Couchiching Connects: May 2015

In this Issue:

Couch News

The President's Message

Summer Conference





Couch Community News


Alumni in the News

Calling All Readers!


News Flash!

Book your place at the 2015 Summer Conference. Registration is now open.

Click here to register online or click here for the printable registration form.

The President's Message
Adam Redish

Ah, Spring! It has finally arrived, and like all good Couchiching members, the arrival of Spring means my mind has turned to just one topic ... the Summer Conference! My shorts are packed; my sandals are ready; I’m all set to engage with the great lineup of speakers the conference planning committee have set up for us. Register now to take advantage of the early bird rate, available until June 5th.

This year, as I noted in my recent Strategic Planning update, we have made the Summer Conference even more accessible by starting on Friday night and lowering the fees. We also have a young professionals’ rate and scholarships. Check the website for more information.

As if Spring wasn't enough to get me thinking about the Summer Conference, my appetite for thinking intergenerational issues was even more whetted by the recent excellent Couchiching Conversation on the "Future of Energy in a Carbon Constrained World", led by board member Brian Livingston and Jim Hughes of Imperial oil. To my mind, you can't talk about energy and carbon without thinking about climate change, arguably the greatest intergenerational issue of our time, so I came away even more excited about the discussions and debates we are going to have at the lake.

I look forward to seeing you all there at what will be a landmark and important conference on intergenerational issues, put together in a way and a place that only Couchiching can do!

Postscript: In the April issue of Couchiching Connects, Vass Bednar provided a report on the very successful 2015 Couchiching Gala and Public Policy Award. Check out the website at for some great pics!


The 2015 Summer Conference
Are We Failing Our Future? Time for a New Deal between Generations
August 7th to 9th, 2015
Conference Co-Chairs Heather Keachie, and Helen Tewolde

Mark August 7 to 9th, 2015 on your calendars and join us at the lake for a discussion of the generation(s)!

Registration is now open for the 2015 Summer Conference and we are so looking forward to seeing you at the lake. Along with excellent speakers, good food, and engaging conversations, the weekend is also about spending time on the sun-dappled shores of Lake Couchiching, far from the madding crowds of the city. Last year, the sport activities were so popular, we're bringing them back. Between thought-provoking sessions that challenge your mind, you can also challenge your body by canoeing and rock-climbing. You can satisfy your competitive drive by joining the afternoon team sport, or swim some laps of the lake, if that's more your style. Expect games of pick-up beach volleyball and possibly a boomer versus Gen Y tug-of-war (literally). The weekend is family-friendly, too. Bring your kids and we will help coordinate activities for them during the conference sessions. Check out the website ( for updates on the conference program and be sure to register by June 5th to get the early bird rate!

Introducing Remarkable Leaders Who Will Speak at the 2015 Summer Conference

Adwoa K. Buahene, M.A., is a managing partner and co-founder of n-gen People Performance Inc. She has dedicated the last 11 years to working with industry leaders across North America, in both the private and public sectors, to build strategies and programs that target, motivate, and engage a multigenerational workforce. With over 15 years of training and performance consulting experience, she has leveraged her expertise to create solutions in five practice areas – sales and customer service; leadership, team building, Gen Y, and HR. Adwoa has presented to international audiences, written numerous whitepapers, and co-authored two books: Loyalty Unplugged: How to Get, Keep & Grow All Four Generations and Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills. As a multigenerational workplace expert, she is regularly quoted in national newspapers and trade magazines and on radio and television. She has a master’s degree in analytic philosophy from Dalhousie University and was been nominated for an RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Trailblazer Award. She is a member of the volunteers with the United Way management advisory committee and acts as board of directors’ vice-chair for VHA Home Healthcare.

For bios of speakers Dr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, David Dodge, Jane Hilderman, Paul Kershaw, Jim Leech, and Armine Yalnizyan, click here.

Scholarship Applications Now Open for the 2015 Summer Conference

Are you interested in being part of a conversation on Canada's future? It's your future at stake. Students and youth are keys to the success of every conference, especially this one, and Couchiching is proud to offer generous scholarships to successful applicants. If you're a student or under the age of 25, we welcome your applications for a scholarship to this year's conference.

Young Professional Rates Available

Are you one of those "young Canadians" who feel disadvantaged in this current job and housing market? Saddled with debt with no hope of a pension? Or maybe you're a successful entrepreneur having seen opportunity where your peers saw only challenges? We need your voice at the Summer Conference. If you're less than five years into your career, you may qualify for the young professional rate, and you may be eligible for a partial scholarship. Check out our website for more information and register now to take advantage of the additional early bird discount!

Click here for the Scholarship Application Form. And check out our website for more information about other available scholarships. Deadline is June 21, 2015.

Fund-Raising! Are We Failing Our Future? Time for a New Deal between Generations
Co-chairs Karen Hamilton and Ross Anderson

Introducing the Couchiching Challenge!

Couchiching in all its facets is about challenge; challenging speakers and one another to think more deeply about the nature of democracy ‘one conversation at a time’.

The Gala was an enormous success, the Conversations continue to attract and inspire, and the countdown is on to the Summer Conference.

Fund-raising for these facets of the Couchiching reality is a creative and interesting challenge and there has been some very good response from corporate donors to date.

Now it’s time though to challenge ourselves …

The Couchiching Challenge calls for each of us reading this issue of Couchiching Connects to donate $100 to The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs.

The first $100 is ‘in’. Who’s next? Let the Couchiching Challenge begin!


