JACAC Student Forum 2021 Speakers Share Their Thoughts on the Future of Work and Democracy in a Post-Pandemic World

Pre-recorded lectures prepared by our guest speakers for the 12th Annual Japan Canada Academic Consortium (JACAC) Virtual Student Forum (13-19 February 2021) are now available to watch on our website.

05 July 2021

This year’s theme was “Youth During and After the Pandemic: A Proposal for the New Normal.” Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2021 JACAC Student Forum was held online and was hosted by the Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Alberta. Click here to see the conference’s summary and watch students’ presentations.

“Building a Just and Democratic Post-Pandemic Society: A Call to Action and Field Notes for Young Changemakers”

Petros Kusmu, Management Consultant and Global Civil Government Specialist at Deloitte, Vancouver, British Columbia In his lecture, the speaker discusses in great detail the numerous crises (economic and global democratic recession with coronavirus pandemic being just one of them) in our pandemic modern world, offering a solution based on his personal experience as a social justice activist. In his opinion, the remedy to the biggest of them (younger generation losing faith in democracies and democratic institutions) may be found in a progressive retrofit of our 20th century democratic institutions for the 21st century to solve these crises and rebuild a democratic faith, with the help of young people themselves.

"College and the Work World” 

Scott Carlson, Senior Writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington, District of Columbia, United States. Video editing: Ethan Yerkes

The lecture discusses the connection between college education and the future of work, focusing on a dilemma faced by many university students: should they pursue their passion in studies, what is sometimes called “hidden intellectualism,” or seek a more practical, employable degree? Analyzing a number of various social and economic challenges currently existing in American higher education system, the speaker advocates for a change in the education school system in the US, directed toward the interests of the students, which will start to help them develop their hidden intellectualism, as well as toward teaching more practical skills, like cooking or carpentry.