Policy Crunch Series
Leadership programs for the public service of today prepare leaders for the public service of tomorrow. Our institutions face a world of declining public trust, disruptive change, and complex issues. Managing as usual is simply not an option.
Dialogue & Debate
Together we can build shared narratives on topics that are timely and important to government.
Past Events of Note
An evolution of our annual Digital Governance Forum, in the spring of 2019, we hosted the Future Forum. Together, thought leaders from around the world discussed how government can mitigate risks and take advantage of the opportunities coming with the new industrial revolution.
The conference featured upwards of 50 speakers and over 200 participants from the commanding heights of industry, public administration, government and research, both in Canada and internationally.
The two-day event hosted decision-makers, public intellectuals, academics, and industry leaders to address important policy issues stemming from new technologies. We sought to not only affect a paradigm-shift among participants, but to create an environment where solutions can begin to emerge.
Characteristics of a Nation-to-Nation Relationship Dialogue Series
In 2017, the Institute on Governance and Canadians for a New Partnership, with the support of a diverse group of sponsors, convened a series of dialogues across Canada to provide an open and respectful forum to articulate the characteristics of this relationship, as defined and perceived by Indigenous leaders, government department, and others with a vested interest in moving the agenda forward.
The series focused on four themes and culminated in a two-day National Summit:
- Nation Building and Re- Building
- Intergovernmental Fiscal Relationships
- Wealth Creation
- National Summit
- You can watch the full series on YouTube
Digital Governance Webinar Series
During the fall of 2020 we delivered a four-part webinar series titled the Digital Governance Webinar Series. In collaboration with leading experts and policy makers from Canada and Internationally, we explored critical digital governance issues that are becoming increasingly important for governments around the world, particularly given the impact of COVID-19 in accelerating digital trends in all parts of society.
You can watch the four sessions on YouTube here:
- State of Digital Government, Friday September 11, 2020
- Governing the Ethics of AI – September 23rd, 2020
- Modernizing Procurement for the Digital Era – Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
- Rethinking HR to Enable a Truly Digital Government – Thursday November 19th, 2020
The purpose of the series was simple: to bring together digital government leaders and experts to share their insights and facilitate frank and insightful discussions about how to accelerate the digital government movement forward in the months and years to come. Together with 15 panelists from across Canada and around the world, and nearly 1500 participants representing more than 140 organizations, we looked deep into some of the digital governance issues that consistently surface as being amongst the most challenging for policy makers.
Civil Society Dialogue Series
Civil society’s impact on governance and social cohesion is being felt in Canada and around the world. The rise of populism, a declining trust in governments, the changing role of (and trust in) media as a neutral, fact-based intermediary, and the impact of technologies on both organizational form and engagement (within and across sectors), all tell us that the role of civil society in Canada is evolving.
Governments need insight into the changing roles and views on the impact of civil society so they can respond with policies and programs.
In 2019, we hosted a series of dialogues and developed a summary discussion paper to review policy on civil society-government issues and propose strategies for building a stronger working relationship with the next federal government.
A series of four half-day dialogues was held between March and June 2019. Each dialogue attracted 30 to 40 representatives from the two sectors; they met, listened to experts speak on different aspects of the relationship, and discussed what they had heard without pressure to arrive at a decision or consensus.
- Civil & Uncivil Society – March 27th, 2019
- Advocacy and Policy Advice Re-Considered – April 25th, 2019 – this session followed Chatham House Rule
- Civil Society as a Service Delivery Agent of Government – May 29th, 2019
- Civil Society, Diversity and Inclusion – June 26th, 2019
Visit our research initiative Rebuilding Cohesion and Trust: Why Government Needs Civil Society to learn more.
Leading Through Covid-19
Released in the spring of 2020 at the commencement of the COVID-19 lockdown, this important and topical series, hosted by IOG President Toby Fyfe, tackled your most pressing questions and answers as leaders. Through eleven episodes, we spoke with experienced leaders and experts who have faced challenges and crises. They shared their knowledge and lessons learned and answered your biggest questions.
Notable speakers include:
- Former Clerk of the Privy Council, Mel Cappe, who led the federal public service, and the country, through the crisis that was 9/11.
- Deputy Minister of PSPC, Bill Matthews.
- President and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada, Kate Moran, who worked in the U.S. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
You can watch the full series on YouTube.
Driving Dialogue and Debate
Social cohesion is declining in most democracies and, with it, the capacity for reasoned discussion and debate and the ability to find common ground and consensus. There are different reasons for this, including the rise of social media, segmented media, an us-versus-them mentality and declining trust in institutions, including government. Polarization is a key sign of this trend.
We launched the Driving Dialogue and Debate series to examine the issue of polarization in public policy in Canada. Beginning on May 19, 2020, and then continuing every three weeks until July 21, 2020, we hosted four two-part, web-based events. Each event examined a contemporary, divisive policy topic:
- Session 1: Immigration
- Session 2: Energy and the environment
- Session 3: Western alienation
- Session 4: A polarized electorate
The accompanying paper discusses the process undertaken in the project and describes the findings. Where polarization prevents or limits the ability of government to act, this paper proposes a method for resolving tensions in which people are challenged to examine the different narratives underlying their policy positions. The process offers a means to resolve certain policy tensions by getting people to listen to one another, identify things that connect their various stories, then work together to build a single, shared narrative out of those differing stories.