Canada Beyond 150: Policy For An Inclusive Future was a 10-month program “Championed by the Privy Council, and delivered by Policy Horizons Canada” in June of 2017. They gathered a Canada-wide group of federal public servants to ‘support leadership and skills development’, and ‘drive culture shift across the public service’.
“The participants worked hard to learn skills in foresight analysis, design thinking, and engagement, and explored five themes with the help of internal and external experts. Some of the participants shared their experiences on the Canada Beyond 150 blog. You can read all about it in their final reports on Reconciliation, Feminist Government, Sustainable Development Goals, Open and Transparent Government, and Socio-economic Inclusion, which includes the Future of Work, Capital and Debt, and Future of Wellbeing.
Canada Beyond 150 benefited from the support of Michael Wernick, the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, who had this to say about the program:“I’m impressed by Canada Beyond 150’s approach and results, as well as the passion of the new public servants who took up the task. As a test kitchen for policy development and the public service of the future, I am hopeful that this project will have a lasting impact on the public service and influence our policy thinking in the years to come.”
Themes & Methods
“Teams will be invited to address complex policy challenges seen through the diversity and inclusion lenses. The issues at stake have no ready, or easy, solutions. As a result, these kinds of issues are well-suited to experimenting with new approaches.”
- Open and Transparent Government
- Socio-economic Inclusion
- Feminist Government
- Sustainable Development Goals
Open & Transparent Government
“The digital landscape is changing people’s expectations of government. It is driving new demands for transparency, creating new forms of engagement, and allowing citizens, businesses, and other institutions to reimagine how they might participate in the policy and program development processes. At the same time, the digital landscape is also influencing how citizens and other actors hold their governments accountable. The Government of Canada has embraced these trends and signalled its interest in developing policies and services to support greater transparency, accountability, and participation. Under this project theme participants will explore new approaches to bring diverse voices to the policy development process, and identify ways to improve policy outcomes by opening Government’s relationships with citizens and other sectors.
- (.gov) Government of Canada: Third Biennial Plan to The Open Government Partnership
- (.can) Government of Canada: Open Government
- (.pdf) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Embracing Innovation in Government: Global Trends 2017
- (portal) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Open Government: The Global Context and the Way Forward
- (video) Canada School of Public Service: Discussion on Open Gov Canada
- (portal) Open Knowledge International: Open Data Handbook
- (portal) Deloitte: Exploring the Future of Government in 2020
- (.pdf) UK Government Office for Science – Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond Block Chain
- (web)Wired ‐ Become an e-Resident of Estonia
- (.pdf ) Bryan Ford ‐ Delegative Democracy
- (web) Dominic Schiener ‐ Liquid Democracy: True Democracy for the 21st Century
- (TED) Jennifer Pahlka ‐ Coding a Better Government
- (TED) David Cameron ‐ The Next Age of Government
- (.gov) Networking and Information Technology Research and Development ‐ The Federal Big Data Research and Development Strategic Plan
- (portal) Data USA ‐ Data USA: The most comprehensive visualization of US public data
- (book) Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden ‐ Sense & Respond, How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers, Create New Products Continuously
- (.edu ) Beth Noveck ‐ Smart Citizens, Smarter State
- (book) William D. Eggers & Paul Macmillan ‐ Solution Revolution
- (web) Christian Bason ‐ Leading Public Sector Innovation
- (portal) Le Rainie & Barry Wellman ‐ Networked: Pew Internet & Technology
- (web) Henry Chesbrough ‐ Everything You Need to Know About Open Innovation
- (web) Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazan ‐ Toward an integrative assessment of open gov’t: Proposing conceptual lenses and practical components
- (web) Data Foundation ‐ Data Act 2022: Changing Technology, Changing Culture
- (portal) Shared Services Canada: IT Transformation Plan
- (.can) Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat: IT Strategic Plan 2016-2020, Open Gov’t 2016-2018, End of term Self Assessment on Action Plan on Open Government 2014-16, Revitalizing Access to Information
- (.can) Public Safety Canada: Cyber Security
The social and economic fabrics of advanced economies around the world are under pressure. Economic restructuring, the integration of new technologies, and the international influences of trade and migration are driving support for populism, protectionism and a resistance to immigration. Citizens are increasingly concerned about their personal economic status, identity, and sense of belonging. Left unchecked, these trends threaten to fragment Canada’s social fabric, deepen existing socio-economic divides, and further marginalize those populations on the sidelines of Canadian prosperity and social cohesion.
