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Tag: Chapter: Canada


Global Health/Global Justice Conference at Ryerson University: Toronto, May 7-8, 2015

In the last twenty years, extensive and uniform protections of intellectual property rights (IPRs) have been incorporated into the global trading system through initiatives such as the WTO\’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. Under this IPR regime, the development of new medicines is driven by the reward of high prices facilitated by temporary market exclusivity. While this method of incentivizing research has produced important innovations, it has also engendered unfortunate consequences. When a new medicine is protected from generic competition, its profit-maximizing price inevitably excludes a large proportion of the world\’s population, even in affluent countries such as Canada. As a result of this system of incentives, people suffer and die needlessly as the medicines they need are out of their reach, and research is focused on medicines that can be sold at high prices, rather than on those that would lead to the greatest improvements in human health.


ASAP Chapters: 15 and Growing Worldwide

ASAP now has fifteen Chapters launched or in development in Austria, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Mexico, Oceania, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and West Africa. With more than 1,200 ASAP members working and studying in universities, research centers, and NGOs worldwide, the ASAP Chapter Network is growing rapidly. Chapters are exploring new ways of collaborating to contribute to the eradication of severe poverty. We’d like to share some of the Chapter accomplishments and help you get connected.

ASAP RomaniaSinaia Presentation 1 is exploring a possible research initiative on the welfare of elderly people in Romania, along with projects on poverty measurement aimed at influencing the Romanian development agency and on increasing coverage of poverty-related issues in the Romanian media.

ASAP Oceania published a response to the 2014-2015 Australian federal budget and its impact on the poor and marginalized; their report focuses particularly on foreign aid, indigenous communities, and welfare programs.

ASAP Germany is playing a key leadership role in the Global Colleagues project and recently held an event for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. They are also developing a research project on responsible investment and a group on economics and philosophy.

ASAP Austria is co-organizing a conference focused on absolute poverty with ASAP Germany, has recently completed a book on poverty in Austria, and has developed a mentoring program pairing up disadvantaged young people and college students.

asap usaASAP USA is interested in initiating projects on integrating the study of poverty into college curriculums and will hold a launch conference at Michigan State University in 2015. In New Haven, ASAP Global Headquarters, ASAP co-sponsored two public events on the Sustainable Development Goals and global justice in development, which featured scholars like Jeffrey Sachs, James Hansen, and Amartya Sen.

ASAP Brazil is researching the impact of Millennium Development Goal 2 – Achieve Universal Primary Education – in Brazil, and is negotiating with the Brazilian Ministry of Public Affairs for formal inclusion in its activities.

ASAP Canadaasap canada recently held a very successful event titled \”Rethinking Sustainability Beyond 2015: An Agenda for Citizen Action\”, which was attended by over 150 people and featured a presentation by Stephen Lewis.

ASAP Italy is planning to promote the debate over intellectual property rights and access to medicines among the main academic and institutional players in Italy.

ASAP Cambodia is planning a launch event in December and is interested in taking the Global Colleagues initiative forward.

ASAP Spainasap spain is planning a contest for the design of a universal flag of humanity and is developing a set of standards for ethical purchasing at

ASAP West Africa is planning a launch conference, to take place in Lagos in 2015, and is looking to conduct projects to improve quality of education across primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

ASAP IndiaAshok in B Nagar (1) is ASAP’s biggest Chapter, with roughly 125 members. They are currently working on the Know your Rights India and Global Colleagues projects, and have applied for a grant to initiate a project connecting university students with young people living in slums.

ASAP UK is developing a poverty audit, while concurrently conducting research projects comparing poverty in New Delhi and East London, and analyzing the role of the City of London in facilitating illicit financial flows.

Recently, the entire Chapter network was mobilized for the stop tax abuse petition. Chapter members were instrumental in the petition’s success.

Recognizing the importance of collaboration in addressing global poverty, we hope that the Chapter Network will continue to work closely and grow, uniting academics worldwide. New guidelines for chapters will be published on the website in the first quarter of 2015. Given the successes achieved thus far, we are excited about what the future holds for the Chapter Network.

The Chapters have recently redone their web pages – please see the ASAP website for further information and updates. If you would like to get involved with the Chapters, or any of the exciting projects outlined above, please reach out to the contact person listed below.

