The 'Better Normal': Anticipating a Post-pandemic Future

This lecture series is presented by Third Age Learning Lakehead (TALL) through the Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning and the CFUW Muskoka. 

CFUW Muskoka

Speaker SeriesOct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12Thursday9:30 - 11:15 a.m.
Fee: $49 (plus hst)
Location:Via Zoom

Thursday, October 22
Seasons of Change: What will be Meaningful in our Post-pandemic World?

In the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, Anstice fielded research into what Canadians were thinking and feeling, and the insights proved to be both surprising and instructive, because that initial disruption to people's lives laid bare some interesting perspectives. This talk will explore what people in Canada found meaningful prior to the pandemic, and how that has shifted in recent times. How will emergent ways we think about ourselves and our relationships impact the ways we engage with the world?


Mark Szabo

Dr. Mark Szabo is Director, Insights & Engagement, at Anstice. His approach to research is rooted in Anstice's focus on bringing more meaning to the world by connecting clients and their customers in ways that really matter. Dr. Szabo has 20+ years of experience in communications, risk mitigation, and conflict strategy.

Thursday, October 29
One Health/One Welfare - Moving Towards a More Humane Nation in the Wake of COVID

The internationally recognized One Health framework is especially relevant today as the relationships between animal and human health are considered in disease transmission and the origins of COVID-19. The term “one welfare” expands this concept further by highlighting the critical links between animal welfare and human welfare while acknowledging that both depend on a well functioning environment. The COVID-19 pandemic can serve as an opportunity to rethink how we interact with the animals that share our earth, creating a more inclusive view of our communities and our country, shifting our policies and infrastructure while identifying how we as individuals can be more humane in our daily lives.

Barbara Cartwright

An award-winning leader in animal welfare, conservation and education, Barbara Cartwright’s work has spanned five continents and 25 years. As the CEO of Humane Canada, the federation of humane societies and SPCAs, she convenes and represents the largest animal welfare community in Canada, working to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals. Barbara holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education and Communication, is a published author and lecturer, and received the Governor General’s Gold Medal.


Thursday, November 5
Leading with Purpose in Tourism: The Quest for a more Sustainable Future

COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill; with tourism - a key industry in our area - one of the sectors affected most harshly. As global travel restrictions ease, we cannot afford to adhere to business as usual. If the unsustainable nature of tourism is to be addressed, the unlocking of the industry is an opportunity for us to centre sustainability. As such, we must think radically about the purpose of tourism for a more sustainable future. When we apply the key principles of the Purpose Economy to tourism, a more sustainable form of tourism emerges. A form of tourism that emphasizes creating value over the pursuit of profit. The result? Nurturing sustainable places to live, work, and visit.

Dr Karla Boluk

Dr. Karla A. Boluk is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo. Utilizing a critical lens, she investigates ways to sustainably engage and empower communities, positioning tourism as a mechanism for the creation of positive change. Applying her pedagogical scholarship, she teaches the skills of critical and creative thinking in her courses, with the hope to empower future decision-makers as Critical Tourism Citizens.

Thursday, November 12
Post-Covid ‘Teardown’: Creating and Engaging with a Better Democracy

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that our democracy is a train wreck. Fierce partisanship, centralized power and distorted election results all contribute to our growing cynicism. Environmental crisis looms on the horizon and economic inequity continues to grow, and is exacerbated by this current crisis. How can we shift our mindsets and change our systems to enable the ‘better normal’ we seek to create in a post-pandemic world? This talk offers a collection of solutions aimed at transforming our democracy into something that feels meaningful, inviting, thoughtful and authentic.

Dave Meslin

Dave Meslin is an activist, organizer and author. His TED talk about apathy has more than 1.7 million views and his video clip from the 2016 Canadian election coverage, using stacks of Lego bricks, has over 2.5 million views on Facebook. Dave’s work inspires us to invert the traditional pyramid of hierarchy by creating meaningful opportunities of engagement. His best-selling book, Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up, is a roadmap for change and a cure for cynicism.

Thank you for your interest. Registration is officially closed for this series. However, lectures are taped.  If you would still like to sign up for the series, please email