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Cheering on Canada’s Olympians and Paralympians

A flag recognizing the partnership between Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee will fly in front of Goodes Hall for the duration of the Games.

  • Smith School of Business-Canadian Olympic Committee flag raised
    A flag recognizing the partnership between Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee is raised in front of Goodes Hall on Thursday. From left: Paralympian Anne Fergusson; Olympian Greg Douglas; Olympian Christine Robinson; and Dean David Saunders.
  • Christine Robinson and Greg Douglas
    Christine Robinson, who competed in the Olympics in water polo, and Greg Douglas, an Olympian in sailing, spoke about their experiences as top-level athletes.
  • Dean David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business, speaks about the strategic partnership between Smith and the Canadian Olympic Committee during a special flag-raising event at Goodes Hall.
  • Smith School of Business Olympic event group shot
    Queen's community members gather for a photo during a special event at Smith School of Business ahead of the start of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
  • David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business, with Olympians and Paralympian
    David Saunders, Dean of Smith School of Business, third from left, poses for a photo alongside, from left, Olympian Christine Robinson, Paralympian Anne Fergusson, and Olympian Greg Douglas.
  • Good wishes signing
    Members of the Queen's community sign a large scroll in support of Canada's Olympians and Paralympians ahead of a special flag-raising event at Goodes Hall.

With the Winter Olympics opening in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, Feb. 9, a special event was held Thursday to raise a flag recognizing the partnership between Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Hosted by Dean David Saunders, the event was attended by Olympians and Queen’s students Christine Robinson (water polo) and Greg Douglas (sailing), as well as Paralympian and Queen’s alumna Anne Fergusson (sitting volleyball).

In November 2016, Smith School of Business and the Canadian Olympic Committee formed a strategic partnership, with Smith becoming the exclusive business education partner of the COC and a founding partner of Game Plan, Canada’s athlete career transition initiative. Over eight years, some 1,200 athletes will be eligible to enroll in various Smith programs.

The flag, located in front of Goodes Hall, will continue to fly until Sunday, March 18, the final day of the Paralympic Games.

More information about the official partnership is available on the Smith School of Business website.


Changing the cannabis conversation

Queen’s University business students create unique campaigns to educate high school students about marijuana use.

With the upcoming legalization of marijuana in Ontario, three groups of Queen’s University marketing students have created three unique marketing campaigns to help educate young people around the dangers of marijuana use.

Students of professors Oyedeji Ayonrinde (Psychiatry) and John-Kurt Pliniussen (Smith School of Business) studied the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana and determined high school-aged students were most at risk. From there, they teamed up to create social media campaigns aimed at helping students in Eastern Ontario make informed decisions about marijuana use.

The students formed work groups called Disjointed, Legit Services, and Project Flux and each produced a YouTube video and a written report explaining their project.

Dr. Pliniussen encourages his marketing students to apply their learnings to real life projects that have social value and which also helps students enhance their digital marketing skills.

“A partnership like this with Dr. Ayonrinde is a perfect example of the kind of academic synergies Queen’s is noted for," he says. "I look forward to having our marketing students work with other academic units in the future.”

Lisa Xiong and Sara Majeed
Lisa Xiong and Sara Majeed were part of the "we all know a Rachael" project. (University Communications)

Project Flux created a campaign called we all know a Rachael. The team, featuring Anton Tsyhanok, Lisa Xiong, Safa Majeed, Delyth Phan, and Stefan Negus, created an Instagram persona for a fictional 17-year-old named Rachael. Through a number of posts, her character was crafted as an average high school student, with added elements exploring the potential dangers of cannabis use.

Each of the projects were broken down into components featuring a video, public education talks, apps, and websites. Dr. Ayonrinde is exploring funding from the Health Canada public education fund as well as discussing the potential with Public Health to move the projects forward to both local and national levels.

“A lot of campaigns out there can be easily overlooked because high school students don’t identify with them,” explains Ms. Xiong. “Ours is a more subtle approach. The students learn who Rachael is, they watch her posts, and they start to identify with her as a person first. They build a connection.”

Ms. Majeed adds that a lot of high school students are unaware of the health risks associated with using marijuana, including addiction. In 2017, about 20 per cent of high school students in Eastern Ontario had used marijuana in the past year. Specifically, 36.9 per cent of Grade 12 students in Ontario had used in the past year. The upcoming legalization places pressure on society to become aware of the consequences that may follow the recreational use of cannabis.

