Language selection

Language selection

A Precarious Balance: Technology and Wellbeing in a Changing World


If digital technologies bring us closer, do they conversely run the risk of forcing us further apart?

Employing a Social Determinants of Health and Wellbeing lens, our group has explored this question in interviews with academics, NGO’s and government officials. Though new technology and profound socioeconomic changes occurring in parallel may be cause for concern, the news isn’t all bad.

Continue reading “A Precarious Balance: Technology and Wellbeing in a Changing World”

My Favourite F-Word and What I’ve Learned (So Far) About the Future of #FemGov in Canada


As we delve into the policy-making phase of Canada Beyond 150, I find myself reflecting on what a feminist government actually looks like. Beyond the superficial rhetoric and associated jargon, what does a feminist government mean to me? The stakes of not delivering on this complex, but important agenda are incredibly high—the possible consequences could bring more exclusion and inequality, especially for marginalized and vulnerable populations. And while I regret that this post doesn’t shed light on how we can achieve a feminist government, I want to share three key understandings that have emerged from many hours of consultations during this incredible journey with the Canada Beyond 150 feminist government team.

Continue reading “My Favourite F-Word and What I’ve Learned (So Far) About the Future of #FemGov in Canada”

Stakeholder Engagement: My Journey


Have you ever felt like you were trapped inside a bubble? Have you ever wondered what’s going on outside your office walls? I was grappling with this feeling, which finally went away recently.

A few short months ago, I would have never believed how easy it was to collaborate with stakeholders from outside the Government, probably because I had never experienced this type of activity. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that a simple email was generally enough to almost immediately get a show of interest from dynamic people and leaders who are ready to give of their time to further a cause that is important to them. Everyone I contacted agreed to take part, even if they weren’t sure what it was all about or if they had never heard of the Canada Beyond 150 program. I was also pleasantly surprised by the generosity and candour of the stakeholders I contacted. We had honest and profound discussions, sometimes on touchy subjects such as private companies’ responsibility to the environment—subjects that do not have widely accepted solutions. These discussion sessions were one of the most important things I learned from the program, and I quickly realized that collaboration is the key to the development of relevant, integrative policies.

Opening Government to Improve Outcomes


Open Government is a concept. It’s a view into government. It’s an invitation to stakeholders, citizens and civil society to help shape government decisions and actions. It is not a program or policy, yet both can be part of achieving the vision of a government that encourages civic participation, invites accountability and demonstrates transparency. Examples of open government include proactively disclosing financial and human resources-related information online and publishing expenditures that can be displayed visually or as machine-readable charts. These measures are intended to strengthen public sector management.

Continue reading “Opening Government to Improve Outcomes”

Seeing Beyond My Own Perspective


I am a member of the Sustainable Development Team on the Canada Beyond 150 project.  Throughout the Insight and Scenario portions of the project, my team came to the point where we needed more information than we could provide ourselves. We realized that in order for us to look into what the future may look like, we need to talk to the people who are currently working on Sustainable Development Goals here in Canada.

Continue reading “Seeing Beyond My Own Perspective”

Is “Tell-Us-Once” the Future of Government Services?


The speed and convenience of commercial services has dramatically increased in recent years. Today, a whole host of things – music, news, books, and movies – are available instantly from the push of a digital button.  This isn’t a strictly digital phenomenon; physical services have also sped up and improved customer service as a result of digital interfaces and more real-time connectivity– you can order a faster and cheaper taxi through various apps, you can get mail-ordered groceries online, Amazon has a diaper subscription service, etc.

Continue reading “Is “Tell-Us-Once” the Future of Government Services?”

“Can you hear me now?” – Tips to Improve Virtual Participation


Almost a quarter of the participants in the Canada Beyond 150 project live and work outside of the National Capital Region. They’re expected to contribute to the project in the same way their Ottawa- and Gatineau-based colleagues do, but the task hasn’t been easy. And for many of them, this isn’t a new challenge either.

Here are some do’s and don’ts we learned from working with our participants in the region.

Continue reading ““Can you hear me now?” – Tips to Improve Virtual Participation”

“The Legacy of canada@150”


We recently sat down with canada@150 alumni Mark Matz Executive Director of Oceans Protection Plan Operations at Transport Canada. In the podcast he speaks to his former experience as Privy Council Office’s Project lead of canada@150.

In the podcast he speaks to how canada@150 in its conception back in 2007 was a leadership development program that sought to explore different ways of collaborating, working together and approaching policy problems. In the interview he highlights how canada@150 inspired a technological component to collaboration in the Public Service. He also highlights policy horizon’s instrumental role in piloting foresight as a key tool for policy development.

Transcript available below:

Continue reading ““The Legacy of canada@150””

“Artificial Intelligence is Canada’s Game”


We recently sat down with canada@150 alumni Michael Karlin. In the podcast, he speaks to the foresight tools he learned in canada@150 and how it shaped the work that he does today looking at Artificial Intelligence and the Automation of work for Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Chief Information Officer Branch, where he specializes in Digital Service Policy and Strategy.

In the interview he takes listeners into the future of work. He provokes listeners to think about the importance of foresight in designing policy that can ensure the political class is able to “run the ship far into the future”.

Transcript available below:

Continue reading ““Artificial Intelligence is Canada’s Game””

My Future of Work


It was the third day of a seemingly ceaseless workshop, and I was exhausted. We were all exhausted. And yet there was also a sense of exhilaration, of elation in the room. The three Socio-economic Inclusion (SEI) teams were gathered to refine our policy challenges and opportunities, sharing ideas shaped by our diverse individual interests and expertise, and respectfully debating contentious issues, when it occurred to me: Work could be like this. This was work: engaging in deep critical thought, challenging ourselves and each other, questioning the questions, and attempting to find answers.

I went to Winnipeg to dive deep into the future of work, and I ended up experiencing a very clear vision of what I hope my future of work will look like: building connections with deeply inspiring colleagues, openly sharing diverse perspectives, freedom to express dissent, and always space to laugh. We entered the program as individuals from across the Federal Government, varied in life and work experience, and cohered as a team, free of hierarchy or pretense. We approached problems in a way that none of us could have on our own, or working within the silos of our home departments and agencies.

I now recognize what I was seeing. One of the first weak signals shared by a Canada Beyond 150 colleague expressed shifting notions of diversity and inclusion. While baby boomers and Gen X view diversity as equal representation and protections regardless of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity (among other identity factors), for millennials, diversity is the integration of myriad backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, and bringing them all to bear upon a single problem. And where earlier generations understand inclusion as a moral imperative to make space for diverse individuals in a workplace, for millennials, inclusion is a much more active concept. For this generation, inclusion refers to an openly collaborative environment that values different ideas and perspectives, and actively draws them in. Further, millennials know that these forms of diversity and inclusion have strongly positive impacts on an organization.

This may be the greatest insight I have gained from my participation in this program so far. Work can be like this. Work should be like this. What we can accomplish when we truly value diversity and inclusion, when we actively work to draw out multiple perspectives, is not only staggering, it is beautiful.

Canada Beyond 150 - Blog