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Student-led initiative has raised more than $1 million


 

Cure Cancer Classic, a student-run, not-for-profit initiative, has raised more than $1 million to support cancer research over the past 17 years.

Created in 2005 by a group of Smith School of Business commerce students, the dedicated team of volunteers has raised the funds through rivalry hockey games as well as golf and hockey tournaments.

The most recent event, the Queen’s Classic hockey tournament hosted in late November which brings together teams from across the university, raised more than $120,000, pushing the grand total to over $1 million.

For the current executive team, led by commerce students Amy Janes and Robert Hume, reaching the goal is both a moment to remember and motivation for moving ahead.

“There is a great sense of accomplishment and pride, and we feel incredibly honoured to have carried on the legacy and lead the team that achieved this monumental milestone,” Janes says, pointing to the hard work put in by the 35 members of the executive team. “Every executive member has a personal story with cancer and achieves purpose by providing hope to loved ones battling, living with, and moving past the disease. We feel extremely fulfilled by the ability to continuously generate impactful change and support the Canadian Cancer Trials Group.”

Through a partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, Cure Cancer Classic is helping fund cancer research at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), headquartered at Queen’s.

Janes and Hume have both been part of the Cure Cancer Classic team for three years and have worked to increase participation in the events and fundraising.

The year’s Queen’s Classic tournament drew 175 players from across the university and also attracted an increased number of sponsors from the Kingston community and beyond. The effort led to a record-breaking result.

Getting to this point has taken a massive amount of dedication from student volunteers, the co-chairs explain, elevating the initiative from a class project 17 years ago to where it is now.

“We have to thank every single person that has been a part of Cure Cancer Classic since Day 1,” Hume says. “Our team recognizes and is grateful for the efforts of those who built the organization's foundation and supported the year-over-year growth and advancement that has positioned us to where we are now. We hope everyone who has journeyed with CCC since 2005 can feel the same level of pride and achievement as we do today.”

Currently, Cure Cancer Classic comprises four events: the Queen’s Classic tournament; the Commerce Classic, a hockey tournament bringing together teams from business schools across Canada; the Cure Cancer Classic golf tournament – the newest addition; and the Comm-Eng Rivalry Hockey Game.

The rivalry game is played at the Leon’s Centre in March and features two teams made up of students from the commerce and engineering programs at Queen’s. This year’s event was a sell-out at the 4,700-seat arena and raised $340,000.

With more events to come there is room for growth and more fundraising to support cancer research.

“The Canadian Cancer Society is so excited and fortunate to be working closely with the Cure Cancer Classic team again this year,” says Doug Kane, Director Independent Fundraising and Sports Alliances for the Canadian Cancer Society. “The entire CCC team continues to show us the power of collaboration and teamwork. They are an extremely dedicated, innovative, and passionate group of students having a significant impact on the cancer landscape. The funds they raise support the amazing cancer research being conducted at the Canadian Cancer Trials Group located here at Queen’s and Kingston.”

Visit the Cure Cancer Classic website to donate and learn more.

2022: The year in research

We are celebrating the milestones and accomplishments of Queen’s research community over the past 12 months.

From January to December, our researchers, students, and staff enjoyed being back to in-person events, celebrating funding for groundbreaking projects, and connecting to our community beyond campus. As we approach the end of year, let’s take time to review some of the highlights from 2022.

Memorable moments

As Canada gradually reopened after pandemic shutdowns, we had the chance to once again hold on campus events to celebrate research and innovation. In July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade Vic Fedeli, and other dignitaries came to Queen’s to announce a $1.5 billion investment in an EV battery facility in Eastern Ontario that will create hundreds of jobs and partnership opportunities for the university, and boost Ontario’s economy. The podium party also took the opportunity to interact with Queen’s researchers and students.

[Group photo of Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Champagne, and Queen's researchers]
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister François-Philippe Champagne meet with Kevin Deluzio, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science, and Queen's researchers at Ingenuity Labs Research Institute.

In November, Queen's hosted the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. He met with students, senior leadership, and members of the research community. The same week, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) president Ted Hewitt visited the campus to meet with Queen's senior leadership and early career researchers, including scholars in Indigenous and Black Studies research.

Support for groundbreaking research

Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) kicked-off 2022 with $24 million in support from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund to advance research on molecular coatings designed to significantly extend the lifespan of vital metals.

