Thought Forums

Be prepared to be engaged and challenged. We are taking our traditional networking sessions to a new level. The thought forums are open to all participants and will offer an opportunity to engage on hot topics, trading insights and first-hand experiences.

SDGs: Students Deliver on the Goals: Why collaborate to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?

Join members of the CICan ImpAct Student and Alumni Advisory Committee (ISAAC) for a dynamic discussion on why and how we need to collaborate to meet Canada’s national targets for 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The students will present each goal in a World Café style series of table discussions where you discuss the tremendous opportunities and challenges of the “Decade to Deliver”. This thought forum 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.

Innovations in Reconcili-Action

Join colleagues from across the country to share and learn about innovative approaches and practices making reconcili-action a reality on your campuses, in alignment with the seven principles of the 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.

This Thought Forum will be structured in a World Café format that will allow participants to engage during table discussions on how the innovative approaches/practices work, the challenges encountered in implementation, and how they can be scaled up.

If your institution is interested in leading a table discussion on an innovative approach or practice, please confirm by email and send a short 100 word description to by January 31, 2020.

Around the World in 80 Days

Budget 2019 announced $147.9 million for a new International Education Strategy, of which a ‘pilot’ outbound student mobility program is a key element. Many of our members have been offering outbound mobility opportunities to their students but this announcement will permit many more institutions and students to have a learning abroad experience.

During this session, participants will hear from institutions and their students while engaging in an interactive exchange of experiences, insights and challenges to build a stronger culture of mobility on our campuses

Discussion topics will include:

  • How to promote the merits of learning abroad opportunities?
  • How to overcome the financial, credit recognition, personal circumstances, and career alignment barriers?
  • What intercultural skills should be developed and how to measure these competencies?
  • How to make mobility programs more accessible to all students but particularly underrepresented students (low-income, Indigenous, and students with disabilities)?
  • How do we help students get more out of their experience (i.e. through better pre-departure prep, in-program support and post-return debriefing)?

Let's Talk: Supporting Student Wellness

Student mental health and wellness is a key priority for colleges and institutes as a growing number of learners deal with complex mental health issues. Join us to talk about some of the tools that can help you support the needs of students and share what is being done at your college or institute to help learners flourish. This session will be complementary to the framework and guidelines being developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Standards Association as part of the new Standard for the Psychological Health and Safety of Post-Secondary Students.

Taking it Local - Bursting the Ottawa Bubble

Federal MPs will be heading back to their ridings for the summer following the first few months of an action-packed minority parliament. This Thought Forum will open with an Ottawa insider’s take on the mood in the nation’s capital, how policy files relevant to the post-secondary sector have fared, and what to look forward to in the fall sitting. After that, we’ll turn it over to you. Government relation leads from colleges and institutes across the country will facilitate an exchange on how CICan members are engaging with their local MPs on campus and in the community. Bring your stories, questions and ideas to share with colleagues.

Building Resilience - Is your institution/organization ready for an emergency?

How would your institution/organization tackle a major emergency or disaster? Do you have clear processes and practices? Do your staff, faculty and students know what to do? Have your leadership and governance teams reflected on how they will lead during a crisis? Disasters, emergencies, and crisis

events are becoming more and more common across the country – and post-secondary institutions are not immune. This thought forum will explore the challenges, success and best practices in building institutional resilience to major emergencies or disasters. Foundational elements of emergency management, the importance of community connections, building team capacity, and leadership during response are a few of the topics that will be explored in this interactive forum.

The future of student success - how can technology inform and improve our approach?

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. However, as 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. Join BINA 48 for a dialogue on the future of student success! “The world’s most sentient robot” and the first advanced robot to complete a college course, will help explore the new frontier of artificial intelligence as we reflect on how it can support student success.