News and Articles

Let’s Continue Building Social Connectedness in 2018

December 29, 2017

From all of us here at, we would like to wish everyone a happy new year, and express our thanks for another great year of learning and action toward our shared goal of building social connectedness around the world.

As we look ahead to 2018 — the 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — let’s re-commit to raising awareness and taking action to overcome the many human rights and social justice challenges we face. In January 2017, thousands of women (and men) took to the streets in cities around the world to stand up against encroachments on women’s rights and the rights of vulnerable people. One year later, next month, women’s marches will occur once again in a number of cities, reminding the world of the power of individuals to unite and amplify the voices of the most vulnerable among us.

In 2017, we took a number of steps to advance the social connectedness movement, both online and offline. The Fall 2017 Sauvé Series on Social Connectedness and International Development was a resounding success, with hundreds of people in the Montreal area registering to attend the various events. Guest speakers at each event also engaged the second cohort of students in Kim Samuel’s fourth-year seminar course on social connectedness at McGill University, the first of its kind. In addition, Kim delivered a number of keynote speeches at events around the world, including during a special Walrus Talks event on the value of belonging this past October. And this year, we launched the Social Connectedness Fellowship Program, offering recent undergraduates the opportunity to pursue projects related to social isolation and connectedness in the context of community building and international development.

Re-live some of this year’s exciting highlights below!

On October 17th 2017, Kim Samuel delivered a special address on the importance of building belonging as part of the Walrus Talks speaker series.

On September 18th 2017, the Fall 2017 Sauvé Series kicked off with an event exploring the ongoing struggle for security and belonging of over 65 million refugees and displaced people around the world.

On October 23rd 2017, the Fall 2017 Sauvé Series continued with an event featuring Indigenous leaders who are driving efforts to build capacity within their communities, grounded in the strengths of their languages, cultures and knowledge.

We are grateful for everyone’s support and solidarity in building this movement together. In 2018, we look forward to another year of continued growth, building upon the incredible steps taken this year!