In partnership with SFU's school of communication

How Do We Leap?

Over the last five years, the word inequality has made it into mainstream political rhetoric. We’ve seen right-wing nationalism and left-wing optimism emerge as populist movements, partially in reaction to the acceleration of social and economic inequality within the capitalist system. In Canada, the Leap Manifesto has declared itself as an attempt to unite many different kinds of social movements in the fight against climate change, a fight that it argues will require a transformation of the capitalist system.

This track will explore how we can work to unite and organize the political left across issues and communities. What is new activism? Can a movement like the Leap Manifesto accomplish what Occupy wasn’t able to?

We welcome proposals for sessions that will be accessible to participants of all ages and backgrounds.

We are especially interested in sessions that:

  • Reflect or respond to modern critiques of activism (critiques include Micah White’s new book “The End Of Protest”).
  • Explore how activism is approached differently by groups who operate inside and outside of institutions.
  • Explore what traditional political organizing within parties has to offer in 2016? Is this changing in the activist landscape?
  • Respond to the typical arguments used to deter environmental movements from uniting with broader social movements such as labour or migrant rights.
  • Suggest strategies to counter “climate fear” and cynicism. How to respond to the fear that there is nothing to be done or the view that our way of life is too entrenched to do anything substantive about climate change?
  • Discuss the media representation of activist movements like Leap. Are the pundits destroying public support? What are the differences in critical coverage from mainstream and independent media?
  • Discuss best practices for how activism can be truly integrated across movements and include marginalized voices? What have we learned from Indigenous Resistance like #IdleNoMore and #OccupyINAC and other forms of activism?