Mutual Learning Conference on October 24th, 2023


What can democracies learn from one another to protect human rights? The Canadian Network on Information and Security (CANIS) has joined forces with the Canadian International Council and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in a process of mutual learning between Canada and Germany.

Join us in person or online to learn about distortions to democratic debate and institutions caused by disinformation. 

Over the past three years, with the help of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Canada, the CIC has explored the prospects for renewing democracy promotion in an era when so many Canadians doubt the relevance of our model of government for other countries. 

The scale of challenges to our democracy - from polarization to climate change to authoritarian aggression - seems far greater than what our elected officials, or our diplomatic, development, and military leadership can tackle. But in the course of our research, we have come across an extensive exchange of ideas and solutions between civil society actors - scholars, activists, and other citizens – who look to other democracies to improve our own.

We first noticed this mutual learning at work on migration and refugee issues, as Germany turned to Canada for inspiration and adopted many of our policies.  We have since identified active exchanges between our two countries on social media regulation, on anti-corruption, and on truth and reconciliation. 

This is a different form of international relations, society-to-society rather than state-to-state. Participants are more focussed on improving our own democracies than exporting it to others.  We call this international form of support Democratic Solidarity.  

Some months ago, the CIC spun off a new organization to carry out this exchange on a permanent basis – the Network for Democratic Solidarity.

On October 24, the two organizations will come together, along with CIC Calgary, the Canadian Network on Information and Security and KAS Canada, to showcase this new approach. 

The conference Mutual Learning Between Democracies: Online Mobilization Against Marginalized Groups will showcase research that the CIC has commissioned between disinformation campaigns in Germany and Canada and explore new areas for mutual learning between our democracies.

Registered participants will receive an advanced copy of research that the CIC has commissioned and conducted by the University of Calgary on anti-migrant disinformation campaigns. Our keynote speaker will be prominent LGBTQ activist, Kamahli Powell, making the case for cooperation to counter the transnational movement spreading anti-LGBTQ hate.  The conference will also the founder of the disinformation research unit in Global Affairs Canada, who will share their experiences on how G7 governments now engage in mutual learning in this area.

Come join us on October 24 to learn about this new approach to democracy support, incubated right here in the CIC.



Time: 8:00 am to 5:00pm (MDT)

Location (in person): Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District, 

                                               610 10 Avenue Southwest,

                                               Calgary, AB T2R 1M3. 

Join us on October 24th 2023, in person or online by registering via EventBrite.