Parkland Institute conference explores building a more just, democratic and sustainable world

Parkland Institute’s 24th annual conference, After the Contagions, will explore the complex environmental, medical, racial, economic, political and other contagions that challenge this moment – and, more importantly, what must be done to construct a future world that is more just, democratic and sustainable than the one being left behind. 

The conference runs Nov. 16-20, with five national keynote speakers each evening from 7- 8:30 p.m. and Alberta speakers (including UNA president Heather Smith) on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2-4 p.m. It is open to everyone and online, so nurses across the province can easily take in one or all five interesting keynotes and the Alberta panel discussion from the comfort of their home.

A range of important themes will be of interest to nurses. In particular, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, Dr. Danielle Martin, founder of Doctors for Medicare, will talk about issues facing our national health-care system, the impact of race and class on health, and how they have been exacerbated by the pandemic. She will also outline some ways forward for a truly universal health system, using COVID as the case study for improvement.

The other keynote speakers include; Kathryn Harrison, a professor from UBC, will talk about addressing the climate crisis; Justice Marion Buller, the lead commissioner on the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, will talk about solutions to systemic racism and violence towards women; Armine Yalnizyan, one of Canada’s most prominent progressive economists, will talk about building an economic recovery for all people and in particular women; and on Friday evening, internationally acclaimed author and speaker Thomas Homer-Dixon will speak about the findings in his new book, Commanding Hope. He will show why and how we got here and, most importantly, the powers we possess to renew our imperiled world.

For more information and to register, go to