We need to enlarge our circle of compassion, says Naomi Klein


Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

There is no doubt that climate change is real and contributing to natural disasters around the world: our global temperature has risen by approximately one degree since the preindustrial era; recently we have seen how the Fort McMurray wildfires have displaced thousands of families; and the current extreme heat wave in India and Pakistan is expected to cost many lives. Climate scientists have said that this is the decade to make significant changes in order to prevent global warming. Urgent and swift action is needed. Award-winning author and journalist Naomi Klein believes that nations must take a leap, rather than small steps, in order to shift the world to a place where climate change does not pose the level of threat it does today.

Klein emphasizes an important point: climate change is not only a cause—a cause of disaster and the Earth behaving in strange ways—but also a symptom. It is a symptom...


HSS grads in the workplace: Better than Baristas


Peter Severinson, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

If you work in the humanities and social sciences (HSS), there is likely one myth you are tired of hearing: that their graduates will not be able to find good jobs, that they’ll all be working as overeducated baristas. Well, thanks to an enlightening presentation entitled Barista or better? Where will a university or college degree take you? on the opening day of Congress 2016 by Dr. Ross Finnie, we now know this isn’t true.

Finnie, whose background is in economics, is the Director of the Education Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa. His group is studying the labour market outcomes of students who graduated from 14 universities and colleges between 2005 and 2012. The final report is not available yet, but Finnie was able to share an enlightening sneak peek to his Congress audience.

Finnie’s current project is a...


Margaret Atwood: Compassion under contemporary conditions


Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

How can you describe a talk by Canadian literary icon and living legend Margaret Atwood? To do it true justice would take the literary chops of Ms. Atwood herself, something I will never claim to have. What I can say is that she is an intellectual iron gauntlet under a velvet glove of quiet dignity and razor-sharp wit.

As part of her keynote address today for the University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing’s Compassion Under Contemporary Conditions Interdisciplinary Symposium, Atwood dared to ask the question, “compassion: how much is too much?” Those of us who see compassion as a universal good might bridle at this inquiry; but in laying out a popular history of the nurse in Western culture (wives and mothers kept locked out of public life because of their “natural compassion,” near-angelic Florence Nightingale carbon copies, passive and sexually available objects)...