The Year Ahead 2020: An International Security, Intelligence and Defence Outlook for Canada. On December 6th 2019, academics, practitioners, and experts will meet for the annual Year Ahead Conference at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Panelists from across Canada, the United States, and parts of Europe will meet to discuss looming threats, future challenges, and Canada’s changing position in the world. This year, we are looking at the present day threats of long-term security trends with a focus on the climate-security nexus, violent extremism, and current and future challenges to inclusivity and diversity in the field of security and defence. The final panel looks at immediate challenges to international security with a look at the situation in Kashmir, Afghanistan, and more.

The Year Ahead 2020 is a particularly special event this year as we not only enter the conference’s 5th year running, but the occasion also marks the first year that the conference is being supported by the newly established Canadian Defence and Security Network

    • Date: 6 December 2019 –8:45am to 4:15pm
    • Location: Barney Danson Theatre, Canadian War Museum 1 Vimy Place, Ottawa, Ontario
    • Cost: General – $100; Students – $25; Table of 8 – $600

Tickets can be purchased here:

Coffee, refreshments, and a buffet lunch will be provided

Registration – 0815 to 0845

Opening Remarks (0845 – 0900)

  • Jeffrey Rice, Director, Centre for Security, Intelligence, and Defence Studies
  • Stephen Saideman, Director, Canadian Defence and Security Network

Panel I – Violent Extremism (0900 – 1015)

Panel description: This panel examines the ways in which cultures of extremism are created and perpetuated and looks at what some of the current manifestations of extremist beliefs are. Topics covered in this panel will range from looking at anti-government militia groups in the United States, to the rise of the far-right in Canada, the United States, and Europe, as well as how extremist groups may exploit vulnerable populations.

  • Sam Jackson, University of Albany
  • Ashley Mattheis, University of North Carolina
  • Micah Clarke, Moonshot CVE

Break (1015 to 1030)

Panel II – Climate Change and Environmental Security (1030 – 1145)

Panel description: Often, we think of climate change as still being a ‘future phenomenon’ yet the social, economic, and political consequences are already being felt. Increased drought, climate induced forced migrations, and the melting of the polar ice caps has the potentially to radically upset the current geopolitical order.  Rather than experiencing a single catastrophic environmental event – though catastrophic events may become more common – existing social, economic, and political tensions may be further exacerbated as the climate continues to change. This panel, therefore, looks at the present-day consequences of long-term climate trends.

  • Andrew Linke, University of Utah
  • Wilfrid Greaves, University of Victoria
  • Steve Brock, Centre for Climate and Security

Keynote (1215 – 1315)

Dr. Kathleen McInnis from the Atlantic Council of the United States will be giving this year’s keynote address. Dr. McInnis is the author of The Heart of War: Misadventures in the Pentagon and How and Why States Defect from Contemporary Military Coalitions.

  • Kathleen McInnis, Atlantic Council of the United States

Break  (1315 – 1330)

Special Event – Fireside on Diversity and Inclusivity (1330 – 1430)

Event description: In our effort to make the security and defence field more diverse and representative, we are once again holding a special fireside chat on diversity and inclusivity in security and defence. We have gathered some of the brightest people in security and defence across North America to hear about their professional and personal experiences and how to make security and defence a more diverse, representative, inclusive and thereby stronger community.

  • Moderator: Kristine St-Pierre, Women, Peace, and Security Network
  • Bonnie Jenkins, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security
  • Leila Adler, Bridging the Gap
  • Shawn Skelly, Out in National Security

Break  (1430 – 1445)

Panel IV – Global Hotspots (1445 – 1600)

Panel description: This panel interprets the “Global Hotspots theme” slightly differently than from previous years. Rather than focusing on major sources of geopolitical contention that are dominant in the news media, this panel looks at areas of the world that have the potential to or are already impacting international security. Topics in this panel will cover the situation in Kashmir and an analysis of the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, where civilian casualties have reached record highs.

  • Bonnie Jenkins, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security
  • Ayesha Ray, King’s College, Pennsylvania
  • Megan Minnion, NATO Headquarters

Closing Remarks (1600 to 1615)

Questions about the conference can be sent to:

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