Can the Okanagan Achieve Social Sustainability?

UBC Dialogues: Kelowna - Can the Okanagan Achieve Social Sustainability?

Event Description

The Okanagan has one of the oldest populations in North America, raising questions about its future as a socially and economically sustainable community. How will the region retain its youth and attract ongoing investment and newcomers? What social, cultural, and economic mixes are desirable?

As well as being home to long-standing residents, the Okanagan attracts seasonal waves of migrant workers, tourists, and retiring snowbirds. Does the current demographic mix position the region for long-term well-being? How does the population affect the experience of belonging?

Join experts from UBC and the community for a discussion about the expected challenges, opportunities, and benefits of fostering a region rich in its mix of religions, world views, and cultural backgrounds.




Paul Kennedy – Host, CBC Ideas


  • Robert Fine – Director, Economic Development Commission (strong proponent of attracting business to the area, retaining youth, etc…)
  • Shirley Chau, BSW’96 – Assistant Professor, UBC Department of Social Work
  • Carlos Teixeira – Associate Professor, UBC Department of Geography
  • Alden Habacon – Director, Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development, UBC



Speaker Bios

Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy is a veteran broadcaster and award-winning documentarist. Since 1999, he has hosted CBC Radio’s Ideas and is well known to CBC Radio listeners as a regular replacement host on other such flagship programs as Morningside, Stereo Morning and Arts National.

He has produced and presented close to 200 documentaries for Ideas over the past 26 years, covering topics he playfully describes as “all over the intellectual map.”

Paul has a BA from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He’s done post-graduate work at the University of Toronto where he studied with Marshall McLuhan. As well as hosting Ideas, Paul continues his documentary work and provides regular profiles of important contemporary thinkers.

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