Thriving Beyond GDP: Transitioning and Innovating to Well-Being Generating Economies

This is a special collaborative episode and partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation. Two of the David Suzuki Foundation’s ecological economists, Yannick Beaudoin and Michelle Molnar, join us in studio. Our conversation steps outside the realm of traditional economic thinking and challenges conventional indicators of economic prosperity. Yannick and Michelle share powerful stories and insights about the current national agenda which is fixated on converting nature into monetary value, and the transition beyond GDP to a well-being-focused national purpose. They emphasize that economic decision making is negotiable, but planetary limits are not. We also talk about creating spaces for conversations about well-being, cross-cultural truths of living a meaningful life, and potent youth and global indigenous leadership in the climate conversation.

Yannick Beaudoin is the Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada at the David Suzuki Foundation. He holds an MA in Economics for Transition, Ph.D. in Marine Geology; M.Sc. in Marine & Economic Geology, B.Sc. Geology. Yannick’s expertise is in the economics for transition to socially and ecologically sustainable societies; social innovation processes and transformational leadership; as well as marine and economic geology.

Michelle Molnar is an Environmental Economist and Policy Analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation. She holds a BA economics & philosophy, a MA public policy, and a MA philosophy. Michelle’s expertise is in ecological economics and eco-assets, policy analysis, public outreach, and natural capital.

Special thanks to Junior Producer Erin Christensen and Executive Director Vienna Vendittelli for producing this episode.

Music Credits: Desdemona by The Beaches and Hand Me Downs by the Arkells

UK Election, Brexit and the Rise of the Right: In Conversation with Professor Robert Ford

On Thursday, the United Kingdom is heading to the polls for the 3rd time in the last 4 years. As the Brexit saga drags on, the stakes for the future of the country and its place in the European Union are at all-time high. 

Robert Ford is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester. He works in the areas of public opinion, electoral choice and party politics. He has co-authored a book titled the “Revolt on the Right” which examines the rise of the UK Independence Party. 

His work regularly appears in the Guardian and you can follow him on twitter @robfordmancs 

He joined Executive Director Alex Gold-Apel in studio on November 7th. 

This episode was produced with the assistance of Thea Koper. 

The Intersection of Health and Conflict: Syria and Iraq

Around the world, armed war, conflict and violence have had a significant impact on the way healthcare is delivered. This can be seen in the Syrian Civil War, the Iraq War, and in humanitarian crises such as the Rohingya Refugee Crisis. On this week’s episode of Beyond the Headlines, we discuss the intersection of health and conflict. We investigate the impact of conflict in terms of policy-making and its implementation, the strain and toll that is taken on the State, decision-making, the role of private and on-the ground non-profit actors, and the responsibility of large multinational organizations such as the World Health Organization. We dive into these issues through the unique perspectives of DrIzzeldin AbuelaishAhmad Firas Khalid, and Ruby Gill.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish is a medical doctor, author and public health professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Ahmad Firas Khalid is a medical doctor, a health policy advisor, and a lecturer on health systems and policy.

Ruby Gill is a Registered Nurse with an International Masters’ in Health Leadership from McGill University.

This episode was produced by Senior Producer Erin Anderson-Birmingham, Junior Producer Geneviève Tallemeister and Junior Producer Wahaj Alam, with the support of Executive Director Alex Gold-Apel

Rethinking Development Policies at Home and Abroad

Over the past 20 years, 1.2 billion people worldwide have left extreme poverty. While we celebrate this achievement, it is expected that over 500 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030, with wealth inequality remaining a significant factor in this issue across the globe. Our guests today will be speaking with us on policy gaps in the anti-poverty sector both in Canada and abroad calling for more evidence-based policy development.

Amy Dodd is the Head of Engagement at Development Initiatives, which is based in London, UK. Before joining Development Initiatives, she ran the UK Aid Network for 5 years, a coalition of NGOs working on joint policy, analysis and advocacy for better and more effective aid and development cooperation.

Arjan de Haan is the Director of IDRC’s Inclusive Economies program. He leads a multidisciplinary team that strengthens policy research capacity in developing countries on issues of economic policy, governance, and health systems.

Amanda Glassman is executive vice president and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and also serves as chief executive officer of CGD Europe. Her research focuses on priority-setting, resource allocation and value for money in global health, as well as data for development. She previously served as director for global health policy at the Center from 2010 to 2016, and has more than 25 years of experience working on health and social protection policy and programs in Latin America and elsewhere in the developing world.

Lorenzo Gonzales and Weseem Ahmed are independent researchers at Ontario 360, a think-tank based in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. They have recently written a paper on the possible use of Opportunity Zones in Ontario to address the urban-rural divide.

