Ontario universities are looking to help students and parents confront an uncertain future by sparking a provincewide conversation about how these 21 institutions can help ensure a brighter future for everyone.
Launched this weekend, the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is asking all Ontarians to participate in an online survey seeking opinions on how “we can work together to unlock the full potential of Ontario’s future and all who live here.”
“We’re asking people, ‘What keeps you up at night?’” said David Lindsay, COU President and CEO. “The world is changing so quickly and in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible. Disruptive technology, demographic shifts and globalization bring tremendous opportunities. But all that uncertainty can also make people anxious. Universities want to have a conversation about what we can all do together to help shape tomorrow – and to make sure no one is left behind.”
COU, a lobby group, which has all of the province’s universities as members, launched the initiative last Saturday at the Ontario Universities’ Fair.
Survey questions explore a range of issues, including optimism about Ontario’s future; thoughts on businesses, health care, arts and culture; what excites and what worries students and parents about the future; what role universities can play in the lives of their family and the province.
The survey is part of a larger effort to solicit opinions more broadly. Universities, including Western, will be holding one-on-one meetings, discussion groups and roundtables in their own communities as they gather this input.
Findings will be made public throughout the year in a series of online postings, blogs and reports, culminating in a summit next year on Ontario’s future and how universities can partner to help Ontarians succeed, Lindsay said.
“The pace of change is rapid, and Ontarians are wondering how we can draw on the talents and resources Ontario has to offer to make sure they are successful, and to make sure Ontario is successful,” he said. “That’s why we are inviting anyone who shares an interest in the future to join the conversation.”
The survey can be found at ontariosuniversities.ca. People may also participate in the conversation at @futuringON and #futuring.