In August, the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiatives Fund also announced key support for two research facilities affiliated with Queen’s. Combined, SNOLAB – Canada’s deep clean astroparticle research laboratory – and the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) Operations and Statistics Centre were granted $122 million, representing around 20 per cent of the total funding announced to support Canada’s major research infrastructure. Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross travelled 2 km underground to host the announcement, which included Minister Champagne and Mona Nemer, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor.

[Photo of Queen's researchers and government officials travel to SNOLAB]
Dr. Nancy Ross accompanies Queen's Emeritus Professor and Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald, Minister François-Philippe Champagne, local Members of Parliament, and SNOLAB administration on their way to the facility 2 km underground.

Other funding that will support Queen’s future research include:

[Art of Research photo Aging with Oasis by Riley Malvern]
Queen's Art of Research photo contest winner: Aging with Oasis by Riley Malvern, Staff (Health Services and Policy Research Institute), Kingston, Ontario.

Several Queen’s researchers were also recognized with prestigious awards and prizes. John McGarry (Political Studies) was the 2022 laureate for the Pearson Peace Medal, an award designated by the United Nations Association of Canada to recognize a Canadian who has made outstanding contributions to peace and prosperity around the world.

Nobel Laureate and Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) received the inaugural Canadian Association of Physicists Fellowship for lifetime achievement. Kerry Rowe (Civil Engineering) was awarded the inaugural NSERC Donna Strickland Prize for Societal Impact of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research, which recognizes outstanding research that has led to exceptional benefits for Canadian society, the environment, and the economy. Early-career researcher Farnaz Heidar-Zadeh (Chemistry) earned Ontario’s Polanyi Prize for her research advancing innovative computational molecular design techniques.

Other recognitions included fellowships from of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Faculty members were also appointed or reappointed as Canada Research Chairs, the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning, and as the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Chair of Artificial Intelligence. Queen’s students and postdoctoral fellows received Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, two of the most prestigious national awards for future researchers. Internally, three researchers received the Queen’s Prizes for Excellence in Research, which are granted to early-career researchers who have demonstrated significant contributions to their fields.

[Clockwise: Fateme Babaha, Mackenzie Collins, Jessica Hallenbeck, Joshua Kofsky, Sandra Smeltzer, Jodi-Mae John, Michael P.A. Murphy, Chloe Halpenny.]
Queen's 2022 Vanier Scholars and Banting Fellows [clockwise] Fateme Babaha, Mackenzie Collins, Jessica Hallenbeck, Joshua Kofsky, Sandra Smeltzer, Jodi-Mae John, Michael P.A. Murphy, Chloe Halpenny.

In the news

The Gazette published dozens of research profiles and stories that highlight some of the groundbreaking research undertaken by faculty and students. Our community is addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges, like climate change, with programs on carbon dioxide conversion technology and sustainable finance.

Queen’s experts are responding to challenges worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, like health professionals’ mental health struggles, and working to create new technological solutions for human problems, including robots that can improve human mobility. They are also advancing the field of neuromorphic computers and figuring out new ways to manage obesity.

We continued our partnership with The Conversation Canada, an online news platform that pairs academic experts with experienced journalists to write informed content that can be shared and repurposed by media outlets worldwide. Over spring and fall, Queen’s hosted members of their editorial team for four workshops for researchers and graduate students.

This year, 69 Queen’s researchers published 76 articles and garnered over 1.7 million reads on The Conversation. Some of our most read articles covered topics like the impacts of housework imbalance in women’s sexual desire, the power of routines, the relationships between eating rhythms and mental health, and the causes for lung damage in COVID-19.

[Art of Research photo: The Tiniest Tree of Life by Dr. Elahe Alizadeh]
Queen's Art of Research photo contest winner: The Tiniest Tree of Life by Dr. Elahe Alizadeh, Staff (Queen's CardioPulmonary Unit [QCPU]), Queen's University.

Mobilizing research

At Queen’s, we believe inspiring new generations of researchers, gearing research processes towards more equitable and inclusive ones, and bringing together the academy and our community is as important as doing outstanding research. We are proud of our efforts to support Black Excellence in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine/health) and women’s participation and leadership in Engineering.

In 2022, our annual photo contest, Art of Research, was reimagined to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and placed a spotlight on the intrinsic connection between research and social impact.

