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Annual Lecture

Inaugurated in 2012

The Pluralism Annual Lecture Series recognizes the leadership of compelling individuals whose work has made or is making a practical difference in the world. Leadership for pluralism takes many forms and crosses many sectors. It can be exercised on the global stage, in national parliaments, in newsrooms, or in local schools and meeting halls. Vision and courage are the hallmarks of leadership – the foresight to imagine a better world and the determination to make it happen.


JusticeSachs upcomingJustice Albie Sachs
The Battle for the South African Constitution: Protecting Minorities Through Power-Sharing or a Bill of Rights?

May 19, 2016

Nelson Mandela and FW De Klerk shared the Nobel Prize for Peace for helping South Africa move peacefully from apartheid to non-racial democracy. But in the actual constitution-making process, the debates were fierce. Negotiations broke down. There were massacres. The basic conflict was over how best to ensure that South African blacks and whites could live peaceful and dignified lives together. Justice Albie Sachs, who was at the heart of the process, will explain how the conflict was resolved and South Africa ended up having one of the most admired Constitutions in the world at the fifth Annual Pluralism Lecture. 

Moderated by Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist with the Globe and Mail.

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beverleymclachlin APL2015 Global Centre for PluralismChief Justice Beverley McLachlin
Reconciling Unity and Diversity in the Modern Era: Tolerance and Intolerance

May 28, 2015

How can we live together? That is the fundamental challenge of the modern world. Together, democracy and human rights offer a hopeful respnse: we must build political communities that not only tolerate, but draw on and celebrate their internal diversity. On May 28, the Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin spoke on embracing tolerance as the Centre’s fourth pluralism lecturer.

Moderated by David Walmsley, Editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail.

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antonioguterres 2014lectureAntónio Guterres
Forced Displacement and the promise of pluralism

May 29, 2014

As of January 2013, the total population of concern to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) numbered over 35 million. Many refugees are displaced from their homes by violence stemming from ethnic or sectarian conflicts. The absence or breakdown of pluralist values and institutions is a major driver of local and global refugee crises. On May 29, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres unravelled the connections between forced displacement and the promise of pluralism as the Centre’s third Pluralism Lecturer.

Moderated by David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of the Globe and Mail.

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kofiannan annuallecturepageKofi Annan
Pluralism: A Key Challenge of the 21st Century

May 23, 2013


Drawing from his experience in managing global conflict and change, including his recent interventions in Kenya and Syria, Kofi Annan reflected on the major threat posed to peace and security by sectarian division. Reflecting on the main attributes of pluralism and providing insight into how diversity can be best managed to build healthy and sustainable societies, Mr. Annan argued that the diversity within our international community – and in individual societies -- is a source of pride and strength, not of discord.

Moderated by John Stackhouse, Editor-in-Chief of the Globe and Mail.

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