Victoria Forum 2020

Join us at the Victoria Forum

Democracy in decline, emissions in ascent:  Signposts for a more resilient future

Over the last decade, analysts have tracked a marked decline in the free expression and protection of democratic values and freedoms internationally.  During this same period, global greenhouse gas emissions have risen sharply, bringing us ever closer to the dangerous limits that our 2030 global climate targets seek to avoid. The last few years, and indeed months, have shown us how and where the systems and structures on which modern societies have been built have fractured in the face of cascading crises.

With a focus on global climate change, PICS Program Manager at University of Victoria, Kristy Faccer, is co-chairing this emissions session.

Many are calling for new visions of the future.  

This November's US election is one among a number of critical waypoints in re-orienting our global democratic and climate trajectories. It will also be a test of our collective response. Join our esteemed panelists as they discuss how, in different parts of the globe, we can achieve a bold new vision for society.

Co-Chair & Moderator:  
Kristy Faccer, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS)

Learn and attend more sessions at the Victoria Forum
November 12-13, & 19, 2020

The Victoria Forum
A partnership between the University of Victoria and Senate of Canada

The Victoria Forum convenes evidence-based conversations and stimulates creative thinking to develop innovative ideas and actionable solutions to contemporary and urgent environmental, economic, and social challenges. This year's theme is Bridging Divides in the Wake of a Global Pandemic.

Detailed information about the Virtual Victoria Forum’s program and speakers is available at

Under the theme “Bridging Divides in the Wake of a Global Pandemic”, this three-day conference aims to foster evidence-based dialogue and to develop innovative solutions to today’s urgent challenges.

This forum brings together regional, national and international change-makers with different backgrounds, perspectives and expertise to tackle the issues most important to our country and the world.

The Virtual Victoria Forum program includes more than 90 speakers, in 19 sessions, from more than 23 countries.


Ted Parson
Ted Parson

Edward A. (Ted) Parson is Dan and Rae Emmett Professor of Environmental Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles. Parson studies international environmental law and policy, the role of science and technology in policy-making, and the political economy of regulation. His articles have appeared in Science, Nature, Climatic Change, Issues in Science and Technology, the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. His most recent books are The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change (with Andrew Dessler) (2nd ed. Cambridge, 2010), and Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy (Oxford, 2003), which won the 2004 Sprout Award of the International Studies Association and is widely recognized as the authoritative account of the development of international cooperation to protect the ozone layer.

Saliem Fakir
Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir is the Executive Director of the African Climate Foundation. Prior to establishing the ACF, Saliem served as the Head of the Policy & Futures Unit of WWF South Africa for 11 years. Saliem has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and an Associate Director for the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at Stellenbosch University. Prior to that he served as Director of the World Conservation Union, South Africa (IUCN-SA) for eight years. Saliem has served on a number of Boards and is a prolific writer who contributes regularly to leading South African publications like Engineering News, Business Day and the Daily Maverick.


Gretchen Goldman
Gretchen Goldman

Gretchen Goldman is the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. For nearly a decade, Dr. Goldman has led research efforts on the role of science in public policy, focusing on topics ranging from scientific integrity in government decision-making, to political interference in science-based standards on fossil energy production, climate change, and environmental justice. Dr. Goldman has testified before Congress and currently serves as an expert on the Public Health Rulemaking of the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) of the Department of Conservation; the UNESCO and American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Consultation Group on how the US science ecosystem compares to the UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers. Additionally, she serves on the 500 Women Scientists Leadership Board,  the advisory board of InfluenceMap, and the Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Her words have appeared in Science, Nature, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, BBC, NPR, and MarketPlace. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in atmospheric science from Cornell University.

Richard Florizone
Richard Florizone

Dr. Richard Florizone is President and CEO of IISD, and President Emeritus of Dalhousie University. Originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Richard has also held senior roles with the Boston Consulting Group, Cambridge University, Bombardier Aerospace, and the International Finance Corporation. Part scientist, part strategist, Richard has a strong track record of forging collaborative partnerships to build institutions and communities that are intelligent, inclusive and inspiring. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from MIT and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.

Kristy Faccer
Kristy Faccer

Kristy Faccer has two decades of experience working in Canada and internationally as an advisor, researcher and practitioner in the fields of climate change and sustainability. She has been invited to speak and participate in projects on nearly every continent and in the process, engage with and learn from leaders and innovators across all sectors of society. Kristy’s written work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, books and the popular media and covered topics from most recently, corporate sustainability and the green economy to climate resilience. She is a trained facilitator, holds a Master’s degree from the University of Toronto and recently completed her PhD in management at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. Her doctoral dissertation drew on framing and social movement theory to explain how attention to context and collaboration between unlikely allies can positively shape climate action within and beyond individual organizations.