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Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, visits UCL

Visit sees UCL staff discuss sustainability with the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

 Lieutenant Governor of Ontario visits UCL

13 February 2018

UCL Bartlett and the Global Engagement Office (GEO) welcomed the 29th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Her Honour Elizabeth Dowdeswell, to UCL on 8 February 2018. 

Her Honour prioritised visiting UCL to learn more about its interdisciplinary expertise that could support development of solutions in her three areas of focus on sustainability: inclusive economic prosperity; environmental stewardship, and social cohesion.

Ms Dowdeswell met with Canadian staff and students and toured the award-winning Bartlett School of Architecture building, where she was shown the students’ individual work and crit spaces by Professors Alan Penn and Bob Sheil.

Dr Karen Edge, UCL’s Pro-Vice-Provost International, said: “The visit was a fantastic opportunity for Canadian academic colleagues and students to meet the Lieutenant Governor to discuss their UCL and work experience.

“Together with other UCL experts, we proudly shared UCL knowledge and expertise on sustainability-related issues. It was an honour to host this event, which forms an important part of UCL’s ongoing engagement with Canadian partners.”

Exploring UCL’s interdisciplinary approach to sustainability

GEO hosted a meeting with leading UCL staff working on different areas of sustainability:

During the meeting, the UCL researchers outlined their work, with Dr James Paskins sharing how UCL’s Grand Challenges accelerate UCL’s interdisciplinary work to solve global challenges.

Roundtable at UCL with Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Her Honour also held a roundtable discussion with the UCL Canadian Society, joined by Canadian staff and students from the Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences, UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, the Faculty of Population Health Sciences and the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies.

Telling Ontario's story

Ms Dowdeswell began her professional career as a teacher and university lecturer and held increasingly senior positions in the Canadian public service. She also served as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and was the founding President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. In her Vice-Regal role, her two areas of focus are sustainability and Ontario in the world.

She describes herself as Ontario’s “Storyteller-in-Chief”, saying she wants to listen to Ontarians and learn what issues are important to them. In her role, she is asking Ontarians to think deeply about their role as global citizens, in light of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The visit reflected on the pace of change in the world and how UCL researchers are building an evidence base to understand and respond to these challenges, by asking questions including: “Do ageing populations have the best possible quality of life?” and “How do you make cities ‘liveable’ when they are smart cities?”