By Brian Heidecker for Daily Hive Calgary. He is a former Chair of the University of Alberta’s Board of Governors and a retired rancher and businessman who currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Edmonton Public Library and Sawridge Trusts.
In 2009, during my tenure as Chairman of the Board of Governors at the University of Alberta I had the pleasure of hearing His Highness the Aga Khan deliver his Convocation Address at the University of Alberta:
“In today’s community of nations, a country’s standing is no longer recognized simply by what it can achieve for itself, but just as much by what it can do for others. In this context, Canada has become a world ‘power’ in the best sense of that word.”
This year marks the 60th anniversary, or Diamond Jubilee, of His Highness’ leadership, or Imamat, of the world’s Shia Ismaili community.
Over the course of his life, the Aga Khan has worked selflessly towards the improvement of the quality of life for people in some of the world’s most remote and isolated regions. He does this through the work of his organization, the Aga Khan Development Network, the agencies of which operate in the sectors of cultural, social, and economic development.
Yet what might the Aga Khan – founder and Chairman of one of the world’s largest private development agencies – find in Edmonton?
The answer to the question ‘why Edmonton?’ I believe is reflected in two connected themes to which His Highness refers. The first is the idea of a knowledge society, and the second, the value of pluralism.
More at the source: Daily Hive Calgary / Brian Heidecker / May 10, 2018