"By offering open guest lectures the goal has been to create spaces of reflection and discussion for students, decision-makers, journalists, academics and citizens in relation to serious social, economic and environmental challenges. To be part of SSE Riga community is to care about such issues and to be actively involved in understanding and facing them," says Assistant Professor and Business Ethics and Sustainability Course Director Xavier Landes.


Topic: The Legalization of Marijuana in Canada - Policy Challenges
Speaker: Professor Daniel Weinstock, McGill University
Recorded on March 25, 2019 at SSE Riga

Canada has became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana. Daniel Weinstock (McGill University) during his open lecture at SSE Riga talked about policy challenges that cannabis legalization has brought. This talk addressed some of the challenges that have been faced in designing an appropriate regulatory apparatus, as well as in (re-)organizing the market in cannabis products. 

There are many plausible policy rationales for the legalization of cannabis. Legalization and regulation, rather than criminalization, seem justified from a number of points of view, including economic and public health. It can also protect the young from the effects of an entirely illegal market, run by criminal organizations. But achieving these objectives requires that the right policy choices be made. In this talk I examine two respects in which Canada, which legalized cannabis in October 2018, may have made the wrong policy choices. 
1/ First, by restricting access to the market to a small number of producers, it has not taken steps that might reliably eliminate the illegal market. 
2/ And second, by blocking access to safe, regulated marijuana to younger users, who make up a large segment of the consumers of cannabis products, it fails to protect them from the dangers of the unregulated illegal market.

Topic: Reality of Climate Change Globally and in Latvia
Speaker: Ilze Prūse, Director of Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia
Recorded on March 26, 2019 at SSE Riga

During this lecture, Ilze Prūse offered a general panorama of the meaning of climate change globally before discussing the details of the implications and risks for Latvia. The context of her talk is the recent publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) special report. 

Unfortunately, climate change is real and must be taken into account when planning development and operation of any sector or company. Climate change mitigation and adaptation is one of EU priorities and all will have to contribute! Low carbon and climate resilient development can be beneficial not only for environment, but also for economy and social aspects. Many in the EU already support a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It is very ambitious but possible. The longer we postpone transformations the higher the costs!