Couchiching Conversations
Chair Ahmer Khan

Recent Conversations

April 27th, “Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution”

This Conversation was a co-partnership with Toronto Public Library, which hosted our Couch Alumnus Mona Eltahawy. Titled "Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East needs a Sexual Revolution", the Conversation explored Mona’s new book and how feminism is needed to reshape the Middle East. The Conversation itself was revolutionary, discussing women's rights, the female body, autonomy, law, religion, justice, poverty, and empowerment. The event was sold out, with an audience of over 100 people in attendance.

May 7th, “The Future of Energy in a Carbon Constrained World

This Conversation with Imperial Oil Energy expert Jim Hughes and board member Brian Livingston examined how much change we will soon see in regulation and consumption of energy patterns and what all that means for the end-user. Although many different forms of energy are being considered, there will soon be a shift pricing, caps, and trades, taxing, and new policies for managing and meeting world demand.

A special thank you to Toronto Public Library and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP for hosting these amazing Conversations. - Ahmer

Upcoming Conversations

Some exciting conversations will be happening in June so keep reading Couchiching Connects for details. Remember to RSVP your seat for our Conversations as seating is limited. See you at the next Conversation!

For more information, visit Find us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @couchiching

Couchiching Conversations are free public events that aim to provide a safe space for challenging discussions.

For photos of each Conversation, go to

Call for Board Nominees
Chair Gwen Burrows

On behalf of the Couchiching Institute Nominating Committee, it is my pleasure to invite nominations to the Board of Directors for election at the Couchiching General Meeting of Members, to be held at the Summer Conference, Geneva Park, on August 8th, 2015.

I encourage all of you who are not currently members of the Institute to become a member so you can participate in the selection of the Board. Membership is $75, for which you get a charitable tax receipt. The funds support the vital work of the Institute, including covering costs of the Summer Conference, supporting students to attend, and supporting our year-round programming.

If, as a member of Couchiching, you wish to nominate a candidate for election to the Board, please make the nomination in writing and send it to Your nomination letter must include your own signature, the signature of a seconder (who must also be a member of the Institute), and the name of your nominee, plus a brief biography of the nominee and a certificate from the nominee confirming that he or she (a) is willing to serve as a Director of the Institute for up to three years and (b) is, or is willing to become within 10 days of being elected, a member the Institute.

Nominations will be accepted between now and the end of June, 2015.

I look forward to seeing you at Geneva Park for the election — and for what promises to be another terrific conference!


Couchiching Community News



The Toronto Star, April 30th: Deborah Dundas, an editor at the Toronto Star, reported: Terry Fallis has again won the Leacock Medal for Humour and TD Financial Group’s $15,000 cash prize for his book No Relation. He won it in 2008 and was shortlisted in 2011 and 2013. Terry was a table host at the 2015 Couchiching Gala.

Read more

The National: Watch Paul Kershaw, the opening speaker at the 2015 Summer Conference.

See more

The Globe and Mail, April 22nd: Education reporter Simona Chose wrote: “Recent changes to legal education have not solved the problem of a shortage of articling positions for law students, candidates for the governing council of Ontario’s law society say.” Board member Leslie de Meulles, a student at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay who will president of the school’s law students society next year, is quoted in the article.

Read more

The Globe and Mail, April 22nd: Board member Mohammed Hashim was featured in a report by reporter Joe Friesen on the April budget that focussed on “The crucial suburban vote”.

Read more

Alumni in the News

The Globe and Mail, April 24th: The Learning Partnership announced that Hon. Paul Martin will be honoured at its 2015 Champions of Public Education Toronto Tribute Dinner on May 28th. Mr. Martin was a speaker at the 2013 Summer Conference, “Coming Together as One: Navigating the Relationship Between Indigenous People and Canada” ( ). He is the founder of the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative. The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization dedicated to building stakeholder partnerships to support, promote, and advance publicly funded education in Canada.

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The Globe and Mail, April 23rd: Itzhak Perlman and Paul Martin wrote about vaccinations: “What do an Israeli-born classical violinist and a former prime minister of Canada have in common? If you are waiting for a punch line, you can stop. The answer is: polio.”

Read more

The Globe and Mail, April 15th: Hon. David Peterson was honoured at the Global Citizens Dinner, sponsored by the United Nations Association of Canada, for “his contributions, commitment, and achievements as an outstanding global citizen and for a lifetime of public service. The Honourary Chair of the 2015 Couchiching Gala and a speaker at the 2014 Summer Conference, “More than a Game: The Politics and Potential of Sport”, ( ), he was the 20th Premier of Ontario and is the chair of the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games Organizing Committee, and chair of Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP.

The Hill Times, April 13th: Christopher Waddell, iPolitics Columnist and Associate Professor, Carty Chair in Business and Financial Journalism at Carleton University, wrote about the Mike Duffy Trial: “As we watch Mike Duffy’s trial unfold, one question keeps nagging: Why were the most senior officials in Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s office and the Conservative Party so determined to shut him up and make the question of his expenses go away?” Christopher was a moderator at the 2014 Summer Conference.

The Hill Times, April 13th: Hon. Bob Rae was a panelist when the C.D. Howe Institute released its annual ranking of both the federal and provincial governments. The former Premier of Ontario and Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada was a table host at the 2015 Couchiching Gala.

Calling all readers of Couchiching Connects!

Please send information on Newsmakers, Members on the Move, Alumni in the News, and Opinions: Our Members Write ... to Sheila Robertson, Editor, Couchiching Connects.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

Read More


Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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