Big Picture at #congressh: Ready for Congress

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gabriel Miller, Executive Director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences brings together leading thinkers, academics, researchers, policy-makers and innovators to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. Congress celebrates the vitality and quality of Canadian research contributions, and helps train the next generation of Canadian ideas leadership. This year’s theme “The Next 150, on Indigenous Lands" celebrates the history, legacy and achievements of the peoples and territories that make us who we are, and anticipates the boundless opportunities of the future. Organized by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, this year’s Congress is being hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto from May 27-June 2. Follow this series of Big Picture at #congressh blogs.

Get ready for Congress 2017!

Congress! This year’s will be my first since joining the Federation a few short weeks ago. And I couldn’t be more excited...

Of course, when you see the numbers — the thousands of papers, professors, students and sessions — you can’t help but be amazed by the sheer size of the event. 

This year we’ll be joined by more than 8,000 thought leaders, researchers and innovators from across Canada for an exciting line-up of events, many of which are open to the public.

This year’s program includes forward-looking research presentations, panel discussions, and an array of events at Ryerson.  A six-part Big Thinking lecture series features prominent scholars and public figures who will examine big ideas that can transform our future. 

But there is a lot more to Congress than just being big. It’s seven days packed with variety. This year’s overarching theme is “The Next 150, On Indigenous Lands.” But within that there are wide ranging sessions covering key issues across fields of study and pubic concern including reconciliation, health, foreign policy, media and communications, disability and innovation. Other events focus on issues facing the City of Toronto and other urban communities, as well sessions geared directly to youth and the future. 

Look for some of Canada’s most interesting — and sometimes controversial — leaders to share their opinions, including Stephen Toope, Wade Davis, Desmond Cole, Mohamed Fahmy, Olivia Chow, Peter Bregg and Pamela Palmater.

  Several hundred events, including the Big Thinking series, Career Corner    and Congress Expo, are open to the public.

Congress Impact

Congress has the potential to contribute to our everyday lives, providing us with a deeper understanding of the complex and pressing issues of the day.

Sharing the research and insights of Canada’s top humanists and social scientists is paramount to the country’s economic and social well-being. Thriving humanities and social scie

nce sectors produce the skills and innovative ideas that we need to spur new companies, jobs, investments and community development.

The week-long event is the largest multidisciplinary academic gathering in Canada — and one of the largest in the world. This will be the 86th year that the Congress brings together scholars, students, policy-makers and the public to discuss and reflect on the big ideas that can transform our future. 

I can’t wait for Congress and I hope I’ll see you there. Join us! 



Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2017Big ThinkingEquity and diversity