The Disjointed team, featuring Duncan Chisholm, Emma Henry, Meghan McKeown, Jenna Smallegange, and Allison Stewart, produced a video in which they asked members of the university community about their experiences, perceptions, and opinions on marijuana. The video showcases a number of common misconceptions about marijuana and highlights important medical findings.

The Legit Services team developed the slogan “What’s Your High?” and filmed a video featuring young people engaging in thrilling activities designed to give them a natural high without the use of drugs. It showed a “high” doesn’t have to come from marijuana. Team members included Emily Coleman, Vinesh Prathap Das, Thomas Hardy, Matthew Krutkiewicz, and Rachel Wong.

Dr. Ayonrinde is the Medical Director of the Heads Up! Programan early psychosis intervention program based at Hotel Dieu Hospital. Its interdisciplinary team provides services to persons 14 to 35 years of age who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis or who have not yet received treatment for psychosis. He notes many of his young patients’ psychosis is triggered by drug use, specifically marijuana.

Dr. Ayonrinde called the projects “innovative” and is excited to develop the students’ work to the next stages in conjunction with Dr. Pliniussen at the Smith School of Business.

“Marijuana becomes legal July 1 and that legalization will permeate all parts of society,” he says. “We need to get in front of this. We need to educate. There is still so much work to do. Society isn’t ready.”

Shaping the future of Ontario through policy

The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and other policy experts visit the School of Policy Studies to kick off the winter speaker series.

  • The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivers the Donald Gow Memorial Lecture.
    The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivers the Donald Gow Memorial Lecture.
  • Master's of Public Administration students listen intently to the Lieutenant Governor's thoughts on a year of celebration and reflection of Canada's 150 year history.
    Master of Public Administration students listen intently to the Lieutenant Governor's thoughts on a year of celebration and reflection of Canada's 150 year history.
  • Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service, and Clerk of the Executive Council, explores the areas of change that will affect the Ontario public service in the future during his lecture.
    Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service, and Clerk of the Executive Council, explores the areas of change that will affect the Ontario public service in the future during his lecture.
  • Mr. Orsini shares his thoughts on the future of the Ontario public service with Master of Public Administration students, and others interested in public policy.
    Mr. Orsini shares his thoughts on the future of the Ontario public service with Master of Public Administration students, and others interested in public policy.

Two standout lectures by experts in the public service kicked off the School of Policy Studies winter 2018 Policy Speaker Series, and there are more to come throughout the winter term.

On Jan. 18, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Donald Gow Memorial Lecture to students, faculty, and staff.

The Lieutenant Governor reflected on her experience over the past year attending over 100 Canada 150 events, and her participation in the celebrations marking our country’s history and growth. She reflected on the call for reconciliation from Indigenous communities and discussed the opportunities and challenges facing Ontario in the future in an increasingly globalized and complex world.

“Ontarians have not only a lot to contribute to the world, but also a lot to learn from it – which is both an opportunity, and a responsibility,” said the Lieutenant Governor. “In a time of fake news and echo chambers, when there is a temptation to isolate ourselves, I think we must resist that urge. Ontarians, in my experience, are very good at building bridges, and we can lead by example.”

Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, Head of the Ontario Public Service, and Clerk of the Executive Council, spoke Jan. 12 to a packed audience about transforming the Ontario Public Service to adapt to the future. Mr. Orsini focused on the continuing journey of the Ontario public service to become a more client-focused, innovative, efficient, and inclusive organization that is prepared for rapid change.

The Distinguished Lectures and Policy Speaker series will continue to bring eminent academics and public policy experts to Queen’s throughout the term. The speakers are:

  • Marian Campbell Jarvis, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Social Development Policy
  • Kathy Brock, cross-appointed professor, School of Policy Studies and Department of Political Studies
  • Keith Banting, Stauffer Dunning Fellow in the School of Policy Studies and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Studies,
  • Marlene Brant Castellano, Professor Emeritus of Trent University, Native Studies Department
  • Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Canada’s National Inuit Leader – The Tom Courchene Distinguished Speaker Series
  • George Thomson, Senior Director – International of Canada’s National Judicial Institute
  • Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada – The David Dodge Lecture, presented this year by the Smith School of Business
  • Robert Wolfe, Professor Emeritus, School of Policy Studies – The J. Douglas Gibson Lecture
  • Shelly Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
  • Tim McTiernan, visiting scholar in the School of Policy Studies and former president of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

The winter series will run 10 more lectures from Thursday, Feb. 1, to Thursday, March 29. For more information about the winter term lineup, see the Policy Speakers Series website.

