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idisymposium video

2015 International Development Institute Symposium
May 1, 2015 - Humber College, Toronto ON

The economic growth paradigm and GDP, its accompanying measurement tool, have historically dominated development theory and practice. The need to move beyond such an approach, however, is increasingly clear. The recent global economic crisis, the challenge of climate change, on-going overconsumption mirrored by abject poverty, and the increasing role of religion and culture in shaping people’s priorities all suggest that a development paradigm based on unlimited growth is short-sighted, incomplete and, ultimately, unsustainable.

Bhutan as an operational model: 
Keynote Address

Speaker: Honourable Jigmi Y. Thinley, former Prime Minister of Bhutan.

Focus: What can we learn about moving beyond GDP from Bhutan’s leading edge experience implementing gross national happiness, both in terms of conceptualizing an alternative approach and measuring it.

Beyond GDP: Development Alternatives to Growth will explore alternatives to the growth paradigm that are multidimensional and integrated. How might we move more effectively beyond a sole focus on GDP and growth? Three themes will structure the symposium: conceptualizing development alternatives that are multidimensional, measuring multidimensional approaches at the national and project levels, and implementing multidimensional development initiatives on the ground. Using the experience of Bhutan and it Gross National Happiness strategy as an example of an applied model with demonstrated success, participants will explore how we might better shape sustainable development, both conceptually and practically, in both the Global South and North.

Opening remarks by
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, OC, OOnt
Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Speaker and Moderator Line Up 

  • David Miller, President and CEO, WWF
  • Ian Smillie, Development Consultant and Author
  • Dr. Lauchlan Munro, Director of the School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa
  • Marilyn McHarg, President, Aid Solutions
  • Katherine Scott, Vice President, Research and Policy Canadian Council on Social Development
  • Dr. Faisal Moola, Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada, David Suzuki Foundation
  • Dr. Susan Elliott, University of Waterloo
  • Jamie McIntosh, Vice President, Programs & Policy, World Vision Canada
  • Phillip Haid, CEO of Public 
  • Dr. Ron Colman, Executive Director, GPI Atlantic
  • Asha Gervan, Manager International Development Institute, Humber College
  • Dr. Harry Cummings, University of Guelph
  • Angela Wilton, Managing Senior Advisor, Research & Learning, Save the Children Canada
  • Steve Stockton, Humber College
  • John Lewis, Humber College
  • Susan MacGregor, Humber College
  • Dr. Craig Johnson, University of Guelph
  • Dr. Kent Schroeder, Humber College
  • Josh Folkema, World Vision Canada
  • Sarath Chandrasekere, Ph.D
  • Elizabeth Dove, Senior Vice President, Strategy, The Divinsky Group
  • Mukti Suvedi, Peace Advocate
  • TJ Grant, World Vision Canada
  • Simon Chorley, International Programs Manager at UNICEF Canada
  • Dr. Heather Murphy, Research Fellow, University of Guelph
  • Cory Wanless, Klippensteins Barristers & Solicitors
  • Leah Adema, Program Coordinator, Presbyterian World Service & Development
  • Maria Paula Ballesteros, Program Manager, Plan Canada
  • Marissa Kokkoros, Founder of Aura Freedom Intl. & Human Rights Crusader
  • Tanjina Mirza, Vice President of International Programs in Plan Canada

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