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2030 & beyond : Solutions Without Borders

The year 2030 is the current target agreed upon by the Member States of the United Nations to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, and guarantee prosperity for all. These are ambitious objectives—some may say utopian—but they are within reach.

The objectives are premised on the active engagement of governments, as well as from all actors involved in the humanitarian and sustainable development sectors, including you. As a young leader, a member of civil society, a representative of the public or private sector, an international development practitioner, a humanitarian worker, a researcher, a student, a newcomer, an engaged citizen, a man, a woman, or a non-binary person, you are a part of the solution!

Come to the International Forum 2020 and share the lessons learned from your experiences, find inspiration in the ideas of others, and discover new tools and practices to implement in your own sector. Together, let’s build innovative solutions for a future where no one is left behind.


Future of the Planet

The climate crisis affects every country on every continent, and disproportionately impacts the most vulnerable among us. How can we make sure the needs of those individuals, especially women and youth, are taken into account as we design solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, build climate resilience, and prevent future disasters? And how can we make sure they are fully involved in the decision-making processes that concern them and are taking an active role in building clean, resilient economies?


Future of Populations

Today, the world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, with some 68.5 million people displaced due to conflicts, persecution, natural disasters, or a changing climate. A new Global Compact for Refugees provides an opportunity to transform the way the world responds to refugee situations. What actions must we take to build a future in which the movement of people is motivated more often by opportunities rather than threats, and by choice rather than force? How do we ensure host communities also benefit from durable and equitable solutions that provide protection, dignity, and quality of life—thereby contributing to a more peaceful, prosperous future for all?


Future of Work

The workplace and the nature of work are changing rapidly to adapt not only to the evolution of technology, but also to the reality of climate change and to shifting markets. If work is to be a means to eradicate poverty, how can we guarantee access for all—especially women and youth—to decent jobs and economic opportunities that won’t contribute to widening the gap between rich and poor? How can we make sure all workers can adapt to and benefit from the changing work environment, on a local or international scale?

Friday, January 24

07:30 - 09:00 Registration and Networking Breakfast

9:00 - 18:30 Connections Zone

Connections Zone : 

  • Solutions Zone
  • Immersion Zone
  • Networking Zone

09:00 - 09:30 Opening Remarks


09:45 - 10:45 Inspiration | Inspirational talks

Restoring degraded landscapes: key to achieving the 17 sustainable development goals of United Nations by Martin Beaudoin Nadeau, CEO, Viridis Terra International

We are entering a period of high instability caused by some of the biggest challenges our global society has ever experienced: climate change, land degradation, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, overexploitation, and exponential population growth. Our environment is deteriorating at an alarming pace, and yet, by 2050, we will need to increase our food production by 70% to feed the growing population. The future depends on the sustainable restoration and return into production of degraded lands. It is through a comprehensive approach that we will be able to sequester carbon, enhance ecosystem resilience, protect water sources, create biodiversity hotspots, and produce environment-friendly goods and services while contributing to inclusive green economic growth and the 17 SDGs.

A Quebecois Transition Plan Towards a Green Economy, by Patrick Rondeau, Regional Counsellor,  Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec

Over the next few years, global warming is likely to multiply weather disruptions and jeopardize our lifestyles and the equilibrium of our societies. To avoid the worst, we must profoundly transform our means of transportation, heating, consumption, producing goods and services and caring for our planet. Through this necessary transition, some jobs will cease to exist, others will be created, and many will be transformed. In Quebec, the Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec (FTQ) has been working for the past five years to ensure a fair energy transition so that no one is left behind. This transition is based on social dialogue, making sure the solutions are focused on the people who will be impacted the most. It is through the construction of lasting alliances that the FTQ has managed to make this a key social justice issue in Quebec. The Fédération is also working to share this model locally and internationally.