Queen’s alumna wins prestigious Schwarzman Scholarship

Heather Evans (Com’16), a member of the winning team from the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, will study for a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Heather Evans (Com’16), a member of the winning team from the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, will study for a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Heather Evans (Com’16), a member of the winning team from the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative, recently received a Schwarzman Scholarship and will study for a year at Tsinghua University in Beijing. (Supplied Photo) 

Heather Evans (Com’16) thrives in stressful situations. When she was a commerce student at Queen’s, she successfully juggled schoolwork with launching a 3D printing company, Mosaic Manufacturing, with four other students. She and her cofounders were recognized as the top venture in the 2014 Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative winning $40,000.

She beat long odds and is preparing for another heavy workload as she prepares to head to China next year after receiving a prestigious scholarship.

Ms. Evans is one of 142 people selected from a field of more than 4,000 applicants from across the globe to receive a Schwarzman Scholarship. Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarships, Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of the private equity firm The Blackstone Group, founded the program three years ago with an aim to promote international understanding. Mr. Schwarzman personally contributed more than $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $500 million.

“It was the best feeling in the world. I cannot wait to move to Beijing,” Ms. Evans says. “I think it will be one of the most interesting, intense, and craziest things I have ever done. The scholarship is extremely generous, so I have the freedom to stop working, pause my life and move to China for 11 months.”

Ms. Evans still has a small stake in Mosaic Manufacturing but is no longer involved in its day-to-day operations. Upon graduation from Queen’s, Ms. Evans launched a second startup through Canada’s Next36 and now works for the Government of Ontario in technology strategy and was very involved in launch of Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Ms. Evans and the other Schwarzman scholars will live and study together for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of the top universities in China. All expenses are covered by the scholarship. 

She feels her year in China, which starts in August 2018, will be an amazing opportunity to learn about one of the world’s most powerful economies. That’s an important lesson for any entrepreneur.

“The Chinese culture and economy is completely foreign to me as someone who has grown up in Canada,” says Ms. Evans, who was born and raised in Kingston. “Living in Beijing seems like one of the best ways to have a better understanding of how China operates.

When she started at Queen’s she didn’t feel like an entrepreneur. She is grateful that Greg Bavington (Sc’85), Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC), and Jim McLellan (Sc’81, PhD’90), Academic Director of the DDQIC, convinced her to take part in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative and helped teach her the tools to succeed in business.

“Heather is smart and a hard worker. These are the kind of people we look for at the Dunin-Deshpande Centre – people who have drive and curiosity,” says Mr. Bavington. “This is what makes successful entrepreneurs. I know she will do well in China.”

Positive economic predictions

Smith School of Business experts connect with business and community leaders at Business Forecast Luncheon.

Canada’s surprisingly hot economy will cool slightly in 2018 as the Bank of Canada looks to ease growth and avoid high inflation. But potential for a long and messy U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA could get in the way of continued good times.

"Business Forecast Luncheon"
The Business Forecast Luncheon, hosted by Smith School of Business, drew more than 200 of Kingston’s business and government leaders. (Supplied Photo)

That’s the prognosis Evan Dudley, Assistant Professor of Finance at Smith School of Business, delivered during the school’s annual Business Forecast Luncheon, at Four Points by Sheraton Kingston on Thursday, Dec. 7.

“The Canadian economy is doing really well. Growth has come in above everyone’s expectations,” Dr. Dudley says, citing strong manufacturing, rising exports and renewed stability in the oil sector, after prices collapsed in 2016, as key contributors to the surge.

Real gross domestic product of 2.9 per cent nationally this year will slow to two per cent in 2018.

Dr. Dudley anticipates the central bank will raise interest rates twice in the year ahead to give the economy a “soft landing.”

Canada’s unemployment rate, which stood at 5.9 per cent in October, will remain low at six per cent in the coming year.

