To Change the World Emerging Leaders Summit (Past Event)

Date + Time

October 15-16, 2008

Quick Summary

This two day summit is targeting the top bracket of an emerging generation of cultural gatekeepers. Our goal is to connect, converse and engage with peers in a wide cross section of Canada's leaders in all the spheres of public life. Our purpose is change, and our devices are overlapping networks of cultural and political capital.

Details

Cultural change, argues sociologist Randall Collins, has long been driven by networks. His fat tome, A Global Theory of Intellectual Change, is enough to suggest he’s put some real thought into this. Ideas have legs, Richard Weaver famously said in 1948, but how and where those ideas get legs is as much a matter of who uses them, as what they say.

James Davison Hunter, at the Institute for Advanced Cultural Studies, affirms that it is not merely the existence of elites, or even of ideas, that pushes a movement forward, but overlapping kinds of abilities. He writes that the “impetus, energy and direction for changing the world [are] found where cultural, economic and often political resources overlap; where networks of elites, who generated these various resources, come together for a common purpose”.

Of course networks do not themselves provide the substance of culture and politics, but they are the keys to accessing this substance, leveraging it and producing new and dynamic interchange between people and ideas. There is no shortage in the vast world of ideas about how or in what ways global life should be re-imagined. Which of those ideas hits the press, which ones arrive at our doorsteps and challenge us to reconsider our own presumptions is a factor of the networks and institutions which sustain them. It is this insight which prompted Ron Sider, one of America’s foremost faith-based elites, to suggest that while the storehouse of ideas which Christian thinkers have amassed is impressive, the networks of elite populists and activists activating that latent capacity is small indeed. Ideas might have legs, but how far and how long they can run depends on the whole body for its resources and abilities.

This two day summit is targeting the top bracket of an emerging generation of cultural gatekeepers. Our goal is to connect, converse and engage with peers in a wide cross section of Canada's leaders in all the spheres of public life. Our purpose is change, and our devices are overlapping networks of cultural and political capital.

Date + Time

October 15-16, 2008