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IDRC at the 2020 Conference of Montreal

December 23, 2020
IDRC joined the discussion on the major issues surrounding sustainable recovery at the Conference of Montreal’s online edition in December 2020.
The International Economic Forum of the Americas, Conference of Montreal Banner.

The Centre co-hosted a panel with the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) on B Corporations — companies that aim to earn a profit as well as contributing to the social and environmental good. IDRC President Jean Lebel moderated this discussion, which featured IDRC-supported research, in addition to a fireside chat about creating resilient and sustainable economies that benefit people and the environment.

Presented by the IEFA, the Conference of Montreal took place online from December 14– 17, 2020. Under the theme of “Bridging a Disconnected World,” the conference featured notable speakers from the private and public sectors, as well as international and nongovernmental organizations.

Learn more about the Conference of Montreal

Overview of IDRC sessions 

Tuesday, December 15 | 11:00–11:50 am

B Corps: From niche sector to game-changing movement

B Corps are certified as corporations that balance profit-earning with doing social and environmental good. Panelists will discuss how B Corps play these parallel roles and help to create racial justice, equity, and economies that work for everyone. The session will also cover the growth potential of this type of business in Canada, the United States, and low- and middle-income countries.


  • María Emilia Correa, co-founder, Sistema B
  • Kim Coupounas, global ambassador, B Lab
  • Michael Denham, president and CEO, Business Development Bank of Canada

Moderated by Jean Lebel

Watch the recording

Wednesday, December 16 | 12:00–12:40 pm

A sustainable recovery for people and planet

Sustainable and resilient economies protect the environment and prepare societies to face new threats. What is the impact of the pandemic on economic growth, sustainability, equity, and efforts to address climate change, especially in developing countries? This conversation will explore how can we make the most of economic opportunities in fiscal spending for the recovery to be nature-positive and address climate change.


  • Inger Andersen, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme
  • Akinwumi Adesina, president, African Development Bank Group

Moderated by Jean Lebel

Watch the recording