UBC co-hosts G8 University Summit

Presidents of world universities will gather in Vancouver to prepare advice for their governments as Canada prepares to host the G8 Summit in Huntsville, Ont. next month.

The 2010 G8 University Summit will be held:

May 21-22, 2010
Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel
Media are invited to attend sessions throughout the summit.
Conference schedule is online at:

Co-hosted by the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta, the third G8 University Summit will be the first such gathering in North America and follows meetings that were held to coincide with G8 Summits in Hokkaido, Japan in 2008 and Turin, Italy in 2009.

The overarching theme for this year’s conference sessions is Universities and Communities: Transition to a Sustainable Future. Deliberations from these sessions will result in a Statement of Action presented by the university presidents to their national governments.


About the 2010 G8 University Summit

The G8 University Summit brings together the presidents of leading research universities from the G8 and G20 countries to discuss the role universities should play in the development of knowledge to lead global social change.

About 50 university leaders from 14 countries will attend the Vancouver summit.

“As a leading research university, UBC continues to initiate change by setting and achieving ambitious goals for social, economic and environmental sustainability,” said UBC President Stephen Toope, who is being joined by University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera to host the international delegates. “Our G8 University Summit offers a chance to show that universities can be effective agents for change and that we have solutions to help communities all over the world take action to ensure a sustainable future.”

The summit will focus on building a sustainable future by addressing issues of sustainable health, energy and higher education. All the attending university presidents will sign a Statement of Action. While the presidents will present the document to their own governments, they will also challenge other universities around the globe to work toward establishing a sustainable future.

Earlier this month, a companion G8 University Students Summit was held in Banff in conjunction with the Vancouver summit.  It provided students with the opportunity to discuss important issues of sustainability. An Action Statement and video resulting from the Students Summit will be presented to the delegates at the G8 University Summit, allowing the student voice to be heard and acknowledged.

Opening and closing remarks will be made by Prof. Toope and Dr. Indira Samarasekera, along with G8 University Council Chair Francesco Profumo and Prof. Junichi Hamada of the University of Tokyo.

G8 University Summit keynote speakers include:

  • Lesley Wilson, secretary-general to the European Universities Association
  • Dr. Jorge Balan of the Centre for the Study of State and Society in Argentina
  • Dr. Narayana Jayarama of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai
  • Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado (via videoconference)
  • Dr. Solomon Benatar of the Bioethics Centre in Cape Town
  • Dr. Julio Montaner of the BC Centre of Excellence for HIV/AIDS in Vancouver

For more information about the summit, please visit: www.g8universitysummit2010.com

About the University of British Columbia

UBC is one of Canada’s largest and most prestigious public research and teaching institutions.  It offers more than 50,000 students a range of innovative undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the arts, sciences, medicine, law, commerce and other faculties.

UBC consistently attracts more than $450 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants. UBC is consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. For more information visit: www.ubc.ca

About the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of the top 100 public teaching and research universities in the world serving some 37,000 students with more than 14,000 faculty and staff.

Founded more than a century ago upon the promise, that knowledge shall be for “the uplifting of the whole people,” the university offers close to 400 undergraduate and graduate programs in 18 faculties and professional schools and attracts nearly $500 million in external research funding annually.


UBC Public Affairs
Scott Macrae
Tel: 604.764.7508
E-mail: scott.macrae@ubc.ca