Naheed K. Nenshi

A Wet Clay Moment for Continuing Education … and All of Us

Nenshi Naheed

Former Mayor of Calgary 
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 @ 9:15 am MDT

Session Description:
The world feels fragile and confusing at the moment, with crisis after crisis buffeting us. But it’s also a moment of great creativity, and if we can help people build their resilience and adaptability, we can create a better future.

Speaker Bio:
Naheed K. Nenshi served as Calgary’s mayor for three terms between 2010 and 2021. During his time, Calgary became one of the greatest cities in the world, named as the best city in which to live in the Western Hemisphere.
His leadership saw an unprecedented investment in quality of life including transit, roads, recreation centres and libraries including the magnificent Central Library, while keeping taxes the lowest in Canada. His time as mayor also saw the City of Calgary through four states of emergency, including devastating flooding in 2013 floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also became an international voice on urban issues, with audiences across Canada and around the world, including the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Naheed was awarded the World Mayor Prize as the best mayor in the world in 2014 by The City Mayors Foundation. He also has received the President’s Award from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for his contribution to community mental health. Maclean’s magazine once called him the second-most influential person in Canada, after the Prime Minister, much to the amusement of his mother.
Prior to his election, Naheed served as Canada’s first tenured professor of nonprofit management at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. Before entering academia, he was a management consultant for global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and ran his own firm, Ascend Group, where his client list included the United Nations, where he worked on how corporations can help the world’s poorest people, and The Gap.
Naheed is a graduate of the University of Calgary, where he served as President of the Students’ Union, and holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he studied as a Kennedy Fellow. He is a proud first- generation Canadian of Indian ancestry, whose parents immigrated from Tanzania. His family and his Ismaili Muslim faith instilled in him the ethic of seva – service to the community, something he tries to live every day.

Dr. Malinda Smith

How Diversity Ignites Creativity and Innovation

Dr. Malinda Smith

Vice Provost and Associate Vice President Research (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)
University of Calgary

Friday, May 24, 2024 @ 10:30 am MDT

Session Description: 
Understanding the complexity of diversity is important for inclusive excellence and innovation in the contemporary moment. Transdisciplinary research highlights the many ways in which diversity can spark ingenuity and innovation. Diversity fuels a greater array of ideas, knowledges, skills, perspectives, lived experiences and social networks. It can spark the imagination, unlock intellectual curiosity, and advances transdisciplinary scholarship. Diverse leadership teams and research teams outperform homogeneous teams, generating better and more sustainable problem solving, decision making, and overall performance. Yet, despite the benefits of diversity, there is a diversity-innovation paradox, and the novel ideas of non-majority and non-traditional scholars encounter social exclusion or remain on the margins. Structural inequities and systemic biases, including the preference for, and the social injustice of, sameness remain persistent challenges. This keynote explores why diversity is necessary, but not sufficient, for reigniting innovation. It highlights the importance of social inclusion and meaningful engagement of diversity of peoples as well as knowledges, work experiences -- and credentials. Continuing education has an indispensable role to play in reigniting the power of diversity and innovation.

Speaker Bio:
Dr. Malinda Smith is the inaugural Vice Provost and Associate Vice President Research (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary. She is the coauthor, editor, or coeditor of 8 books, numerous articles, book chapters and reports and has given dozens of keynotes and public lectures in the areas of equity, diversity, human rights, and decolonization in higher education, African political economy, and international relations. Dr. Smith is the coauthor of The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (2017); coeditor of Critical Concepts: An Introduction to Politics (OUP 2023), the Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy (UofT Press, 2022), and States of Race: Critical Race Feminism for the 21st Century (BTL 2010). She’s also editor of 3 books on Africa, including Securing Africa: Post-9/11 Discourses on Terrorism (2010). Dr. Smith serves on several national committees, including SSHRC Governing Council and Executive; Statistics Canada’s Immigration and Ethnocultural Statistics Advisory Committee; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s External EDI Advisory Board; and as Vice Chair of the Inter-Institutional Advisory Committee for the Scarborough Charter.

Dr. Smith has been recognized with numerous honours, awards and fellowships, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Calgary Black Chambers (2023), a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Simon Fraser University (2021), Compelling Calgarian (2021), 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women Honouree (2020), Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship (2018), the ISA-Canada Distinguished Scholar Award (2018-19), the Susan S. Northcutt Award (2020) from the International Studies Association’s Women’s Caucus, an HSBC Community Contributor of the Year Award (2016) from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion; and the ‘Equity Award’ (2015) from the Canadian Association of University Teachers.