Fifth Annual Global Conference

Jusoor is delighted to invite you to attend our 5th Annual Global Conference

#RefugeesWelcome: Canada’s Response to the Syrian Crisis and the Road Ahead

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

October 14th, 2017 | 8:30 AM – 4:10 PM

Followed by a fundraising gala dinner and art auction at the King Edward Hotel

ATTEND THE JUSOOR FIFTH ANNUAL GLOBAL CONFERENCE

As the Syrian conflict enters its 7th year, thousands of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes for refuge in other countries. Since November 2015, Canada has resettled 40,000 Syrian refugees into Canada. Jusoor’s Fifth Annual Global Conference focuses on Canada’s response to the Syrian crisis.

Our aim is to provide a space for the sharing and cultivation of ideas — to engage corporations, non-profit organizations, community organizers, and established Syrian communities in North America and around the world so that we can collectively learn from challenges, scale successes and mobilize support.

The conference will focus on the following themes:

Social Integration and Inclusion through Higher Education Opportunities

Integration through the educational system is vital for any refugee. In Canada, the chance to partake in the educational system helps newcomers get a more holistic understanding of the Canadian system, and provides a solid basis upon which refugees can acquire local experience and knowledge. School-aged refugees adapt much faster and more smoothly into their new homes because their school experience plays a huge part in their integration. However, access for refugees to higher education opportunities in Canada is proving to be a difficult endeavor. Many young, ambitious Syrians who were once studying in their home country now find themselves on new shores facing a new and daunting set of challenges.

Keeping these challenges in mind, we will be bringing higher education providers, private organizations and the Syrian refugee community together in a conversation about how to realize the academic success of refugees. By doing so, we will highlight the progress that has been made in helping Syrian refugees access higher education opportunities, while also exploring new ideas and initiatives to improve their integration and inclusion in society.

Opportunities and Challenges to Economic Integration

Canada admits Syrian refugees on the basis of compassion rather than economic class. It is safe to say that economic integration is often difficult for many immigrants to Canada, let alone refugees who have been forced to often leave behind their country and homes with very little. The speedy economic integration of Syrians into the workforce is often affected by such things as a lack of language skills and networks, the difficulty of transferring job qualifications across borders, legal constraints, and a lack of how job searches work in other countries. The conference will address these issues and will look at innovative measures currently being used to overcome these challenges.

Presenting Thriving Social Integration Solution and Case Studies

By harnessing the power of partnerships and the diversity of Canadian society, Jusoor aims to tackle one the most pressing issues of our time—how to help a generation of youth affected by war– by creating a space to share and cultivate ideas, engage stakeholders, and mobilize a response. This series of workshops will use real case studies to discuss and further develop ideas related to Youth Led Initiatives in Supporting Higher Education, Private Sponsorship Models and the Best Practices in Social Integration. By looking at the real-life stories of students, academics, corporations, non-profit organizations, community organizers, innovators, and members of civil society as they address the crisis of refugee integration, we hope to create more effective alliances and to find new ways to empower new generations of Syrian youth for a brighter tomorrow—for refugees in Canada and around the world.

Similar to our last four global conferences — New York in 2012, London in 2013, LA in 2015, and Berlin in 2016 — we expect this conference to draw over 200 participants from around the world, including Syrian leaders in all fields as well as students. We very much hope you will be able to join us.

 

Conference Information

 Program 

Schedule

Conference Program

Please click here to view the attachment.

Panels

Panel 1: Social Integration and inclusion through higher education opportunities

This panel will discuss the following questions:

  • In what ways can higher education facilitate social and cultural integration for a newcomer?
  • How are Canada’s higher education providers dealing with the influx of student refugees? What are the opportunities for growth in terms of the current initiatives or in new initiatives?
  • How can student refugees be assisted in accessing higher education? Are there any possible ideas or initiatives to facilitate access?
  • How can non-profit organizations and higher education providers collaborate towards improving access to student refugees?

Panel 2: Opportunities and challenges to economic integration

Key questions that will be addressed:

  • What are the primary challenges that need to be addressed to facilitate the economic integration of newcomers?
  • What innovative measures can we implement to speed the process of refugee economic empowerment?
  • What routes can Syrians use to achieve self-sufficiency? What is the most efficient strategy for Syrians to transition into the workforce?
  • How can we assist newcomers with entrepreneurship mindsets to establish profitable businesses subject to the challenges at hand? How can we make economic resources more accessible to Syrians?

