This past weekend a distinguished group of experts in governance and energy gathered in Waterloo, Ont., for the annual conference of the Centre for International Governance Innovation. The CIGI event took place in the gorgeously restored Seagram's distillery, a Governor General's Award-winning building in this southern Ontario university town. The lovely surroundings, however, belied the seriousness of the discussions within.

This year the centre dedicated its conference to discussing energy, which, as an issue, is rapidly moving up the list of priorities for decision-makers everywhere. The western world's installed energy infrastructure is struggling to keep up with burgeoning global demand, and...

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