world to address the world’s most pressing problems. And we were pleased to connect with prospective mentors and speakers for our own programming as always to promote the participation of bright young people and ideas.
President, Jeanne Sauvé Foundation
I wish to thank the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation for sponsoring the 2014 Canada 2020 conference, and for including alumni in the program. With top-notch speakers covering issues ranging from income inequality, to energy & the environment, and jobs & skills, the conference covered many seemingly intractable policy challenges that will require creative compromises to solve. It is non-partisan policy forums such as these that help promote open, thoughtful debates on some of the most important issues of our time.
Jeanne Sauvé Fellow (2007-08)
I am very appreciative that after interning at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation this summer I was invited to attend the Canada2020 conference in Ottawa. As an undergraduate student at McGill University, this conference was a unique opportunity to hear firsthand influential leaders discuss how to build a progressive movement in Canada. One of my favourite panels was entitled “Progressive Growth” and addressed the challenge of governments to create sustained growth and wealth across broader segments of the economy. Matthew Mendelsohn, Director of the Mowat Centre, asked a fundamental question: “How do we imbed more sustainable, widely spread benefits from economic growth?” The matter of income inequality is one I find particularly important, and I greatly valued the opportunity to hear diverse perspectives on how to address this issue in Canada. One standpoint I found very compelling is the idea that a country’s growth should also incorporate non-economic measures of well-being and happiness. Although the conference covered challenging policy issues present in Canada, such as the infrastructure deficit, the skills and labor gap, and income inequality, the tone remained optimistic as leaders exchanged ideas, ranging from the traditional to the innovative. Canada2020 shed a new light on these policy issues, and helped me recognize the great challenges that policy-makers face in achieving their economic and social goals.
Intern at Jeanne Sauvé Foundation (summer 2014)
The Canada2020 conference was a gathering of Canada’s leading thinkers in politics, city building, international trade, research, security, energy, the environment, journalism, and much more. They presented challenges that Canada will face as it moves forward in creating a sustainable future for a diverse population. One of my favourite sessions was “Investing in Infrastructure” where Don Iveson, the Mayor of Edmonton, made the case for investing in public transport. He noted that public transport and investments in cities is the most important initiative toward the broader goal of nation building. One of the most inspiring sessions was a lunch keynote by the Hon. Jean Charest who offered his perspective on Canada’s recent free trade agreement with Europe. He noted that Canadians had “much to offer the world” but had to “hustle” in order to create change. I am very grateful to the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation for the opportunity to attend the Canada2020 conference. The Foundation’s support means that alumni can meet and engage with many of Canada’s change makers in one place. We can ask questions during panel discussions and use informal moments to discuss policy issues and reconnect with people from across the country in a unique atmosphere.
Jeanne Sauvé Fellow (2011-12)