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Decoding Democracy: Political Narrative, AI and Elections in 2024

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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The Empire Club presents EMPIRE NIGHTS 

Sarada Peri, in Conversation with Martin Regg Cohn, Political Columnist, The Toronto Star

Don Guy, Pollster of Pollara Strategic Insights: Presentation of special polling insights on democracy and Canadian attitudes toward the U.S. Election

A flurry of democratic activity will take place in 2024, with at least 65 elections taking place across 54 countries. At the same time, the frontiers of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies seem to expand every day. The influence of AI on the democratic process will be tested at scale for the first time as billions of people around the world head to the polls, posing concerns about the delicate balance between technological advancement and the resilience of democratic institutions.

Join Sarada Peri, expert communications strategist and former speechwriter to President Obama, as she uncovers the implications of AI for political campaigns and democracy.

The Empire Club of Canada is proud to present this special Empire Nights event with a senior U.S. based communications expert, a prominent journalist and a legendary pollster with the assistance, support and vision from the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). 

Please book now to reserve your spot for this fantastic event and networking opportunity

March the 5th, 2024.
Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox 

headshot of Sarada Peri

Sarada Peri

U.S. Communications Strategist & Former Presidential Speechwriter

Sarada Peri is a writer and founder of Peri Communications.

She was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Speechwriter for President Barack Obama. Prior to joining the White House, she was a Principal at West Wing Writers, where she worked with corporate, political and nonprofit clients on speechwriting, speech delivery, op-eds, books, and message strategy.  She was also a member of the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Convention speechwriting teams.

A recovering policy wonk, Sarada worked on Capitol Hill as lead education and health care policy advisor to former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).  She started her career as a high school English teacher in New Orleans through Teach for America.

Sarada graduated from Tufts University and holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Feel free to ask her how to pronounce her name.

headshot of Martin Regg Cohn

Martin Regg Cohn

Moderator - Political Columnist, Toronto Star

Martin Regg Cohn is a political columnist for the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, writing on domestic and international issues. A foreign correspondent for 11 years, he ran the Star’s Middle East and Asia bureaus, reporting from more than 40 countries. He was also Foreign Editor, a world affairs columnist, and covered national politics from Ottawa.

Nominated five times for the National Newspaper Award, he also received an Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada fellowship to research Islam in Indonesia, and won the Amnesty International Media Award for his coverage from Sudan.

He is a Senior Fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University, where he founded the Democracy Forum at TMU. He is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, and has lectured for New York Times Journeys across the Middle East. A native of Montreal, he studied economics at King’s College and Dalhousie University.

headshot of Don Guy

Don Guy

Polling Presentation - Founding Partner, GT&Co, Chief Strategist, Pollara Strategic Insights

Don Guy has been described by Canada’s national newsmagazine Maclean’s as a “legendary political strategist”, by Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail as a “brilliant strategist” and by The Toronto Star as “policy wizard”.

He has provided the research-fueled strategies behind many of Canada’s most successful political, public and corporate campaigns over the past 25 years.

Don’s graduate academic training was at the University of Toronto, where he took his MA and doctoral studies in political and democratic behaviour.