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Waterfront Toronto’s FUTURE CITIES Talks Return for a Discussion on Making Social Impact

Mar 21, 2017

Join us on Sunday, March 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the second edition of FUTURE CITIES talks. Hosted by Waterfront Toronto CEO William Fleissig, who will be joined by special guests Sharmini Fernando, Lisa Switkin and Rebecca Carbin.

Join us on Sunday, March 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the second edition of FUTURE CITIES talks. Hosted by Waterfront Toronto CEO William Fleissig, who will be joined by special guests Sharmini Fernando, Lisa Switkin and Rebecca Carbin. Get tickets now.

By Christopher McKinnon

FUTURE CITIES returns this weekend with its second installment. At FUTURE CITIES we challenge urbanists, culture-makers, advocates and citizens to reimagine what it means to be a “city builder.” The series draws on experts and innovators who are known for pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. We invited our speakers and panelists to address topics, challenges, intersecting critical themes, and questions that Toronto and other cities are facing as they continue to grow and densify.

For our second installment – Sunday, March 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – we partner with Artscape and Daniels Spectrum to bring the series to Regent Park. Once Canada's oldest social housing project, the neighbourhood is currently in the midst of a 20-year, multi-phase revitalization that is recasting it as a mixed-use, mixed-income urban community. This time around we’ve asked our speakers to tackle a broad range of topics that touch on themes loosely related to the theme of “Making Social Impact.”

Here’s who we’ll be hearing from:

Sharmini Fernando (Pathways to Education) and William Fleissig (Waterfront Toronto), in an introductory conversation where they will discuss the power of community to build resilience and overcome barriers. Drawing on Fernando's experiences overseeing the Pathways to Education program and working in the context of Regent Park and Moss Park communities, they'll explore how investing in bringing communities together – youth in particular – generates manifold social returns on the investment. 

Lisa Switkin (James Corner Field Operations) will deliver a talk about new forms of urban nature that are transformative, performative and strive to enhance our quality of life. Switkin will discuss the process of working with "found" landscapes and her movement toward what she calls "a new ecological aesthetic," one that embodies a diverse and complex set of systems, sustainable practices, and people-centred design interventions that feel a part of the Natural World even as they are highly engineered solutions to human life in dense urban environments.

Rebecca Carbin (I Heart Your Work) will discuss how temporary or ephemeral art works in public spaces can engage in more directly political and socially relevant discussions. Drawing on her experiences directing public art commissions for the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto, Carbin will discuss the limitations of thinking about public art solely as permanent collections. Permanent works, Carbin argues, must always play it safe because they must stand the test of time – both in materiality and in content. Looking toward temporary art programs, Carbin sees the enormous potential for creating new types of public art that offer the possibility of more provocative public dialogue and social transformation.

*Unfortunately, due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Peter Sloly (Deloitte) will no longer be able to join us. We hope to announce a third speaker shortly.*

At the end of the afternoon, all our speakers and panelists will return to the stage for a moderated discussion and Q&A session with the audience.

Tickets for this event are Pay-What-You-Can.

Suggested Donation $5 – All proceeds go to Pathways to Education Regent Park.

Get your ticket now on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/waterfront-torontos-future-cities-2-making-social-impact-tickets-32965199800  

post contributor

  • Christopher McKinnon

    Christopher McKinnon was previously a communications and public engagement Manager at Waterfront Toronto. He’s passionate about art, cycling in the city, public transit and building really amazing parks.