2024 Concordia Annual Summit Featured Sessions

Shaping Our Future: Expectations of COP29

As the urgency of the climate crisis continues to escalate, it becomes increasingly imperative for global stakeholders to come together, exchange ideas, and take decisive action. The 2024 UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP29, will take place in November, and businesses, governments, and communities are already engaging in conversations around governance, international negotiations, policy developments, and innovation to anticipate the expected outcomes and potential impact of COP29. This session will delve into the pivotal role of advancing climate change conversations in shaping our collective future.

Innovations in Food Security and Climate Resilience

As the global population continues to grow, coupled with the increasing impacts of climate change on agricultural systems, addressing food security challenges has never been more critical. Innovative approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices, such as carbon sequestration methods and sustainable land management techniques are needed to have a more sustainable food system. This session will explore how technological innovations are driving progress in reducing food waste and loss, mitigating emissions, and enhancing agricultural productivity to build resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Building Resilience: The Effects of Geopolitics on Global Trade and Supply Chains

Economic turmoil, geopolitical alliances, and shifting security landscapes are increasingly affecting the stability of global trade and supply chains. The effects of these issues are clear, with shortages of crucial resources ranging from food to semiconductors becoming increasingly widespread. With the likelihood of these issues continuing to grow, it is becoming increasingly important to find additional ways to build resilience into global trade and supply chains. This session will bring together cross-sector experts to discuss this issue, and what steps can be taken to solve it.

Strengthening Global Manufacturing to Ensure Economic Growth

The need for increased global manufacturing is on the rise. Demand for consumer goods and resources is growing, and it is becoming increasingly crucial to strengthen global manufacturing to meet this demand. In the face of continued global economic and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturing industries are facing complex and rapid challenges. This session will bring together global manufacturing experts for a timely conversation on the current challenges faced by the industry, and how cross-sector collaboration can strengthen global manufacturing.

Human Rights Advocacy in the Digital Age


In an era where connectivity is ubiquitous, harnessing the power of digital platforms as a central forum of public discourse, has become integral to advancing human rights and social progress. From well-funded social media campaigns to online activism out of traditionally ‘hard to reach’ areas, there are a myriad of opportunities as well as challenges presented by the digital landscape. How can technology be leveraged to amplify marginalized voices, challenge systemic injustices, and foster meaningful social change? What strategies can effectively safeguard online spaces for activism, and ensure inclusivity in the digital advocacy sphere? How can government and private sectors collaborate to uphold principles of free expression while combating hate speech and disinformation?

Development of the Future


We have the resources in the world to end world hunger today. Yet, the goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 is out of reach, suggesting the Global North’s development plans for the South desperately need a revision. Sustainable development from the Grassroots level practices inclusive and community-driven approaches to ensure that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not only achieved but also resonate with local contexts. By centering human rights principles in grassroots initiatives, we gain better insights into creating adaptive and sustainable communities and fostering social progress. For effective SDG implementation, we also must focus on technology integration, bottom-up feedback mechanisms, and data-driven monitoring for measurable success. Where did the grand development plan for the Global South go wrong? How can methods such as participatory planning and leveraging indigenous knowledge foster ownership and resilience within communities? And how can we create measurable, localized goals for social progress?

Digital-Financial Literacy as a Vehicle for Economic Inclusion

In a highly globalized world, and in an era increasingly characterized by the digitalization of essential services, access to necessary technological tools and platforms is critically important in enabling socio-economic mobility, addressing regional disparities, and advancing financial inclusion across the globe. On an individual level, resilience to economic crises remains dangerously low, and lack of digital literacy remains a key structural barrier to reaching equitable financial inclusion. As such, this timely panel discussion will examine the role of both private and public entities in effectively addressing and closing the digital-financial gap, with a particular focus on reaching vulnerable members of society across emerging markets.

The Future of Workforce Development: Challenges and Opportunities

In recent years alone, marked by unprecedented economic disruptions and global crises, volatile conditions have resulted in a staggering global output loss of over $3.6 trillion. Affecting daily commercial activity across key sectors, inflation rates, productivity standards, and wider socio-economic opportunities, governments and private industry alike must strategize to develop long-term pathways toward sustainable growth. How can we collectively create a more prosperous and resilient future for generations to come?