Our researchers and students have also been working to bring their expertise to the public via outreach events, art installations, short presentations, and connecting with the global community to discuss urgent matters like the crisis in Ukraine – in April, we hosted a panel discussion about the origins and the impact of the conflict featuring experts in political studies and law.

[Art of Research photo: Polar Bear Denning by Scott Arlidge]
Queen's Art of Research photo contest winner: Polar Bear Denning by Scott Arlidge, Graduate Student (School of Environmental Studies), Coral Harbour, Nunavut.

 

How Canada’s new credit card surcharge will affect consumers and businesses

Businesses can now pass credit card surcharge fees along to their customers. To help businesses predict how consumers will react to credit card surcharges, behavioural economics offers some answers.
Visa and Mastercard both recently agreed to remove their no-surcharge rule, leaving businesses free to pass these fees along to customers. (Unsplash/Clay Banks)

Canada has some of the highest interchange fees in the world. Interchange fees are the fees businesses pay each time their customers pay by credit card.

The average interchange fee in Canada is about 1.5 per cent of the transaction value, with fees typically falling between one and 2.5 per cent. The makeup of these fees can be complex, but the bulk of it tends to go to the issuing bank, with the remainder going to credit card networks.

Up until last month, credit card networks did not allow businesses to pass these fees to customers. That recently changed with the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged certain banks and credit card networks conspired to set high interchange fees and prevent businesses from adding surcharges or refusing high-cost cards.

Several banks, along with Visa and Mastercard, admitted no fault but agreed to contribute to a $188 million settlement fund that will be dispersed to Canadian businesses that have accepted Visa or Mastercard since 2001.

In response to the lawsuit, Visa and Mastercard agreed to remove their no-surcharge rule, leaving businesses free to pass the interchange fee to their customers. For example, on a $50 purchase, a consumer could pay a credit card surcharge of up to $1.25.

So, what does this mean for Canadian consumers and businesses? Now that businesses are allowed to, will they add a surcharge to cover credit card fees or will they continue to absorb the cost? What should businesses know about consumers’ reactions to surcharges? And what are the costs and benefits of credit card surcharges for consumers?

Predicting customer reactions

To help businesses predict how consumers will react to credit card surcharges, we can turn to behavioural economics, which combines elements from economics and psychology to understand how and why people behave as they do in the marketplace.

Behavioural economics has long noted that people show strong diminishing reactions to both losses and gains. This means, for example, that the pain of a $10 loss is much greater than a tenth of the pain of a $100 loss. A surcharge will almost certainly enhance the “pain of paying” compared to including the fee in the overall price.

As a teenager working in our family furniture business in the U.K., I recall the time a customer angrily threw his credit card at my mother after she informed him of our credit card surcharge. But the psychology of losses and gains doesn’t provide the whole picture here — part of the reason the customer was so angry was because he blamed us for the surcharge.

This is a reaction that businesses should rightly fear. Blame can dramatically enhance perceptions of unfairness. No one blames businesses for adding tax, but there is a strong possibility customers will blame businesses if they add credit card surcharges.

This means consumers are unlikely to support credit card surcharges, especially if they are simply added to existing prices. In fact, the U.K. banned credit card surcharges in 2018 on the basis that surcharges were simply a “rip-off fee.”

Suggestions for businesses

Although businesses can make an educated guess about how customers will react to surcharges, it is difficult to fully predict. To play it safe, most businesses in Canada will probably refrain from adding a surcharge for credit card use for the time being.

According to a Canadian Federation of Independent Business survey, most businesses either don’t plan to add the surcharge (15 per cent), aren’t sure whether they should (40 per cent) or will simply follow what others in their industry do (26 per cent). About one in five businesses (19 per cent) said they do intend to use the surcharge.

For businesses that are contemplating using the surcharge, there are better ways to implement it than simply tacking it on to existing prices. One approach involves reframing the situation for consumers by offering a discount for cash or debit, instead of adding a surcharge for credit cards.

For the same reason a separate credit card surcharge enhances the “pain of paying,” adding a discount — typically perceived as a small, separate gain — will have an outsized positive impact on customers’ reactions.

Although prices could be adjusted so this process ends up being objectively identical to an added credit card surcharge, a cash discount is also much less likely than a surcharge to be considered unfair by credit card users.

