Summit aims to improve economic well-being and quality of life for disadvantaged


TORONTO, January 19, 2017 – York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School will be the venue this month for an important two-day event  – the Creating Opportunities Summit 2017 – that will explore local, regional and national economic development issues in Canada and how to remove barriers to inclusion.

The Creating Opportunities Summit, which will run Thursday, January 26 and Friday, January 27, 2017 in the Law School’s Helliwell Centre for Dispute Resolution (Room 1014) – will address a range of economic development issues including transportation and transit, housing, youth employment, social procurement, community benefit agreements, entrepreneurship, pro bono business law, financial literacy, business improvement areas, technological innovations and government regulation.

The Summit is sponsored by Osgoode Hall Law School, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, York University’s Canada @150 Fund, Uber, Duke Heights BIA, and the Citizen Empowerment Project. Co-organizers of the Summit are Jamil Jivani, a Visiting Professor at Osgoode and founder of the Citizen Empowerment Project, and Michael Thorburn, a third-year Osgoode JD student and Managing Editor of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

“Our focus will be on strategies, initiatives and policies that can create opportunities for economic prosperity and remove barriers to inclusion for disadvantaged and underserved communities, particularly youth seeking educational and employment opportunities,” Jivani said.

The Summit will feature four keynote speakers: J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis; City of Toronto Councillor Michael Thompson; Gillian Smith, Chief Marketing Officer of the Toronto Board of Trade; and Bindu Cudjoe, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer of BMO.

The Summit will also welcome more than 25 thought leaders for seven panels and breakout discussions on the following topics:  Lack of Opportunities; Starting a Business/Financial Literacy; Localized Economic Development: Theory and Practice; Transportation and Transit; Pro Bono Business Law; Youth Employment; and Technological Innovation and Regulation.

For more details as well as the complete Agenda, please visit the Creating Opportunities Summit website.


York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416-736-5820,