May 2013 Meeting

May 2013 Meeting

Public lecture and branch meeting



UNESCO on a Knife’s Edge


Axel Meisen, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO


Thursday, May 16, 2013 7:00-9:00 P.M.


Grant MacEwan University City Centre Campus 10700 104 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta Room 7-218 For maps and directions click here.

Lecture and speaker information

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), born out of the tragedy of the Second World War, currently faces an unprecedented crisis:  an increased global demand for its services juxtaposed against a major budget shortfall, largely resulting from the United States of America not paying its membership fees (amounting to 22% of UNESCO’s budget). The presentation will sketch UNESCO’s history, while focusing on its current role and outlining solutions to its problems.  The special role of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO will be described.


Dr. Meisen serves, in a voluntary capacity, as the President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Prior to his recent retirement, Dr. Meisen held the inaugural Chair in Foresight at Alberta Innovates: Technology Futures (formerly the Alberta Research Council). He has contributed 38 years of service to post-secondary education in Canada and abroad, rising to the position of President of Memorial University of Newfoundland (1999 – 2007), the largest university in Atlantic Canada. He spent the earlier part of his career at the University of British Columbia where he held the positions of Professor of Chemical Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science, which includes Engineering, Nursing and Architecture. Dr. Meisen has played major roles in international projects funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in seven countries, including the development of a new humanities-focused professional university in Peru in the 1980s, with which he continues to collaborate.  He is past President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and has been a member of the Board of the Edmonton Opera Association.


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