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NEWS: 6 Degrees announces international heavyweights coming to Toronto in September

6 Degrees announces international heavyweights coming to Toronto in September
Canada to be front and centre on the world stage at the global forum for inclusion

September 5, 2019 — 6 Degrees is bringing more than 65 speakers of more than 20 nationalities to Toronto this fall. The internationally acclaimed lineup will lead the three immersive days for connection, conversation, and action from September 23-25, 2019 at Corus Quay, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, Koerner Hall.

6 Degrees is the global forum for inclusion. A project of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), the forum is an urgently needed response to the dilemmas of a fractured society. “We find ourselves in a time of anxiety, fear of the other, and eroding trust in our public institutions. 6 Degrees is where we can come together and build the solutions to equip people to do something about it,” said Yasir Naqvi, Chief Executive Officer of the ICC.

The international roster of speakers include:

  • Nadya Tolokonnikova – co-founder of Pussy Riot, the anti-Putin collective and feminist punk band, which has become a global symbol of activism. Since being released from prison, she has helped establish alternative media outlets in Russia and advocated for human rights worldwide, including testifying before the European Parliament and United State Congress.
  • Jaafar Abdul Karim – award-winning journalist and television host. Raised in Lebanon and Switzerland, he now works in Germany for the media outlet Deutsche Welle where he has led hundreds of difficult conversations. Abdul Karim’s latest work focuses on bridging the gap between those pushing for inclusion and those skeptical of it.
  • Caroline Orr – U.S.-based journalist and behavioural scientist. She is an international expert on propaganda, and psychological and online information warfare. Orr is part of the National Observer’s Election Integrity Reporting Project.
  • Cory Doctorow – author, activist, and journalist. He is a celebrated science fiction writer, co-founder of the U.K. Open Rights Groups and works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the leading organization defending civil liberties in the digital world.
  • Pambo – musician and activist from Mexico City. She is a leading advocate for inclusion, social justice, and the power of art to make change.

Other speakers include: author Adam Gopnik, human rights advocate General Roméo Dallaire, Sudanese artist and liberation educator Rania El Mugammar, Emmy-nominated AJ+ journalist Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Canada’s own Jesse Wente and Dave Meslin, Nairobi-based researcher and Foreign Policy Interrupted Fellow Nanjala Nyabola, Caro Loutfi of Apathy is Boring, co-founder of Pour 3 Points and coach for low income youth Fabrice Vil, French YouTuber and fake news debunker Aude Favre, and many more. Tickets are available here.

This ambitious and diverse lineup of speakers will help us bridge the intention-to-action gap and empower participants with real tools to push for inclusion, diversity, and citizen resilience. When asked about his participation at 6 Degrees Toronto 2017, activist and artist Ai Weiwei said, “At this moment, in this world, I think people should have more of a chance to communicate and to understand each other. This is more important than anything else.”

6 Degrees Toronto will also feature performances by Rufus Wainwright, Nai Children’s Choir, the Indigenous hand-drum ensemble Hidden River Singers, hip-hop artist Jah’kota, Toronto’s only hip-hop brass band, Bangerz Brass, and an interactive multimedia group from the Netherlands, Smartphone Orchestra.

For a full list of speakers, event details and more, check out


About 6 Degrees
6 Degrees is the global forum for inclusion. A project of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, we bring people together from around the world, challenge assumptions, and find solutions and actions to counter growing divisions in society. 6 Degrees Toronto 2019 will feature a citizenship ceremony, the 17th Lafontaine-Baldwin Lecture, the Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship, and daily programing at the AGO bringing together thousands of engaged citizens and global leaders. The event runs from September 23–25 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, and Corus Quay. Tickets and more information about 6 Degrees Toronto are available here.


About the Institute for Canadian Citizenship
Powered by a passionate national network, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) encourages active citizenship and inclusion, creates opportunities for Canadians from different backgrounds to connect, and develops research and advocacy to move those goals forward. Our community focused programming blends tech, arts, and culture to deliver our Canoo app that gives new Canadian citizens free access to more than 1400 cultural sites during their first year of citizenship. 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.

Media Contact

To arrange an interview with Yasir Naqvi, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, or any of the speakers, please contact:

Clare Graham
Director of Communications
Institute for Canadian Citizenship