A second option is for businesses to reduce their prices before adding the surcharge, making sure customers are aware of the reduction. As long as customers perceive that a business has made efforts to lower prices first, a credit card surcharge is more likely to be seen as a charge imposed on the business, rather than an attempt by the business to boost profits.

Fees improve decision-making

If implemented appropriately, surcharges also have the potential to improve consumer decision-making by allowing consumers to make better decisions about their credit card use.

Credit cards provide benefits for consumers at a cost. In exchange for convenience, credit, rewards, and other perks, customers pay annual fees, interest, and — embedded in prices — interchange fees.

Currently, interchange fees, which are substantial, are hidden from consumers, meaning consumers cannot fully account for the costs of their decision. Not only that, cash and debit card-paying customers cannot avoid interchange fees when businesses are forced to include them in prices despite receiving none of the benefits.

Credit card surcharges, then, would allow consumers to avoid the cost if they don’t perceive the benefits to be sufficient. In other words, surcharges or cash discounts could actually help consumers make better decisions by allowing them to appropriately account for the costs of credit card use.The Conversation

________________________________________________________________

Laurence Ashworth, Professor, Marketing, Queen's University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Director, Thought Leadership and Strategic Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

Communicating research beyond the academy

In-person workshops with The Conversation Canada will help Queen’s researchers reach bigger audiences with their expertise.

[graphic image] Queen's University & The Conversation workshops

Researchers are experts in their fields and know how society could make use of their expertise to support critical thinking and daily decision making related to a range of topics – from climate change, health, politics, technology, to the economy, and many other topics. But communicating evidence-based knowledge has its challenges: what platform to use? Which aspects of the research are the most interesting to the public? How to address complex issues in a language everyone can understand?

In two workshops hosted by University Relations, the editorial team of The Conversation Canada will walk researchers through these and other questions. The in-person, hands-on workshops will feature what makes a good article, how to explain your research effectively, and how to work with The Conversation to boost research promotion across mediums.

The workshops will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20 at Mitchell Hall (see sidebar to learn more). Faculty members, post-docs, and graduate students are welcome to participate. In the afternoon session, there will be a focus on how to promote research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Seats are limited to 40 participants in each session. Refreshments will be provided.

The Conversation and Queen’s

The Conversation, an online news platform created in Australia in 2011, pairs academic experts with experienced journalists to write informed content that can be shared and repurposed by media outlets worldwide. Following its success in Australia, regional editions began appearing worldwide and, in 2017, The Conversation Canada launched with support from some of the country’s top universities, including Queen’s, and Canada’s research funding agencies.

As a founding member of The Conversation Canada, the Queen’s research community has embraced the platform as a unique tool for sharing their research expertise and engaging with the media. Almost 270 Queen’s researchers have published 425 articles that have garnered over 8 million views via The Conversation Canada’s website. Through the platform’s Creative Commons Licensing and newswire access, hundreds of major media outlets, including The National Post, CNN, TIME, The Washington Post, The Weather Network, Today’s Parent, and Scientific American, have republished these pieces.

From cryptocurrencies to how eating rhythms impact our mental health, Queen’s researchers have written on a variety of timely and timeless topics. Some of our most-read articles looked at the physical symptoms caused by pandemic stress, the drama of Haitian children abandoned by UN fathers, the extinction of a bird species, the rising popularity of spirituality without religion, and the negative effects of salting icy roads on aquatic ecosystems.

The Conversation Canada and Queen’s University Workshops

Thursday, Oct. 20

Session 1:
10 to 11:30 a.m. (Click to register.)

Session 2 (STEM research):
2 to 3:30 p.m. (Click to register.)

Rose Innovation Hub Space,
Mitchell Hall

For any questions, contact researchcommunications@queensu.ca

The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement, bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “We have seen participation from every faculty, and Queen’s continues to show leadership in contributing to the platform among Canadian peers.”

The workshops: How to write for The Conversation

The workshops will be led by Scott White, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Conversation Canada, and Nehal El-Hadi, the Science + Technology Editor of The Conversation Canada. The in-person program will highlight the changing media landscape, the role of The Conversation and researchers as credible news sources, and how to craft the perfect pitch. Participants will develop pitch ideas and can receive real-time editorial feedback.

Shaping the future of sustainable finance

The Institute for Sustainable Finance releases annual report, highlighting the institute’s efforts to support Canada’s transition to an environmentally sustainable economy.

