This year, the International Development Conference will highlight the theoretical development studies and policy research that play a predominant role in shaping development projects. When concrete, tangible policies and projects are implemented, theory and practice often fail to coincide. Development solutions and initiatives, as well as daily livelihood decisions, executed by an array of actors - from large development players to individual households - affect the lives of citizens and underdeveloped areas throughout the world. As such, critical reflections on ongoing development efforts, common consumption decisions and ingrained aspects of the world economy highlight that, while considerable victories have been attained to achieve a more just, prosperous and equitable world, attempts at reforms and aids are not without their drawbacks. 

The controversy surrounding the involvement of religious aid organizations may politicize and undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and obtain relief. Attempts to regulate small scale gold mining, while environmentally necessary, may fail to address the dilemma of gold demand in shaping the persistence of artisans gold mining. Efforts to democratize and increase the transparency of the international trade regime may succeed in incorporating sustainability as a core principal of global commerce, but tedious institutional reform may not reflect the urgency of climate change. Alongside the IDC 2017’s thematic discussions, which will explore these and more concrete development efforts through a critical lens, the conference will also host a selection of Canadian NGOs, businesses, and student researchers to showcase the diversity and innovation of new ideas and efforts shaping the development sectors today. 




Cory Wanless is a lawyer at Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors in Toronto. Cory represents clients nationally and internationally in the areas of corporate accountability, First Nations rights, environmental law, defamation and affordable housing.

Along with Murray Klippenstein, Cory Wanless currently represents 13 Mayan Q’eqchi’ in three ground-breaking lawsuits against Canadian company HudBay Minerals regarding human rights abuse in Guatemala. Cory and Murray also recently represented a coalition of human rights organizations in an intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada in the ongoing legal saga against Chevron for pollution of the Amazon rainforest. Cory is a frequent litigator, and has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario and Alberta, and has argued before the Supreme Court of Canada.

Cory is a frequent speaker on the topics of corporate accountability, mining and human rights, and has guest-lectured at various universities and faculties of law throughout Canada. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta (B.A.) (2004) and the University of Toronto (J.D.) (2008).