Canadians are blessed to live in a country where the general standard of living ranks among the very top in the world. We are justifiably proud of sustaining a strong, open economy which in turn supports resilient, conscientious social systems.
As Canada enters its 150th year of Confederation, we are celebrating our successes as a country. But we understand there is no guarantee that tomorrow will be the same or better for Canadians without smart, caring and forward-thinking leadership. Global competition for jobs and economic growth is increasing. Worldwide economic challenges are impacting our natural resource sectors. Significant economic disparities are a growing concern for many Canadians. And all parts of our economy and society are being called upon to address the challenge of climate change.
Alongside the many challenges are many opportunities. Global growth is driving long-term need for the goods and services Canada produces. The skills, knowledge and expertise of Canadians are in demand around the world. There is optimism for reconciliation with Indigenous peoples who are working to ensure that their communities have a greater and sustainable share of Canada’s prosperity.
As we look forward, Canada finds itself in an increasingly borderless world where so many of our challenges and opportunities are interconnected and global in scale. With just 0.48% of the world population, Canada requires exceptional leaders in all sectors to ensure our future remains bright.
As our future leaders, the 250 members of the 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference will be challenged to define their goals for the future of their country, and how they will meet them as they take on increasing responsibility in their organizations and communities.
Conference members will examine the reasons for Canada’s current success, and the domestic and international challenges Canada faces if it wants the next generation of Canadians to have the same or higher living standards and diverse society as we enjoy today. Particular focus will be placed on how best to accelerate innovation, productivity, inclusion and entrepreneurship.
As part of this examination, new and collaborative decision-making systems that draw on wider skills, talents and technological advance will be studied. Disruptive technologies that have the potential to impact many of Canada’s core industries and their workforces will be experienced first-hand. Particular emphasis will be placed on an examination of overcoming barriers to inclusion and ensuring full participation of all of Canadians in the advancement of their country.
The 2017 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference will study the role that leaders play in stimulating, driving, managing and diffusing constructive change. Throughout the Conference, members will meet with Canadians from all sectors and walks of life who are dedicated to building resilient, diverse and sustainable organizations and communities.