The Institute for Sustainable Finance has published its first annual Impact and Progress Report.

Institute for Sustainable FinanceThe report looks at the ISF’s achievements over the past 12 months in terms of its four strategic pillars: research, education, collaboration, and outreach.

Highlights include: five research reports assessing different dimensions of Canada’s progress in sustainable finance; delivery of public and custom education programs; continued support and collaboration with the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network of academics across North America; producing a series of 11 educational primers on core concepts; support to post-graduate students and researchers; and more.

The report also looks at the impact of the institute’s activities toward aligning financial systems to promote long-term environmental sustainability and economic prosperity in support of Canada’s transition towards a net-zero emissions economy.

Housed at Smith School of Business, the Institute for Sustainable Finance is the first of its kind in Canada. Led by the team of Chair Sean Cleary, Executive Director Sara Alvarado and Director of Research Ryan Riordan, the ISF is a multi-disciplinary network of research and professional development that brings together academia, the private sector, and government to shape Canada’s innovations in sustainable finance.

“At a time when Canada and the world face many climate, technology and geopolitical challenges, our work is making an impact as we help mobilize capital towards sustainable finance in this race to net-zero,” Alvarado says. “We need to remain competitive as a country, continue to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to help finance our economy and ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.”   

Read the report.

New program equips leaders to tackle global challenges

Queen’s launches first-in-Canada Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship.

[Drone photo of campus]

Queen’s has launched a new program to enable executives and professionals from a variety of sectors to better understand and address complex social and global challenges. The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact (ALSI) Fellowship is a first-in-Canada program that provides the tools, knowledge, and networks participants need to tackle the root causes of social problems – from housing affordability to climate change.

“To confront the significant social issues of our day, we need people with a deep understanding and appreciation of the complexities of how to make real impact,” says Jim Leech, former president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, former Chair of the Mastercard Foundation, and Chancellor Emeritus of Queen’s University. “Through the Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship we have the opportunity to foster a community of leaders, from all walks of life, able to drive meaningful solutions for people and the planet.”

Closing a gap

Social issues are complex and must be viewed from multiple perspectives to achieve meaningful outcomes. Leaders must also be equipped with various approaches to initiate or measure progress on impact-driven solutions. The fellowship responds to a gap in the higher education landscape.

The one-year, hybrid program draws from field-leading Queen’s research and industry experts, including environmental biologists, chemical engineers, and international business lawyers. It also applies a human-centric approach to investigate all dimensions of social issues, meaning that stakeholders are involved at all levels of decision-making and can move quickly from theory to practice and project application.

“The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship doesn’t look at social problems in isolation or from one perspective,” says Jean-Baptiste Litrico, Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Queen’s and the program’s co-director. “The program is grounded in the belief that real issues are systemic and require a multidimensional leadership approach to inspire tangible solutions.”

[Photo of people walking on Queen's campus]
ALSI Fellowship participants will engage in four on-campus residency sessions as part of the one-year hybrid program.

Commitment to social impact

The fellowship builds on Queen’s reputation as a leader in advancing sustainability and social impact. For two years in a row, the university has ranked top-10 globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which measure the institution’s contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  

In addition to being a Canadian-first, the ALSI program marks a milestone as the first cross-faculty delivered professional program. While co-led by faculty from the Smith School of Business and the Faculty of Education, it draws in individuals from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Arts and Science, reflecting the cross-campus commitment to driving social change.

“At Queen’s, we empower our community to advance social impact through research, teaching, and outreach activities,” says Ted Christou, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education and co-director of the program. “We can broaden this reach to likeminded leaders through a transformative curriculum focused on a diversity of perspectives and team-based solutions.”

Transformative leadership

In October 2022, the ALSI Fellowship will welcome its first cohort with an initial intake representing a variety of careers and backgrounds. Designed to accommodate those working full-time or with other commitments, the program will combine on-campus residential sessions with online synchronous learning, and a team-based culminating project.

The one-year program includes over 130 hours of curriculum that are divided into three themed semesters: discovery, design, and delivery. Each focuses on a core mindset required to understand drivers of problems and move from theory to practice.

Participants will also network with faculty, mentors, and peers, learning from leading experts in the field with both academic and applied experience.

The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship is currently recruiting participants for 2022-2023. For more information on the program, visit the website.

