His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston – Democratizing knowledge: The key to progress



Addressing today’s complex, global issues effectively and equitably are well beyond the purview of any one discipline, sector or country. Working collaboratively and sharing the best knowledge available is the most effective strategy if true social innovation—that which affects behaviour and improves quality of life—is to be realized for the benefit of all citizens.

In this Big Thinking address of the 2012 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will speak about the significance of scholarship and collaboration in today’s world. This discussion will illuminate the role of scholarship in society and the importance of collaboration across university, community and private sectors to solve today’s and tomorrow’s most pressing issues. His remarks will be followed by a moderated armchair discussion with public figures tackling key questions: how can we deepen university-community engagement, what are the impediments to effective coalitions and what tools or strategies do we need to overcome them?

His Excellency has served as professor, dean and president at several Canadian universities. He served as the president of the University of Waterloo before becoming Canada’s 28th governor general.

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