President’s Welcome

By: /
20 June, 2011
By: Jennifer Jeffs

Past President of the Canadian International Council (CIC).

Welcome to, the CIC’s digital communications platform. Building on the historic mandate of the CIC—and of its predecessor the Canadian Institute for International Affairs—to promote discussion and debate on international affairs, we have designed the site to become a hub for those discussions, and to amplify and augment citizen engagement with international affairs by bringing the discussions online.  Our new site introduces a number of signature features that we hope you will develop the habit of visiting regularly.

The first feature you encounter on the site is The Think Tank. In this section, the CIC aggregates and analyzes work being done on international affairs in research institutes across the country, and internationally. The carefully curated content in The Think Tank will cover a wide range of topics and will operate in multi-media including print, audio, photo-essays, and videos.

Roundtable is the meeting place of our signature bloggers, a group of dynamic young thinkers on Canadian foreign policy who are located both in Canada and abroad. John Hancock will be participating from the WTO in Geneva; Roland Paris  from the University of Ottawa; André Pratte from La Presse in Montreal; and Jennifer Welsh from Oxford University.

About thirty high profile Canadian figures are participating in our Rapid Response section. These eminent personalities, representing a variety of sectors—academia, policy, and corporate—will respond to a timely “question of the week” on international issues by posting short responses on the site. We expect this to be a lively feature!

Our Global Events Calendar  is a resource for events and special dates around the world, and is toggled with the CIC Events Calendar  of branch activities. The site will also allow us to share the many—over 150 last year—events produced by our network of 16 branches across the country.

Finally, Dispatch, the CIC editors blog, provides ongoing commentary on both the work being done by the CIC, and on international affairs overall by myself, acting as Editor-in-Chief, our Senior Editor, Dr. Taylor Owen, a current Banting Fellow, and Anouk Dey, M.Phil, a current Action Canada fellow.

The editorial and technology platforms for the site were developed and built in collaboration with The Mark, a producer of multimedia content and conversations that feature influencers worldwide.

We invite you to enter our site, enjoy, and participate. All sections on the site include interactive commenting and social sharing options, and we encourage you to get involved and use them. We are standing by, eager to transmit your views through the CIC networks.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


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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