Local partnerships support education abroad

Hakeem Subair of 1 Million Teachers speaks during the Muna Taro launch.
Hakeem Subair of 1 Million Teachers speaks during the Muna Taro launch event at the Tett Centre. 

With 13 million children who are without access to schools in Nigeria alone, there is an urgent need for educational support – a trend which is expected to grow over time. Adding to the complexities of this issue are the intersections between gender and access to resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To address these challenges, modern policy-driven solutions that are culturally attuned, and advance sustainable community-led changes are needed. Working towards this end, Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, and the City of Kingston recently co-hosted an event at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning to showcase and raise awareness on enhancing learning in Nigeria.

Muna Taro (We are coming together) is a collaboration between three organizations based out of Nigeria: 1 Million Teachers, Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative, and Girl Rising.

The exhibit, My Story of Water, uses the power of art to foster creativity and resiliency and was open to the public between June 2- 29. The display included hand-painted water cans and photographs emphasizing the importance of safe access to water, sanitation, pollution, environmental protection, and how basic needs are fundamental to empowering educational development.   

The launch event included comments from Queen’s Provost Mark Green, Dean of the Faculty of Education Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean of Smith School of Business Wanda Costen, St. Lawrence College President Glenn Vollebregt, Kingston Economic Development Council CEO Donna Gillespie, as well as the Nigerian High Commissioner, Nigerian Ambassador, and Special Advisers to the President of Nigeria.

“The showcase displays collaboration of like-minded people looking to enhance and provide access to education for the most vulnerable members of our communities,” says Hakeem Subair, founder of 1 Million Teachers and a Queen’s alumnus. “We need to show the world what we’re doing, but more importantly how to make society better, and hopefully we can get support from other people who are not yet part of our movement.”

With the exhibition focusing on United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation, Queen’s and the Kingston community continues to build ties with Nigeria and support Muna Taro’s initiatives and pursuit of educational reform.

Wanda Costen and Rebecca Luce-Kapler share a laugh.
Dean of Smith School of Business Wanda Costen, left, and Rebecca Luce-Kapler, Dean of the Faculty Education discuss their support of the Muna Taro program.

Relationship-building organizations

1 Million Teachers is an organization that hopes to attract, train and retain teachers through the use of their online platform and learning modules. Queen’s connection to Muna Taro stems from the CEO of 1 Million Teachers, and Smith School of Business graduate, Hakeem Subair. In 2018, the Faculty of Education partnered with 1 Million Teachers to assist with program development and to create a practice that supports learning in Nigeria and beyond, while advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“When we started 1 Million Teachers we wanted to support teachers and when we were doing that we started seeing gaps in our programming – areas such as inclusivity, and gender responsive education,” Subair says. “The gaps we were seeing led us to taking a systems approach because most times you could see yourself working on a solution, and that solution may become part of the problem. This process led to us collaborating with all the partners we are working with today.”

The Five Cowries art initiative aims to improve educational outcomes by stimulating engagement and encouraging creativity through the amplification of narratives about social and environmental impact in Nigerian.

Girl Rising empowers young girls through the power of story telling and raising awareness of the barriers preventing girls from attending school and gaining an education. From combating early marriage, sex trafficking, domestic slavery and gender-based violence, Girl Rising’s mission is to create transformational change in the way girls are valued.

Together, these organizations advocate for grass roots changes environmental and social and environmental norms across Nigeria, and 14 other African countries.

Learn more by visiting the Muna Taro and Faculty of Education website.

What we need to build a more inclusive future

Human resources management expert provides insights on gaps and best practices in addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workforce.

As Canadians celebrate both Pride Month and Indigenous History Month, June seems like the perfect time to reflect on the different aspects of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) – how we’ve worked to implement EDI in our lives and practices and the work we still need to do. One area that has seen attention over the past decade is how EDI practices can be beneficial for institutions and businesses.

Eddy Ng
Eddy Ng

Eddy Ng, the Smith Professor of Equity & Inclusion in Business and an expert in human resources management, focuses his research on how we can promote EDI in workplaces across Canada. He recently spoke to the Gazette about how the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing gaps and what current research says about hiring and management practices to promote EDI.

How did COVID-19 increase gender related inequalities?

