Speeches

Michael Adams brings his expertise in polling and social values research to a diversity of groups in Canada and the United States each year. Michael offers keynote speeches and plenary talks to large audiences, setting conferences off on a smart, energetic note. In addition, Michael engages smaller groups of decision makers in strategic meetings; sharing trend data and insights on social values, Michael helps leaders inform their business and policy decisions with a solid understanding of the evolving socio-cultural context.

To enquire about booking a speech or a talk with Michael Adams, please fill out our contact form or contact Lisa Parrish of Environics Research Group by email or by telephone at 416-969-2821 to discuss your event and its requirements. 

Michael is currently offering the following presentation topics:

Fire and Ice Redux: The United States and Canada in the era of Trump and Trudeau

In 2003 Michael Adams published a bestselling and prize-winning book Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values.   That book was based on social values surveys conducted in the United States and Canada in 1992, 1996 and 2,000.  Environics has continued its annual surveys in Canada and quadrennial surveys in the United States including a massive survey of 8,000 Americans during the recent presidential election campaign that saw Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.  In 2003 Michael provided the counter-intuitive and surprising evidence that the values of Americans and Canadians were diverging in significant ways, and that these divergences have implications for public policy, consumer marketing and human resources.

In this updated presentation on the trajectory of social values in the two countries, Michael once again finds evidence that the evolution towards progressive individualism in Canada may have peaked and even more surprisingly the evolution in the United States has reversed its trajectory towards nihilistic Social Darwinism and is now headed in the direction Canada has been following for a number of decades but at the same time evidences increasing Patriarchy, Xenophobia, Parochialism and Sexual Permissiveness...trends that Trump skilfully exploited.   Audiences will be intrigued by the values profiles of the regions of Canada and the United States, as well as the trajectories of values evolution among Canadian and American youth. 

 

How inclusive are Canadians @ 150? Public opinion and vulnerable group experiences

Canada has an international reputation as a diverse, inclusive society, and increasingly stands out against the worsening socio-economic climate sweeping Europe and the USA. Domestically, however, there is debate and doubt about just how accepting Canadians are of new immigrants and people with a different racial, cultural and religious background. Some Canadians (including a few politicians) are questioning current policies toward immigrants and refugees. Many immigrants are struggling to get established in an unfamiliar setting and challenging job market. And people in some racialized and religious minorities are confronting ongoing discrimination. How is Canada doing today in realizing the aspiration as a welcoming and inclusive society; is the glass half-full or half-empty?

The presentation will address this question by drawing upon current public opinion and social research conducted over the past two years by the non-profit Environics Institute for Survey Research. The research covers two broad perspectives: a) general public attitudes towards immigration and specific vulnerable populations (e.g., Muslims, Indigenous Peoples) that will include trend data to show how opinions have been changing (or not) over recent years and previous decades; and b) the personal experiences and perspectives of individuals from specific racialized and religious minorities (Muslims, Blacks).



Understanding Canadian Millennials through their Social Values

Millennials are the emerging generation that will shape Canada for the next half-century. They are also the least well understood generation of our time. Much of what we know comes from anecdote and stereotype: are they motivated strivers facing a daunting job market or entitled brats too picky to take on unfulfilling work?  Almost every discussion about Millennials lumps this entire generation into a single group, as if age alone is the defining characteristic. This leaves us with a contradictory picture that distorts our understanding of this generation that does these young adults, and the rest of us, a disservice.

Michael Adams tackles this contradiction head on by looking at Canadian Millennials through the lens of their social values. There are six distinctive social values “tribes” (ranging from “Bros & Brittanys” to “Critical Counterculturists”) that provide a key to understanding what makes young adults tick, and how to reach them. The talk covers such areas as Millennials’ life goals and markers of adulthood, career aspirations, and civic engagement. The presentation also provides valuable insight into how the social values of Millennials are similar and different from those of their Boomer parents and the Gen-Xers just ahead of them.