ASAP Austria: Gottfried Schweiger –

ASAP Brazil: Thana Campos –

ASAP Cambodia: Pahlaj Moolio –

ASAP Canada: Mitu Sengupta –

ASAP Germany: Robert Lepenies –

ASAP Greece: Gabriel Amistis –

ASAP India: Bijayalaxmi Nanda –

ASAP Italy: Mario Ascolese –

ASAP Mexico: David Aleman Mena –

ASAP Oceania: Keith Horton –

ASAP Romania: Diana Velica –

ASAP Spain: David Rodríguez-Arias –

ASAP United Kingdom: Steph Eldridge –

ASAP United States: Mladjo Ivanovic –

ASAP West Africa: Oluwaseun Olanrewaju –


Stephen Lewis: Rethinking Sustainability Beyond 2015

Rethinking Sustainability Beyond 2015: An Agenda for Citizen Action — Outcomes

Held October 2nd, 2014, 3:00-6:30 pm. ASAP Canada and the Politics and Governance Students Association co-organized this workshop.

Sustainability – defined by social, economic as well as environmental dimensions – is emerging as the centrepiece of the new global agreement that will replace the UN\’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015. In contrast to the MDGs, which focused on poverty reduction in developing countries, the post-2015 framework, with a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at its core, will be applicable to all countries.

Does the emerging post-2015 global framework accurately identify the multiple challenges of sustainability? How do the deepening inequalities at every level – local, national, global – affect our quest for ‘sustainability’? What forms of limits to corporate power are necessary to ensure sustainable production and consumption? How do we counter the false choice between sustainability and job creation that is presented by businesses and governments alike? Most importantly, how can citizens own these processes of transformative change?

The workshop featured brief presentations by academic experts and civil society leaders, and an intensive discussion period. Stephen Lewis, Distinguished Visiting Professor Ryerson University and former UN Special Envoy for HIV-AIDS in Africa, delivered the keynote address for the workshop. He discussed the future of global poverty and development beyond the Millennium Development Goals that expire in 2015. The video of his presentation is below.


In Conversation with Stephen Lewis

In conversation with Stephen Lewis, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ryerson University and former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Lewis gives his assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the Millennium Development Goals.

Produced by: Mitu Sengupta (Director, ASAP Canada) & James Loney

(0:16): Aspirations

(2:00): Gender Equality

(5:09): On Process

(8:06): MDGs Replacements

(9:30): Who is Responsible?

(12:31): Accountability

(14:24): Naming and Shaming

(16:22): Three Must-Have Features

(21:10): Why Global Poverty Persists

(23:32): Opportunities for Advocacy

(27:11): MDGs and Human Rights

(28:50) Three Ways to Beat Global Poverty

(32:13): What Canadians Can Do

Impact Interviews

Impact Strategy: Fred Carden Shares Insights from 23-Country Study of Academic Influence on Poverty Policy

When it comes to influencing government anti-poverty efforts, the policy climate matters, Fred Carden notes, but so does the researcher’s focus on actually having an impact.
“If you’re not trying to do it you are not very likely to do it…

Impact Interviews

Canadian Team Supports Haitian Academics and Students in the Aftermath of Devastating 2010 Earthquake

Articles in the Impact: Global Poverty Series have thus far focused on researchers seeking to have a more direct impact on aspects of poverty alleviation policy or practice. This article focuses on teaching as well as research contributions by a group of Canadian academics working with teachers and students in Haiti. In 2010 Haiti was devastated by an earthquake of epic proportions. More than 300,000 people lost their lives, countless more were injured and an estimated 1.5 million


ASAP Canada Launch Draws 300 Participants

ASAP established its Canadian chapter with a three-day intensive workshop at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto. More than 300 participants from 30 North American universities attended the event entitled: \”Beyond 2015: Towards a New Consensus on Ending Global Poverty\”. It focused on the current process for replacing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global agreement to reduce poverty and related deprivations, which will expire in 2015. The workshop featured some of the world\’s most prominent poverty researchers, as well as representatives of leading poverty NGOs and civil servants. They were united by the concern that the new international agreement superseding the MDGs make good on the promise of ending world poverty.

\”We had a fantastic turnout and some really thoughtful, engaged dialogue with the speakers,\” said lead organizer Mitu Sengupta, an ASAP Board member and Associate Professor of Political Science at Ryerson. \”We all look forward to building on the conference momentum and developing a vibrant ASAP chapter in Canada.\”

You can view and download the full conference program and final conference report.

Day 1, Opening Remarks

In these remarks, Thomas Pogge introduces Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP), explaining its motivation and goals as they relate to global poverty.

Day 1, Panel 1: Growth, Inequality, and Unemployment

This panel examines general strategies for global poverty eradication. The discussion focuses on strategies for tackling inequality, ensuring inclusive growth, and creating employment. Chaired by Roberta Rice, University of Toronto at Scarborough.


