Hart House Global Commons Climate Change in Focus: Frontline Stories

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Event description
Join students participating in real from Canada, Colombia, France, South Africa, and the U.S.A., for a powerful dialogue on Climate Change.

About this Event

Global Sites and Locations

(Each participating campus will have its own in-person location):

o University of Toronto St. George: Music Room, Hart House

o University of Toronto Scarborough: MW229

o Indiana University Bloomington: GA1060

o Universidad de los Andes: Hermmes Salon 4th floor

o University of Cape Town: HOERI 3C

o Sciences Po, Campus du Havre: B-57

Event Overview

Climate change is the defining issue of our time – and in many countries and places the impacts have arrived. Climate change poses significant threats and disruption to all areas of life – health and disease, migration, food systems, economics, agriculture, the way we build and organize our communities, extreme weather, conflict. It intensifies racial and economic inequality – and it destabilizes communities and nations.

Addressing and living with climate change requires a serious transformation of society and of our relationships to each other and to the world around us – and we have work to do.

Please join us for an opportunity to share stories from the frontlines as we hear from students around the globe about how they are experiencing and responding to the climate crisis. Share your story...listen and learn.

The Hart House Global Commons is your opportunity to connect in real-time with students participating from international partner universities, to engage in dialogue and action around the climate crisis. Students participating directly from Colombia, Canada, France, South Africa, and the U.S.A. will connect for truly global discussions on one of the most pressing issues of our time

Conference Guests:

  • Guest, Scene-Setter: Elder Wendy Phillips, Joining from Toronto, Canada

Scene-Setter Bio: Wendy Phillips is a Ceremonial Leader, Indigenous Spiritual Educator, Traditional Indigenous Healer, Ahwidokazit (One Who Helps), Bezhagobe (One Who Stands Alone), and belongs to the Bald Eagle Clan. She is Ojibwa and Potawatami from Wasauksing First Nation in the heart of the Muskokas.

Her spiritual role is Ahnikgokon, "One who works for the spirits," otherwise known as a Traditional Seer for over 30 years.

In the last 25 years, she has been a Social/Cultural Enterprise Innovator and Cultural Entrepreneur within small and large Urban Indigenous ecosystems and she has been an advocate for Indigenous issues regional, provincial and national. As a professor, she is passionate about teaching and supporting students.

Moderator Bio: Lorena works as a Research Fellow at the Climate Systems Analysis Group, and at the African Climate & Development Initiative, of the University of Cape Town. She is also a World Social Science Fellow in Sustainable Urbanization (International Social Science Council). Some of her current areas of work and expertise on climate change adaptation include: governance of climate change issues at local government, urban and policy-making levels; climate change psychology, engagement, communication and behaviour change; climate change risk, vulnerability and adaptation; transformations to sustainability; climate change health impacts and vulnerability. She has a doctorate from the University of Sheffield (UK), and has a background working as a researcher, consultant and practitioner on a variety of interdisciplinary issues located at the society/environment nexus. In the past Lorena worked for one of South Africa’s leading Expanded Public Works Programmes, where she developed first-hand experience of the realities of adapting the country to the impacts of climate change.

Conference Details

Who it is for: all students, regardless of discipline, year of study, or background are encouraged to register or drop-in to the Conferences. The Conference opportunity is meant for those who want to contribute and engage in the conversation, but may not be able to commit a lot of time. Cohort participants will also be attending the Conference sessions, and will offer perspectives, learnings, and ideas that have emerged from their discussions. Conferences will host guests, faculty, civil society actors, and others from around the world for fulsome global conversations.

What you can expect to get out of the Conferences: Joining others in person on your own campus, engage in dialogue with other students both locally and globally, hear and share perspectives, work, and ideas. Guests will enhance the dialogue with their own stories and work, exploring how climate change is taking place in each location, with a view to understanding shared experiences and opportunities for action.

Time Commitment: 2 hours for the Conference, plus we will share the Conference Discussion Guide and selected resources one week before the session (available October 10, 2019).

  • Download the Discussion Guide for the Fall 2019 Conference here https://harthouse.ca/doc/gc-2019-discussion-guide

What are Students Saying about the Conference Session?

Don’t take our word for it! Read what previous participants have said about the Conference sessions:

“The experience was truly a unique one as I had not participated in an event like this before. I was provided with the great opportunity to speak to activists from different parts of the world. I was able to learn about the hardships, the gross inequalities and the need for activism. Learning about the experiences of those abroad really helps me keep track of the global humanity as often our mindsets are focused on just our region. We often don’t know about the cases outside of Canada as they go under reported or not reported at all.”
“The beauty of the Global Commons Conference is that you get insight into the lives and perspectives of people around the world. The issues we face in Canada may not be the same issues faced in South Africa or Colombia and the issues of one individual within a country may not be the issues of another person in the same area. It may also be the case that because of cultural or regional differences, similar issues may manifest, and therefore be perceived, in different ways. The format was good in ensuring that each country got the chance to voice their opinion.”

Questions or Comments?

Send us an email at hhglobalcommons@utoronto.ca. We can also connect you to your campus contact for the program.

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