The conference theme embraces the impact of current global change now and in the coming decades and how impact assessment (IA) itself will evolve as a result. The "next generation" refers to both a new generation of practitioners and new approaches to IA practice internationally to address issues of global concern. The next few decades are seen as a nexus of environmental effects to the global commons (e.g., climate change, biodiversity, soil degradation and loss, ocean productivity, loss of aboriginal cultures) coupled with increased urban, human and economic development. These global changes have profound implications to the trajectory of IA and of nations. You, as a participant in this conference, need to be part of this new future.
The following three thematic streams reflect possible session topics. Examples of focused topics within each theme are provided.
The theme focuses on emerging trends in IA while encouraging and motivating the participation of the next generation of practitioners. It has a wide appeal to those in many countries and sectors, such as resource extraction, and is broad enough to encompass many current sub-themes of interest to a range of IA practitioners, new and old.
A special focus on extractive resource industries, such as Alberta’s oil sands, to demonstrate opportunities by industry to advance IA practice and affect positive change towards a sustainable future. Industry representatives would provide feedback on their experiences and input into a next generation of change.
To attract interested youth and students who are poised to become the next generation of impact assessment practitioners, the theme reaches out to younger practitioners who may be new to impact assessment, or to specialists in other disciplines who want a better understanding of IA principles and practice.