  • Paul Shaffer, Trent University (at 1:12)
  • Albert Berry, University of Toronto (at 13:38)
  • Solomon Benatar, University of Cape Town (at 35:13)
  • Murtaza Haider, Ryerson University (at 43:43)
  • Randy Spence, Economics and Social Development Associates (at 59:50)

Day 1, Panel 2: Reforming Governance and Institutions – Connecting the Local with the Global

The two sessions that comprise this panel examine general strategies for global poverty eradication, recognizing poverty as a global problem that requires responses not only at the national level but also at the global level.

Session 1 – Chaired by Anil Varughese, Carleton University


  • Joseph Wong, University of Toronto (at 00:17)
  • Richard Sandbrook, University of Toronto (at 30:25)
  • Ananya Mukherjee Reed, York University (at 51:37)
  • Discussion (at 1:14:35)
Session 2 – Chaired by Andrea Brown, Wilfred Laurier University


  • Pablo Idahosa, York University (at 00:00)
  • Judith Teichman, University of Toronto (at 12:35)
  • Mustafa Koc, Ryerson University (at 27:28)
  • Discussion (at 45:20)

These remarks begin a series of panels that examine general strategies for global poverty eradication. The focus of Thomas Pogge and Gilad Tanay’s remarks is on reforming global institutions and the supranational rules that perpetuate global poverty and inequality.


  • Thomas Pogge, Yale University (at 00:00)
  • Gilad Tanay, Yale University (at 30:58)

Day 2, Panel 1: Replacing the Millennium Development Goals

This panel examines specific strategies for influencing the MDG replacement process, emphasizing consensus building within the academic community. Chaired by Gilad Tanay, Yale University.


  • Varun Gauri, World Bank (at 00:00)
  • Sakiko Fukuda Parr, New School (at 19:10)
  • James Orbinski, Balsillie School of International Affairs (at 38:35)
  • Stephen Marks, Harvard University (at 1:12:35)
  • Meera Tiwari, University of East London (at 1:29:01)
  • Discussion (at 1:48:39)

Day 2, Panel 2: Curbing Illicit Financial Flows as an International Development Goal

In this panel, speakers discuss the significance of illicit financial flows as a factor contributing to the persistence of global poverty, along with possible solutions at both the global and national levels. Chaired by Melissa Williams, University of Toronto.


  • Raymond Baker, Global Financial Integrity (at 00:00)
  • Chris MacDonald, Ryerson University (at 17:05)
  • Ian Smillie, Diamond Development Initiative (at 30:37)
  • Thomas Tieku, Munk School of Global Affairs University of Toronto (at 50:27)
  • Discussion (at 1:03:38)

Day 3, Panel 1: Innovation and Access to Medicines

This panel examines how innovations might be stimulated through an alternative scheme under which innovators could sell their product at cost in exchange for publicly funded reward payments proportional to the product’s measured benefits.


  • Matthew Herder, Dalhousie University (at 00:00)
  • Stephen Marks, Harvard University, as Chair (at 11:18)
  • Tim Gilbert, Gilberts Avant Garde Lawyers (at 12:20)
  • Alex Wellington, Ryerson University (at 26:28)
  • Aidan Hollis, University of Calgary (at 42:17)
  • Ryoa Chung, University of Montreal (at 1:00:27)
  • Jocelyn Mackie, Grand Challenges Canada (at 1:15:40)
  • Discussion (at 1:31:52)

Day 3, Panel 2: Consultations with Civil Society Groups and Community Leaders

In this panel, representatives of the non—profit sector identify problems, propose solutions, and offer insight, expertise, and advice to the academics, students, aid practitioners and policymakers attending the workshop. The discussion focuses on the role of civil society and community organizations in global poverty alleviation and their thoughts about linking local issues and struggles with those that are transnational or global in focus. Chaired by Lisa Mills, Carleton University.


  • John Lewis, KAIROS (at 0:00)
  • Winnie Ng, CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy (at 16:00)
  • Sara Hildebrand, Millennium Kids (at 32:20)
  • Salimah Valiani, Ontario Nurses Association (at 43:32)
  • Ian Smillie, Diamond Development Initiative (at 59:54)
  • Discussion (at 1:18:26)

Day 3, Panel 3: Consultations with Students

Members of ASAP jump start an open group discussion by discussing the role that students can play in ASAP. Chaired by Melanie Adrian, Carleton University.


  • Ashok Acharya, Delhi University (at 0:00)
  • Elisabeth King, Balsillie School of International Affairs (at 16:50)
  • Matthew Lindauer, Yale University (at 27:06)