Dr. Roberta Bondar to address students at the upcoming

Toronto, March 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The renowned World Affairs Conference (WAC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Roberta Bondar will be the closing keynote speaker at this year’s student-led conference to be held at Upper Canada College in Toronto on Wednesday, March 6th. The day-long conference is co-hosted with Branksome Hall and features more than 10 speakers who will present on this year’s theme: WAC 2024: Minds in Motion. Participating in person will be secondary students and teachers from schools across the Greater Toronto Area. 

The World Affairs Conference aims to bring together youths, educators, and changemakers to help shape a better world. It is North America’s largest and Canada’s oldest annual student-run conference, providing high-quality discussion opportunities for thousands of inspired, curious, and globally-minded high school students from around the world. Its mission is to motivate high school students to proactively engage in world affairs and become aware of humanity’s most pressing challenges by exposing students to experienced perspectives and discussion opportunities with global leaders. In the past, the conference hosted speakers such as Edward Snowden, Martin Luther King III, Geoffrey Hinton, Michele Romanow, and many others.

In a series of equity-based initiatives this year, the conference made registration free for TDSB students, expanding the reach of WAC. New sustainability partner Farmer’s Edge makes the World Affairs Conference the first-ever, carbon-neutral, student-run conference in North America. 

Dr. Roberta Bondar will be in Toronto on March 6 and her keynote, which takes place at 2:30 p.m., will speak on her personal experiences as a trailblazer in STEM, her philanthropy, and her expectations for the youth of tomorrow. 

“We’re so excited to host an incredible list of speakers ranging from our closing keynote speaker Dr. Roberta Bondar (first female astronaut and neurologist in space), former prime ministers, music industry leaders, founders, and many more. Students will learn about a wide range of topics, getting their young ‘minds in motion’,” noted Katherine Ma and Jennifer Yang, WAC co-chairs, and students at Branksome Hall. 

Shaya Farahmand and Ray Wu, Year 12 students at Upper Canada College and two of the four co-chairs of WAC 2024, said that “it is an honour to lead WAC into its 42nd year and we look forward to seeing attendees engage with speakers who seek to further inspire global citizenship and nurture thought-provoking discussions. We aim to provide a captivating experience for all attendees to learn about society’s complex global issues. To make this opportunity more accessible, we’re excited to welcome public school students to the conference to help broaden the scope of viewpoints and experiences, with the goal of having conversations that include multiple voices.”

Media Opportunities 
Interested media and press are invited to attend WAC throughout the day from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Upper Canada College. Interview opportunities can be coordinated with speakers and other WAC participants. Press and media will have access to and can listen in on our closing keynote or plenary speakers. This includes Dr. Roberta Bondar’s keynote from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in Laidlaw Hall; however, please note that Dr. Bondar will not be available for interviews. 

Interested media should contact Nicole Reyes-Ponce or Sarah Baumann (contact information below) for accreditation and further details on the event. 

World Affairs Conference Background and Resources 
Since the 1980s, WAC has engaged more than 10,000 students from 35 countries and 80 schools. During the COVID-19 pandemic, WAC went virtual for two years, enabling it to reach a more global audience and gain recognition from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former City of Toronto Mayor John Tory.

A detailed schedule and list of speakers can be found on the WAC website. For more information, please visit the following:

● Website:  
● LinkedIn: World Affairs Conference
● Instagram: @worldaffairscon


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