Imagining Canada's Future
Where will Canada be in the next five, 10 and 20 years? What are the biggest challenges facing the country in a global context? Which are the most pressing, and which will have the greatest potential impact?
Most importantly, how can Canada’s research community contribute its knowledge, talent and expertise towards understanding and shaping that future for the better?
The Canadian government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) aims to answer these and other questions through its project called “Imaging Canada’s Future.”
The project draws upon the insights and opinions of a wide range of Canadians: scholars; researchers; students; young adults; critical thinkers, and engaged citizens in general.
Renewal of research priorities
The information gathered through various consultation processes will help SSHRC to renew its research priority areas for funding programs and consider its corporate activities. SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences.
Universities are actively involved in the project. On September 21, 2012, representatives from Brock, Ryerson, and Western Universities and the Universities of Toronto, Guelph, and Windsor met to discuss the various themes of Canada’s future. Officials from the private sector and advocacy groups also gave their input.
“We bring our knowledge of the past, but the future is made up of ideas,” Brock University’s vice-president of research Gary Libben told the gathering when opening the meeting. “The future we are imagining will primarily be for the young people in this room.”
On the sidelines of the conference, University of Guelph’s vice-president of research Kevin Hall said that, for him, a holistic view of what constitutes “quality of life” is what counts.
“It’s not all about technology improving the quality of life, it’s about understanding our social systems, looking at health prevention, health policy, fine and performing arts, all these things enhance our life,” he said.
Southern Ontario report
The team then compiled the comments and wrote a report about the one-day conference, "Imagining Canada's Future: Regional Panel Grant Special Funding Opportunity for SSHRC Leaders Activity Report."
Brock is also encouraging southern Ontario’s young adults, scholars, researchers, students, critical thinkers and all interested citizens to share their thoughts and reflections in SSHRC’s on-line survey, which closed on January 25, 2013.
It’s our and our children’s future: let’s make our voices heard.
Read more about Imagining Canada’s Future at www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/ICF