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Introducing the OCAD U President’s Speaker Series

Jan 18, 2024

DXC23 Keynote Speakers Featured as Part of New OCAD U President’s Speaker Series 2024

DemocracyXChange Summit 2024 will take place from April 11 to 13 in Toronto. OCAD University is pleased to present its President’s Speaker Series featuring two of the keynote speakers from DXC23.

More than 2 billion people, in over 50 countries, will go to the polls in 2024 via local, regional or national elections; but more elections do not necessarily equate more democracy. OCAD U’s ongoing participation in the annual democracy summit—alongside co-presenters the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University and Open Democracy Project—is one example of how Canada’s oldest and largest art and design university is driving positive impact and creating a better, more sustainable future.

President’s Speaker Series Video 1: Featuring MARIA RESSA

Watch Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, journalist and press freedom fighter Maria Ressa take you on a journey of her latest memoir, How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future, which serves as a wake-up call about how we cannot take our democratic freedoms for granted. She explains how the spread of misinformation through social media platforms is threatening our democracy and accelerating authoritarianism around the world. While Ressa spoke about this in March 2023, her insights are so relevant today.


President’s Speaker Series Video 2: Featuring RAJNI PERERA

Watch contemporary multimedia artist and OCAD U graduate, Rajni Perera speak about the threats to artistic freedom including funding cuts, gentrification and commercialization. She articulates the role of artists and designers in protecting democracy by providing the blueprint for “dissent, assurance, condemnation, feeling safe and feeling seen.” Now more than ever, our society needs artists like Perera to leverage their creativity and design-thinking mindset to create solutions and develop ways to protect democracy.



“We hope you enjoy this series recorded at DXC23 and we look forward to seeing you at the next summit in April 2024.”


Ana Serrano

President and Vice-Chancellor

OCAD University

Presented by

DemocracyXChange is a collaboration of:
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