International Commerce and Global Development students had the chance to rub shoulders with global leaders from across industry, academe and government as part of the annual International Economic Forum of the Americas’ (IEFA).
Joined by members of NC’s Global Strategy Unit, fourth-year students David Dominguez and Jessica DiFelice participated in the high-profile event featuring special appearances from Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne; federal ministers Chrystia Freeland and Navdeep Bains; as well as the president of Colombia; the prime ministers of Niger and Ukraine; and the governors of Florida and Vermont.
From October 30 to November 1, leaders converged on the Royal York in Toronto as part of an annual series of meetings to promote engaging conversation to achieve responsible global growth and development. Each day, world-class panelists discussed industry trends, as well as smaller forums targeted directly to students and entrepreneurs. NC students Dominguez and DiFelice seized the opportunity, speaking up in sessions and meeting representatives from countries spanning from Colombia to China.
“It was a unique opportunity to learn about the latest international business trends and network with global business leaders,” said Dominguez.
“As a student participant, not only I was able to hear from experts in various industries share their life experiences, but also interact with these experts on a more personal level,” said DiFelice “The forum provided me with a platform to converse on new ideas and shared knowledge with influential leaders and decision makers. I was able to expand my network to connect with these professionals in a way that was not possible prior to three days of the forum.”
This year’s forum focused on the theme of redefining globalization, reflecting the political and economic volatility witnessed around the world. Leaders regularly referenced the increased need for applied skills and trades education to support economic development.
Jill de Witte, NC’s manager for Global Business Development, noted the value of Niagara College’s participation in the global conversation.
“Each person I interacted with was fascinated by the breadth of expertise offered through Niagara College as well as the specific focus on global engagement,” said de Witte, “They could immediately see the relevance of engaging with our students and the potential for future partnerships.”
The forum follows Niagara College’s recent trade mission to Colombia, in partnership with the Niagara Region, City of Welland and the City of Hamilton aimed at building business opportunities for local businesses through Invest Hamilton Niagara.
–Submitted by NC’s International Division