Human Trafficking: The Need for an Approach Beyond Borders, by Karine Ruel, Senior Attorney, Lawyers Without Borders Canada

Human trafficking is a particularly widespread crime at the borders between El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. It mainly affects women and other vulnerable populations, such as forcibly displaced people. This complex transnational crime, often committed by structured organizations, is mostly invisible and difficult to bring to justice. It also presents significant challenges for the victims and for civil society organizations working to prevent and put an end to this crime. Based on the lessons learned from a project implemented by Lawyers Without Borders Canada, this inspiring conference will present the challenges and sources of hope in the fight against human trafficking across these three countries. This inspiring talk will be presented by Karine Ruel, Senior Lawyer at Lawyers Without Borders Canada.

Inclusion of Persons With Disabilities in the Workplace  by Agata Turbanska-Liautaud, Institutional Partnerships Manager, Humanity & Inclusion

Around the world, a wide variety of barriers are preventing disabled people from accessing decent economic opportunities. Globally, more than 80 percent of people with disabilities are unemployed, which, in addition to being unfair, represents a significant loss in economic growth. All stakeholders should focus on developing strategies that support disabled people’s participation in the labour market for the good of society as a whole. Humanity & Inclusion’s (HI) inclusive employment expertise is the result of decades of partnerships with businesses, NGOs, governments, vocational training centers, and disabled persons organizations. This inspiration talk will provide an overview of the most recent tools and best practices developed and collected by HI in the 26 countries of the global south where they operate to increase access to work for people with disabilities.

Deforestation and Climate Change : What Do We Do Now ? by Martin Vilela, Responsible for climate change, extractivism and international advocacy, Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climático

The future of our planet and of its people largely depends on our ability to drastically reduce greenhouse gases emissions associated with agriculture and industry. These two sectors alone account for more than 40% of all greenhouse gases in Latin America and nearly 82% in Bolivia. In addition to being polluting, these economic activities deepen the inequalities and the vulnerability of the populations residing in the exploited areas. The dramatic fires that have recently wreaked havoc in the Amazon are further evidence that multinationals are currently decimating the world’s largest forest ecosystem, to the detriment of the common good. A ecological and energy transition that is fair and that integrates the needs of the most vulnerable populations is possible and necessary.

The Time for Transition is Now! by Laure Waridel, Spokesperson for Pact for Transition  

Humanity is at a crossroads. Not a week goes by without new scientific evidence emerging to remind us of the magnitude of the environmental, social and economic challenges that lie ahead. Faced with these phenomena, it is easy to feel powerless. Yet we all have much more power than we would believe, both individually and collectively. Every day, we make choices that impact our world. The ecological transition our societies must engage in represents a tremendous opportunity to offer a better quality of life to all while respecting the limitations of our planet. Contrary to what some people argue, it is not about going back to the past, nor is it a matter of ideology. The transition is not about right or left; it is about going forward. It implies making societal choices that promote the well-being of populations, for our physical and mental health.

Building Hope for Internally Displaced Youth in Northeastern Nigeria by, Aisha Zannah, Future Prowess Islamic Foundation

Today, there are nearly 2 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in Nigeria, the majority in the northeastern part of the country. The Boko Haram insurgency has claimed more than 32,000 lives, targeting schools, students and teachers in kidnappings and attacks for decades. Over 1,400 schools have been destroyed or damaged, and more than one million children have been forced out of school. While the 2014 Chibok abduction of 276 schoolgirls brought global attention on the impact of the insurgency on education, the world’s focus has shifted away from Nigeria despite the complex, ongoing challenges faced by IDPs. How can we empower displaced youth today, so that they can create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities?

10:45 - 11:15 Coffee break


11:15 - 12:30 Discussion | Collaborative Workshops

Feminist Climate Justice, by Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)

The climate crisis we are facing disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations. Women, in particular, face multiple legal, economic, political, social and cultural barriers that hinder their resilience to climate change. The feminist approach to climate justice is based on an intersectional feminist analysis of unequal power relations, addressing this crisis as a complex social justice issue. The resulting solutions seek to address the root causes of the climate crisis and of inequalities, including modes of production, consumption and the model of trade agreements, while seeking to transform the balance of power and promoting women’s rights.

