IGS Speaker Series



At the IGS, we believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So as part of the Institute,  we  offer  a weekly lecture series that exposes students to many of the region’s most prominent leaders and innovators, from academics and politicians to entrepreneurs and activists.  This interactive series format provides students with an amazing opportunity to engage with a number of inspirational individuals. Here are some of the speakers we have had so far this school year…

Gwynne Dyer

Acclaimed journalist, author, and speaker, Gwynne Dyer  kicked off our series with a provocative discussion on the geopolitics of climate change entitled “Climate Wars“.





 Ronald Wright

Award-winning author, historian, and Massey Lecturer Ronald Wright  examined  humankind’s increasingly precarious “experiment” with civilization, based on his best-selling novel, A Short History of Progress. This work has recently been adapted into a film produced by Martin Scorsese entitled Surviving Progress.




Elizabeth May

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May gave a stirring presentation on Canadian politics, youth involvement, and environmental conservation.  Ms. May was recently named Canada’s Parliamentarian of the Year.







Andrew Weaver

Dr. Andrew Weaver,  a professor and Canada research chair in atmospheric science in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UVic, provided a highly interactive presentation on the complexities of Climate Change. Dr. Weaver’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change jointly won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007





Elin Kelsey

Internationally renowned researcher, writer, and consultant Dr. Elin Kelsey delivered a powerful talk that positioned “hope” as an emerging narrative for environmentalists around the world.






John Abbott

John Abbott is the director of the 21st Century Learning Initiative in the U.K. and author of the book Overschooled But Undereducated. He is highly regarded in B.C. education circles, and the students were delighted by his presence.






Steve Archambault

Steve Archambault, inventor of the swivel tab, projects the worldwide royalty revenues from this tab to be in the hundreds of millions – if not the billions – over the next several  years. Unlike most entrepreneurs, however, he’s not driven by the need for personal wealth. Steve discussed how he will allocate most of his revenues to funding efforts to address the world’s most pressing crises.



Judy Fainstein

Founder/Executive Director, YesBC (Youth for Environmental Stewardship).  YesBC is an innovative youth leadership program that aims to give young people meaningful, direct involvement in sustainability initiatives.