Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue

Exploring critical community issues through dialogue: this annual event programming engages the community at large with academics to explore innovative approaches to local issues through cross-sectoral dialogue.

Our Latest Community Dialogue

2022: Facing the Flames - New and Old Ways of Co-Existing with Fire featuring Joe Gilchrist and Paul Hessburg

Join us in exploring big ideas for the future of wildfire in our province. Speakers Joe Gilchrist, Salish Interior Firekeeper, and Paul Hessburg, Senior Research Ecologist with US Forest Services, will illuminate the rapidly changing landscape of wildfire and ignite dialogue on pathways forward.

Tuesday, December 6 from 5:00 pm to 7:00pm (reception to follow)
Online and in-person at the Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue (580 West Hastings St., Vancouver, BC)

Past Dialogues

2021: All My Relations - Trauma-Informed Engagement with Dr. Karine Duhamel

The 2021 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue featured Dr. Karine Duhamel, Director of Research for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. As 2021's honoured guest for the annual Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue, Dr. Duhamel explored how to develop a trauma-informed practice in engagement, what to consider for such an approach, and what our individual roles are to create better engagements for those who have experienced trauma.

2019: Power of Empathy with Kimberly Jackson Davidson

The 2019 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue featured Kimberly Jackson Davidson, the director of the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue (YBCD) and the ombudsperson for Oberlin College. As this year’s honoured guest for the annual Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue, Kimberly explored the power of empathy to bridge difference and how we prepare for difficult conversations.

2019: Rethinking BC Referendums with John Gastil

The 2019 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue featured Dr. John Gastil, Professor of Communication Arts & Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Penn State University, as a guest speaker for Welch Community Dialogue to share his expertise on deliberative democracy and group decision-making.

2017: Strengthening Democratic Engagement with Valerie Lemmie

The 2017 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue featured Valerie Lemmie, Director of Exploratory Research of the Kettering Foundation to explore ways to strengthen democratic engagement in solving community problems.

2015-16: THRIVE! Surrey in 2030

THRIVE! Surrey in 2030 was a full-day exploratory dialogue that invited residents from across Surrey to provide input into the City’s Sustainability Charter update. The findings from the dialogue were incorporated into Surrey’s Sustainability Charter 2.0, released in May 2016.

2014: Citizen Engagement and Political Civility with Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer

The 2014 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue featured Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse and founder of AmericaSpeaks. A major output was a set of new, original research about the health of citizen engagement in British Columbia.

2013: Building a Culture of Participation with Dave Meslin

The 2013 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue explored opportunities for empowering citizens in official City of Vancouver decision-making. The events featured Dave Meslin, one of Canada' most influential citizen engagement change-makers.

2012: Riots and Restorative Justice with Dr. Theo Gavrielides

The 2012 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue drew parallels between the the Vancouver Stanley Cup playoff riot and the London riots of Summer 2011 to explore whether restorative justice could be applied in the Vancouver and Canadian context.

2011: Growing out of Hunger with Will Allen

The 2011 Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue brought MacArthur Genius Award-winner and Growing Power CEO Will Allen to engage with the Vancouver food-growing community. Will Allen, urban farmer and community activist, is dedicated to supporting low income and small family farmers and bringing healthy, affordable food to urban areas. 

2010: The Age of Unequals with Richard Wilkinson

The first annual Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue presented keynote speaker Dr. Richard Wilkinson for an evening dialogue to discuss the implications of income inequality on a population's health.