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2021 Concordia Annual Summit

WEEK OF September 20, 2021

 

Engage with cross-sector leaders. Debate and deliberate in an open, transparent forum. Watch as partnerships blossom and ideas transform into action. 

Our 2021 Annual Summit, taking place both digitally and in-person in September 2021, will convene the top movers and shakers of today’s world—including global C-suite executives, politicians, nonprofit leaders, and entrepreneurs—to spark dialogue, catalyze collaboration, and collectively pave the path toward a more equitable, sustainable future.

As communities across the globe move to rebuild and recover from COVID-19, our 11th Annual Summit will double down on Concordia’s core belief: going it together is infinitely better than going it alone.

Themes

Environmental Sustainability

Across the globe, investors and companies are waking up to the real physical and regulatory risks—and potential opportunities—posed by a warming climate. With the pandemic an unavoidable biohazard, consumers are now acutely aware of the importance of achieving environmental sustainability to guarantee a good future, with experts stating that those organizations that employ the most sustainable practices will be the most profitable in the long run. However, widespread adoption will require an urgent need to adapt and continued innovation across all sectors in order to mitigate the environmental impacts already in motion.

Global Trade, Manufacturing & Supply Chains

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted global dynamics, not only in terms of how we connect with others, but also in how we exchange and produce goods. Ongoing trade wars between nations and regions, supply chains, and the economic stability of the manufacturing sector are constantly evolving with the political and social landscape. The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine will put innovation in the manufacturing sector to the test, and shine light on further applications and improvements that will ripple throughout industries. What’s more, the global desire for connectivity and innovation in trade is prompting the dynamic movement of supply chains and resulting in the development of new trends.

Human Rights & Social Progress

Integral to truly sustainable global development and positive social impact is a need for fundamental human rights to be universally protected. Without freedom of expression, movement, public discourse, and the fair and free rule of law, global prosperity is untenable. Today, we’re increasingly witnessing a tension between the rapid economic and technological growth of the 21st century and the rising levels of socioeconomic inequality and public distrust around the world. How can cross-sector collaboration help resolve social tensions and advance equality and equity around the world?

Economic Empowerment & Financial Inclusion

In addition to a profound global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about an economic crisis of great magnitude from which it will take time to recover. Furthermore, this economic and social crisis exacerbated existing gaps in society, such as the need for greater financial inclusion and the strengthening of small and medium-sized enterprises, which represent close to 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment globally. How can we best navigate this global recession to avoid the continuing fall in GDP of different countries? How will emerging economies be impacted in the long term? And, how can opportunity zones create more socially-minded investors and generate wealth for a larger number of communities?

Technology & Digital Transformation

Dependency on technology has surged amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sudden change in how we connect with others highlighted the need for a tech-savvy economy and a digital transformation that meets social needs. However, doubts remain about the role of technology in society, especially in terms of data privacy, closing social gaps with connectivity, and the need for a solid digital infrastructure in workforce development.

Cultural Diplomacy & Youth Advocacy

Stable, prosperous, and resilient communities are built through engaged and connected citizens who can actively participate in shaping their social, economic, and political future. In this digital era, access to education is key to ensuring citizens are included and engaged in civic society, local and national economies, and global development strategies. Furthermore, cultural diplomacy is essential to bringing people together as well as sustaining and improving relations across different cultures. Core to any progress is the engagement and leadership of youth in global policy to develop solutions and promote sustainable impact.

Democracy, Security & Geopolitical Risk

Throughout the world, but especially in the U.S., the fragility of democracy has been one of the most discussed topics in the recent months. From one of the most competitive elections in America’s history to the growing refugee crisis around the world, strengthening democracy and maintaining national security are top of mind for governments and citizens alike. A focus on redefining foreign policy and collaboration between countries, as well as a sense of domestic peace and security, will be high on governmental agendas throughout the world. How can political parties in divided countries come together and work towards a successful future? What role does technology like artificial intelligence play in navigating geopolitical risk? And, how can sectors and multilateral organizations work together to strengthen democracy and national security in a time that seems so fraught with threat and conflict?

Health Disparities, Recovery & Resilience

The pandemic has exposed deep health disparities in societies and weaknesses in public health systems around the world. Both the palpable strain on physical health systems and structures and the more subtle effects on social relations and mental health must be considered in measuring the health impact of this time. Research on past epidemics reveals a wide range of psychosocial consequences at the individual and population level, but also emphasizes the importance of psychological resilience in recovery. As we think about how to foster an equitable pandemic recovery, it’s essential to rethink how we design our public health systems, how we incentivize preparedness and prevention, and how we create partnerships in the service of a healthier, more resilient society.

Previous Speakers