SFU Public Square, a signature initiative designed to spark, nurture and restore community connections, establishes Simon Fraser University as the go-to convener of serious and productive conversations about issues of public concern.
More than a single place or program, SFU Public Square assembles the hearts, minds, and talents of diverse communities to promote inclusive, intelligent, and inspiring dialogue. SFU Public Square events and offerings proclaim SFU’s vision to be Canada’s leading community-engaged research university.
SFU Public Square will host an annual Community Summit to investigate—and recommend practical solutions to—pressing issues in B.C. and Canada. The first Community Summit, Alone Together: Connecting in the City, was held in September 2012 on the theme of isolation and disconnection in the urban environment. For our second Community Summit, Charting BC's Economic Future, we explored issues regarding BC's economic future. During the 2014 Community Summit, Innovation - The Shock of the Possible, the complex topic of innovation was explored from the economical, educational, environmental, and healthcare perspectives. In 2015, the Community Summit, We The City, we focused on the theme of city building, reminding residents of the power they hold to shape their communities. In 2016 we did not host a Community Summit but we returned to the table with our Community Summit, Who Needs Canada in 2017, where the 150th anniversary of confederation prompted a critical opportunity to think about the role of Canada in the world today. In 2018, Brave New Work invited the public to consider the question how can we all thrive in the changing world of work? In 2019, Confronting the Disinformation Age considered how the proliferation of disinformation is impacting society, and how we can ensure stronger and healthier information ecosystems and communities.