The Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Conference is dedicated to tackling the world’s most complex societal issues with a focus this year on socio-economic inclusion, sustainability, media freedom, and human rights
The world continues to face unprecedented challenges that pre-existed the global COVID-19 pandemic but have been made worse because of it. These challenges are now culminating in a vortex of crises exacerbated by the pandemic — environmental, economic, social — that are further deepening inequalities, and threatening irreversible, long-term consequences.
To take just one example, climate change is expected to drive 132 million into poverty by 2030. The negative impacts of extreme weather cost poor and marginalized communities the most, and people in poorer countries are about five times more likely to be displaced by sudden extreme weather disasters. The World Health Organization (WHO) says by 2030, climate change is expected to contribute to approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress.
This is a key moment in time. How we choose to channel our efforts to bridge the ever-deepening socio-economic divides will define the course of progress for generations. But crises of this magnitude require a coordinated, collaborative, and global response, as well as an understanding of how these forces intersect and how each are propelled by the other.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is well-positioned to contribute to this global response. And this is why the Foundation’s Trust Conference is dedicated to tackling the world’s most complex societal issues with a focus this year on socio-economic inclusion, sustainability, media freedom, and human rights. This year’s event, held on November 17 and 18, will present a series of keynote speeches, panel discussions, insight sessions, and fireside chats from world-leading experts.
The event will allow the exchange of global expertise, frontline experience, and extraordinary insights. Usually an in-person event, it will be held online for the second consecutive year, allowing thousands of delegates from all corners of the globe — from NGOs, professional services, legal services, the media, financial services, technology companies, the public sector, and think tanks — to participate.
Climate change & post-pandemic society
In a year characterized by an alarming number of extreme climate events and a renewed focus on a recovery that can benefit the environment and create jobs, the first day of the Trust Conference will be themed around the need to build more inclusive and sustainable economies post-pandemic.
Experts will share how more meaningful adoption of social indicators in the framework of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) can measure how businesses directly affect human rights issues and can impact on the rights of workers and socio-economic inequality. The first day will end with a panel discussion exploring the business case for economic inclusion, beyond the moral imperative, touching on issues such as gender and race-based inequalities.
The second day of Trust Conference will turn to issues surrounding media freedom, technology, and society, examining the steep challenges impacting the flow of information and the resulting unequal distribution of power.
Indeed, the protection of journalists themselves will also be a focus of this day. UNESCO reports that on average, a journalist is killed every five days because of their work. The second day of the Conference will give a platform to those dealing with the rising online and in-person threats to the safety of women journalists. Panel discussions will also feature experts at the forefront of ensuring a plurality of voices and advancing diversity in the newsroom.
World-renowned speakers at this year’s Trust Conference are all at the forefront of these issues, including Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies; Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE, mayor of Freetown; Shamina Singh, executive VP for Sustainability at Mastercard; Dr. Sandie Okoro, senior VP and general counsel at the World Bank Group; Danielle Belton, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post; and Lina Attalah, co-founder of independent Egyptian news outlet Mada Masr.
This year’s Trust Conference will tackle some of the gravest issues of our time during the biggest health crisis of our time, which demands collaboration on an unprecedented scale. The Conference will meet these demands while offering an exchange of expertise, the space and freedom to innovate, and the ability to take action together. We hope to see you there.