Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon was founding director of the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation. His interdisciplinary research focuses on threats to global security in the 21st century, including economic instability, climate change, and energy scarcity.
The Vancouver Institute
Since 1916, the Vancouver Institute has brought the University of British Columbia and Vancouver community together through free public lectures and discussions. Driven by volunteer membership and donations, the Institute hosts influential academics and political leaders from around the world. The Global Reporting centre is proud to partner with The Vancouver Institute. In collaboration, both organizations support interdisciplinary ideas and a strong, community-driven culture at UBC.
Upcoming Vancouver Institute Events
Dr. Bonnie Henry is the first woman to be appointed Provincial Health Officer in BC. She has been praised as “one of the most effective public health officials in the world" by The New York Times due to her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in this province.
Dr. Joel Bakan is an internationally renowned legal scholar and commentator. He has worked on landmark legal cases and government policy. He is the Director of the documentary "The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel."
Dr. Josef Penninger's findings on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and its role in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infections have contributed to the rapid identification of a potential drug molecule that entered Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 infection in April 2020.
Dr. Catherine Johnson’s expertise is in comparative planetary geophysics. She seeks to understand the internal structure and the long-term evolution of our solar system bodies.
Ms. Sarah Milroy is a distinguished independent art critic, curator and essayist, as well as a vocal champion of Canadian art and artists. She is co-founder of the Canadian Art Foundation, and served as editor and publisher of Canadian Art magazine.
Dr. Michael Geist is an award winning legal scholar specializing in internet and copyright issues. He has edited several books including "Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era" (2015), "The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law" (2013), "From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda" (2010) and "In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law" (2005).
About the Vancouver Institute
The Vancouver Institution was established in February 1916, just five months after the opening of UBC. At this time, the Institute was known for its “town and gown” concept—local citizens could join with academics at UBC to organize, promote, sponsor, host, and present various lectures.
Behind this bridging model were three influential individuals: Lemuel Robertson, Associate Professor of Classics at UBC and Chairman of the Archaeological Institute; Frank Wesbrook, the University’s first president; and S.D. Scott, editor of the Vancouver News-Advertiser.
The Institute holds its lectures at UBC during the fall and spring academic terms, increasing community engagement with each year. Recently, the Institute has been fortunate enough to cosponsor speakers with several lectureship committees, such as Cecil and Ida Green, Leon and Thea Koerner, Dal Grauer, J.V. Clyne, E.S. Woodward, The Vancouver Sun, and External Affairs Canada.
The most celebrated speaker at the Institute was the Dalai Lama, who attracted around 10,000 people. Other notable past presenters include French academician Claude Levi-Strauss, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, and several Nobel Laureates.
Please note: Given the COVID-19 situation lectures are not taken place at UBC campus this fall 2020.
Where do the VI lectures take place?
Given the COVID-19 situation, lectures will not take place on UBC campus this fall 2020. Lectures will be delivered via Zoom Webinar. The link to the lecture will be:
(1) delivered to you via email if you are a member,
(2) posted here and the Institute Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheVancouverInstitute
(3) published the Thursday prior to the lecture in the Vancouver Sun.
Do I need a VI membership if I want to attend the lectures?
You do not need to be a member of the Vancouver Institute; however, they are an all-volunteer organization and greatly appreciate your financial support. The cost of your membership and any donations are tax-deductible. Please direct all questions on how to apply for membership to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will I receive my membership card?
Once we have received your payment, we will issue a tax receipt and a membership card and mail both to you.
Can I pay for my membership when I attend the VI lecture?
This fall we will not be taken payment in person. You can pay online here.
You can purchase a membership or make a donation by visiting our profile at CanadaHelps. You can also click here to download a PDF version of our membership application form or a Word Document version. These forms can be used for main in membership requests and donations.
The Vancouver Institute is a volunteer-led organization that has been running since 1916 on with the help of voluntary yearly subscriptions and welcome donations from public-minded citizens. You are invited to contribute to the sustainability of The Institute and support its lecture series by becoming a sponsor of the institute on an annual basis. All donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about how to become a sponsor please download our sponsorship guide here.
Follow the link to download a PDF copy of our program.
Click here to access the video archive of past lectures.