Special thanks to Senior Producer Nimmi Augustine, Junior Producer Hongyu Xiao, and Executive Director Vienna Vendittelli for producing this episode.

Threats to Digital Democracy: New Findings for Canadian Governance

In recent years, social media has provided a platform to share and discuss things big and small, and has given a voice to the unheard that was unimaginable mere decades ago. It’s given rise to movements such as #metoo, the Hong Kong protests, and Bell’s Let’s Talk campaign. However – this democratic expansion has not been without growing pains – as it’s also facilitated the growth of extremist actors, populist political campaigns, and disinformation. Canada is not insulated from the risks arising from social media and the digital era. Today we will discuss the threats posed to democracy and the potential policy responses with thought leaders Keiller Zed and Stephanie MacLennan.

Keiller Zed is a communications and public policy professional and e-democracy advocate. As an Account Director with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a leading international public relations firm, Keiller advises corporate clients on an array of communications strategies, many of which include digital. Before joining H+K, Keiller served as a senior advisor to the former Premier of New Brunswick and at 26, became the youngest Executive Director in the history of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick. Keiller has worked as a campaign strategist on over a dozen provincial and federal elections in Canada, including the recent 2019 federal campaign, as well as in the United Kingdom on the 2016 Brexit Referendum and the 2017 general election campaigns. Inspired by the results of Brexit, he has developed a passion for e-democracy and has undertaken academic research focusing on the impact of digital disinformation on the integrity of democratic systems. 

Stephanie MacLellan is a fellow with the Public Policy Forum and a member of the Digital Democracy Project, a study of the digital media ecosystem during the 2019 Canadian federal election campaign. Before joining PPF she was a senior research associate with the Centre for International Governance Innovation in the Global Security & Politics Program, specializing in cyber security, online disinformation, digital rights, and related policy issues. Previously, she spent more than a decade working as a journalist for newspapers such as the Toronto Star, the Hamilton Spectator. Her work has been nominated for three National Newspaper Awards. 

This episode was produced by Anna Millar (Senior Producer), Duncan Cooper (Junior Producer and Social Media Director), Diana Lu (Junior Producer) with the support of Alex Gold-Apel (Executive Director). 

Music Credits:

1. Ten Years by Classified 

2. Joan of Arc by Arcade Fire 

Canadian Climate Policy: How Climate Change is Re-Energizing Provincial Fault Lines

In this episode, we will focus on how the regional differences and increasing polarization in Canada may complicate the implementation of strong climate action at the federal level. We discuss the future of climate policy given the new Liberal minority government and potential innovative environmental policy pathways relevant to the Canadian context. Our first interview is with Dr. Douglas Macdonald, who discusses the tension between Canadian federalism and climate policy and suggests a way forward to achieve federal and provincial consensus on national climate policy. For our next guest, Dr. Kathryn Harrison joins us to talk about what’s next for climate policy after the election and address mounting friction between western Canada and Ottawa. Finally, Dr. Andrew Leach weighs in on Alberta’s newly-announced provincial carbon tax and advises how Canada can position itself for success in a low-carbon, resource-efficient global economy.

Dr. Douglas Macdonald is Senior Lecturer Emeritus with the School of the Environment, University of Toronto. His forthcoming book, Carbon Province, Hydro Province: The Challenge of Canadian Energy and Climate Federalism provides analysis and recommendations for how Canada can address its basic climate-change problem – the fact that continually rising emissions in the oil-producing provinces are overwhelming reductions made in other parts of the country. You can check out his website here.

Dr. Kathryn Harrison is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia and expert on the topics of environmental, climate, and energy policy, as well as federalism, and comparative public policy. You can follow her on twitter here.

Dr. Andrew Leach is an energy and environmental economist and is Associate Professor at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. His research spans energy and environmental economics with a particular interest in climate change policies. In 2015, Dr. Leach was Chair of Alberta’s Climate Change Leadership Panel. You can follow him on twitter here.

Special thanks to Junior Producers Erin Christensen and Thea Koper and Executive Director Vienna Vendittelli for producing this episode. 

The Sound of Your City: BTH Live Show


For this week’s episode, we went live on the air as part of CIUT’s The Sound of the City Membership Drive. The station’s overall goal for fundraiser is $100,000. This helps pay for day to day costs, the website and social media, studio upgrades and new broadcast equipment. If you support our work and campus radio, please consider donating to help CIUT meet this goal. 

