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OCAD U part of annual DemocracyXChange summit

DemocracyXChange Virtual Summit

From October 13 to 15, Canada’s annual democracy summit, DemocracyXChange, will bring hundreds of leaders, policymakers, activists and thinkers together – through this online event – to connect and hear the most important, most hopeful ideas for making our democracy stronger and more inclusive.

“In these unprecedented times, now more than ever, we need ongoing dialogue to address the issues that are impacting democracy today. At DemocracyXChange, we are committed to amplifying voices that have been traditionally excluded from leading the co-creation of our democratic practices, including those from marginalized communities as well as artists and designers,” says Ana Serrano, OCAD University President and Vice-Chancellor, who is also co-director of the DemocracyXChange.

This annual conference is a project of the Ryerson Leadership Lab and the Open Democracy Project. OCAD U is one of the summit’s co-presenting partners along with the Ryerson Faculty of Arts, Toronto Public Library, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University and the Samara Centre for Democracy.

Conference adopting Pay What You Can Model

DemocracyXChange will feature panels and workshops on how participating in democratic action can help us respond to the pandemic, build trust, connect to and confront powerful institutions, and emerge stronger. Access will be open to anyone with an internet connection, using a "Pay What You Can Model."

“Democracy is under threat around the world. We can wallow in despair. Or we can connect with each other, and have an honest, hopeful discussion about the things we need to do to make our democracy stronger,” says Karim Bardeesy, DemocracyXChange co-director, and executive director of the Ryerson Leadership Lab.

Impressive line-up of featured speakers

  • Hahrie Han, democracy expert, political scientist, co-convenor of a Policy Advisory Committee for the 2008 Obama campaign, and inaugural Director of SNF Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University.
  • Mutale Nkonde, founder and CEO of AI For The People.·
  • Politicians Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs for Canada), Annamie Paul (Leader of the Green Party of Canada) and Jagdeep Sahota (Conservative MP); as well as a multi-party panel on the role of faith in politics.
  • Renowned policy thinkers and economists Thomas Piketty (France), Oren Cass (USA), and Matt Stoller (USA), and Michal Rozworski (Canada).
  • Speculative fiction writers Karen Lord, Cory Doctorow and Waubgeshig Rice.
  • Media personalities Amanda Lang (BNN Bloomberg), Eva Salinas (Media Girlfriends), Doug Saunders (The Globe and Mail), Rita Trichur (The Globe and Mail), Martin Regg Cohn (The Toronto Star), Murad Hemmadi (The Logic), Tiffany Gooch (The Toronto Star) Karyn Pugliese (Ryerson University) and Rachel Pulfer (Journalists for Human Rights).

Over three days, DemocracyXChange will offer

  • 12 panels on topics including the economy, technology and disinformation, decolonizing democracy, democracy and public health, feminism, inclusive voter engagement and democratic innovations, and rights-based approaches to policy
  • 60 keynote speakers and panelists
  • 4 musical performances and 1 movie screening
  • 3 participatory workshops
  • hundreds of change-makers from across Canada.

“Democracy isn’t just for leaders, and shouldn’t just work for institutions -- it needs to work for all of us. We’re thrilled that our Co-Presenting Partners are supporting the participation of so many people through our Pay What You Can Model for the Summit,” says Chris Cowperthwaite, DemocracyXChange co-director and chair of the Open Democracy Project.