The Government of Canada has articulated the importance of addressing these trends, and signaled a commitment to socio-economic inclusion and inclusive growth. Under this project theme participants will explore how emergent trends in domains like technological development, demography, and immigration, among others, present opportunities to fuel greater prosperity and social cohesion.
- (.pdf) Senate of Canada – In From the Margins, Part II: Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion
- (.pdf) Employment and Social Development Canada – Towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy
- (.pdf) Miles Corak ‐ Public Policies for Equality and Social Mobility in Canada
- (web) OECD, LEED Programme ‐ Improving social inclusion at the local level through the social economy
- (web) Dean Landy ‐ Creating Vibrant Communities
- (web) Alex Himelfarb & Roy Romanow ‐ We can end homelessness in Canada
- (web) Anna Kopec ‐ Greater electoral access for the homeless
- (.pdf) Glen Burley & Adam Awad ‐ The Impact of Student Debt
- (web) Ideas 42 ‐ Poverty Interrupted
- (portal) Caroline Paunov ‐ World Bank Blogs
- (.gov portal) Employment and Social Development Canada – National Occupational Classification
- (.gov portal) Employment and Social Development Canada – Consulting Canadians on Poverty Reduction
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Maternity and Parental Benefits and Leaves
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Caregiving Benefits and Leaves
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Let’s Talk Housing
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Consulting with Canadians on Accessibility Legislation
- (.pdf) Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Innovation Agenda
Governments in Canada and internationally are increasingly recognizing the need to implement policies and programs to further advance gender parity, confront violence against women, support women at work, and embrace women in leadership positions. As these objectives materialize, there is a drive to further embed feminism in all aspects of government work, to go beyond the gender-based analysis approach, and to deploy a broader, intersectional approach to feminism in government that encourages and embraces inclusion and diversity (e.g., LGBTQ2, visible minorities, persons with disabilities).
The Government of Canada has signaled a wish to further advance its commitment to feminism and feminist government. Under this project theme, participants will explore concrete ways to apply, adopt, and/or undertake a feminist approach to federal policy, program development, and operations.
- (.can) Government of Canada – Budget 2017’s Gender Statement
- (.can) Status of Women Canada – Gender Based Analysis
- (.pdf) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – Sweden: Strengthening Gender Mainstreaming
- (.pdf) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – Gender budgeting
- (portal) European Commission – Official documents on gender equality
- (portal) UN Women – UN Commission on the Status of Women
- (program) He for She ‐ He for She program
- (book) Carol Gilligan ‐ In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development
- (web) Jill Filipovic ‐ The (Feminist) Case for Women’s Happiness
- (web) The Economist ‐ Men adrift : Badly educated men in rich countries have not adapted well to trade, technology or feminism
- (web) Tom Schuller ‐ The Paula Principle: How and why women work below their level of competence
- (web) Rebecca Solnit ‐ How the Push to ‘Break the Silence’ Fails the Feminist Movement
- (video) Mona Eltahawy ‐ GLOBAL Feminism
- (web) New York Times ‐ Women and Climate Change
- (.pdf) Kate McInturff ‐ The Gap in the Gender Gap: Violence against Women in Canada
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Consulting Canadians on Poverty Reduction
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Taking action against harassment and sexual violence in federal workplaces
- (.can) Employment and Social Development Canada – Flexible Work Arrangements
- (.gov) Status of Women Canada – Engagement Process for the Federal Strategy to Address Gender-based Violence
Sustainable Development Goals
Over the last two decades, substantial progress has been made globally in reducing poverty and hunger, and improving access to health, education, water and sanitation. However, some 702 million people continue to live in extreme poverty, and challenges such as inequality, insecurity, poor governance, natural resource depletion and climate change could reverse gains made and hinder the efforts of countries and communities to achieve sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides an exciting opportunity for concerted global action to confront these challenges and others head-on. Importantly, this agenda applies equally to all countries – including Canada. Under this project theme participants will explore how shifts in social, economic, environmental, technological, and policy spheres present opportunities to advance Canada’s achievement of and contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
- (.gov) Government of Canada – Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
- (web) United Nations – Sustainable Development Goals
- (web) United Nations – 2016 Report on the World Social Situation
- (portal) The World Bank – Social Inclusion
- (video) The World Bank – Measuring Social Inclusion
- (.pdf) World Economic Forum – The Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017
- BBC ‐ Could making the Ganges a ‘person’ save India’s holiest river?
- The Conversation ‐ Can blockchain technology help poor people around the world?