We were joined on the air this week by various professors from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy about what research they have been working on. First, Drew Fagan discusses transit planning in the GTA. Then, Matthias Oshinski discusses automation and the future of work. He was followed by Mel Cappe who discusses the UK election and Brexit. Finally, Andrew Parkin discusses Canadian’s opinions on immigration and refugees. 

Drew Fagan is Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and Senior Advisor with McMillan Vantage Policy Group. 

Matthias Oschinski is the Director of Innovation Economics at MaRs and a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Mel Cappe is the former Clerk of the Privy Council, is an officer of the Order of Canada, a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. 

Andrew Parkin is the Executive Director of Environics Institute for Survey Research and an adjunct professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Special thanks to Alex Gold-Apel, Vienna Vendittelli, Daniella Marciano, Geneviève Tallmeister, Robert Giannetta, Erin Anderson-Birmingham for making this show possible. 

Climate Refugees and Canada’s Role as a Middle Power

Climate change is affecting more and more regions across the globe, threatening to create as many as 200 million environmental migrants by 2050. While Canada is seen as a top destination for refugee resettlement and is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, the international agreement doesn’t recognize climate threats as a reason for fleeing. As such, what should Canada’s policy response be to
address the issue of climate refugees? To discuss this question, we were joined by two special guests: Allan Rock and Bob Rae.

Allan Rock is President Emeritus of the University of Ottawa, and a Professor in its Faculty of Law. Amongst other positions, Professor Rock practised in civil, administrative and commercial litigation and was elected to the Canadian Parliament in 1993 and re-elected in 1997 and 2000. He was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Minister of Health, and Minister of Industry and Infrastructure. Before becoming the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, he was appointed in 2003 as Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

Bob Rae was elected eleven times to the House of Commons and the Ontario legislature between 1978 and 2013, was Ontario’s 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995, and served as interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011 to 2013. He currently works as a lawyer, negotiator, mediator, and arbitrator, and is a Fellow of the Forum of Federations. Professor Rae teaches at the University of Toronto in the Faculty of Law, Massey College, Victoria College, and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Special thanks to junior producers Fatemah Ebrahim and Brody Longmuir, senior producer Robert Giannetta, and executive producer Vienna Vendittelli for their work with this episode.

Election Special

Today is election day. As Canadians head to the polls, we take a look at issues that don’t usually garner a lot of attention during the campaign. The first interview is with Yves Giroux, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, to discuss the work his office is doing costing the party’s platforms during the campaign. Then Mel Cappe, the former Clerk of the Privy Council in Canada, discusses how the bureaucracy plans for a transition in government. Finally, Adam Laughton, a Munk school student and NDP candidate for Mississauga Lakeshore, is interviewed about youth involvement in politics. 
Special thanks to executive producer Alex Gold-Apel and senior producer Aryeh Ansel for their efforts on this episode.

Getting Ahead of Disruption

Public Policy Forum (PPF) is a non-profit organization that offers diverse participants in the field of public policy a platform to explore and discuss policy issues.

In this episode, we will be discussing two articles from PPF’s “12 Ways to Get Ahead of Disruption” series.

  1. Canada’s Infrastructure Revival: Let’s Get the Biggest Bang for Our Buck — Drew Fagan
  2. Inclusive Innovation: Using Technology to Bridge the Urban-Rural DivideWendy Cukier

Considering the technological, demographic, and climatic shifts of society, we will be talking with two authors about how they see Canada can best embrace the new possibilities in an age of uncertainty.

The whole collection of Canada Next: 12 Ways to Get Ahead of Disruption reports is available at:

Wendy Cukier is a professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Ted Rogers School of Management. She is one of Canada’s leading experts in disruptive technologies, innovation processes and diversity and is coauthor of the bestseller “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park.” She leads Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, which she founded in 1999 and has led projects aimed at promoting the participation and advancement of underrepresented groups. She is leading, in collaboration with Ryerson’s Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and the Ted Rogers School of Management, the newly-announced Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

Drew Fagan is a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. Mr. Fagan previously spent 12 years in leadership positions with the governments of Ontario and Canada. With the Government of Ontario, he was Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Mr Fagan joined the Ontario Public Service in 2009 from Ottawa, where he was Assistant Deputy Minister for strategic policy and planning at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Mr. Fagan also worked at The Globe and Mail as the parliamentary bureau chief, editorial page editor and columnist, foreign editor, associate editor of Report on Business and Washington correspondent. Mr. Fagan is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Forum, where he has overseen recent research reports, as well as the C.D. Howe Institute and a number of other university institutes.

Erin Anderson-Birmingham,
host and producer
Public Policy Forum
Dimitri Treheles, Executive Producer

Music Credits:
Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Bublé
Stutter by Marianas Trench