Workshops

By harnessing the power of partnerships and the diversity that is characteristic of Canadian society, Jusoor aims to tackle one the most pressing issues of our time by providing a space for sharing and cultivating idea, engaging all stakeholders to learn from challenges and successes and mobilize knowledge.

The conference workshop segment brings unique stories within the resettlement arena, submitted by students, academics, corporations, non-profit organizations, community organizers, developers, innovators, and/or members of the community who will be presenting innovative case studies and real life experiences that have successfully contributed to newcomers social integration. Workshop formats are designed to be interactive, sharing successes, from conception to implementation.

Youth Led Initiatives

In this workshop, we will hold an intimate discussion with students and youth who have started initiatives for refugees in higher education. Through our discussions, we hope to tackle some pertinent issues related to student life today.

  • First and foremost, how can we build models where a multiplier effect can be realized—where students who were once in need become activists who are now on the giving end?
  • What drives and ensures sustainability of youth-led initiatives, including maintaining volunteers?
  • What inspired students to take action?
  • What are challenges that are particular to youth-led initiatives and what support is needed for them to thrive?
  • What assumptions did the youth find to be untrue about the students they were trying to help or their method of program implementation? And what outcomes were unexpected?

These are just some of the questions that we might tackle as we aim to better facilitate the social and cultural integration of newcomers to higher education settings.

The Private Sponsorship Model, a Deep Dive

Across Canada, the private sponsorship of refugee families is one of the most popular ways of resettlement. Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, private groups and even individual families are adopting refugee families. By hearing from the real experiences of sponsors and resettled families, we hope to delve deep into the frustrations and successes of the private sponsorship model.

Through an honest discussion with these families and individuals, we hope to find new ways to help new families and sponsors adapt to the ever changing needs of these two groups. This workshop will try to assess the best practices of the private sponsorship model.

  • How can a sponsor both help, while also guide a family toward complete independence?
  • What happens if a family has not achieved independence within 6 months or a year?
  • How can sponsors help when families are worried about extended family members who are still in conflict areas or maybe in camps?
  • How do new-coming families feel could be enhanced about the private-sponsorship system? And what did they most appreciate about it?

Best Practices in Social Integration

This workshop will focus on the best practices of social integration of refugees by inviting leaders from local NGOs, resettlement agencies, university campuses, and community groups to discuss the best practices of social integration.

  • What are the barriers to social integration?
  • How has integration been successful while respecting the newcomers’ native culture?
  •  How has a community mobilized to take action towards integration? And how does that look when done by the host community versus the incoming one?
  • What are the best models of social integration, including for different age groups and genders?
  • While students and those who join the workforce are often first to integrate—what about those who are often left at home to take care of the kids?
  • What is the goal here, and where are the gaps?

Disruptor Labs

Through our competitive disruptor labs, we will look at innovative solutions to the challenges facing refugees (in Canada and internationally) by inviting entrepreneurs, developers and innovators to submit their innovative solutions to social problems. Applicants must submit their applications online and must have at least reached the prototype phase. Finalists will present their work at the conference and compete for innovation awards in three categories of Education and Learning, Career and Economic Development, and Policy Disruption.

Education and Learning

A generation of youth is bound to be lost forever as they slip into an education gap. Children have been denied the right to primary school and teens to university. Education is the surest way to economic prosperity, dignity, and long term wellbeing. What are innovators doing to disrupt what is already being done to bridge the gap refugees are facing? This is not about increasing funding or capacity for existing methods to educate refugees per se. This is about finding existing methods, their flaws and inefficiencies, and then disrupting them. What disruptive minds out there are tackling this issue and what have they come up with?

Career and Economic Development

Career success is empowerment, for an individual and her or his entire family. When persons are displaced from their homes and countries, whether it’s a limbo period in refugee camps, or slipping into poverty upon resettlement in another country, refugees face hardships economically and find it extremely challenging to shatter the barrier of steel. We’ve seen a great deal of government programs and community initiatives to help displaced persons stand up on their feet and make ends meet; whether they are job boards, mentorship programs, or resume workshops. What more can be done? Who is thinking outside the box?

Policy Disruption

Entrepreneurship is bottom-up. And it works. Policy, on the other hand, is top-down. It works too. Whether it’s disrupting the policy framework in refugee camps or changing the policies in host governments, the inner spark of a refugee will remain forever in the darkness if policies are not supportive. How do we evaluate policies that are favorable to refugees? How can we come up with result-oriented policies that bring about immediate change and how do we ensure they are implemented?


