Public Lectures

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Public Lectures (formerly Lougheed College Lectures) offer all U of A students and members of the public the opportunity to hear from some of today's most inspirational, influential, and innovative visiting scholars and practitioners of leadership. These free sessions have featured exceptional guests including Shawna Pandya, James Stewart, Mark Tewksbury, Todd Babiak, and the Makokis family.

2023-2024 Line Up

This year's lineup includes the following speakers: 

  • Tsun-Yan Hsieh presenting Positive Influence: The First & Last Mile of Leadership on September 8
  • To be determined, Winter Semester (2024) 


For more information on this complimentary speaking event and to register, please click Register below. 

Info & Event Registration

2021-22 Series

The 2021-22 Public Lectures were organized around the theme of Leadership Skills for an Altered Present. Engaging key leadership competencies, each of our renowned speakers offered their unique perspectives on a distinct skill, and reflect on the impact that our pandemic experience has made to our understanding and practice of leadership. Covering mentorship, team-building, good relations, advocating for a point of view, and self-compassion, among others, the lecture series provoked, equipped and inspired audience members with new ideas and approaches with which to make a difference in their lives and communities.

This year's lineup included the following speakers: 

  • Ian Chisholm presented Mentorship in Complex Times on September 22 - (Recording no longer available)
  • Digit Murphy presented A Coach's Approach to Decision Making on October 14 - Watch the Recording
  • Lorne Tyrrell presented Teamwork in Action: Canada’s Vaccine Task Force on November 25 - Watch the Recording
  • Jesse Lipscombe on February 3 - (Recording not available)
  • Patricia Makokis on March 3 - (Recording not available)
  • Kristin Neff on April 7 - (Recording not available)

2020-21 Series

This season was organized around the theme of leadership and public institutions. Governments, courts, universities, cultural institutions, public health agencies, financial regulators and other offices charged with ensuring the public good face special scrutiny from the people they serve. We expect our tax-funded institutions to deliver value for money, and to act ethically and responsibly to ensure citizen well-being. And we have high demands for accountability and responsiveness. What does it take to lead such organizations, especially when the decisions are fraught and the stakes are high? How do public leaders engage the people they serve in decision-making? How do they address dissent and controversy? What are the consequences of “fake news,” the growing skepticism around expertise, and political polarization for the necessary work of serving the public good? Our speakers addressed these challenging issues with their hard-won insights from the front lines.

  • Tricia Smith: Leadership in the Olympic Movement in Canada (Sept. 17, 2020 - Watch the recording)
  • James B. Stewart: Leadership in the Newsroom: has the Media Lost its Bearings? (Oct. 22, 2020 - Watch the recording)
  • Cindy Blackstock: Reforming the Repeat Offender: Ending Canada's Discrimination toward First Nations Children (Nov. 19, 2020 - Watch the recording)
  • Tyler Waye: 10,000 Days: How to Navigate the Unknown Future of Work (Jan. 21, 2021 - Watch the recording)
  • Irshad Manji: Moral Courage for Messy Times (Hosted in partnership with the Edmonton Public Library's Forward Thinking Speaker Series on Feb. 18, 2021 - Watch the recording)
  • Persis Drell and Heather Zwicker: Universities and COVID19 – One Year After. Perspectives from the United States and Australia. (March 18, 2021 - Watch the recording)
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw: Leadership in Public Service: We are All in this Together (Hosted in partnership with the School of Public Health on April 15, 2021 - Watch the recording)

See the range of speakers and topics that the series has covered since it started in 2015 on our Lecture Archive page. Many lectures are still available for online viewing.

View All Lectures  


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