Thought Forums

Be prepared for thoughtful and engaging discussions. Thought Forums are open to all registered participants and offer an opportunity to share insights and first-hand experiences on a variety of hot topics.

Monday, April 26
13:45 – 14:45

SDGs: Students Deliver on the Goals

Part 1 – What are the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?

Join members of the CICan ImpAct Student and Alumni Advisory Committee (ISAAC) for a dynamic discussion on what the SDGs mean to them and why they are critically important for institutions to embrace.  The students will present the 17 SDGs in a highly interactive style and what, concretely, they mean for their generation.  You will leave part one of this thought forum with a clear understanding of how the SDGs can contribute to your institution’s goals and attractiveness to students. Follow this up with part two in order to turn your awareness into concrete actions on campus.

Skilling for the Future

In these times of rapid technological advances and profound disruption where many jobs and sectors are changing dramatically, employers need to reassess the competencies of their workforce.  As such, workers will need to reskill and upskill to meet advances in technology and acquire new ways of working to meet the evolving demands of the labour market.

Join colleagues from across the country to explore how colleges and institutes offer innovative, diverse and flexible pathways to education and training to meet the unique needs of a variety of learners and respond to the current and future needs of employers.

Discussions will focus on:

  • How can we collectively leverage the opportunity to help more individuals get back into the economy, and contribute to our country’s prosperity?
  • How can we do things differently to increase collaboration between postsecondary institutions and the industry sector?

Innovations in Reconcili-Action

Join colleagues from across the country to share innovative approaches and practices making reconciliation a reality on your campuses through concrete actions.

This discussion will be guided by the seven principles of CICan’s Indigenous Education Protocol:

  • Making Indigenous education an institutional priority
  • Ensuring governance structures recognize and respect Indigenous peoples
  • Implementing intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples in curriculum and learning approaches
  • Strengthening understanding and reciprocity on campuses
  • Increasing the number of Indigenous employees and administrators
  • Offering Indigenous-centred holistic support services and learning environments
  • Building relationships with Indigenous communities in support of self-determination through education, training, and applied research.

Reimagining Institutional Cooperation: Coping with Challenges and Embracing Opportunities

The technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus crisis with students and institutions quickly needing to adapt to this new normal. As Canada and the world struggles through this disruption, higher education institutions will need an approach to internationalization that works in a post COVID-19 world.

International student recruitment, student mobility, campus internationalization and international programming have all been massively disrupted by the pandemic. What will a successful reboot of internationalization require? How can internationalization be adapted to assist in shaping a new normal? Join colleagues for a dialogue on these important issues.

Monday, April 26
15:00 – 16:00

SDGs: Students Deliver on the Goals

Part 2 – How can Institutions Collaborate with or Support their Students in Acting on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?

In part 2 of this Thought Forum, you will learn how an institution can collaborate with their students, either through curriculum, student government or extracurriculars, to contribute to meeting Canada’s national targets for 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The students will present a group of goals grouped under People, Prosperity and Planet, in a breakout room where you will discuss the tremendous opportunities and challenges of the “Decade to Deliver”. These two thought fora will leave you inspired, informed, and invited to work with your students and alumni to achieve our collective vision of Better Futures for Peoples and Communities through committing to the UN SDGs.

Taking it Local – Bursting the Ottawa Bubble

With the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, a federal election could be in the mix when we convene for the CICan 2021 virtual conference. This Thought Forum will open with an Ottawa insider’s take on how to position college and institute priorities with Members of Parliament regardless of which side of a federal election we will find ourselves. A key focus will be on strengthening MP engagement to make CICan recommendations to the federal government more concrete at the local level and create champions among MPs for the college and institute system who understand how it can support a resilient and inclusive economic recovery. After that, we’ll turn it over to you. Government relation leads from across the country will facilitate an exchange on how CICan members can strengthen engagement with their local MPs on campus and in the community. Bring your stories, questions, and ideas to share with colleagues.

Decoding and Dismantling Racism in our Institutions

The current pandemic has disproportionately affected racialized communities further highlighting the persistent racial/ethnic disparities in access to healthcare. The mass and social media have also put in focus the divide and polarization in Canadian society and the challenge of discussing systemic racism and racial barriers. It is crucial that these conversations continue to remain prevalent for problems to get decoded. By linking SDG #4 (quality education), #10 (reduced inequalities), and #16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), this Thought Forum will address some of the challenges that the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities face within our institutions and discuss ways to dismantle them.

Discussion topics will include:

  • What are the institutional and systemic barriers that can be addressed (or that we see) today? Why are these barriers there? Why is addressing them important?
  • Where, when, and how do these challenges start to occur? Does change start to happen?
  • Who is involved in addressing racism in our institutions and who should be?

The Future of Student Success in a Post-Pandemic Reality

Student affairs and services staff are often considered to be the heart and conscience of their institutions, providing continuous and inclusive support to all students. As a result of COVID-19, postsecondary education has changed dramatically with the distinctive rise of e-learning and e-teaching. This Thought Forum will focus on how student affairs and services will evolve to meet this new reality and respond to the needs of students ranging from large urban centres to small rural and northern locations, each with their own unique challenges? Coupled with this new reality, the higher education market has become more competitive with increased needs for resources, the new drivers of future strategy are now data, research, flexibility, and scalability.