Canadian Experience Un-conference (Canadian Experience: By Immigrants, With Immigrants, For Immigrants)

People, Health Equity and Innovation
February 24, 2009


A one-day event designed to generate practical solutions to the under-utilization of newcomers’ professional skills in our country.

A highly participative event without keynote speakers or pre-set sessions where attendants, with the support a guidance of an experienced facilitator, self-organize, define their own agenda, and work in groups to harness the power of their individual expertise and let ground-breaking ideas and results emerge.


Canadian Experience Unconference

February 24th 2009 • 9am to 5pm • Sunnybrook Estate

On February 24, over 100 skilled immigrants and people working with immigrants joined together for an innovative “unconference”. The goal of the day was to generate ideas and solutions to address the barriers that face skilled immigrants, and to discuss ways to create sustainable and nurturing lives for skilled immigrants in Canada.

Based on the unconference design, there were no keynote speakers, or panel presentations. Everyone in attendance was considered an expert.

In the morning participants, through a process similar to speed dating, got to know each other and had an opportunity to talk about their personal circumstances.

The issues discussed for the remainder of the day were identified by the participants. Everyone was free to identify a topic for discussion, and to participate in whatever was of interest. Topics ranged from how to organize immigrant networks, to breaking through the barrier of Canadian work experience.

The day generated much excitement and enthusiasm, and many expressed a commitment to continue working together. Many great connections were made. One of the immigrants in attendance said in the final wrap-up, “Today I have new hope.”

Project Sponsor

Jadad, AR

Schniderman, G.

Cullingworth, J.


Skills for Change

People, Health equity and Innovation (PHI) Group at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital

Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, University of Toronto

Pioneers for Change

Project Team

Andrea Cortinois, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation

Dave Meslin

Dijana Vasic Jovic, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation

Misha Glouberman

Svjetlana Kovacevic, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation