I-Week 2020 recommendations from those in the know

Engage in deep conversations about global issues during more than a dozen free I-Week events.

collage of i-Week keynote speakers and presenters

International Week (or I-Week) takes place February 3-7, 2020 and is a great opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to hear various perspectives and engage in deep conversations about global issues. With more than a dozen free events, we asked some faculty and staff for their recommendations.

Here's what they had to say:

Cen Huang, Vice-provost & Associate vice-president (International), University of Alberta International

"I happily invite you to explore the Global Goals Talks as part of International Week 2020. These inspiring talks will happen daily from February 3-6 in the newly renovated Social Stair Space in CAB. With a focus on the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Goals Talks will share the work of UAlberta faculty, students and community members contributing to their achievement.

The UN SDGs are essential to our future well-being, yet we need to build more awareness of them and explore new ways to contribute to working towards them.

I encourage you to come and enjoy at least one day of these 17-minute talks - you could catch Dr. Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming & Research) on SDG 4 Quality Education; Dr. Malinda Smith, Dept. of Political Science, on SDG 5 Gender Equality; Dr. Patrick Hanington, School of Public Health on SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation; or Dr. Rob McMahon, Faculty of Extension on SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

I hope that you will join us as we cultivate new thoughts and ideas surrounding the 17 UN SDGs. We look forward to your participation!"

Yasmeen Abu-Laban, professor and Canada Research Chair in the Politics of Citizenship and Human Rights

"I am super excited about this year's I-Week because of the Transpositions concert on February 6, which puts front and center the role of the arts in social change and human betterment. The evening will open with musician Thomas Mapfumo who is nicknamed the 'Lion of Zimbabwe' for his popular music and bold political commentary. This will be followed by what will be an incredible concert of Arabic and transcultural music featuring Roy Abdalnour (violin) and Ahmed al-Auqaily (percussion), accompanied by UofA's own Professor Michael Frishkopf (nay and keyboard). It's also taking place at one of my favourite venues on campus, Convocation Hall."

Amy Kaler, professor and associate chair (Graduate Programs), Department of Sociology

"In the last few years we've been buffeted by bad news-the planet is overheating, bigotry is on the rise, rights are being rolled back. But there is hope. Hope is not the same as naive optimism, hope is the knowledge that change is possible and that people are making it happen. At Stories of Hope on February 4 we'll hear from people who have been part of transformative change in their local and global communities, and we'll experiment with art and creativity as ways to think about change. Kids are welcome!"

Bob Summers, Associate director, Urban and Regional Planning (EAS); Director, Sustainability Scholarship and Education (Office of the Provost)

"I'm really happy that Vien Truong agreed to come up [from California] for a keynote talk, Exponential Equity: How We Accelerate Towards a Sustainable, Just Future for All. She represents an area of sustainability that doesn't get enough attention: she's talking about need for equitable solutions to the climate crisis. She is giving voice to women and underserved minorities, and she is talking about ways to address poverty at the same time as reducing pollution. It's not just talk. By advocating and working with the State of California and corporations like Apple, she has shifted billions of dollars away from polluters and into low-income and racialized communities. Vien Truong's real achievements and her powerful voice make her a speaker you won't want to miss."

Fiona Schmiegelow, Director, Provost & Vice-president Academic - University of Alberta North

"Think globally, act locally is a familiar rallying cry, and we are really bringing that home in the kick-off keynote to I-week this year. I'm excited to hear Natan Obed, a dynamic young leader, speak to how Inuit in Canada are working towards achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals across homelands that encompass 35 percent of Canada's landmass and 50 percent of its coastline. As the world's largest private landowners - yes, you heard that right - living with some of the most challenging conditions globally, this is a talk not to be missed!"