Each year Public Interest Alberta hosts an advocacy conference addressing pressing public interest issues in Alberta. These conferences are essential opportunities to work with other individuals and organizations in developing public solutions that strengthen our communities and provide us with the tools to mobilize us into action to build a better Alberta for all. 

Learn more about our upcoming 2017 conference, BOLD Advocacy for BIG Changes.


2016 - 10th Annual Conference, Advocacy in a Time of Opportunity

Keynote Speakers:

  • Larry Brown, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School


2015 - 9th Annual Conference, A Just and Fair Alberta for All: Making it Happen

2015 Conference Banner

Keynote Speaker - Avi Lewis

Plenary speakers:

  • Asbjørn Wahl, Norwegian Union of General and Municipal Employees
  • Sarah Hainds, Chicago Teachers’ Union
  • Colleen Fuller, Health Policy Researcher
  • Bill Phipps, Social Justice Advocate

2014 - 8th Annual Conference, Reasserting the Public Good in a Corporatized World

2014 PIA Advocacy Conference

Keynote Speaker - Vandana Shiva 

Plenary speakers:

  • Dr. Alex Himelfarb, Former Clerk of the Privy Council
  • Dr. Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist for Public Citizen

2013 - 7th Annual Conference, Fighting for Our Future: People Power vs. Corporate Control

conference 2013

Keynote Panel - Fighting for our Future, Speakers: Linda McQuaig, Crystal Lameman, Peas Peas Ayui, Gregor MacLennan  Plenary speakers: 

  • Afsar Jafri, Coordinator Focus on the Global South, Focus-India
  • Sean Devlin, founder and Creative Director of Truthfool Communications, and founder of ShitHarperDid.com
  • Kevin Millsip is the Co-founder & Director of Next Up
  • Julia Pope is a board member and director of Strategic Communications at Leadnow.ca

2012 - 6th Annual Conference, Make Shift Happen: Mobilizing the Power of the People

Conference Banner

Keynote speaker: John Ralston Saul

Plenary speakers:

  • Armine Yalnizyan, Senior Economist, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Dr. Danielle Martin, Board Chair, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
  • Anil Naidoo, Coordinator, Blue Planet Project

2011 - 5th Annual Conference, Mobilizing for a Better Alberta: Strong Communities, Public Solutions

Conference poster image

Keynote speaker: Dr. Dennis Shirley, Professor, Lynch School of Education, Boston College

Plenary speakers:

  • Rob Hopkins (via live video feed), Co-Founder, Transition Town Movement
  • Dr. Ritika Goel, Co-Founder, Students for Medicare
  • Dr. Trevor Harrison, Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
  • Walter Davis, Executive Director, National Organizers Alliance

Click here for video and audio from the 2011 Conference. You can also visit our YouTube Channel to check out PIA's videos.

2010 - 4th Annual Conference, Worth Fighting For: Public Solutions and Our Common Future

Keynote speaker: David Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for a New Economy

Plenary speakers:

  • Robert Chernomas, a well-published Professor of Economics at the University of Manitoba
  • Alex Molnar, an expert on the commercialization of public education from Arizona State University
  • Natalie Mehra of the Ontario Health Coalition,
  • Ricardo Acuna, Executive Director of the Parkland Institute
  • Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campainger for the Council of Canadians

2009 - 3rd Annual Conference, Beyond Band Aids and Bailouts: Public Solutions in Critical Times

Keynote speaker: Judy Rebick, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair, Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson University

Plenary speakers:

  • Dr. Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • Margrete Strand Rangnes, Deputy Director, Blue Green Alliance
  • Dr. Robert Woollard, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
  • Diana Gibson, Parkland Institute

2008 - 2nd Annual Conference, Not for Sale: Promoting Public Solutions in Today's Alberta

Speakers:Avi Lewis, Allyson Pollock, Deb Brennan, Heather-jane Robertson and Maude Barlow.

2007 - 1st Annual Conference, Changing Alberta: Pursuing the Public Interest

Keynote speaker: Tony Clarke, President, Polaris Institute

Plenary speakers:

  • Tyson Slocum, Director, Public Citizen's Energy Program in Washington D.C.
  • Annie Kidder, Executive Director and Co-Founder, People for Education
  • Monica Lysack, Executive Director, Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada