York’s president to participate in Nobel Peace Prize events


York University President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden has headed overseas to speak at a summit for global leaders – a lead-up to the conferring of the Nobel Peace Prize on Dec. 10.

Marsden is in Stockholm, Sweden, to participate in the Public Services Summit 2005 taking place Dec. 8-11. The summit is part of the Nobel Week series of events celebrating the Nobel Prizes. Following the summit discussions, Marsden and other participants will attend Nobel Peace Prize celebratory events in Oslo, Norway. 

Right: Lorna R. Marsden 

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel Prizes established by Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. The Peace Prize is awarded annually in Oslo, unlike the prizes in physics, chemistry, medicine and literature, which are awarded in Stockholm. This year’s Peace Prize will be shared by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the IAEA, for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.

“The Nobel is considered to be the most prestigious prize in the world,” said Marsden. “It has brought honour to an esteemed list of human rights activists, statesmen and women and some of the greatest thinkers of our time. I am pleased that York University will be represented at the Public Services Summit, as part of Nobel Week.”

During the summit, Marsden will be participating in a panel on “Connected Communities”. The panel will feature presentations on how large-scale connected communities around the world are transforming cities, countries and education.

Marsden’s presentation, “Cultural Communities: Transforming Culture and the Arts through Interdisciplinary University and Regional Collaboration”, highlights York’s ability to connect its teachers, researchers, students and alumni via regional and global networks such as the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), and Canada’s Advanced Internet Organization (CANARIE).

“In the field of fine arts, there is no such thing as a one-way connection – it’s a conversation between performer and audience, artist and teacher and the wider arts community,” Marsden said. “At York, we’re enabling the collaborations that are so vital to culture and creativity by connecting our students, teachers and researchers to other universities and institutions both globally and locally.”

One such initiative is ABEL (Advanced Broadband Enabled Learning), which is funded by the CANARIE e-Learning program. ABEL has developed an interactive, collaborative learning model for teacher and faculty professional development and education delivery.

For Nobel Week participants who are building a vision for the future, the Connected Communities panel consists of high-profile global leaders at the intersection of education, government and the private sector. The Public Services Summit presents an unprecedented opportunity to explore the possibilities of the Internet with global peers in education, healthcare and government and to honour the achievements of the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize laureates at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo.