Accelerate 2023

February 7–8, 2023
National Arts Centre
Ottawa, ON

Universities Canada is seizing a moment in 2023 to convene thought leaders, experts and changemakers from a range of sectors to discuss how to accelerate Canada’s transition to a sustainable and prosperous future. Participants from government, civil society, the private sector and Canada’s universities will gather to envision Canada’s social and economic renewal.

Our second annual Accelerate event will draw acclaimed experts, rising stars and more than one hundred guests from across the country.

Keynotes, talks and panels will allow us to explore how investing in people and ideas will drive Canada forward and help us build a prosperous, green, inclusive and vibrant future for all Canadians.

Now is the time for all sectors to collaborate, to get important things done, to build a stronger economy, healthier society and a more globally competitive Canada.


All times are presented in Eastern Time (ET).

DAY 1: Tuesday, February 7, 2023

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.
Registration and Coffee


9:15 – 10:00 a.m.
Opening remarks

10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Investing in people and ideas

What are the keys to prosperity for Canadians? This ideas-filled series of short presentations and conversation will feature four leaders from different sectors who will set the stage for Accelerate with an up-to-the-minute look at where Canada stands, and what we need to do to secure a prosperous future for Canada at home and as part of the global community.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.


11:15 – 12:15 p.m.
Talent for Canada

Canada is facing its most acute talent crisis in our history. Despite our history as a nation of ideas, we are falling behind in an increasingly competitive and turbulent world. How do we attract and retain young innovators? How do we keep Canada competitive in research and science? Join experts to discuss the opportunity to support Canadian talent and the pathway to renewed prosperity.

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.


1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Reverse Town Hall

In this reverse town hall session, graduate students from across the country are centered. They will have the opportunity to share invaluable insights and speak on a number of topics of importance with you and other prominent Canadians. This session will showcase the innovative ideas of a new generation of emerging Canadian thinkers.

2:45 – 3:00


3:00 – 4:15 p.m.
Canada in the World

Join the United States Ambassador to Canada, David L. Cohen, for an insightful conversation about Canada’s place in the world. As global alliances in politics and society are shifting, and instability rises, the bilateral relationship between Canada and the United States remains a model. Discussing education, business, politics, and culture, this session will help reveals a path forward to addressing the world’s key challenges.

4:15 – 4:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks


5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

DAY 2: Wednesday, February 8, 2023


8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Registration and coffee


9:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Welcome and opening remarks

9:45 – 11:00 a.m.
Fighting Disinformation

The information landscape is increasingly filled with disinformation, pseudoscience, and malicious intent. While polarization increases, respect for knowledge and expertise is at risk. Join this session to hear how we can repair this damage and restore public trust in science, academia, and the public square.

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.


11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Innovating for our Climate

Canadian innovators are at the front lines in the battle to mitigate climate change. Across the country, scientists, advocates, and policy-makers are working to achieve Canada’s net-zero emissions targets, but getting there will require collaboration across many sectors. This session details how Canada needs to innovate to reach our global climate commitments.

12:15 – 1:30 p.m.
Keynote Luncheon

1:30 – 1:45
Closing Remarks

Universities Canada