On Wednesday, 21 October 2009, the Ismaili Centre, London and the Canadian High Commission presented a lecture by the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, former Governor General of Canada, titled Needing Each Other: Human Beings and the Challenge of the Environment.
As Canada's 26th Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson transformed and revitalised the office through her energy and passion for Canada. Now a best-selling author and Co-chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, her personal trajectory from WWII refugee – arriving from Hong Kong at the age of three – through her trailblazing career as a CBC broadcaster, author, publisher, and diplomat, to holding the highest office in the land, is an inspiration to millions of Canadians.
In an age when the overwhelming message of individualism distorts our vision, Clarkson asserts that we must come to terms with the network of ideas and actions which will help us to enhance our common humanity. Her talk focused on Canada's experience of evolving into a welcoming, pluralistic, post-modern society in the 21st Century, and how it can inform the creation of a new global citizenry based on openness, generosity, and mutual respect and well-being.