- HealthLine ‐ Is America Ready for Lab-Grown Meat?
- MIT Technology Review ‐ Harvard Scientists Moving Ahead on Plans for Atmospheric Geoengineering Experiments
- World Economic Forum ‐ Could the Fourth Industrial Revolution help us reach the Global Goals?
- Scientific American ‐ High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as Sea Level Rises
- Pope Francis Encyclical ‐ Laudato Si
- Dambisa Moyo ‐ Why Foreign Aid is Hurting Africa
- Jeffrey D. Sachs ‐ Can Extreme Poverty be Eliminated?
Major investigations of Indigenous issues, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, have found that Canadian policies have created a legacy of unresolved intergenerational trauma and have had a profound effect on the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadian society. Collective efforts from all Canadians over multiple generations will be necessary to renew this relationship and advance reconciliation.
The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation. Under this project theme, participants will explore concrete ways to engage Canadians in reconciliation, to foster community-building and healing with respect to relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
- (web) Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- (.pdf) Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – What we Have Learned – Principles of Truth and Reconciliation
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada – Honoring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future – Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
- Government of South Africa ‐ Index to the Official Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa
- Priscilla Hayner ‐ Unspeakable Truths: Transitional Justice and the Challenge of Truth Commissions
- Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, ed ‐ In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation
- Thomas King ‐ The Inconvenient Indian
- Leanne Simpson ‐ Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back
- David Carpenter and Augie Merasty ‐ The Education of Augie Merasty
- CBC Books ‐ A Reconciliation Reading List: 15 Must-Read Books
Strategic foresight helps us understand the forces shaping a system, how the system could evolve and what challenges, opportunities and surprises could emerge. It is a systematic process that surfaces and tests our assumptions and mental models about an issue and then uses our capacity to simulate and visualize how it could evolve. The objective is not to predict the future, but explore the range of plausible futures that could emerge and develop vision, strategies and policies that are robust across that range. By exploring how issues or systems could evolve, strategic foresight ensures that we are preparing for the problem as it will be, and not solving the problem as it was. Applied in concert with design thinking, it is used to inform a project in order to develop future focused interventions. A number of countries and businesses use strategic foresight at the most senior levels.
Design thinking is a discipline used to develop interventions for complex problems. As a human-centered approach to problem solving, it employs qualitative and quantitative research to gain insights on people’s lives and a contextual understanding of the system and its components. It does this through a process-centric method using a number of design techniques to empathize and clearly define or reframe the issue before the stages of ideation and prototyping. Design thinking promotes the use of tools like ethnographic research, prototyping and stakeholder mapping.
The Human Element
Ethnographic research, or ethnography, is the sociological study of people and cultures. Used in a design process, ethnography employs engagement tools (e.g., 9D Observation, Cultural Probes and Expert Interviews) to gain insight from users and subject matter experts in order to inform the design process and develop creative solutions that reflect these evidence-based findings. Scrapbooking, having participants communicate important experiences of places and people through imagery, is an example of an open ended ethnographic research method.
Stakeholder maps are used to visually consolidate and communicate the key stakeholders for a project or design challenge. These include stakeholders within the organization initiating the project, important allies and collaborators, clients, and individuals and groups likely to be affected or affecting the system in which the project exists.
Prototyping, or iterative design, is the process of creating an early mock-up of a product or service in order to allow collaborators to communicate, test and improve on ideas. Prototyping is a cyclical process, rapidly making, breaking and learning thereby improving the concept during each design rotation. For example, using Lego blocks to quickly create a small scale simulation in order to allow collaborators to walk through a service innovation.
Narrative-based Text Analysis
Narrative-based text analysis, or narrative inquiry, is employed as a tool to analyze large volumes of qualitative or anecdotal data. It challenges the philosophy of quantitative data-gathering that does not allow for interpretation and better outcomes for people. Research tools, such as Atlas, help teams tackle large amounts of data. Transcript coding is a more accessible approach where researchers classify all interview statements in order to organize qualitative data and gain insight from the individual comments, patterns and frequencies within the created statement categories.
Experiential futures, or design fictions, are objects, illustrations or experiences conceived to help an audience explore ideas and concepts about possible future scenarios. Used to evoke a visceral reaction from the audience, experiential futures help the viewer quickly imagine how they would live, interact and react to changes explored in a foresight study. The practice uses art, industrial design, graphic design, narrative and theatre to create experiences that go beyond written reports. An example is the Museum of the Future from the Dubai Future Foundation.