Inflation will be stable at 1.6 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent this year, thanks in part to low wage-hike pressures.

But NAFTA could throw a wrench into the nation’s economic gears. Should President Donald Trump signal that he wants out of the pact, NAFTA would effectively become a “zombie” trade agreement – not dead, but not quite living either, Dr. Dudley explains. The reason: it’s up to Congress, not Trump, to formally withdraw from NAFTA, and in the wake of a Trump declaration, pro- and anti-NAFTA lawmakers would face off in a long and heated battle.

“NAFTA would still be in place but companies exporting to the (U.S.) would put their capital investments on hold. They would not be able to make plans, and there would be a lot of uncertainty,” Dr. Dudley says.

Smith’s Business Forecast Luncheon drew more than 200 of Kingston’s business and government leaders. Speakers included Julian Barling, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Borden Chair of Leadership at Smith, and Betsy Donald, Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s.

Dr. Donald weighed in on efforts to diversify the Kingston economy and attract more private-sector jobs. She pointed to several successes in recent years: Frulact Group, a Portuguese fruit processor, which has opened a plant; and the Chinese dairy processor Feihe International, setting up an infant formula-making facility here.

The city’s investment in its bus system has also paid off, she adds. Census data shows Kingston had the highest increase in public transit ridership in Canada: up 33 per cent from 2011 to 2016.

“I think Kingston is in a good position right now. The city has a newfound confidence,” Dr. Donald says.

Kingston’s downtown also holds potential, with people still choosing to live in the core.

“Other cities of our size are seeing their downtowns hollow out,” she explains. “Our downtown is a golden asset. It’s a walkable heritage asset on the waterfront.”

Kingston’s economy is enjoying good times mostly because the Ontario economy has done well, Dr. Dudley says. GDP in the Kingston census metropolitan area rose 1.8 per cent this year. Given Kingston’s reliance on government, education and healthcare jobs, it’s no surprise that figure is lower than the provincial average of 2.9 per cent GDP growth and also less than manufacturing cities, such as Oshawa and Windsor, which both saw 2.5 per cent gains.

“Kingston doesn’t see big surges in economic growth, but we don’t see big declines either,” he says.

However, overall job growth in Kingston has been strong. Dr. Dudley points to RBC Economics Research data that ranked Kingston fourth out of 27 cities across Canada for job growth, with a 3.7 per cent gain here during the 12-month period to October.

Forecasting Kingston's future

This year’s Business Forecast Luncheon is going local.

For more than three decades the event, hosted by Smith School of Business, has fostered connections with the Kingston community as Queen’s experts discuss the financial and economic outlook for the coming year, often on the national or provincial level.

Business Forecast Luncheon 2018
Queen's faculty experts Julian Barling (Smith SChool of Business), Betsy Donald (Geography and Planning), and Evan Dudley (Smith School of Business), are presenting at the Business Forecast Luncheon being hosted at the Four Points Sheraton on Thursday, Dec. 7. 

This year’s event, being hosted Thursday, Dec. 7 from noon to 2 pm at the Four Points Sheraton, will take on a more local focus, explains Evan Dudley, Assistant Professor of Finance at Smith School of Business, will be discussing how Kingston ranks relative to other communities of similar size in terms of economic growth and job creation as well as a national economic forecast.

“What I’ve learned from the attendees is they are very interested in what Queen’s researchers have to say about the local economy. I think that is the missing piece for the event and that is what we are bringing to the table this year,” he says. “At the luncheon I will do a national macro-economic forecast but I will also talk about the local economy, which is much more difficult as there’s not a lot of information on Kingston because it’s a smaller city.”

Joining him will be Julian Barling, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Borden Chair of Leadership at Smith School of Business, and Betsy Donald, Professor, Department of Geography and Planning.

At the luncheon Dr. Barling will talk about early childhood environments and how they foster leadership outcomes, a topic that Dr. Dudley describes as “fascinating”.

“It’s original research and he will be talking about that, with an application to Kingston of course,” he says. “He’s very knowledgeable about what’s going on here.”

Dr. Donald, the first faculty member from outside the business school to be featured at the luncheon, specializes in economic geography with a particular focus on innovation and regional economic development, urban planning and governance, and sustainable food systems. Her talk will also take a look at Kingston in relation to where it stands in comparison to other cities now and going forward.

