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Published on October 2, 2019

Le Monde Festival

On the invitation of Le Monde and Le Devoir, key Quebec and French figures from the intellectual, economic, cultural and political milieus as well as the fields of science and innovation will debate and share their ideas on today’s pressing issues, around the theme of Taking Action.

October 25, 2019

Peut-on composer avec un «allié» américain à la gouverne irrationnelle?
10 to 11.30 am – Bourgie Hall


What to do when your main ally doesn’t keep his word or signature and, at times, treats you even worse than an enemy? Two and a half years after taking office, Donald Trump still remains unpredictable… Or is it too predictable, given the unilateralism displayed in his America First policy? Managing Trump is a challenge. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a bitter taste of this during the 2018 G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, when the American President withdrew from the final communique he had previously signed. For his part, Emmanuel Macron boldly leveraged his personal ties, yet failed to persuade his American counterpart not to leave the climate agreement or the Iranian nuclear agreement.
Moderator: Marc Semo
Speakers: Élisabeth Vallet, Michel Duclos

Le « surtourisme », une plaie pour les villes et le patrimoine
10 to 11.30 a.m. – Auditorium


The concentration of tourism on a handful of globalized sites will become a serious problem this century. In 1995, there were 525 million visitors to these locations, and this number will climb to nearly 2 billion by 2030. Ninety-five percent of tourists travel to the same places, which represent less than 5% of the planet’s surface. Lucrative factors notwithstanding, some decry a threat to the quality of life of the inhabitants as well as to the sites, monuments and museums. Such is the case for Venice, Barcelona, Paris, Athens and Amsterdam, but also for Machu Picchu (Peru), Mont Blanc (France) and Easter Island (Chile). What can be done to respect the principles of sustainable development? Current solutions cannot hope to make a dent: visitor quotas, putting the brakes on tour operators, specific taxes, scrutinizing Airbnb… The fact remains that it is difficult to reconcile the protection of the environment with the globalized desire for discovery.

Moderator: Michel Guerrin

Speakers: Fabien Durif, Martin Soucy, Delphine Bürkil, Mélanie Paul-Hus

Est-ce aux politiques de dire le beau ?
12 to 13.30 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


Following the fire that ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last April, President Emmanuel Macron defined a precise framework for the renovation even before the experts had a chance. In so doing, he revived a sensitive question: who has the power to decide on matters of culture, to dictate taste, to appoint artists? Is it the owner of a site? The one who finances it? Depending on the country and the culture, the answer varies: political leaders, specialists, boards of directors, patrons or private companies or the population. How can we achieve the best balance between these different actors and between aesthetic choices and economic efficiency? Does the answer depend on the sector concerned, be it heritage or arts, museum or theatre?

Moderator: Michel Guerrin

Speakers: Nathalie Bondil, Dinu Bumbaru, Jean-Jacques AIllagon, Claude Provencher

La vérité journalistique existe-t-elle?
12 to 13.30 p.m. – Auditorium


What has become of fact? In the age of information overload, what constitutes the facts is now hotly contested, manipulated by the winds of politics whispering “fake news.” How can we keep democratic debate alive in countries where more than half of the population gets their news exclusively through social media, and where opinion merges with fact in the minds of citizens?

Moderator: Brian Myles

Speakers: Pierre Trudel, Sylvain LAfrance, Myriam Revault d’Allonnes, Gérald Bronner

Comment réinventer la famille à l’heure de l’égalité des sexes ?
2 to 3.30 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


What is a modern family? Whereas in France, the concept of “mental load” is just beginning to become known, and paternity leave is still limited to 11 days, on the other side of the Atlantic, in Quebec, parental leaves are shared, and domestic duties are more evenly distributed. At the same time, in Western societies everywhere the classic family structure is being challenged, with the normalization of blended families and the increased recognition of single-parent households. How is the evolution of the family model redefining men and women’s place within it and transforming the way we raise children? To what extent does the division of roles and responsibilities in a family change the relationship between men and women in the rest of society? To tackle these questions, we have invited two family sociologists, Diane Pacom (Quebec) and Irène Théry (France), as well as essayist Samuel Archibald (Quebec).

Moderator: Violaine Morin

Speakers: Diane Pacom, Samuel Archibald, Irène Théry

Après la vague de #MoiAussi, qu’est-ce qui a changé ?
2 to 3 p.m. – Auditorium


Reports of harassment and sexual misconduct stirred by the #MeToo movement have brought to light a phenomenon of unsuspected proportions. The revelations have given rise to a dialogue around sexual harassment, but also the implementation of concrete actions to stem and prevent the problem. But have they actually materialized?

