Corruption, radicalization, crises of confidence in institutions, terrorist attacks, conspiracy theories, the rise of populism, fake news, reasonable accommodations, increases in hate crimes, persistent violence against women, lack of representation of racialized minorities—in the last few years, in Québec and elsewhere, these social realities have given rise to a widespread feeling that the sources of insecurity and the zones of social fragility have multiplied, and can affect us in our daily lives. A series of events, from 2015 to 2017—from the departure of young Quebeckers to Syria to the spread of the #MeToo movement—have given weight to this feeling, revealing the importance of a young generation that is at once vulnerable but also teeming with hope and solutions for the future. This globalized process also underlines the essential role that youth's surrounding communities have to play.
Since 2016, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has contemplated developing a training, research and fieldwork centre designed to equip Quebeckers with the means to develop their reasoning, their critical thinking, their empathy, their emotional intelligence and their citizenship dispositions in order to cope with these social and political issues. This project is conceived as an invitation for all citizens to engage on a path toward responsible citizenship.
With the creation of the IPCY in 2018, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of the University of Montréal has embraced its mission of training, research and civic commitment by valuing philosophy as a means to orient oneself toward freedom and away from indoctrination, magical thinking and fake news. The IPCY is conceived as a resource available to all and allowing everyone to take the time to think and to embark on a path toward responsible citizenship.