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World Survey

Location & Time

Monday, 16 April 2018 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Campbell Conference Facility
1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON M5S 3K7


It is free to attend the event but RSVP is required. Please register through Eventbrite.com

Event Description

How do Canadians as individuals relate to the broader world? What do Canadians see as the top global issues? How do they view Canada’s role in world affairs? And what do they think it should be?

Canada is a country with strong international connections. Most of the population is comprised of people with roots in other countries. Today Canada welcomes roughly 300,000 immigrants each year from across the globe, most of whom settle in and become citizens while simultaneously maintaining strong connections with their originating communities. The country’s prosperity depends in large part on trade with other countries and maintaining a positive trade balance. Canadians are ever mindful of their much bigger neighbour to the south, with which they share much in common, but also see as distinctly different.

In 2008, the Canada’s World Survey posed the question, “How do Canadians as individuals relate to the broader world?”. It was the first ever survey to ask Canadians how they saw their place in the world and that of their country. A decade later, we conducted a second Canada’s World Survey to engage Canadians and determine how public attitudes, priorities and actions have evolved over time while addressing emerging global issues.

Conference Agenda

Please join us in exploring and discussing the findings of Canada’s World Survey 2018. The evening will start with a presentation of the report followed by a panel discussion by experts and a reception.

Survey Presentation (6:00 PM)

  • Keith Neuman, Environics Institute.

Panel Discussion (6:30 PM)

  • Moderated by Diana Swain, Senior Investigative Correspondent and Host of The Investigators (acting independently as part of this event)
  • John Kirton, Interim Director of International Relations Program at Trinity College, University of Toronto
  • Ben Rowswell, CIC Distinguished Fellow and Former Ambassador to Venezuela
  • Jillian Stirk, Associate, SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and former Ambassador

Closing Remarks

  • Michael Adams, Environics Institute


This report is an endeavour led by the Environics Institute conducted in partnership with SFU Public Square at Simon Fraser University, the Canadian International Council, and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History.

Speaker Bios

Diana Swain is the host of CBC News Networks’ The Investigators, one of Canada’s leading investigative journalists and CBC News’ Senior Investigative journalist. In three decades of reporting on stories across Canada and around the globe, Diana has developed a reputation for compelling interviews and uncovering stories that Canadians care about. That work has garnered numerous awards from the leading journalism and professional associations in Canada. Her recent work has included an examination of the way Canadian post-secondary institutions manage allegations of assault on campus. For that work, Diana and her team won awards in 2016 from the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Radio, Television and Digital News Association. Her ground-breaking investigation into Scouts Canada won the first-ever Canadian Hillman prize in 2012, as well the Prix Justica award from the Canadian Bar Association. Her look at the federal government’s handling of warning labels on Tobacco Products won the 2011 Excellence in Health reporting award from the Canadian Medical Association. Canadians will also know Diana from her many years behind the anchor desk in Winnipeg and Toronto. She has won the Gemini for Best News Anchor three times, and was the first woman in Canada to win the award. Diana Swain’s work has twice been included in winning submissions for the Michener award, recognizing meritorious public service journalism in Canada. Her work is frequently seen on CBC’s leading news programs and she regularly fills in for Peter Mansbridge as anchor of The National. An avowed sports fan, she has also served as an Olympic Host for CBC Sports in 2008 in Beijing and in 2012 in Sochi. Diana was honoured with an Alumni of the Year Award from her alma mater BCIT in 2006, an honourary degree from Humber College in Toronto in 2010, and a doctorate from BCIT in 2017.

Keith Neuman, Ph.D. was appointed in November 2011 as the inaugural Executive Director of the Environics Institute.
Keith’s previous role at Environics was as Group Vice President responsible for the research company’s Public Affairs and Environment-Energy research practice areas, providing leading-edge public opinion research in such areas as energy and environment, natural resources, health care, municipal services, justice, transportation, social policy and Aboriginal issues. Since the 1980s, Keith has conducted a wide range of public opinion and social research projects for public, private and non-profit sector organizations, with leading research firms in Toronto, Halifax and Ottawa. Keith holds a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from the University of California, and in 2016 was elected as a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA), from which he also holds the credential of Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP). He is a frequent media commentator on social trends and public opinion.

Ben Rowswell, a pioneer in the practise of digital diplomacy, served until recently as Canada’s Ambassador to Venezuela (2014-17). Currently on leave from Global Affairs Canada, he is exploring the future of citizen diplomacy through Perennial Software, a tech startup venture he recently established with Farhaan Ladhani to build phone apps for citizen engagement and change. He also founded Cloud to Street, to connect democracy activists with Silicon Valley technologists. At Global Affairs Canada he was director of innovation and director of Iran/Iraq/Arabian Peninsula from 2012-13. A veteran of ‘hotspot diplomacy’, he was part of the United Nations operation in Somalia in 1993, and also served in Egypt (1996-8), as chargé d’affaires in Iraq (2003-5), in Afghanistan (2008-10) as deputy head of mission in Kabul, and as Canadian representative in Kandahar. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (1989-93), holds a MPhil International Relations from Oxford (1998-2000), and spent a sabbatical at Stanford University from 2010-11 as a visiting scholar in liberation technology at the Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law.

Jillian Stirk is a former ambassador and assistant deputy minister at Global Affairs Canada,with postings to Norway, NATO, the OSCE, the UN and Poland. She is the co-author of “Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage” which explores the relationship between diversity and economic prosperity, and makes the case for why diversity is a unique opportunity for Canada. She is an Associate with the Simon Fraser Centre for Dialogue and a Mentor with the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She is the Vice Chair of the West Vancouver Library Board and a Board member of The Forum for Young Canadians. Ms Stirk is a frequent commentator on foreign policy and diversity issues.

John Kirton is Director of the G7 Research Group, Co-Director of the G20 Research Group, Co-Director of the Global Health Diplomacy Program, Interim Director of the International Relations program, and a Research Associate of the Munk School of Global Affairs. He is also Co-Director of the BRICS Research Group based at Trinity College, where he is a Fellow. A professor of political science, he teaches international relations, global governance and Canadian foreign policy, and his research interests include global health governance, international finance and trade, trade-environment issues, and foreign policy decision making. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA in political science, from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University with an MA in international affairs, and from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University with a PhD in international relations.

Michael Adams is the president of the Environics group of research and communications consulting companies which he co-founded in 1970. In 2006 he founded the Environics Institute for Survey Research, where he also serves as President. Mr. Adams is also the author of six books, including: Sex in the Snow: Canadian Social Values at the End of the Millennium (1997); Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values, (2003); and Unlikely Utopia: The Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism (2007). Fire and Ice won the prestigious 2003/04 Donner Prize for the best book on Canadian public policy and was selected in the fall of 2005 by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important books ever published in the country. Michael Adams is a noted commentator on social values and social change in North America. He is a popular public speaker, offering topical, entertaining talks elaborating the data presented in his books. Michael’s speaking repertoire includes a long-range look at the evolution of Canadian public opinion on a range of issues from public policy to national identity and diversity. Michael holds an Honours B.A. in Political Science from Queen’s University (1969) and a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Toronto (1970) and was named as one of the 100 most influential people in Canadian communications according to Marketing Magazine’s Power List 2005. In 2008 Michael Adams was appointed to the Ontario Premier’s Climate Change Advisory Panel and was made a Fellow of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, the highest honour which can be bestowed upon a member, for his contribution to marketing and survey research in Canada. In the spring of 2009, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Ryerson University in Toronto. In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions in public opinion research.