Maria Ressa, journalist, author, founder/CEO of Rappler and TIME’s 2018 Person of the Year is coming to Toronto to give a keynote address on truth, information and global power structures at Canada’s only democracy summit, DemocracyXChange, taking place at Ryerson University — presented and co-founded by Open Democracy Project and the Ryerson Leadership Lab. This will be Ressa’s first visit to Canada since TIME’s announcement, and in the midst of a politically motivated legal battle.

WHO: Maria Ressa is the founder, CEO and executive editor for Rappler, a digital news platform founded in 2012 in the Philippines. In her 33-year career in journalism, she’s become a champion for press freedom, democracy and truth. In December she was named TIME’s Person of Year 2018 as one of “The Guardians” from around the world combating the “War on Truth.” She’s reported from war zones, protests and recently was targeted by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s government for Rappler’s critical coverage of his administration. Recipient of the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award, Ressa shares in TIME, “The kind of civil discourse that used to be necessary for democracy — one, we all agreed on facts, two, we actually exchanged ideas — this is gone.”

WHATDemocracyXChange is a new annual summit for Canada’s emerging democracy sector to connect, learn and share ideas and methods for driving change from the ground up. The three-day summit will bring together more than 50 speakers, 350 thought leaders, community activists, companies, media-makers, academics, public servants, decision-makers and citizens from multiple countries and across the ideological spectrum. More info at www.democracyxchange.org (limited media passes available).

WHEN:

Maria Ressa Keynote — January 27, 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm
Summit — January 25 to 27

WHERE:

Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management
55 Dundas Street W Toronto, ON M5G 2C3  View Map

WHY: Globally, the indicators are clear. We are in the midst of a democratic recession. As Canada enters a federal election year, in an age of polarization, it’s more important than ever to connect across borders and political lines to focus on ground-up, community change.