May 13, 2013
TORONTO, ON – The inaugural event of an unprecedented project launched this week at the Munk School of Global Affairs in the University of Toronto. On May 10 and 11, 2013, the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran (organized by the Munk School with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada) embarked on an effort to dramatically open up political space for conversation among Iranians on the future of Iran.
With a significant online presence leveraging censorship circumvention technology, and a full range of social media tools, the Global Dialogue brought together Iranians inside Iran and around the world to share their views about the Iranian economy, equality, human rights, safe democratic space, and much more. Day two opened with a special session devoted to topics exclusively crowd-sourced from Iranians engaging in the conversation online. Popular topics for the session focused on the implications of limited access to information and the impacts of economic sanctions.
Speaking on the reach of the inaugural event, Janice Stein, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, said: “The real accomplishment here is that we’ve been able to connect tens of thousands of Iranians inside Iran with the content of the Global Dialogue. And even as we are doing this, we have made the safety of our online Global Dialogue community the priority.”
The full two days of the event are available to watch on demand (and translations are available in Farsi and English.) For full access to the Global Dialogue’s content, please visit: www.theglobaldialogue.ca.
“This Global Dialogue seeks to give the people of Iran a chance to voice their opinions and to have their say about the future of their country,” said the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaking at the event. “For those of you inside Iran right now, listening from somewhere safe… I want you to know that Canada stands with you.”
In the coming weeks, the dialogue will be releasing short video clips of dialogue participants expressing their thoughts about topics and themes explored. Building on the foundation of the inaugural event the Munk School looks forward to supporting the dialogue leading up to the Iranian presidential elections scheduled for June of this year.
University of Toronto Media Relations