Opening ceremony - The Road to 2017

Forum 2016 – Opening ceremony



Emmanuel Mavridakis
Keynote speaker

While riding an ATV in the Eastern Townships, Emmanuel Mavridakis was struck by a car in 2013, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. Following years of extensive and on-going therapy, Emmanuel was committed to turning his setback into a comeback and became one of three teenagers from across Canada to take part in what the Discovery Channel ranked as the “toughest footrace on earth,” Le Marathon des Sables. With a goal that one day he will walk again, Emmanuel recently shared his story at the 2015 Montreal TEDTalks with the hope that he will inspire others to face adversity with courage and positive thinking.



Peter Schiefke
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs

From a young age, Peter Schiefke has always had an interest in humanitarian, environmental, and social causes. This passion led him to create many projects and organizations, including We Will Always Remember, a project which pays tribute to veterans, and that earned him a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation in 2003. Peter also cofounded the Concordia Volunteer Abroad Program, a non-profit organization that helps victims of the civil war in East Africa and Youth Action Canada, which promotes youth involvement in fighting climate change. More recently, he served as National Director of Climate Reality Canada, the Canadian division of an organization founded by former United States Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore, which seeks to educate people on environmental issues.