Following the presentations there will be a question-and-answer session, moderated by Dr. Dudley, where audience members can put their queries on a wide range of topics directly to the experts.  A hot topic at past luncheons has been development projects and whether or not the City of Kingston should move ahead with them.

“When you look at Kingston, we do well in some dimensions but in terms of growth relative to other cities Kingston is maybe in the middle of the pack,” Dr. Dudley points out. “That’s a discussion we have every year and some people think that is the right place to be while others feel we should move up. There’s definitely a trade-off there and both Dr. Barling and Dr. Donald are going to be speaking about that trade-off.”

Tickets for the Business Forecast Luncheon can be purchased online at Smith School of Business website or contact Samantha Arniel at 613-533-6000 ext. 73800 or samantha.arniel@queensu.ca.

Five Queen's professors renewed as Canada Research Chairs

Canada Research Chairs program advances the nation’s position as a leader in discovery and innovation.

One of the country’s highest research honours, the Canada Research Chairs program advances the nation’s position as a leader in discovery and innovation and, recently, five Queen’s faculty members were renewed at both Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. Tier 1 Chairs are recognized by their peers as world leaders in their respective fields, while Tier 2 Chairs are recognized as emerging leaders in their research areas. Queen’s is home to over 40 Canada Research Chairs.

“The Canada Research Chairs Program continues to enlist and retain our country’s best and brightest researchers,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Here at Queen’s we are very proud to have five of our most accomplished researchers renewed as chairs, as it speaks to our institution’s pursuit of excellence and leadership across a variety of disciplines.”

Developed in 2000, each year the CRC program invests up to $300 million to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds. Queen’s will receive $200,000 per year over seven years for each Tier 1 Chair and $100,000 per year over five years for each Tier 2 Chair.

Queen’s renewed CRCs are:

Pascale Champagne (Civil Engineering) has been renewed as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Bioresource Engineering. A number of Canadian policies have increased incentives for renewable energy generation, bioproduct recovery, and environmentally sustainable approaches to manage water, waste and renewable resources. Dr. Champagne’s research aims to enhance our fundamental understanding of how to lessen environmental impacts of technologies associated with this effort, as well as to use ‘green chemistry’ to establish a future supply of sustainable bio-based energy, fuel material and chemical products.

Will Kymlicka (Philosophy) has been renewed as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy. Citizenship is often described as tracking social membership but, according to Dr. Kymlicka, many members of society are denied full citizenship based on their linguistic or cognitive capacities. His research will explore new concepts of inclusive citizenship that seek to enable the voices and participation of all members.

Warren Mabee (Geography and Planning) has been renewed as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Renewable Energy Development and Implementation. Dr. Mabee evaluates new renewable energy technologies in terms of their economic, social, and environmental performance, and seeks to create tools to link national and regional energy modeling with local initiatives. Ultimately, his research supports increased renewable energy use across Canada.

Morten Nielsen (Economics) has been renewed as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Time Series Econometrics. Dr. Nielsen’s research develops new and improved statistical methods for analyzing time-series data. Such methods are widely used in applied macro-economics, financial economics,
and many other fields.

R. Kerry Rowe (Civil Engineering) has been renewed as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. The prevention of groundwater contamination at landfill and mining sites is a critical environmental issue. Dr. Rowe’s research will combine modeling and experimental data to investigate long-term performance of various landfill liner systems, and provide new guidelines for the design of anti-contamination systems for future landfills and mining operations.

For more information on Queen’s CRC holders and the program, visit the website.

Global entrepreneurship network expands to Shanghai

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre’s Global Network program helps budding entrepreneurs find their feet in the economic capitals of the world.

Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, presents in Shanghai. (Supplied Photo)

Freshly minted Queen’s entrepreneurs looking to get their start in Asia now have some additional support.

The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC)’s Global Network, a group of alumni and senior business leaders around the world, has added a network node in Shanghai. The node marks the fifth link in the Global Network, and the first in Asia.

“A node in Shanghai is the next logical step for us, and will be a boost to our ability to support entrepreneurship and innovation activities at Queen’s and beyond,” says Greg Bavington (Sc’85), Executive Director of the DDQIC. “Our growing network will help entrepreneurs emerging from our program solidify their manufacturing strategy and tap into one of the world’s largest markets.”

