“Information poverty” is not a widely understood concept – except by those who experience it - and often it is not included on the agendas of governments or global development conferences.
Most of us wish we lived in a more just and equitable world, and many have given careful thought to what constructive change might look like. But those who both think about and then actively devote their lives to effecting meaningful and sustainable change in the interests of justice and equity are sadly few and far between.
Join Hart House Conversations for a series of fireside-style chats between Hart House Warden John Monahan and inspiring folks whose discontent with the status quo propels them to be the change they want to see in the world. The series is named after them: we call it “Changemakers.”
About the Event
According to Lorenzo Vargas, democratizing access to media resources and other sources of information is fundamental to creating societies where citizen engagement, economic prosperity, and systems of justice can thrive simultaneously, particularly in the Global South. “Freedom of expression” is an empty promise unless people have access to the means of gathering and disseminating information for themselves.
On November 24th, hear Lorenzo Vargas talk about his work to ensure that those from marginalized, poor and excluded communities around the world have access to the technologies and the means to make informed decisions about their own lives and communities. Learn how the global media landscape can either support or hinder the attainment of the United Nations’ most fundamental Sustainable Development Goals. And then consider ways that you can help to support real, lasting change.
All “Changemakers” conversations will be recorded and later shared as Hart House Podcasts. See the podcast from this event linked below.
- PODCAST - Hart House Changemakers: Confronting Information Poverty with Lorenzo Vargas. This conversation was recorded live on November 24, 2021. Listen here.
Warden, Hart House
John Monahan has been the Warden (ie. chief executive officer) of Hart House at the University of Toronto since 2015. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College and is an appointed Chair of the university’s Academic Appeals Committee. He also served on the Steering Committee for the University of Toronto Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Before arriving at Hart House, John was the inaugural Executive Director of the Mosaic Institute and a national and international thought-leader on confronting inter-community conflict and promoting social cohesion through education, dialogue and grassroots peacebuilding. Previously, John practised labour, employment and human rights law with Fasken; led the strategic development and oversight of Ontario’s international network of trade and investment offices; served as inaugural Director of the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in downtown Toronto; and was posted to the Canadian Consulate-General in New York as Consul (Economic Affairs-Ontario) in the aftermath of 9/11. He holds a BA in International Relations from Trinity College, a JD from the University of Toronto, and an MPA from Dalhousie University. He also received a diploma in French language and civilization from l’Université des Sciences Humaines de Strasbourg and studied law at l’Université Panthéon-Assas in Paris.
Researcher on communications for social change
Lorenzo Vargas is an organizer and a researcher who has been working for more than decade on communications for social change work with civil society organizations in Canada and the Global South. A Colombian-Canadian, he directs WACC Global’s Communication for Social Change Program, which supports grassroots sustainable development initiatives in several countries in the Global South.
Prior to his time at WACC, Lorenzo worked with the Mosaic Institute coordinating a series of campus-based dialogues across Canada focused on transnational conflict and diaspora-led peace building efforts. He holds degrees in international development and communication from York University and McGill University, and is pursuing a PhD in Communication and Culture at X (Ryerson) University, where he is affiliated with the Global Communication Governance Lab. He has also pursued studies on media and Internet policy at DiploFoundation, the University of Brasilia and the University of Oxford. His publications include Citizen’s Media as a Tool for the Local Construction of Peace in Colombia (2013); Indigenous Community Media Aid Reconciliation in Canada (2015); and Expanding Shrinking Communication Spaces (ed. with Philip Lee) (2020).