Greetings from the CIC

A back-to-school greeting from the CIC President Jennifer Jeffs to students and professors of IR.

By: /
13 September, 2012
By: Jennifer Jeffs

Past President of the Canadian International Council (CIC).

A special CIC back-to-school greeting to students and professors, teachers, and researchers interested in international affairs and thoughtful about Canada’s role in the world.

The CIC launched last year to serve as a hub for conversation and debate and an aggregator of Canadian work on international issues. The features of the OpenCanada site allow for creative and substantive contributions and present unique possibilities for reader interaction: our Roundtable bloggers comment on topical international issues, our Think Tank section features work by thinkers and organizations both in Canada and around the world, and our Readings section highlights work by journalists and experts deserving of attention by Canadians.

We have also hosted in-depth series on key issues in foreign affairs today.

Our partnerships with The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, the Canadian Center for Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute, and the Trudeau Centre delivered ‘The New Humanitarians’, ‘The New Missionaries’, ‘The Future of Fighting: How the Canadian Military Must Adapt’, and ‘Peace vs. Justice: The ICC and its Alternatives’. Our Ask Baird series brought the foreign minister to our audience to answer questions from readers across the country.

To expose our audiences to the most engaging voices in foreign affairs conversations, we held in-person interviews as well as online chats. From audio, to film, to online conversations, we provided expert analysis on topics ranging from drone warfare to sustainable mining practices.

At home and abroad, our audience has grown exponentially since we started. has become a valuable resource for students, journalists, and professionals with diverse backgrounds and interests. Most importantly, has taken the CIC’s mandate to promote interest and discussion of international affairs into the online realm, where anyone can participate, complementing the role of the CIC’s network of 16 volunteer-led branches across the country, who held over 150 events last year. has links with foreign relations councils around the world. These organizations increasingly share ideas and insights online and through social media channels. Drawing on those international networks, we are able to deliver world-class content to readers within Canada and around the globe.

We invite you to be part of this network, to explore the content on our site, and join the discussions on our pages. We want to help you find opportunities through our OpenResources and OpenJobs pages, and to hear what issues you want to see covered by the OpenCanada team. is your hub for international issues. Open up your world with OpenCanada!

Photo courtesy of Reuters

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Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

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