First, women are disproportionately affected by business closures (e.g., retail, hospitality, service-oriented work) and hence they suffer in employment and income in relation to men. The aggregate number of hours worked by women decreased significantly, and the number of women owned businesses declined as a result of the pandemic. Thus, the gap employment and income gaps between men and women widened.

Also, pre-existing conflicts between work and family responsibilities magnified during COVID-19. Women shoulder a disproportionately larger share of household chores and caregiving. School and daycare closures have forced a third of working women to consider quitting their jobs. A noteworthy point of observation, women are less represented in senior management and leadership roles – which tend to be more pandemic-proof. 

We hear about post-pandemic economic recovery and a shortage of skilled workers. However, Indigenous and Black workers still struggle finding jobs that are consistent with their professional competencies. Why?

The post-pandemic recovery has seen a boom in the tech sector and sectors that are adaptable, but Black and Indigenous workers still are underrepresented in tech and other booming sectors such as banking and financial services, STEM professions, and information and communications technology. Historically, Black and Indigenous workers have lower levels of educational attainment and possess job skills that are prone to automation. Simply put, Black and Indigenous workers have not been set up for success in new economy jobs and in remote or “pandemic proof” careers. To address employment gaps, we need to have policies aimed at preparing Black and Indigenous populations for the new economy, and industry commitment as partners in the training and employment of severely underrepresented racialized workers.

Individuals are differently impacted based on a combination of factors (race, citizenship, gender, class, sexual orientation etc.). Do existing EDI practices address intersectionality?

Intersectional marginalized identities tend to be invisible; the Black lesbian small business owner is grouped with other Black small business owners. EDI policy surveys tend to address identities that are measurable or quantifiable, thus individuals with intersectional identities don’t receive the same attention. To address this, policy makers need to decompose aggregate data or collect better data. The challenge, as reported here, is getting individuals to respond to policy questions. Alternatively, equity policies should be as broad as possible to ensure that individuals with multiple struggles are able to receive more comprehensive support.

Hiring practices that aim to foster diversity and inclusion are frequently criticized based on the hypothesis that they might favour minorities and fail to find the best candidates for a position. Is that a fallacy? Why?

Hiring for diversity and hiring for excellence are not in conflict with each other. Hiring the "best" candidate implies there is a singular view of what is the best, established by the dominant group, so we are reproducing the dominant group perspective. This is why it is important to have targeted hirings so that we are not crowded out by dominant group views. Meritocracy and picking "the best" favour the dominant group that establish the rules. 

What strategies are successful in creating more diverse and inclusive hiring processes and promoting EDI in workplaces?

In comparing firms that are covered under the Employment Equity Act with those that are not, research shows that firms having to comply with public policies do better in hiring for diversity. Public policies create visible accountability across firms. Research also shows that leaders who create accountabilities for diversity goals, lead more diverse organizations. Implicit bias training, however, does not work well for several reasons. First, bias training tends to emphasize the negative (i.e., remedial training), generating skepticism and resistance among participants. Thus, bias training does not change attitudes or behaviours. Second, hiring managers don’t like to be told whom to hire. People tend to rebel against rules when discretion is taken away from them. Third, bias training, when improperly conducted, can reinforce stereotypes and undermine its very own purpose in removing biases.

We already have the knowledge and skills on how to become more diverse and inclusive. What is lacking are motives. Accountability and incentives provide that motive. Once we have the critical numbers in diversity, demographic faultline weakens and organizational climate shifts to one that is more accepting of differences. 

Cast your vote for the Art of Research

The public has until June 2 to vote for their favourite Queen's research photo in the People’s Choice category.

[Collage of photos with text: Art of Research photo contest]
A selection of Queen's research photos included in the People's Choice vote as part of the Art of Research photo contest.

Voting is now open for the People’s Choice prize in the annual Art of Research photo contest. The public is invited to cast their ballot and participate in promoting the diversity of research happening across Queen’s.

Hosted by the Office of the Vice-Principal (University Relations), the annual contest is an opportunity for Queen’s researchers to mobilize their research beyond the academy. The contest is aimed at providing a creative and accessible method of sharing the ground-breaking research being done by the Queen’s community and celebrating the global and social impact of this work.

Contest prizes

The 2022 contest has been reimagined through the lens of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to celebrate the impact of research in advancing these important global goals. Five new categories inspired by the SDGs were introduced for this year’s contest alongside the popular People’s Choice prize.