Submit your Disruptors Lab Proposal

Speakers

Panel 1: Social Integration and inclusion through higher education opportunities
Gavin Brockett

Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Learning and Associate Professor of Middle East and Islamic History, Wilfrid Laurier University

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Gavin Brockett

Katherine Miller

Global Education in Emergencies Specialist, IIE

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Katherine Miller

Massa Mufti-Hamwi

Co-Founder & Chair, Sonbola

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Massa Mufti-Hamwi

Roua Alkadi

Biochemical Engineering Student, Ryerson University

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Roua Alkadi


Nadia Abu-Zahra

Associate Professor of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa

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Nadia Abu-Zahra

Panel 2: Opportunities and challenges to economic integration

Dana Wagner

Canada Partnerships Advisor, Talent Beyond Boundaries

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Dana Wagner

Jim Estill

Karim Bardeesy

Distinguished Visiting Professor, Special Adviser to the President, Ryerson University

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Karim Bardeesy

Lori Wilkinson

Professor of Sociology and Dean of St. John’s College, University of Manitoba

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Lori Wilkinson


Orlando Ferro

Executive Director, Quinte Immigration Services

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Orlando Ferro

Other
John Troy

Mayor, Toronto

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John Troy

Lara Setrakian

News Deeply

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Lara Setrakian

Leen Al Zaibak


Disruptor Labs Jury

Aisha Bukhari

Co-Founder, Attollo Social Enterprise

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Aisha Bukhari

Ami Shah

Co-Founder and CEO, Peekapak

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Ami Shah

Hussam Ayyad

Director of Startup Services, DMZ

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Hussam Ayyad


Rama Chakaki

Co-Founder, VIP.fund

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Rama Chakaki

Ramzi Jaber

Co-Founder, Visualizing Impact

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Ramzi Jaber

Tariq Fancy

Founder and CEO, The Rumie Initiative

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Tariq Fancy

 

Logistics

Why Canada?

Since November 2015, Canada has resettled 40,000 Syrian refugees through their refugee protection programs. And over the last two years Canada has received great international recognition for its treatment of refugees; many, in fact, have begun to take notice and are tracking the progress and best practices of resettlement from the Canadian perspective. Furthermore, the tone of the Canadian government has helped legitimize the cause of refugees and spurred Canadian citizens to play a direct role in the resettlement effort.

What has been particularly phenomenal is the role that private sponsorship groups have played in the process. In 2016, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Countries applauded Canada for being the first country among a handful of states to allow private groups to take on the costs and obligations associated with refugee resettlement. Such a move has allowed volunteer activities and citizen-led initiatives to flourish, and pushed individuals and organizations to find innovative and out-of the-box resettlement solutions and ideas.

For these reasons, Jusoor’s Fifth Annual Global Conference focuses on Canada’s response to the Syrian crisis.

Venue

Jusoor 2017 Conference
October 14, 2017
8:30 AM: Registration opens
9:00 AM – 4:10 PM: Conference

Desautels Hall (Second Floor, South Building)
Rotman School of Management

University for Toronto
105 St George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3E6
Canada

  • To get to the conference by public transportation:
    The nearest subway stations are St. George, Museum and Spadina.

  • Vehicle Access:
    Paid parking is available at the underground parking for the Rotman School of Business at $4.00/ half hour and $20.00 Maximum until 10pm. The entrance is located on St. George Street, just south of Sussex.

  • Wheelchair access:
    The building is wheelchair accessible at the main, southwest, rear, and secondary rear entrances.

  • Bicycle Parking:
    Bike racks are available for use near the main entrance of the building.

Jusoor 2017 Fundraising Gala and Art Auction
October 14, 2017
6 PM: Reception
7 PM: Dinner

Omni King Edward Hotel
37 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5C 1E9
Canada

 

Hotels

Jusoor has reserved blocks of rooms for two nights (October 13 and 14, 2017) for those attending our conference in the hotels listed below:

Holiday Inn Toronto Bloor Yorkville
Website: www.hitorontoblooryorkville.ca
Phone: +1-416-968-0010
Booking code: TJ5
Rate: One queen bed for CAD $169.99 + tax, single/double occupancy; two double beds: CAD $179.99 + tax, single/double occupancy

Omni Hotels Reservations
Website: ssl.omnihotels.com/Omni (please use Chrome, FireFox, or Safari)
Phone: +1-800-843-6664
Business hours: 8am to 1am EST
Booking code: 1710JUSOOR

Partners and Sponsors

For partnership and sponsorship opportunities please contact

rania.younes@jusoorsyria.com

Thanks to our Media Partner

COVER THE JUSOOR FIFTH ANNUAL GLOBAL CONFERENCE

 

Gala Dinner Information

Purchase a Gala Ticket

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