Inequality seems to be the watchword of the moment in Fall 2012. It is on the minds of many, it seems, sometimes forming on surprising lips. Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, had this to say in a mid-September talk in Toronto to financiers, bankers, executives and lawyers: “In the U.S. over the last generation, we have been much better at generating wealth and much less good at distributing it." President Obama mentioned inequality in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, as did others who spoke there, notably Elizabeth Warren, then a Harvard Law Professor, now a U.S. Senator for Massachusetts, and co-author of the 2000 book The Fragile Middle Class. And the recent report of the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 focuses on the fundamental importance of social and environmental sustainability (including efforts to diminish social inequalities) to any country’s global competitiveness.
It is uncertain which is more puzzling: the sudden surge in inequality in developed countries in recent times, or the failure of this to generate a sufficient response in the form of a countervailing politics.
Personally, I have never been very good at them... which made me think: why not get a 47-day head start?
You can bet that a more progressive and equal Canada will be at the top of our resolutions in 2013, but why not get the ball rolling now? I’d like to share with you a special chance for you to play an important role for the next cohort of Canadian change leaders.
OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute is excited to welcome Dr. Rick Smith as its new Executive Director. Smith will take the helm of the rapidly-growing think-tank from Kathleen Monk, who will remain with the Institute as Senior Advisor.
“I am delighted to welcome Rick to the team,” said Broadbent Institute founder Ed Broadbent. “Rick is a talented organization-builder with a proven track record of positive growth in the Canadian not-for-profit community.”
Rick Smith joins the Broadbent Institute following nearly ten years as Executive Director of Environmental Defence, a leading Canadian charity with a focus on pollution reduction and human health. He is co-author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck, a bestselling 2009 book on the negative effects of toxic chemicals in everyday life.
With a Ph.D. from the University of Guelph, and history of work with a variety of progressive organizations, Smith’s career has been equal parts policy and politics. A strong proponent of the "green economy", Smith is one of the founders, with the United Steelworkers, of Blue Green Canada. He also played a central role in the creation of the Ontario Greenbelt, the largest in the world, and the Ontario Green Energy and Green Economy Act.
“Through its training of young activists, creation of high quality social democratic policy research, and commitment to leading public debate on those questions most critical to Canada’s future, the Broadbent Institute is rendering an important service to our country. I look forward to all that our growing team will achieve in the years ahead,” said Smith.
“As our founding Executive Director, Kathleen Monk has provided energetic, commendable leadership and built a solid foundation upon which the Broadbent Institute can continue to grow,” explained Broadbent. “On behalf of the Board I want to thank Kathleen for staying on as Senior Advisor as we embark on this next phase of the Institute’s future.”
Rick Smith will begin his work at the Broadbent Institute on January 7, 2013.