In 2016, CIPS partnered with Canada 2020 to produce a high level event focused on shaping Canada’s foreign policy in the wake of the election of a new government committed to re-engaging with the international community. The second edition of the Ottawa Forum featured panels, keynotes and breakout sessions focused on migration, rising Pacific players, the North American relationship and international institutions amidst the changing nature of global power.
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Virtually every aspect of international affairs is in flux. Foreign policy was once defined by the silos of national defence, international development, and diplomacy. Today, however, old boundaries are disappearing, new actors are gaining power and influence, and traditional foreign policy responses seem woefully out of step. If the 20th century was defined by industrialized warfare, top-down bureaucratic responses to policy problems, and a monumental ideological struggle from which the United States seemed to emerge as the “indispensable nation,” what themes will define the 21st?
This question is the starting point of The Ottawa Forum, where some of Canada’s leading “next generation” thinkers and most experienced practitioners will gather on May 23-24, 2014, to map out forward-looking international strategies in eleven policy areas:
The Ottawa Forum has an ambitious goal: to rethink the foundations of Canada’s international strategy and scope out an ambitious agenda for the future based on a clear-eyed analysis of global trends and Canada’s needs.
Each of discussion sessions at The Ottawa Forum will begin with a presentation by the author of a specially commissioned paper. These papers will later be assembled in a book to be published by University of Toronto Press.
It has been almost a decade since Canada last conducted a foreign policy review. The time for such rethinking is now – and the dynamic mix of “next gen” thinkers and seasoned practitioners who are gathering for The Ottawa Forum are just the right people to do it.