2022 Henry Marshall Tory Lecture

The Friends of the University of Alberta is pleased to welcome environmental journalist Arno Kopecky to deliver the 2022 Tory Lecture.

The Tyranny of Freedom:
On human prosperity and the limits of our biosphere

2022 Tory Lecture
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 7:00 PM Edmonton

Two ways to attend:

In Person: Register on Eventbrite here

Telus Centre, 150 Lecture Theatre
111 Street 87 Avenue NW Edmonton
Doors open at 6:30pm.

The Tory Lecture is a mask friendly event.
Patrons are enthusiastically supported in their choice to wear a mask. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please follow AHS guidelines regarding testing and isolating, and stay home if you are sick.

Online: Register on Zoom here

Abstract: Contrary to the impression one gets from the headlines, most of humanity is better off today than ever before. Unelected despots are outnumbered by democratic governments, while technology has transformed daily life into something our ancestors could only have regarded as a parade of miracles. But as the 21st century gathers steam, so does the flip side of progress. Climate change now marks the leading edge of an ecological crisis that’s thrown the global village into turmoil. In the 2022 Tory Lecture, Arno Kopecky will discuss how the conflicting signals of a relentless news cycle have common roots in the 20th century’s unprecedented burst of resource extraction – and why, despite all the dour headlines, there’s still reason for hope.

Bio: Arno Kopecky is an environmental journalist and author who writes about the confluence of culture, politics and ecosystems. A regular contributor to The Globe And Mail, The Walrus, Alberta Views, The Tyee, Canada’s National Observer, and other publications, his dispatches have covered four continents over the past twenty years. He has reported on Iceland’s attempt to become the first oil-free country on earth, the devastation Cyclone Nargis wrought on Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta, Kenya’s brush with civil war in 2008, and the impact of Free Trade Agreements between North America and the global South. A child of Edmonton who now lives in Vancouver, he has spent much of the last decade focusing on western Canadian affairs with a view to their international context.

Kopecky has also written three books of literary journalism: The Devil’s Curve, which examined the impact of Canadian mining companies in the Amazon basin; The Oil Man And The Seabased on his 5-month sailing expedition through BC’s central coast, where he chronicled the rich history of coastal First Nations and their fight to keep oil tankers out of the Great Bear Rainforest; and most recently, The Environmentalist’s Dilemma, a collection of reported essays exploring a central paradox of our times: how can it be that humanity’s standard of living keeps going up while the biosphere collapses all around us? 

2022 Annual General Meeting

The Friends of the University of Alberta Society held its Annual General Meeting on June 1, 2022, chaired by Luca Vanzella, President. At the zoom meeting, Luca presented the year in review, noting that the Friends are pleased to be continuing its scholarship portfolio, are delighted that the Tory Lecture has continued uninterrupted, and are looking to activate previously successful activities like Raise the Bar. Luca also reviewed the Friends support for U School and Humanities 101 – two programs that powerfully connect the broader community with the University. Special guests Michaela Mann (U School, Program Lead), Lisa Hauer (Grade 5 Teacher) and Lisa Prins (Humanities 101 Program Lead) spoke about these programs and related heartwarming stories about the impact of these programs on people’s lives.

A new board was elected and they are listed on the About Us page. If you wish to keep informed regarding upcoming activities join our mailing list on the Become a Member page.

Save the date for the 2022 Henry Marshall Tory Lecture, it will be held on November 8, 2022. We are hoping for an in-person event and would convert to virtual if necessary. The speaker will be Arno Kopecky, author of The Environmentalist’s Dilemma.

2021 Henry Marshall Tory Lecture

International politics expert Andy Knight sheds light on the ‘new world disorder’.

The Friends of the University of Alberta is pleased to welcome University of Alberta Distinguished Professor and Fulbright Distinguished Chair W. Andy Knight to deliver the 2021 Tory Lecture.

Governing Disorder in our Intermestic World

2021 Tory Lecture
Thu, Nov 4, 2021 at 7:00 PM MDT
Online via Zoom

Video of presentation of Andy’s talk is available on our YouTube channel:

Abstract:
If you have been following the political and socio-economic trends since the end of the Cold War, you would realize that our world has become increasingly ungovernable. The Post-Cold War period has been marked by the intensification of globalization, with all its attendant negative effects, and it has ushered in a new world disorder. I argue that the extant institutions of global governance, including but not limited to the UN system, are more or less “decisions frozen in time”, created at a historical juncture when sovereignty-bound entities reigned supreme. Today, those institutions are inefficient, ineffective, and largely irrelevant because they are forced to operate in a turbulent complex interdependent, and “intermestic” era in which sovereign-free and sovereignty-bound actors compete and jostle for position on the global stage. The time has come for a new paradigm to shape our thinking about the kinds of institutions of global governance that will steer us through, and help us deal with, the disorder of the 21st century.

Bio:
W. Andy Knight is Professor of International Relations in the Political Science Department at the University of Alberta and past Chair of the Department. He is the former Director of the Institute of International Relations (IIR), The University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad & Tobago, and co-founder and the former head of the Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (DAOC). Professor Knight serves as Co-editor in Chief of both African Security journal and International Journal — two globally prestigious peer-reviewed academic publications. During his secondment in the Caribbean, Knight established the Caribbean Journal of International Relations and Diplomacy and he was co-editor of a highly regarded and award-winning journal — Global Governance from 2000 to 2005.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (FRSC), Professor Knight was named by Venture Magazine among Alberta’s top 50 most influential people and, by the Black Business and Professional Association of Canada, as the Harry Jerome Trailblazer. He served as Advisory Board Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Welfare of Children and was the inaugural Director of the Peace and Post Conflict Studies Certificate Programme in the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies (OIS) at the University of Alberta. In March 2007, Dr. Knight was appointed by the Canadian Foreign Minister to the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and served in that position until 2011.

Knight has written several books on the United Nations, Global Politics, and the Responsibility to Protect. One of his most recently published books is the award-winning, Female Suicide Bombings: A Critical Gendered Approach, with Tanya Narozhna (published by the University of Toronto Press). His ongoing research and publications address issues of global health governance, global health security, Children and war, and the vulnerabilities and resiliency of small island developing states (SIDS). In March 2021, Professor Knight was awarded the University of Alberta’s highest honour – the University of Alberta Distinguished Professor. He is currently the 2021-22 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in International and Area Studies at Yale University.

2020 AGM – Covid-19 style

We hope you are all keeping healthy and safe during the pandemic. The Friends have continued to work on supporting the University through these challenging times. Since we are required to hold an Annual General Meeting, we held it virtually via Zoom on May 27 at 5:00 PM. We changed the agenda to just the business portion of the meeting and kept the time requirement to a minimum. Thirty one people attended – Thank You!

Three of the executive board members agreed to stay on another year and Andrea Sulyma stepped up to take on the Secretary role.  Thanks to all the volunteer board members for their contributions throughout the year.

We hope to meet in person soon (perhaps a Raise the Bar?) and continue championing the University of Alberta to the broader community.

Stay Safe!