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2018 LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture

Sue Gardner to deliver 16th annual LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture
Former head of and Wikimedia Foundation to open 6 Degrees Toronto

TORONTO, August 13, 2018—6 Degrees announces that the 2018 LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture will be delivered by leading digital pioneer Sue Gardner. The lecture will be given on September 24 as part of 6 Degrees Toronto, a project of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

As senior director of, Gardner reinvented the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s place in the world of digital news. Later, as executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, she played a crucial role in the explosive growth of Wikipedia. The San Francisco–based Gardner continues to be a sought-after global thought-leader: she currently advises media and technology companies, and serves on the boards of Privacy International and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

“Sue Gardner is on the forefront of ideas on technology, democracy, and women’s roles in our society,” said ICC Co-founder and Co-chair John Ralston Saul. “As we witness the alarming erosion of democratic institutions, I can’t think of a more relevant voice to address the challenges ahead. I can’t wait to welcome Sue home to Toronto to deliver this year’s LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture.”

Titled “Dark Times Ahead: Taking Back Truth, Freedom, and Technology,” the interactive event will include Gardner in conversation with Saul. Gardner joins an illustrious list of past LaFontaine-Baldwin lecturers, including His Highness the Aga Khan, Naomi Klein, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Michael Sandel, and Naheed Nenshi.

“I’m aiming to come and give my take on where we’re at culturally, how we got here, and what’s next,” said Gardner. “As a Canadian woman who’s spent the past 10 years in Silicon Valley, I have a particular lens. I also know that everyone at 6 Degrees Toronto will bring a piece of the puzzle, and I’m looking forward to kickstarting the two days of conversation that will follow the lecture.”

The LaFontaine-Baldwin Lectures bring together Canadians to reflect on democracy, citizenship, and the public good. Established by Saul in 2000, the lectures honour the architects of responsible government, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin. This year marks the 170th anniversary of responsible government in Canada.

Tickets to 6 Degrees Toronto, including the LaFontaine-Baldwin Lecture, are available here. 6 Degrees drives a global conversation on citizenship and inclusion. Presented by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, it includes an immersive annual three-day event in Toronto, as well as a series of one-day pop-ups across Canada and around the world. 6 Degrees is about connection, conversation, artistic representation, and the power that comes from bringing people together. It counters rising nativism and exclusion, and instead, invites everyone to find a place in our circle. This year, 6 Degrees Toronto will take place September 24–26 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, and The Great Hall.

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About Sue Gardner
Sue Gardner is a special advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia. From 2007 until 2014, she was its executive director. Previously Gardner was head of Her career in journalism also included working in multiple media including the Internet, newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV. In 2012, Forbes magazine named Gardner one of the world’s 100 most powerful women. Gardner serves on boards and advisory committees for a half-dozen global non-profit, educational, and grantmaking organizations, primarily related to technology, media, gender, and digital freedoms. She is currently developing a new journalism project, which will be announced in early fall.

About the Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Powered by a passionate and committed national network, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) delivers programs and special projects that inspire Canadians to be inclusive, create opportunities to connect, and encourage active citizenship. Partnering with community volunteers and iconic cultural institutions, the ICC celebrates new Canadian citizens at more than 75 community citizenship ceremonies each year. The Cultural Access Pass is unique in the world, offering new citizens free access to more than 1400 cultural attractions during their first year of citizenship. Ideas & Insights is a leading source of research on citizenship and inclusion — social, cultural, political, and economic. 6 Degrees extends the reach of the ICC’s work through a global conversation on inclusion and citizenship in the 21st century. The ICC is a national charity co-founded by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson and John Ralston Saul.


To arrange an interview with Sue Gardner, or for more information about 6 Degrees and the ICC, contact:

Adrineh Der-Boghossian
Communications Officer
Institute for Canadian Citizenship
+1 647 217-4284

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Photo: Victoria Will