Joining Queen’s in Shanghai for the announcement of the node was Iris Technologies, a startup launched by Colin Harding (Com’17) and Conor Ross (Sc’16). The company is focused on solving the problem those with a concussion, migraine, or eyestrain often have when using computers. The company is in the midst of implementing a manufacturing strategy for the region.

“As a technology company looking to grow sales and expand its manufacturing capabilities, doing business in Asia is almost a necessity,” says Mr. Ross. “It is my hope that this Global Network node will help hardware startups tackle their biggest challenge – bringing a high-quality product to market – and to achieve this faster and with better products. We are grateful for the support of the DDQIC team and their efforts to support entrepreneurs like us.”

The Queen’s China Liaison Office, located in Shanghai, and the department of Alumni Relations are supporting the recruitment of the first volunteer members of this new node. The China Liaison office was founded in 2007 and its existence underscores the importance of the country to Queen’s global ambitions, says Associate Vice-Principal (International) Kathy O’Brien.

“Building relationships in China is a priority for Queen’s,” says Ms. O’Brien. “The university sent 47 students on exchanges to China in 2016-2017, and has almost 300 identified alumni in mainland China. The Shanghai node of the Global Network is an exciting opportunity to engage our strong and committed Queen’s alumni community in building Queen’s-China connections, and to leverage and recognize their talents by making them an integral partner to what we are doing.”

The DDQIC, Alumni Relations, and Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International) are seeking Shanghai-based alumni, business leaders, and other supporters who are willing to volunteer their time advising and assisting Queen’s student entrepreneurs. In addition to supporting alumni entrepreneurs as they seek to build connections globally, the network also helps review the pitches of student entrepreneurs who are a part of the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative program.

Those interested in participating in the Global Network program or learning more about it should visit the DDQIC’s website.

Seeking to make an impact

The Social Impact Summit provides unique opportunities for Queen's students and the broader community to learn from leading academics and practitioners.

Across the globe people are keenly aware of how social and environmental factors are critical to the health and prosperity of our communities. As efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are pursued by business, governments, and communities worldwide, students from the Smith School of Business are seeking to make their impact.

Social Impact Summit Speakers
Among the list of speakers for the 13th annual Social Impact Summit are, clockwise from top left: Valérie Courtois, Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative; Zita Cobb, co-founder and CEO of the Shorefast Foundation and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn; Geoff Green, founder and President of Students on Ice Foundation; and Chef Michael Smith and Chastity Smith, proprietors of The Inn at Bay Fortune.

Hosted by Smith’s Centre for Social Impact, the 13th annual Social Impact Summit provides unique opportunities for Queen’s students and our broader community to learn from today’s trailblazers who are scaling solutions to today’s toughest challenges.

The summit, being held on Queen’s campus on Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11, brings together leading academics and practitioners to foster discussion on a wide variety of issues and topics that will empower them to move forward and make a social impact. This year’s theme is ‘Fierce and Furious.’

“The Social Impact Summit, along with the Social Innovation Bootcamp that was held Oct. 13-14, are  opportunities for students to engage with leading professionals in the area of social finance, social entrepreneurship, social innovation,” says Joanna Reynolds, Associate Director, Centre for Social Impact. “The summit allows students to reflect upon their values and to understand from seasoned professionals how values apply to business and community life.”

As always, the summit offers an excellent lineup of speakers, including an opening keynote address on Friday by Zita Cobb, co-founder and CEO of the Shorefast Foundation and Innkeeper of the Fogo Island Inn.

A full day of learning and networking activities follows on Saturday, including morning keynote sessions featuring speakers Geoff Green, founder and President of Students on Ice Foundation, Chef Michael Smith and Chastity Smith, proprietors of The Inn at Bay Fortune, and Valérie Courtois, Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative. The afternoon has a full schedule of panel sessions and workshops.

The Social Impact Summit is open to the Queen’s and the Kingston communities, but registration is required.

Delegates expected to attend the Social Impact Summit include Queen’s students in the Commerce programs as well as the MBA and Master of International Business programs.  Many of whom are enrolled in the Certificate in Social Impact Program.