Navigating the AI Revolution: Addressing Concerns and Charting a Path Forward

As Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to revolutionize industries and redefine how we live and work, there are growing concerns about its potential impacts on privacy, ethics, and socioeconomic equality. The implications of AI are present across diverse sectors, from healthcare and finance to transportation and beyond. This presents a need for responsible AI governance to mitigate risks and maximize benefits, ensuring that AI technologies serve the common good while upholding fundamental human values. What are the most pressing challenges to regulate AI across industries? How are public-private partnerships critical to ensure AI's ethical and inclusive usage?

Connectivity for All: Advancing Social Equity Through Digital Innovation

In an increasingly interconnected world, access to reliable connectivity has become a fundamental right, yet millions still lack adequate access, perpetuating divides in education, healthcare, and economic opportunity. Connectivity can serve as a powerful catalyst for social change and collective prosperity, as it helps close social gaps and provide opportunities to underserved communities worldwide. This session will explore how digital solutions are empowering communities and promoting economic mobility by tackling social challenges.

Harnessing the Power of the Arts for Cultural Diplomacy

In a globalized world, the role of the arts has transformative potential to foster understanding, bridge divides, and promote peace and mutual respect across diverse communities. Various forms of artistic expression, including visual arts, music, literature, theater, and film, serve as powerful tools in cultural diplomacy for promoting intercultural dialogue and building connections between people from different backgrounds. How can the arts be utilized to address global challenges, strengthen diplomatic relations, and promote social cohesion? How can cross-sector collaboration support and amplify the voices of artists from marginalized communities? And, how can these initiatives be effectively measured for their impact and sustainability?

Youth Perspectives on Navigating the Future: Where Are We Headed?

Throughout history, young people have been a force for change, and as we look to the next generation for a brighter, more sustainable, and equitable future, it's time to include them in the conversations.With rapid technological advancements, evolving socio-economic landscapes, and global crises such as climate change and pandemics, the future is more uncertain than ever. This group of next-generation movers and shakers will discuss their visions for the future, the key issues facing their generation, and how they as youth leaders are driving positive change.

Navigating a New Global Security Era: Women in Leadership

As the world reconvenes to shape the global agenda, complex issues pertaining to the current state of international security and peace are at the forefront of public-private sector debates. In a year marked by the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and the most severe escalations in the Israel-Hamas war to date, contributions from across all sectors towards collective security are paramount. Though women have held some of the highest-ranking national security positions in the US and elsewhere, the overall number of representation in such positions of leadership remains relatively low until recently. As such, join this dynamic discussion composed of all women leaders across strategic security positions to hear their insights on the current state of geopolitical dynamics.

Democracy in the Spotlight: The Implications of 2024’s Global Election Supercycle

In the final stretch to the highly anticipated Presidential election in the U.S., and in a year where over 40% of the world’s population and GDP will have been scheduled to face the election polls, the principle and practical execution of democracy itself is critically significant. Particularly in a period arguably characterized by waves of democratic ‘recession’, 2024 is set to be both a pivotal and defining year for the future trajectory of the international system as a whole, as changes in foreign policy and governance models subsequently affect critical geopolitical relations, energy markets, economic conditions, and social harmony. With a focus on a strategic analysis of the upcoming US Presidential election, this timely discussion will contextualize the wider electoral trends and global political movements at play, looking toward what the global citizen can expect in the years to come.

Increasing Global Accessibility to Healthcare

Global healthcare systems have made strong recovery efforts since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but continued geopolitical turmoil has weakened accessibility to adequate healthcare, especially in regions affected by violent conflict. This lack of accessibility has led to humanitarian crises, and steps must be taken to immediately address this pressing issue. Join us for this timely session on the state of the healthcare crisis, and how global experts are working to solve it.

Addressing the State of Mental Health Around the World


The state of mental health in young people around the world is tenuous. External factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and war have had deeply negative effects on the state of mental health. Through social media, exposure to these crises has never been greater. Immediate action must be taken to ensure that the state of global mental health of young people does not deteriorate even further. This session will bring together mental health experts for an important discussion on how this mental health crisis can be addressed.