Frightening pandemics, terrible inequality, racism and poverty, rising political authoritarianism, the inescapable climate crisis, and the resuscitated danger of nuclear war. We know the story. Some choose not to see it. Each of these crises seems so much larger than any one of us can understand or handle. Yet today, they all seem to be going critical simultaneously.
For Canadian Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon, in addition to these crises, Canada’s big neighbor to the south is becoming increasingly ungovernable, and some experts believe it could descend into civil war. In an article in the Globe and Mail in December 2021 that went viral, he asks, “How should Canada prepare?” for the case that American democracy does indeed collapse.
In Commanding Hope, Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon shows why and how we got where we are today; and most importantly, he shows the powers we possess to renew our imperiled world. Join us to hear a Canadian perspective on the U.S. midterm elections, about practical tools we can use to understand our own and others’ worldviews better, to be strategically smart in our actions, together, to take the world to a healthier, more just place.
“The hope Homer-Dixon is promoting has a dual nature. It arises from an internal summons and emerges as a call to action. This kind of hope isn’t naïve; its transformational.” – Arno Kopecky in The Literary Review of Canada
“It is a rare thing to hold a book in your hands and think, ‘This could be a game changer.’ I had that experience at several ‘Aha!’ moments while reading Commanding Hope.” —Elizabeth May, MP for Gulf Saanich-Islands, Former leader of the Green Party of Canada
“One of the best-informed and most brilliant writers on global affairs today.” — The Guardian
Thomas Homer-Dixon is founder and Executive Director of the Cascade Institute at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. He received his BA in political science from Carleton University and, in 1989, his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in international relations, defense policy, and conflict theory.
One of Canada’s foremost public intellectuals and a best-selling author, his award-winning books include The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization; The Ingenuity Gap: Can We Solve the Problems of the Future?; and Environment, Scarcity, and Violence. His latest book, Commanding Hope: The Power We Have to Renew a World in Peril, was published by Knopf Canada in 2020. He writes regularly for the Globe and Mail and has published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Scientific American, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times.
Co-Moderator David Ehinger is a retired Canadian diplomat and international lawyer. He was born in Winnipeg, where he studied History at the University of Winnipeg and Law at the University of Manitoba. After a short time in private practice, he completed his education with advanced degrees in Law and International Relations at the Universities of Virginia and Cambridge. During his career with the Canadian public service, he specialised in public International law and served at the Canadian diplomatic missions in Geneva, Washington, Berlin and Madrid. He now lives in Munich.
This event is in partnership with the Deutsch-Kanadische Gesellschaft e.V.
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Photo © Peter Lee