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Food, Climate Change and Migration: Public Engagement Forums

Because it is difficult to measure migration and track people’s movements, we are not yet fully aware of how environmental challenges and the industrialization of food production affects immigration.

Which is why it is crucial that we establish a dialogue between academics, students, policy analysts and – most importantly – refugee communities.

Yıldız Atasoy, the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with SFU Public Square and SFU Continuing Studies, will convene a series of forums about the relationships between climate change, food insecurity and immigration, each hosted by an internationally recognized scholar.

The lived experience of refugee communities will be at the forefront of these dialogues. As such, these events are by invitation only. If you feel you could contribute to them, please reach out to


SFU Harbour Centre
Room 1400
515 W Hastings Street

We respectfully acknowledge that this event takes place on the Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm First Nations.


Three Public Sessions

Spanish, Farsi and Arabic Translation

We have reserved six seats in each session for those requiring Spanish translation, six for those requiring Farsi translation and 12 for those requiring Arabic translation.

Please reserve the appropriate ticket when registering.


We are happy to offer a limited number of $50 honoraria to thank you for your participation in this event. To claim your honoraria, please register for an event and email

We all Live from the Land

Sat, 14 Sep 2019 | 1-4pm

Dr. Harriet Friedmann

University of Toronto

Dr. Friedmann is a professor emerita of the University of Toronto. She is a food system analyst, writer and lecturer. Her PhD from Harvard University, crosses Rural Sociology and World Systems, by studying food systems and their relationship to economies, finance, migration, and inter state power.

A Third Emergent Migrant Subject Not Recognized in Law

Sat, 5 Oct, 2019 | 11am-2pm

Prof. Saskia Sassen

Columbia University   

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Her latest books are the 5th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2018) and Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014, now out in 18 languages.) She is the recipient of diverse awards, including multiple doctor honoris causa, the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences, and made a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of Netherland.

Climates of Crisis: Food, Power and Civilizational Transitions, 1300-2020

Sat, 16 Nov, 2019 | 1-4pm

Dr. Jason W. Moore

Binghamton University

Dr. Jason W. Moore is an environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University, where he is professor of sociology. His books and essays on environmental history, capitalism, and social theory have been widely recognized and he coordinates the World-Ecology Research Network.


Kris Archie

Kris Archie, a Secwepemc and Seme7 woman from the Ts’qescen First Nation, is passionate about heart-based community work and facilitating positive change. In her own words: “My lived experiences as a mixed blood woman, mother and community member inform my desire for inclusion, accessibility and justice.”

Kris was the project manager for the Vancouver Foundation’s youth homelessness initiative, called Fostering Change before becoming the executive director of “The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada,” an open network to promote giving, sharing and philanthropy in Aboriginal communities across the country. In all of her roles, Kris works to transform philanthropy and contribute to positive change by creating spaces of learning, relationship-building and activation. Kris is also an instructor with Simon Fraser University's Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate.



  •  There has been a 45% increase since 2015 in the number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people in the world.

    • Approximately 60% of these refugees are from Syria (30%), South Sudan (11.7%), the Central African Republic (10.7%) and Afghanistan (7.2%).

  • Between 2015 and 2017, Canada settled approximately 94,000 refugees, 51,000 of whom were Syrian.

  • British Columbia experienced a 76% increase in the number of new refugees in 2017 over 2016 levels, many of whom were settled in Metro Vancouver.

Because of the difficulties of measuring migration and tracking people’s movements, we are not yet aware of the combined effects of environmental challenges and industrialization of food production on immigration. Thus, it is crucial to establish dialogue and engagement around topics of climate change, food insecurity and migration.

Registration Disclaimer

As this event is free, and free events routinely have a high number of no-shows, it is our policy to overbook. In case of a full event, registration may not guarantee entry. Seating is limited and will be available to registered attendees on a first-come, first-served basis.    

Venue Information

SFU Harbour Centre is located at 515 W. Hastings St, and is located a brief walk from Waterfront station and numerous bus stops. Bike stalls are available outside the main entrance. Nearby parking is available at 500 & 400 W. Cordova St.

Washrooms & Accessibility

  • There are washrooms located on all floors of the building. Accessible, private bathrooms and gender-neutral washroom stalls are available on the first floor in the east corridor.
  • All floors within the building are serviced by elevators.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this event’s accessibility, feel free to connect with us at or 778-782-5959. If you require ASL or other language interpretation please submit this request no later than 3 weeks in advance.



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