The Centre for Social Impact wishes to thank the OLG for their continued support of the Social Impact Summit. Visit the Centre for Social Impact’s website for the complete agenda.

The Centre for Social Impact at Smith School of Business was established in 2004 with a mission to educate students and foster education, research, and advocacy on issues impacting our local and global communities. Every year, the Centre presents and supports a wide range of programming for students, staff, faculty, and members of the Queen’s community to learn about the processes and practices that drive social impact – including the practice of values-based leadership and, social innovation, which refers to an innovative product, process or program that profoundly and positively changes a social system and is widely recognized a key driver of solutions to such complex issues. For more information please contact the Centre at csi@queensu.ca.

Keeping up The Conversation

It’s a simple, but powerful, formula. Take one part leading academic research, add a dash of journalistic flair, and mix in a robust digital presence. It is this winning recipe that has earned The Conversation, an academic journalism website, the participation of thousands of researchers worldwide, and captured the attention of millions of citizens interested in news with a healthy dose of academic rigour.

The Conversation
Queen's is a founding member of the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation and, since its launch earlier this year, 33 articles by Queen's experts have been published.   

After a successful soft launch this summer, the Canadian national affiliate of The Conversation is running at full steam, having published hundreds of researchers’ articles, including a number from Queen’s. The university is a founding member of the national news platform.

“Our participation in The Conversation relays the importance and impact of disseminating and promoting the leading-edge research and scholarship happening at Queen’s University,” says Michael Fraser, Vice-Principal (University Relations). “The Conversation is a powerful tool for community engagement and is already bolstering the efforts of our researchers to share their expertise and build profile.”

Over the course of the summer, over two dozen Queen’s academics contributed to The Conversation, sparking dialogue about the business of marijuana, how to improve the skills of tomorrow’s doctors, , recruiting more women to join the military, how to prevent irregular heartbeats, the meaning of The Tragically Hip’s lyrics, and more. These faculty and graduate students suggested topics, wrote columns, and submitted them to The Conversation. From there, professional journalists helped edit the articles to ensure consistency and clarity.

The Conversation’s unique model puts the researchers in the driver’s seat when sharing their expertise,” says Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “It is increasingly important that we convey the impact of our research and ideas beyond the academy, and we believe tools such as The Conversation are filling that gap in a powerful way.”


The 33 articles published to date by Queen’s experts have garnered a combined 167,000 reads and 166 comments on The Conversation’s website. One of the most popular, and possibly most controversial, pieces was an article by David Maslove, Clinician Scientist with the Department of Medicine and Critical Care Program, about the need to regulate journalism in the same way his profession is regulated.

“Working with The Conversation’s editorial team was great, with turnaround times between drafts that were much faster than what I’m used to in traditional academic publishing,” says Dr. Maslove. “It was really gratifying to see the piece we created reach a wider audience and stimulate debate.”

Another notable Queen’s submission included Sarita Srivastava’s (Sociology) “I wanna be white!’ Can we change race? – a piece analyzing a recent controversy on transracialism. Dr. Srivastava’s piece led to an invitation for her to speak during a symposium on the matter held at the University of Alberta.

Sarita Srivastava
Sarita Srivastava

“Writing for The Conversation has been a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience and to comment on current events as they are happening,” says Dr. Srivastava. “Their editor was extremely skilled in working with me to write in a more journalistic style, while maintaining scholarly content. Within days of my article’s publication, I was invited to speak at an upcoming symposium on the same topic.”

Once the articles are posted to The Conversation’s website, they are shared with a large network of Canadian and international media organizations through a “Republish” feature and posting via The Canadian Press Wire service. The work of Queen’s academics has gone on to be featured in major North American newspapers such as The Washington Post, CNN, CBS News and The National Post, magazines like Scientific American, and national dailies as far away as Australia, where The Conversation was originally founded.

“In our first three months of publication, content from The Conversation Canada has been viewed almost two million times. Combining academic expertise with journalistic storytelling means we are reaching a wide audience across Canada and around the world at a time when the public is thirsting for reliable, fact-based information,” says Scott White, editor-in-chief of The Conversation Canada. “We're very pleased that Queen's has been with us from the very beginning, including a Day One story, as well as important articles on the country's health care system and the beauty of song lyrics, to name just a few.”

The Conversation is regularly seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Associate Director, Research Profile and Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca


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