Moderator: Isabelle Porter

Speakers: Sandrine Ricci, Véronique Hivon, Astrid de Villaines

La maternelle dès 3 ans: le modèle français est-il efficace et exportable ?
4 to 5.30 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


Early compulsory education is provided for in some school systems in order to prevent dropout, detect learning difficulties earlier and support children from disadvantaged backgrounds. A pioneer in this area, France recently lowered the mandatory school attendance age to 3 years. This year, Quebec is implementing a gradual integration of kindergarten at age four, an initiative that has been met with controversy. What lessons can be drawn from the French model?

Moderator: Marie-Andrée Chouinard

Speakers: Christa Japel, Pauline Marois, Pascale Garnier

Entre promesses et défis, l'intelligence artificielle (IA) redessinera-t-elle notre monde ?
4 to 5.30 p.m. – Auditorium


From social media to personal assistants, to urban security devices, artificial intelligence systems have become a major part of our everyday lives. Given the human and democratic challenges they raise, initiatives to manage their development are proliferating: Montreal Declaration in Canada, the European Union’s Guidelines for a Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, UNESCO’s “Principles for AI” and the OECD’s recommendations, among others. In May, France and Canada jointly announced the creation of an International Panel on Artificial Intelligence (IPAI), whose primary mission is to promote and guide the adoption of AI that is ethical and human-centric.

Moderator: Claire Legros

Speakers: Marc-Antoine Dilhac, Yoshua Bengio, Laurence Devillers

Le développement durable peut-il être rentable pour les entreprises ?
6 to 7.30 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


In response to a sense of climate urgency, several financial institutions are choosing to direct a part of their investments towards so-called green sectors. This has prompted companies to ask: should these new imperatives suddenly take precedence over their objective of profitability? Is it possible to marry the two or even make them a lever for economic development?

Moderator: Éric Desrosiers

Speakers: Pierre Bélanger, Pauline D’Ambroise, Christophe Itier

L'intelligence artificielle au secours de la santé ?
6 to 7.30 p.m. – Auditorium


Artificial intelligence is at the heart of medicine’s future. Many specialties – including radiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology and surgery – are already benefiting from its advancements. What role should AI play in an increasingly digitized healthcare system? Is there a threshold beyond which there would be a problem of acceptability among patients? Without going so far as imagining that AI will one day replace the doctor, where does the ethical boundary lie in accepting that a machine – a robot – substitute for a human being? Through many examples, we will try to understand the fundamental issues of this research and technological advancement.

Moderator: Franck Nouchi

Speakers: Fabrice Brunet, Ma’n H Zawati, Patrick Nataf, Anne-Laure Rousseau

October 26th, 2019

Comment garantir une plus grande égalité entre les territoires ?
10.30 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


The past year in France has been punctuated by the Yellow Vest uprisings, a spontaneous social movement that sparked demonstrations against rising fuel taxes across rural, suburban and metropolitan areas, which then blossomed into various political and social protests. In Quebec, inequalities in economic development are also pitting urban centres and rural regions against each other. How can we ease these frictions and achieve greater equity nationwide?

Moderator: Christian Roux

Speakers: Claudine Roy, Ben Marc Diendéré, Alexandre Cusson, Xavier Bertrand, Jacques Lévy

Urgence climatique : faut-il instaurer une dictature environnementale?
12.30 to 2 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


The debate on climate change is pervasive and rouses diverse convictions. Some see it as damning evidence of the political class’s inability to think long-term to stem the catastrophe at hand. Others want to sound the alarm to trigger the awakening that’s needed to slow the race for economic growth and consumerism that are putting the planet under strain. Negative growth, civil disobedience, veganism… these radical alternatives are finding resonance in our civil societies. Faced with a paralyzed democratic machine, should authoritarian and unpopular measures be imposed in order to have a hope of managing the ecological emergency?
Moderator: Simon Roger

Speakers: Catherine Gauthier, Dominic Champagne, Patrick Bonin, Dominique Bourg

Rap et hip-hop réinventent et bouleversent les codes linguistiques
2.30 to 3.30 p.m. – Bourgie Hall


As their music gains in popularity all over the world, rappers and hip-hop artists are composing new linguistic codes, blending languages, and tearing down prejudices and borders. Is this powerful vector of innovation – this way of playing with language in music – having an influence on people’s everyday way of speaking? Do we have to break down the linguistic “standards” in order to create an innovation breakthrough?

Moderator: Manon Dumas

Speakers: Aly Ndiaye, Ogden Ridjanovic

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