Summer School on the Geopolitics of Natural Resources

Énergie électrique et éoliennes

The Summer School on the Geopolitics of Natural Resources is held in cooperation with The School of Public Policy of the University of Calgary.  

Objectives: This annual event equips future leaders and young professionals from Québec and Alberta to become tomorrow's experts on the geopolitics of natural resources. 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE 2021 EDITION OF THE SUMMER SCHOOL IS CANCELLED due to the health situation in Québec.

Brief description

Brief description


  • This course, designed by scientists from Québec and Alberta, welcomes some twenty guest experts who are internationally recognized in their field and and are either practitioners on the ground or university researchers.
  • The school is a 3 credit course (ETI-7032). It can be taken in non-credit mode. 
  • It is one of the courses that make up the Short Graduate Program in Diplomatic and Strategic Affairs. So you can start or continue the short program by attending this school.  

When and where

  • In May, Université Laval (even-numbered years) or in Calgary (odd-numbered years)
  • 1 intensive week: 5 to 6 days, depending on the year

For who

  • Graduate students
  • Professionals from the public and broader public public sectors, as well as the private sector
  • Students who are finishing their undergraduate degree (60 credits completed) may be accepted under certain conditions


  • Issues are addressed using a multidisciplinary approach, particularly from the perspective of political science, law, economics, and geology
  • The educational format combines lectures, round tables or debates, workshops, seminars, simulations, field trips, and public networking events


  • Natural resources, especially energy resources, are not just commercial products. A society’s development and political influence internationally has always been closely tied to how it manages its resources. Natural resources as a geostrategic issue are therefore of prime importance in ensuring continued prosperity in a peaceful and sustainable world.  
  • But this sector is in turmoil and global trends are sometimes contradictory. Natural resources are in greater supply, global growth is slowing, and production costs and the risks related to geopolitical factors are increasing. Climate change is accelerating and the rise of the middle classes is increasing global demand.  
  • Citizens are becoming more concerned, and, industries everywhere are urging governments to allow extraction as well as exploration, and to facilitate transportation and world trade. 

CANCELLED 2020 Edition, May 11-15: Mining without Undermining Confidence

This year theme was “Best Practices in Public Engagement for Extractive Projects.”

Governments must tackle the pressing problem of conducting appropriate environmental, social and economic assessments of major extractive projects that affect communities. This entails significant planning to ensure not only that the proper legal framework is followed, but that the projects benefit local communities while remaining economically sounds and politically stables. What are the best practices when it comes to public engagement and community consultations in the extractive sector?

At the end of this program, participants should:

  • Understand how natural resources are managed in Canada and abroad.
  • Grasp the different challenges faced by the communities affected, the promoters and the government.
  • Know the best practices to ensure that the development of extractive projects makes sense for everybody.

Programme provisoire

May 11, Monday - Public Engagement 101

Welcoming, introduction

Setting the stage: values, ethics, the law and public opposition to major projects

Introduction to Community Engagement Principles


May 12, Tuesday - Engaging Indigenous and marginalized communities

Indigenous law ‘101’ and the Duty to Consult

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – Examples from other jurisdictions

Gender Issues and GBA+ in Community Engagement 

Presentation of the simulation and team formation


May 13, Wednesday- Planning engagement

Pre-engagement planning

Developing the long-term Community Engagement Plan

PANEL: Engaging with Developers – Lessons learned from projects


May 14, Thursday - Field trip

Visit of a Strategic place in or near Quebec city

Visit to Wendake First Nation 


May 15, Friday - Confronting reality + Simulation exercise

Real-world challenges in community engagement

PANEL: Can anything big be built again in Canada?

Community engagement simulation

360 and Certificates

Join the Summer School team

418 656-2131, poste 407530