Global City for Who?

Inequality and Social Exclusion in Toronto and London

The ‘Global City’ is a world-wide phenomenon. Shinning towers, rich cultural amenities, high paying jobs in technology, finance and culture, these are all hallmarks of the global city. But all over the world people are asking, ‘Who are we building these cities for?’ Income inequality, gentrification and ever widening gaps between the rich and poor in health and life outcomes are tearing apart the fabric of these cities even as they amass more power and influence.

On Wednesday October 24th 2018, we will discuss the growing divides in global cities through a dialogue between leading social commentators from both cities. Dr. Kofi Hope, this year’s Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in planning at the University of Toronto will speak from the perspective of Toronto. Hashi Mohamed, Planning Barrister and BBC Broadcaster who has spoken widely about social mobility in the United Kingdom, will speak for London. Following their comments, Sara Mojtehedzadeh, award-winning Toronto Star journalist who writes on issues of work and wealth, will moderate an open discussion between both speakers.

Please join us at 6:30pm at Innis College Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave. for this timely conversation on the future of cities around the world.


Hashi Mohamed is a barrister at No5 Chambers based in London, UK and a Broadcaster at the BBC. He is currently writing a book which seeks to analyse the state of social mobility in Britain; People Like Us: Social Mobility, Inequality and Making It in Britain.

In 2010, Hashi joined The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and completed his traineeship in London at 39 Essex Street Chambers in 2012. He joined No5 Chambers soon thereafter and practices in public law and commercial litigation related cases, though his main area of focus is Planning & Environmental law. He has been consistently listed as one of the highest rated planning barristers in England & Wales under the age of 35 in the Planning Magazine’s annual Planning Legal Survey.

He presents documentaries on BBC Radio 4, most recently on access to the top professions, child refugees making perilous journeys in the Mediterranean and terrorism and how nations react. Hashi writes regularly in various newspaper publications, including The Times of London, The Guardian and Prospect Magazine.

Kofi Hope is a Rhodes Scholar, Doctor of Philosophy in Politics, community activist and youth advocate. He is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Wellesley Institute. He also serves as a Strategic Consultant for the Vice President HR/Equity at the University Toronto and is the current Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning at UofT’s School of Urban Planning. He is the 2017 winner of the Jane Jacobs Prize.

Kofi previously served as Executive Director of the CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals (CEE) a non-profit he founded in 2012 which creates economic opportunities for Black youth in Toronto. In 2005 he created the Black Youth Coalition Against Violence, a group which advocated for real solutions to the issue of gun violence. This advocacy work included a presentation for then Prime Minister Paul Martin and led to him being named one of the Top Ten People to Watch in Toronto in 2006 by the Toronto Star. Kofi is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of Director’s for the Atkinson Foundation and Toronto Environmental Alliance.

Sara Mojtehedzadeh reports about labour, precarious work, and workers’ compensation for the Toronto Star. Previously she worked for the BBC World Service. Her work at the Star has been recognized by the Hillman Foundation prize for social-justice oriented investigative journalism. She received the JHR/Canadian Association of Journalists Award for human rights reporting in 2017 and was nominated for the Michener Prize for public service journalism.