The World Affairs Conference (WAC) is North America's largest annual student-run current affairs conference. Annually held at Upper Canada College in Toronto, Canada, the World Affairs Conference connects over 1000 students, with a common interest in current affairs, from across North America.
The theme, 20/20 Vision, aims to address how we might respond to the inevitable change that will accompany the oncoming decade. The 2020s will undoubtedly be fateful years as we attempt to slow climate change, consider the social implications of technology, and even reevaluate the ethics of international sports. As young people, it is our responsibility to engage.
Dr. James Hansen, formerly Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, is Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, where he directs a program in Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions. Dr. Hansen is best known for his testimony on climate change in the 1980s that helped raise awareness of global warming. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards including the Sophie and Blue Planet Prizes.
Three years ago, Edward Snowden gave the WAC 2015 Lionel Gelber Keynote Address. In June 2013, Snowden leaked highly classified information about the scale and scope of NSA and CIA counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence operations around the globe. Since then, he has become a household name and is among the most influential privacy activists in the world. At the Keynote Address, Snowden explained his views on global privacy issues, government involvement in citizens' lives, and the dangers of the digital age.