IAIA13 - Impact Assessment The next generation

Calgary Stampede BMO Centre | Calgary, Alberta, Canada 13-16 May 2013

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 New Generation of People and Engagement
  • Transitional demographics of IA practitioners and mentoring the next generation
  • The business of impact assessment: a decade of reflection
  • Digital media in impact assessment
  • Pitfalls and opportunities of social media in impact assessment
  • Aboriginal peoples: Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and IA
  • The future of corporate social responsibility
  • Impact assessment, urban planning and regional development
  • New responsibilities for a new world: Visions of IA in 2050
  • Overcoming challenges to Indigenous/ Aboriginal participants in IA


A New Generation of Extractive Resource Industries

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.

A New Generation of Issues and Solutions
  • Emerging global trends in impact assessment in the coming decades
  • The role of impact assessment in project decision making in a sustainable world
  • New tools, practice and procedures in IA to create a sustainable world
  • Regulatory changes affecting IA around the world
  • How Indigenous Traditional Knowledge has affected IA practice and decisions
  • Effectiveness and efficiency in impact assessment: A new review
  • Impact assessment over the project life cycle - from approval to construction, operation and towards decommissioning and post closure
  • IA follow-up: Success or a broken record?
  • Breadth of IA: More comprehensive versus tighter focus
  • Extractive and energy industries and the role of the private sector in IA
  • Food security and IA
  • Finance and IA: The impact of new environmental and social performance standards
  • Climate change, climate pollution and health

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.