Canadian International Council

Canadian International Council

November 12, 2009 17:15 ET

CIC Launches Global Positioning Strategy Project for Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2009) - The CIC is launching a new major initiative, The GPS Project: A Global Positioning Strategy for Canada. Like the familiar global positioning system which can guide you to a destination, The GPS Project aims to provide positioning, navigation and timing services to Canadian policy makers which will help set an original and pragmatic pathway to a more meaningful role for Canada in the world.

The project will generate and disseminate fresh perspectives and ideas both in the short term, as Canada prepares to host the 2010 G8 Summit next summer in Huntsville, Ontario and, more fundamentally, for the years beyond. The "Muskoka" summit will also have to co-ordinate its work with that of the new G20 summit institution that came to fruition in November 2008 as a result of the global economic crisis.

With The GPS Project, two heads are better than one and more better yet. The CIC has assembled a panel of 13 emerging leaders to assist with this project. All in the ascendancy of their careers, the panelists are drawn from diverse career paths and largely from the generation that came to age in the post-Cold War era of global horizons and digital connectedness. The promising, upcoming leaders committed to working together on The GPS Project are:

Andre Beaulieu - Vice-President, Value Creation and Procurement, Bell Canada

Cathy Beehan - Founding CEO, Action Canada

Gerald Butts -President and Chief Executive Officer, World Wildlife Fund Canada

Mark Cameron - Director, Corporate Affairs, Ontario Power Generation

John Hancock - Counsellor, Trade and Finance Division, WTO Secretariat

Jonathan Hausman - Vice-President, Alternative Investments and Emerging Markets Ontario, Teachers' Pension Plan

Farah Mohamed - President, Belinda Stronach Foundation

Roland Paris - Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Stephane Roussel - Professor, Universite du Quebec a Montreal

George Roter - Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Engineers Without Borders Canada

Mercedes Stephenson - Host and Producer, Mercedes Stephenson Investigates and Vice-President, Breakout Educational Network

Kristina Tomaz-Young - Founder and Producer, Venture Capital TV and President and Practice Leader, Smart Initiatives, Inc.

Yuen Pau Woo - President and CEO, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

"This outstanding group of emerging leaders was selected for their thoughtfulness and intelligence, as well as their ability to remain focused on the ideals that originally led them into leadership roles," says Edward Greenspon, project co-director and former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail. CIC President Jennifer Jeffs is the other project co-director.

The panelists, who will be supported by a small advisory committee drawn from the CIC Board of Directors, will hold sessions with experts across the country in its quest to put fresh options on the table, as Canada grapples with its unique value propositions in a world in flux. Along the way, the CIC will be looking for contributions from its branches and the public at large. CIC members from 15 branches across Canada will contribute to this project by generating briefing papers, while engaging the public continuously on the CIC website.

The key topics that will be addressed in this project include: (1) rise of Asia, (2) reconciling energy demand trends and concerns over carbon emissions, (3) deepening access to the United States, (4) the role of Latin America, (5) implications of a warmer Arctic region, (6) security and defence in Afghanistan, (7) successes and failures of developmental assistance and (8) Canada's role in the global economy.

The outcome of this collective intelligence project will be a report that identifies Canada's "brand" internationally, while recommending a course of action for the country's foreign policy. The report will be released in early June of 2010.

For more information about The GPS Project: A Global Positioning Strategy for Canada or the CIC, please visit: www.canadianinternationalcouncil.org

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is a non-partisan, nationwide council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs. With 15 branches nationwide, the CIC seeks to advance research, discussion and debate on international issues by supporting a Canadian foreign policy network that crosses academic disciplines, policy areas, and economic sectors. The CIC features a privately funded fellowship program, supported by a network of issue-specific working groups. Carefully selected CIC fellows focus on important foreign policy issues, working out of universities and research institutions across the country. The CIC was founded in 2007 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion).

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