Our New Migrant Reality: Lecture by Pico Iyer
For its Inaugural Annual Lecture on May 7, 2015, the Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson University was pleased to present speaker Pico Iyer, travel writer, author, philosopher, and global citizen. Mr. Iyer, author of the acclaimed The Global Soul and The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, will begin an annual tradition of exploring big ideas on diversity, prosperity and migration that matter to a world on the move.
“The foreign has long been my stomping ground, my sanctuary, as one who grew up a foreigner wherever I happened to be … there will always be some who feel threatened by—and correspondingly hostile to—anyone who looks and sounds different from themselves. But in my experience, foreignness can as often be an asset.”
– Pico Iyer, “The Foreign Spell,” Lapham’s Quarterly
Watch Pico Iyer’s full lecture
Q&A with Pico Iyer [post-lecture video], hosted by Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail
Click here to see photos from the event
Pico Iyer in conversation with Ratna Omidvar (video interview), Global Diversity Exchange
GDX Annual Lecture
The GDX Annual Lecture features a notable global thinker with big ideas on diversity, prosperity and migration. The lecture series profiles global thought leadership on issues that impact cities around the world.
About Pico Iyer
Recently interviewed by Oprah, best-selling author Pico Iyer talks about his new book, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.
Pico Iyer has been writing about movement, uprootedness and new notions of home for more than thirty years now, tracking exile possibilities and longings in novels about contemporary Cuba and Iran as well as in non-fictional books about the XIVth Dalai Lama and the global world as represented in airports.
The author of a dozen books—and of up to 100 articles a year, for magazines from The New York Review of Books and The New York Times to Harper’s and Granta—he has also written introductions to roughly 50 other books, including celebrated works by Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Michael Ondaatje, Peter Matthiessen, Rohinton Mistry and Natsume Soseki. In both 2013 and 2014 ted,com featured much-viewed TED talks by Iyer, and he has been a Fellow (twice) of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the initiator of a lecture series at the University of Toronto and the author of many liner notes for Leonard Cohen.
Iyer’s books include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, The Global Soul and Imagining Canada, and have led him to being named by Outside Magazine, in 2012, “arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer” and being chosen by the Utne Reader as one of “100 Visionaries Worldwide who could Change your Life.” His 2008 work on the Dalai Lama, The Open Road, drawing on 34 years of talks and travels with the Tibetan leader, was a best-seller across the United States and his work has been translated into 23 languages at least. He has also written a film-script for Miramax and starred in a commercial on CNN.
Born to Indian parents in Oxford, England, Iyer was educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard (at Oxford he was awarded a Congratulatory Double First in English Literature, with the highest grades of any student in the university). And though his travels have taken him everywhere from Easter Island to North Korea and Bhutan to Ethiopia, since 1987 he has been based in Western Japan.
The GDX Lecture is sponsored by RBC