2019 Global Symposium

The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness, in partnership with the Samuel Family Foundation, will be hosting the 2019 Global Symposium in Toronto from Monday, October 28th through Wednesday, October 30th, 2019.

Social isolation is both a cause and consequence of pressing global issues: climate change, forced displacement and political polarization to name a few. Although these challenges affect us in different ways, every one of us is implicated. The solutions to tackling them will rest on our individual and collective ability to overcome this isolation; to recognize community as our most valuable asset in fostering resilience, and to re-envision the possibilities for belonging in an increasingly divided world.

That is why the theme for this year’s symposium is:

“Reimagining Community in the 21st Century.”

We are convening our core partners, as well as a dynamic group of activists and changemakers from Canada and across the globe, working in different sectors such as: education, city building, healthcare, and human rights. Some of our Symposium community will consist of Indigenous Elders, activists, policymakers, and eminent thought leaders. Together we will seek to explore how leading organizations and individuals are working to strengthen human connections to build the resilient communities of the future – ones in which we all belong.


We are honoured to be co-creating the symposium with an inspiring group of partners and collaborators including TakingITGlobal, Special Olympics International, Synergos Institute, Human Rights Watch, Misipawistik Cree Nation, and Partners in Health. We are also very excited to be working alongside Vancouver Island University as our lead university partner and to be hosting the Symposium at the Evergreen Brickworks.


2014 Global Symposium

This year’s symposium builds on the incredible momentum from our previous two symposia. The 2014 and 2016 Symposia provided a platform to align and define a common vocabulary, to advance each other’s projects through collaboration and to celebrate the diversity and creativity across the network of participants. Participants examined sustainable strategies to tackle global goals such as those expressed through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through both Symposia, new partnerships and programs were developed across several disciplines and regions, and commonalities were strengthened between Indigenous worldviews within Canada and globally.

2016 Global Symposium

Final Output

An outcome report will be produced and published after the Symposium with key learnings and recommendations that diverse actors can take forward to tackle social isolation and build belonging.