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79th Annual Summer Conference, August 5–8, 2010


Summary Report of 2010 Conference Proceedings (pdf)

CPAC has broadcast sessions from the 2010 conference. Please check to access archived programs.


Highlights of Margaret MacMillan’s Opening Keynote Address 


Video highlights of Jim Flaherty at the 2010 Couchiching Conference 


Video highlights, Day 2 


Video highlights, Day 3 


Video highlights, Day 4 

Covereage of the 2010 Conference

Aug. 10: The Globe and Mail – Canada’s innovation malaise: The cure’s in our culture (pdf)
Aug. 10: Alex Himelfarb – The Role of the State: The Couchiching Panel 
Aug. 10: Alex Himelbarb – Couchiching: Fun to Say and Fun to Visit 
Aug. 9: Eric Koch – Watershed Moment or Wasted Opportunity 
Aug. 9: Orillia Packet & Times – Go global or go home (pdf)
Aug. 9: The Globe and Mail – Former finance minister surveys the twisty road
to recovery
Aug. 9: CTV News – Taking on the world economy's “800-pound gorilla” (pdf)
Aug. 8: CTV News – Hammering out the role of state, post meltdown (pdf)
Aug. 7: The Globe and Mail – Success of globalization rests with G20, Paul Martin says (pdf)
Aug. 7: The Globe and Mail – Governance and its discontents (pdf)
Aug. 7: The Globe and Mail – Lauded economist slams census decision (pdf)
Aug. 7: National Post – “Couch” potatoes cook up fiscal ideas (pdf)
Aug. 7: National Post – Flaherty offers apology for income trust hurt (pdf)
Aug. 6: National Post – World economy “not out of the woods yet,” says Flaherty (pdf)
Aug. 6: National Post – Couchiching Conference host to casual discussions of fiscal ideas (pdf)
Aug. 6: The Globe and Mail – An eloquent reminder of how crisis spurs innovation (pdf)
Aug. 6: – Canada played key role: Flaherty (pdf)
Aug. 6: CTV News – We're “punching above our weight”: Flaherty (pdf)
Aug. 6: The Globe and Mail – “Ideological purity” won't blind Jim Flaherty
to role of government
Aug. 4: CTV News – Economy goes into the wild at Couchiching (pdf)

The world economy seems to be emerging from a deep and sharp recession. The global financial meltdown of 2008 and 2009 left many people believing that radical changes were needed to address the social and economic causes of the meltdown. Many people called for reforms that would rein in the grossest excesses of the financial sector, reshape patterns of consumption and debt, and recast the role of governments. But radical reform is no longer in the news. So have we gone back to business as usual?

Can crises be seized as great opportunities for innovation in government, business, and social policy? If not, are we missing the best time to change what needs to be changed? What challenges face Canadians and the global community in 2010 and in the future? Is the status quo sustainable economically, environmentally, or geopolitically?

In Canada and globally, we are still living with the consequences of the meltdown. The 2010 Couchiching Conference will explore how it has changed our ideas about the global economy, the role of the state and public policy. We will explore the opportunities the crisis has presented as well as what possibilities have been foreclosed.

The conference will include several keynote speakers and six panels (brochure PDF).

A list of suggested readings (pdf) has been posted. The list is a work in progress and will be updated periodically (most recent update: July 19). You are welcome to send additional suggestions to

The conference takes place at YMCA Geneva Park, Lake Couchiching, Orillia, Ontario.

The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs is Canada’s oldest public affairs forum and is a crucible of provocative questions, creative ideas and divergent discussions that are the product of the collective contributions of all who attend. The Conference is open to all.

On Twitter @couchiching, and for the conference specifically @couch2010
Join the Couchiching group at Facebook




A Short Video About the Conference Experience. One of the highlights of the Couchiching experience at the Lake is the interaction, discussion and discourse between the panellists and the audience participants. Often heard is how unique and necessary a platform it is: “a civil place to disagree”, or “a summer camp for the mind” – all agree it is oftentimes transformational. The CBC’s Carol Off, As it Happens, Glen Hodgson, Conference Board of Canada, and Rory McAlpine, Maple Leaf Foods, share their perspectives during the 2009 Conference, The Global Politics of Food, in this video running just under 5 minutes.


  Photo   Photo

Mohamed H. Awad shares his thoughts on why at Couchiching the conversation never stops.


Heather Keachie shares her thoughts about the casualness of the Couchiching experience.


Zahra Ebrahim shares her thoughts on the accessibility of Couchiching.