Annual conference

The Federation, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, presents:                  

2016 Annual Conference
People, Place and Possibility:
                   Cities and the Humanities and Social Sciences                          

9 November 2016, Hart House University of Toronto 

Program | Featured Speakers | Registration | AccommodationsVideos | Blog


The Federation’s annual conference draws participants from across the country and from a broad spectrum of humanities and social sciences (HSS) disciplines. This year’s conference, hosted by the University of Toronto, is on the dynamic theme of cities and the role for humanities and social sciences in addressing urban issues such as pluralism, democracy, innovation, reconciliation, and research impacts. This one-day event will include a Big Thinking lecture followed by a panel discussion, a keynote, interactive workshops and discussion of the government’s recently announced review of federal support for fundamental science.  A networking reception will follow. We hope to welcome you there!

Join the conversation by using the Federation's Annual Conference hashtag! #HSSCONF16








Just sustainabilities in cities: Re-imagining e/quality, living within limits

Julian AgyemanProfessor, Urban and Environmental Policy, Tufts University

Integrating social needs and welfare offers us a more ‘just,’ rounded and equity-focused definition of sustainability. This does not, however, negate the very real environmental threats we face. Join Julian Agyeman as he explores examples of just sustainabilities, focusing on ideas about 'fair shares' resource distribution globally, planning for intercultural cities, achieving wellbeing and happiness, the concept of 'spatial justice,’ and the roles for the HSS in creating just sustainabilities in urban centres.

Introduction by Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto

Response Panel 

A diverse panel will respond to Julian Agymen’s Big Thinking lecture and discuss how the HSS can help create more inclusive and democratically engaged cities.

Speakers include:    

Cyndy Baskin, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Ryerson University
Shauna Sylvester, Professor, Professional Practice, Director, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University 
Michèle Dagenais, Professeur titulaire, Département d'histoire, Université de Montréal
Pamela Klassen, Vice-Dean, Undergraduate Education, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Professor, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto




Human-centred cities: co-designing systems with citizens

Zahra Ebrahim,  Co-director, Doblin Canada; Lecturer, University of Toronto 

Keynote lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.




1. Strengthening innovation through scholarship and community

Speakers include:

Lisa Philips, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University; Director, Research Policy, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Richard Hawkins, Professor, Science, Technology and Technology Program, University of Calgary
David Wolfe, Professor, Political Science, University of Toronto Mississauga, Co-Director, Innovation Policy Lab

Explore the role of universities and HSS academics in driving innovation, including current contributions, challenges and strategies for further engagement. The workshop will also be an opportunity to discuss HSS and the federal government’s new innovation agenda.


2. Reconciliation in the city: The role of the humanities and social sciences

Speakers include:

Cyndy Baskin , Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Ryerson University  
Chris Andersen, Interim Dean of Native Studies, University of Alberta
Karyn Recollet, Women & Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto
Donna Patrick, Professor, Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University

Explore the unique opportunities and challenges for HSS researchers in working with Indigenous communities and other partners towards reconciliation in an urban context.


3. Demonstrating the community impacts of the humanities and social sciences

Speakers include:

David Phipps, Director, Research Services and Knowledge Exchange, York University
Tim Kenyon, Professor, Philosophy, Associate Dean of Arts, University of Waterloo
Michelynn Laflèche, Director, Research, Public Policy & Evaluation, United Way Toronto
Annalee Yassi, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Capacity Building

Investigate, through an urban lens, how to track and measure the impacts of HSS research and other contributions with reference to new resources from the Federation’s impact project.


Federal Review of Fundamental Science 


Speakers include:

Stephen Toope, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Vivek Goel ,Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Toronto 

Join us for a discussion on Canada’s Fundamental Science Review and the Federation’s key messages from the HSS community for this process. 




Join dignitaries, members, partners and esteemed alumni at the evening reception as we toast the future of humanities and social science research and learning.


Refreshments, a light breakfast, morning/afternoon snacks and lunch will be provided


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Click on photos to view speaker bios. 

Stephen Toope

Julian Agyeman

Meric Gertler

Zahra Ebrahim

Pamela Klassen

Cyndy Baskin

Shauna Sylvester

Michèle Dagenais

David Wolfe

Chris Andersen

Karyn Recollet

Donna Patrick

David Phipps

Tim Kenyon

Annalee Yassi

Michelynn Laflèche

Lisa Philipps

Vivek Goel

Guy Laforest





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Visit the registration page for more information on registration fees, special hotel rates, and to register for People, Place and Possibility: Cities and the Humanities and Social Sciences. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto! Registration is $60 per person and free for parliamentarians and the media. There is also limited student registration pricing for $20.

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Coming from out of town?

A limited number of rooms at a discounted group rate of $199 per room per night (+ taxes) has been set aside at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Please contact the hotel directly and quote ‘Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ or click the link bellow to secure a room. This group rate will be in effect until Monday, October 10. After this date, the hotel is no longer obligated to provide rooms at the discounted group rate.




Check back after the event to see videos of our featured speakers, or click here to see last year's videos


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 The 2016 Annual Conference is presented in collaboration with





October 4, 2016

Innovation’s crucial human dimensions: Find out more at the People, Place and Possibility Conference organized by the Federation and University of Toronto. 

October 18, 2016

Continuing the reconciliation journey

Demonstrating the community impacts of the humanities and social sciences (coming soon)

Archives: Annual Conference 2014

Archives: Annual Conference 2015