Cisco recently participated in the Grand Opening Celebration of the new Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) campus in Waterloo. While we were delighted to deploy a Cisco core technology infrastructure at CIGI, connecting the campus to Canada’s policy makers in Ottawa via TelePresence is what we think is really exciting. The campus is a result of RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s vision to build expertise in international affairs in Canada and to create a unique interdisciplinary teaching, learning and research environment focused on developing knowledge of global issues. In practical terms, it means that if Canada wants to play an increasingly important role on the international stage, it’s the kinds of things happening at the new CIGI Campus that will help get us there.
The campus is within an hour’s drive of eight leading Ontario universities, and located in a region that is home to leading technology firms with strong international reputations for innovation. CIGI’s contribution will be as a unique incubator of ideas – this is the first time a non-academic institution has come together with academic partners to create new and innovative teaching, learning and research outputs by the best and the brightest in Canada, and around the world!
The campus was officially opened on September 20 (see CIGI celebration video, featuring singer/songwriter K’Naan) and will house several graduate schools and programs, including an International Law Program still in the development stages with the University of Ottawa. The partnership with the University of Ottawa will deliver innovative programming in 3 areas of international law: economic and trade law; intellectual property law and environmental law – arguably the most critical areas of international law from both a Canadian and international policy perspective. Because of the nature of the programs and split between faculty and students in Waterloo and in Ottawa, Cisco TelePresence technology will enable CIGI to deliver this unique program in a truly collaborative way, and provide access to experts around the world. According to Neve Peric, CIGI Vice President of Operations, “this kind of capability helps transform CIGI activities from ordinary to world-class”.