On May 23, the seventh annual Tommy Douglas Institute at George Brown College welcomes activist, author and Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow as its keynote speaker on Poverty, Populism, Planet: Envisioning Economic Justice.

Nearly two decades into the 21st century we are witness to a number of unsettling realities.

In an unprecedented display of wealth inequality, 26 of the world’s richest individuals own and control as much as the bottom 50 per cent of the global population. Billionaires grow their fortunes at an accumulated rate of $2.5 billion a day, while wealth and opportunity are siphoned from everywhere else; leading to growing rates of poverty, precarity and a raft of social insecurities for so many others (in employment, shelter, health care, education, and the list is increasing).