Media Advisory - Robert B. Reich, Bill McKibben and Clara Hughes to headline 2016 Higher Education Summit

TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2016 /CNW/ - Former U.S. secretary of labor Robert B. Reich, internationally recognized climate-change activist Bill McKibben and Olympian Clara Hughes are among the featured speakers at the 2016 Higher Education Summit on Nov. 20 and 21 in Toronto.

Reich, the political economist and author who was secretary of labor in the Clinton administration from 1993 to 1997, will describe the impact of the U.S. election and Donald Trump's victory on income inequality in Canada and the U.S.

McKibben, the founder of the planet-wide movement, will explain how the world is violently out of balance and dramatic action is needed to reverse climate change. "It's not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war," McKibben wrote in the New Republic in August.

The conference opens with featured remarks by Hughes, the decorated Olympian who will share the raw but life-affirming story of her struggle with depression.

More than 700 delegates will be attending the 2016 Higher Education Summit and Premier's Awards gala. Other featured speakers this year include Andreas Schleicher, the director for education and skills at the OECD, and outdoor adventure athlete Will Gadd, whose presentation on risk and reward has been delivered worldwide.

Advanced Education and Skills Development Minister Deb Matthews will present the 2016 Premier's Awards for outstanding college graduates on Monday evening. There are 107 graduates from all 24 colleges nominated for this year's awards.

The annual Higher Education Summit, run by Colleges Ontario, is one of Canada's premier conferences on post-secondary education. The conference is open to the media. All sessions take place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel at 123 Queen Street West.

Key times:

Sunday, Nov. 20

1:15 p.m. –  Decorated Olympian Clara Hughes will share the life-affirming story of her struggle with depression and her message of forgiveness.

2:15 p.m.Andreas Schleicher, the director for education and skills at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, will explain how higher education can promote economic growth and social progress.

Monday, Nov. 21

8:30 a.m.Bill McKibben, internationally recognized climate-change activist, will offer insights about the environmental future.

9:30 a.m. – One of the world's top outdoor adventure athletes, Will Gadd, will explain how taking risks can help everyone get ahead.

1:15 p.m.Robert B. Reich, former secretary of labor, will deliver his keynote address on what this year's U.S. election means for Canada and the United States and its effect on inequality.

3:00 p.m. - Mobile learning experts Jason Dewling and Donna Church will teach how to successfully engage mobile learners — of all ages — where they live.

3:00 p.m.Erin Bury, technology and digital influencer, will discuss the larger digital trends to pay attention to — from the sharing economy to virtual reality — and provide advice on how to be ready for what's next.


Nov. 20 and 21, 2016


Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street West


The full agenda for the Higher Education Summit is available at:

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SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Amy Dickson, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7686,


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