This workshop will be facilitated by Anne Delorme, Coordinator of the Quebec Committee on Women and Development and the community of practice "Genre en pratique" at the Quebec Association of International Cooperation Organizations (AQOCI); Elsa Beaulieu, feminist researcher and organizer; André-Yanne Parent, founding member of DestiNATIONS, a First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultural and artistic embassy in Montreal; and Rosalinda Hidalgo, researcher and Mexican activist for the defense of rivers and territories in Mexico and Latin America.

Refugee Camps: From Prisons to the Notion of Cities. New Ways to Value the Local Economies of Refugee Camps, by Observatoire canadien sur les crises et l’action humanitaires (OCCAH)

The global refugee crisis we are facing is unprecedented. It is characterized by both a record number of forcibly displaced people and the protracted nature of displacement crises. Today, more than two thirds of the world’s refugees, representing 13 million people, are in a situation of protracted displacement without any real prospect of reaching a durable solution. Refugee camps, initially conceived as a temporary response to the urgent and fundamental needs of individuals, have over the years been transformed into permanent settlements that are struggling meet the aspirations of the people living there. The development of sustainable economic opportunities in the camps and surrounding communities is a major challenge for the international community. The Canadian Research Institute on humanitarian crisis and aid (OCCAH) encourages the adoption of a value chain approach to provide vulnerable populations with opportunities for the creation of decent, sustainable employment that can add value to the local markets, at least.

This workshop will be facilited by François Audet, Professor at the École des Sciences de la Gestion (ESG) of the Université du Québec à Montréal and Executive Director of OCCAH.

The Next Digital Economy, by Policy Horizons

Over the past decades, we have experienced significant economic change due to digitization. In the decades to come, we must prepare for even more disruptive change. Even if the outcomes of this transition may be positive for many, the changes it imposes could be difficult. The Next Digital Economy promises to revolutionise value chains, and introduce a different model for the production and consumption of goods and services. Much of our economic activity may become digitally intermediated, customized, on demand, and globally distributed. The presentation will expand on these changes to the economy as well as five key game changers that could disrupt work and employment.

This workshop will be facilitated by several members of the Policy Horizons Canada Team: Marcus Ballinger, Futurist and Manager; Avalyne Diotte, Policy Analyst; Steffen Christensen, Senior Policy Analyst and Researcher; Pierre-Olivier DesMarchais, Policy Analyst, and Martin Berry, Policy Analyst.

Youth Leadership for Refugee Self-Reliance: Lessons from the 2019 International Seminar, by World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

The 73rd Uniterra International Seminar, held in Malawi in July 2019, brought together a diverse group of 15 post-secondary students and recent graduates: Five Malawians, five5 youth with lived refugee experience, from Dzaleka camp, and five students from Canada. Supervised by academic advisors from Canada and Malawi, these student researchers worked alongside one another to frame, undertake and analyse the research, deepening their mutual understanding of and co- investigating the opportunities for greater self-reliance for refugee youth in Malawi. A few participants from the seminar will present about their research and findings in an interactive workshop.

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch


14:00 - 17:00 Action | Participatory Activity


18:30 – 22:00 Evening Gala


Saturday, January 25

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast


09:00 – 12:00 WUSC Local Committee Training


09:30 - 12:00 WUSC Members / Partners Session


10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

10:00 – 12:00 CECI Members / Partners Session


12:00 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 – 15:00 CECI Members / Partners Session


13:30 – 15:00 WUSC General Assembly


15:00 - 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 17:00 WUSC Local Committee Training

Sunday, January 26

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast


09:00 - 12:00 WUSC Local Committee World Café


10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break

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