* This post appeared on the original Banff Forum blog on April 19, 2013.


Although many people have heard about the Banff Forum, often they wonder what exactly it is.  It’s a great question.  It clearly includes an amazing annual Forum each fall which brings together some of the brightest, most successful and most politically and socially engaged emerging Canadian leaders with leading thinkers from Canada and across the world.  Our members gather for a weekend in an informal setting to discuss topics of national and international importance through case studies, BanffTalks, panels, amazing keynote speakers, fireside chats and the odd run or hike.  The goal is to reinvigorate public debate in Canada and to find ways to strengthen our great country.

Le Banff Forum est beaucoup plus que cela. Le Banff Forum regroupe des gens de tous les horizons politiques et de partout au pays, qui ont de l’intérêt ou sont engagés dans la formulation de politiques publiques. Cela comprend des élus, académiques, chefs d’entreprise, leaders autochtones, représentants d’ONG, avocats, journalistes et médecins.  Ce qu’ils ont en commun c’est leur désir de bâtir un meilleur Canada et leur volonté d’échanger et d’apprendre les uns des autres.

I can speak from personal experience about the impact of joining the Banff Forum ten years ago. When I came to my first Banff Forum, I met a group of unbelievable people who challenged my ideas and assumptions and broadened my understanding of the public policy challenges and opportunities faced by Canada. But more importantly I became part of a community of amazing Canadians whose members support each other even though we don’t always agree because we know that, whatever our perspective, we’re all committed to the same thing.  A better Canada.