Wednesday, October 12th 2022 (Ottawa) – Cooperation Canada is excited to host the International Cooperation Futures Festival at the Shaw Centre, located on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation, colonially known as Ottawa, Canada, from 17th to 20th October 2022. 

The festival will bring together over 300 change-makers from Canada and the world to examine the trends and disruptors that are shaping the future of international cooperation. Sessions will cover the future of the humanitarian system, the global hunger crisis, intersectional feminism, climate justice, decolonizing development, democracy, human rights and innovative finance. 

At a time when collision of COVID-19, conflict and climate crises has set the world back decades on poverty, Russia’s war on Ukraine has led to massive movements of people, the world faces a global hunger crisis, and there’s a resurgence of anti-democratic and anti-rights forces around the world, these conversations are more important than ever. 

Speakers and participants will come from civil society, government, parliament, academia, business and philanthropy. 

The Festival at a Glance 

The International Cooperation Futures Festival will be an in-person conference. Kate Higgins, Cooperation Canada’s CEO, explains: 

We heard from our members, government officials, civil society partners and others in the international cooperation ecosystem that there is a strong desire to come together in person – to reconnect, unlearn, envision and engage on the future of international cooperation. We are excited to welcome hundreds of people to this festival, to engage with new ideas, make new connections, and reflect on the collective action we need to take to realize a fairer, safer and more sustainable world.” 

The festival will feature plenaries, interactive sessions, and networking experiences. World-leading social activists, analysts, journalists and decision-makers will attend the festival.  

Here are some of the festival’s highlights: 

  • The Walrus Talks public event and reception on the global hunger crisis at the National Gallery of Canada, featuring: Rachel Blais, Executive Director, Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre; Sophie Gebreyes, Country Director, Ethiopia, World Lutheran Federation; Marcel Groleau, President, UPA Développement international; Neil Hetherington, Chief Executive Officer, Daily Bread Food Bank; Jean-Charles Le Vallée, Country Representative – Canada, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture; and Melana Roberts, Chair, Food Secure Canada. This is a joint event co-organized by The Walrus, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, World Vision Canada, World Food Programme, and Cooperation Canada. 
  • High-level plenary session on trends and disruptors shaping international cooperation, with: Katelynne Herchak, Manager – Indigenous Governance & Decolonial Practice and Policy, head of VIDEA’s Arctic Gender Policy programme; Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada; Dorothy Nyambi, President/CEO, MEDA; Magalie Noel Dresse, Co-President, Centre for Haitian Excellence; and Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive, ODI. The session will be moderated by prominent Canadian Radio-Canada journalist Sophie Langlois. 
  • High-level plenary session on imagining the future of international cooperation featuring: Françoise Moudouthe, CEO, African Women’s Development Fund (virtual, in French); Heba Aly, CEO, New Humanitarian; Rasha Sharma, Founder, Peace Track Initiative; Bryanna Brown, Indigenous land and climate activist; Joseph Messinga Nkonga, Permanent Secretary – Fierté Afrique Francophone (in French). This session will be moderated by Jean Lebel, President of the International Development Research Centre. 
  • A conversation with the Minister of International Development, the Honorable Harjit Sajjan, with Rabi Adamu Musa, Founder, Mcrissar Foundation for Women and Girls – Nigeria; and Odette McCarthy, Executive Director, Equitas/Co-Chair of Board of Directors, Cooperation Canada. The session will be moderated by Afghan journalist in exile in Canada, Lotfullah Najafizada, CEO, AMU TV. 
  • Many more speakers and activities are featured. Check out the program here. 


About Cooperation Canada  

Cooperation Canada brings together Canada’s international development and humanitarian organizations and advocates for them by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, we work with partners both inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe, and sustainable for all.    


Press contact 

Gabriel Karasz-Perriau 

Communications Manager 

Cooperation Canada 

[email protected] 

(514) 945-0309