Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Presented by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences

Everything is Connected: Environment, Economy, Foreign Policy, Sustainability, Human Rights and Leadership in the 21st Century

Sheila Watt-Cloutier (500w)"We must now speak environment, economy, foreign policy, health and human rights in the same breath," says Sheila Watt-Cloutier. "Everything is connected."

In this truly globe-spanning talk, Watt-Cloutier provides a clear, meaningful, and comprehensive understanding of the way these issues are interconnected, and what it means for the future of our planet. Speaking on leadership, she shows you how your community fits into the grand scheme of things, and how you can fulfill your mandate by understanding how the local connects to the global, and vice versa.

With a focus on solutions, Watt-Cloutier brings us to the realities of the Arctic, where Inuit today face profound challenges to their environment, their economy, their health and their cultural well-being. The challenges they face are clearly connected to the industries we support, the disposable world we have become, and the non-sustaining policies we create. ("Everything is connected.") Because her Inuit culture faces the most extreme challenges of globalization, Watt-Cloutier speaks from firsthand experience-- and couples that with her extensive experiences as a global leader.

Drawing upon her ancient culture, and speaking from a position of strength, not victimhood, she helps audiences find common ground. Her Arctic voice-- not as far away as we might imagine-- enlightens and inspires. With inclusive good will, it bridges some extremely divided gaps around the world.

She will speak in Vernon on November 14 as part of UBC's Distinguished Speaker Series.

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre -- 3800 - 33rd Street, Vernon

About Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Sheila Watt-Cloutier is in the business of changing public opinion into public policy. Experienced in working with global decision makers for over a decade, Watt-Cloutier offers a new model for 21st century leadership. She treats the issues of today-the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health, and sustainability-not as separate concerns, but as a deeply interconnected whole. Every decision, whether environmental, political, or economic, has a profound effect on those far from the corridors of power; to understand this connection is vital to building a sustainable world. This is Watt-Cloutier's message.

At a time when people are seeking solutions, direction, and a sense of hope, this global leader provides a big picture of where we are and where we're headed.
In 2007, Watt-Cloutier was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change on human rights-especially in the Arctic, where it is felt more immediately, and more dramatically, than anywhere else in the world. (The Arctic is the planet's health barometer; what happens in the world happens there first.) By making a human connection-by telling the human stories-she helped a generation see the issue in a newly urgent way. Her advocacy work -- not just environmental but all-encompassing-is grounded in human rights, in our shared humanity.

Based in Nunavut, Watt-Cloutier is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is also the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Aboriginal Achievement Award, the UN Champion of the Earth Award, and the prestigious Norwegian Sophie Prize. From 1995- 2002, she was elected the Canadian President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). At the ICC, she was a hugely influential voice in the successful negotiations of the Stockholm Convention, the landmark treaty banning Persistent Organic Pollutants. (POPs end up in the Arctic and have been an alarming health issue for Inuit). She was later elected in 2002 to become the International Chair of the ICC, representing the 155,000 Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia; she held this post until 2006. Under her leadership, she and 62 fellow Inuit from Canada and Alaska launched the world's first international legal action on climate change, with a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She is the main signatory to the petition. She was also one of four Canadians selected by Canada Post to be part of the Difference Makers stamp series, alongside Rick Hansen, Michael J. Fox, and Louise Arbour. Displaying calm, clear and reflective leadership on various big issues, Watt-Cloutier is a much requested speaker worldwide.

Last reviewed shim9/22/2014 4:20:10 PM

inspired. informed. insightful.


Chris Guenard
Digital Channels Communications Coordinator

Tel: 250-807-9932