Images selected for voting in the People’s Choice are entries that generated discussion and were shortlisted by the adjudication committee.

All prizes come with a monetary prize of $250.

Cast your vote

The survey closes on June 2 at midnight. Winners of the 2022 Art of Research photo contest will be announced shortly following the vote.

To learn more about past contests, visit the Research@Queen’s website.

2022 Art of Research Adjudication Committee

  • Nancy Ross, Vice-Principal (Research)
  • Kanonhsyonne - Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation)
  • Nicholas Mosey, Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Heidi Ploeg, QFEAS Chair for Women in Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering
  • Ruth Dunley, Associate Director, Editorial Strategy, Office of Advancement
  • Jung-Ah Kim, PhD Student, Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies
  • Melinda Knox, Director, Thought Leadership and Strategic Initiatives, University Relations
  • Véronique St-Antoine, Communications Advisor, NSERC

Canada faces huge physical costs from climate change, making net zero a great investment

Reducing greenhouse gases is expensive, but it’s a great investment compared to the damage we can expect to the Canadian economy if the climate warms 5 C by 2100.

 

A family watches a wildfire from the safety of a ridge.
A family watches a wildfire from the safety of a ridge. (Unsplash/Caleb Cook)

There has been a lot of discussion in Canada lately about the financial costs of achieving the country’s climate targets. And rightly so. The situation is urgent and we need to act now.

Fighting climate change will require a concerted effort, affecting all sectors of the economy. And while there will be great economic opportunity and lots of new jobs in the green economy, there will be considerable disruptions in the workforce, major economic challenges and significant capital investment required.

However, we in the finance business like to look at both sides of the ledger. And when one considers the damage to the Canadian economy we can expect from fires, floods, melting ice caps and loss of biodiversity due to climate change, the investment in greenhouse gas reductions starts to look very worthwhile indeed.

Climate change impacts economic prosperity

In a new study we recently published with the Institute for Sustainable Finance, we posit that economic value is sacrificed every day that action is not taken to mitigate the economic and ecological risks posed by climate change. Existing economic models agree that losses are unavoidable without change and investment. But questions remained regarding how much value will be lost and how quickly.

Our study modelled the physical risk to Canada, or how much capital output might be lost, over various warming scenarios between now and the end of the century. We found that under a business-as-usual scenario, with no new international greenhouse gas mitigation measures taken, allowing the climate to warm 5 C by 2100, the cumulative cost to Canada would be $5.5 trillion.

That’s a big number. And it’s a lot higher than the damage we would see under a scenario where global warming is kept to 2 C, which we estimate to be around $2.8 trillion.

Of course, this is just the financial cost and does not take into account the suffering of those who will lose livelihoods, homes and businesses, or even their lives, due to climate-related disasters.

Our study further reveals that the associated costs of physical damage are larger than the investments required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the difference is up to $45.4 billion larger than the required investment. And this doesn’t even consider the potential economic benefits of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

Yes, it is true that Canada can’t fight climate change on its own, and that it’s a global effort. But the incentive is clear for a rich, developed, industrialized country like Canada to take a global leadership role and meet our own net-zero targets.

A worker installs solar panels on the roof of a house.
A worker installs solar panels on the roof of a house. (Unsplash/Bill Mead)

Quick action is crucial

There is also a big incentive to act now, as we will face some inflection points in the coming decades that will make the challenge considerably more difficult.

Our study found that the costs of climate change damage are expected to grow gradually until 2050, around which time there is a sharp increase under all scenarios. By 2070 there is an exponential increase in damages. These dates correspond to two of the significant target dates for achieving net zero noted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its reports.

Despite the recent increased attention to addressing climate change, progress has been too slow. It is becoming clear that we are not on pace to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Estimates from the IPCC and others suggest that with current progress, and if the world meets its existing commitments, we are more on pace for a 3 C warming scenario. There is a very real risk that warming will be higher still.

This is all bad news for Canada, which is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is warming at twice the rate of the global average. But until now, we haven’t had an effective assessment of the physical risks and the potential capital cost to Canada.

We have much to lose. And it should now be clear that tackling climate change more than pays for itself in terms of avoided physical damage alone.The Conversation

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Neal Willcott, PhD Candidate - Finance, Queen's University and Sean Cleary, BMO Professor of Finance, Queen's University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Director, Thought Leadership and Strategic Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

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