The Policy Community Conference 2020 is a ONE-DAY program, offered twice on back-to-back dates.

The agenda for March 4th and 5th was identical.

Whether you were looking to be inspired, learn from hands-on experiences or connect with special guests and other attendees, there were lots of choices! Participants expected a dynamic program comprised of a mix of:

  • international speakers,
  • interactive workshops, and
  • unexpected activities.


Our Conference 2020 speakers clearly struck a chord with participants. To meet the many requests for copies of their powerpoint presentations and materials from workshops, we are pleased to share them here. The webcast recordings are best watched while viewing the presentations; transcripts of these sessions will be posted in the coming weeks.

In the spirit of the "Integrated Policy"  theme of the Conference, we hope you'll use these resources to spark reflections and (virtual) conversations with colleagues in your own policy domain and beyond. Feel free to write to us about it at

Policy Practitioners of the Future

Nitika Agarwal





Involving Citizens in Policy-making: Inclusive Governance and Public Trust

Laurie Drake




Thinking through data as a social and technological system!

Tracey Lauriault

Critical Media and Big Data, Carleton University




Integrated Policy: A UK Perspective

Andrea Siodmok

UK Cabinet Office - Policy Lab and Open Innovation Team





Visualizing Complexity in the Policy Environment

Enrique Martinez




Integrating Indigenous Perspectives in Policy 

Nathalie Gagnon

Canada School of Public Service


Behavioural Insights 

Sasha Tregebov

The Behavioural Insights Team




Morning Plenary Sessions | 9:00am - 10:30am

Morning Concurrent Sessions | 10:45am - 12:15pm

Lunch Session | 12:30pm - 1:15pm

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions | 1:15pm - 2:45pm

Afternoon Plenary Sessions | 3:00pm - 4:45pm

  • Visualizing Complexity in the Policy Environment - Interactive Presentation & Hands-on Activity by Enrique Martinez (@mtzenrique) [Description
  • The Finale with the Policy Community Co-Champions

All-Day Activity | 10:00am - 4:30pm

  • Can You Unlock the GBA+ Enigma? - Group Activity in Escape Room [Description

All sessions from the main room (there was continuous programming) were viewed live via webcast by virtual participants. Click here for more information about virtual participation.

All sessions from the main room had simultaneous translation. In addition, many of the concurrent sessions and activities were facilitated/offered in both official languages.

5 à 7 Social

On March 4th, there was a social at the Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant (700 Sussex Drive, Ottawa). This social was open to everyone, not only conference attendees. In partnership with Policy Ignite, this social was a great way to keep the conversations of the conference going in a casual setting or make new connections.  


Policy Practitioners of the Future - Interactive Presentation | 9:45am - 10:30am

Nitika Agarwal, Apolitical (@apoliticalco @agarwal_nitika2)

Get an international perspective on the mindsets, skills and behaviours for policy practitioners of the future and how we can start to exercise and hone them right now.

Involving Citizens in Policy-making: Inclusive Governance and Public Trust - Interactive Presentation | 10:45am - 12:15pm

Laurie Drake, MASS LBP (@masslbp @lauriedrake_)

Democracy is under pressure and trust in public institutions is declining globally and here in Canada. If we are going to meet our democratic aspirations, we need to address growing mistrust and polarization. This means upending assumptions about the ability and willingness of citizens to play a more central role in policy-making. By involving more people in policy-making, we can create more inclusive governance and reinvigorate the democratic project —a project of personal agency, collective efficacy, and shared responsibility.

Policy Experimentation in Action - Going Beyond the Basics - Presentation & Workshop | 10:45am - 12:15pm

Marieke Goettsch and Teo Firpo, Nesta (@nesta_uk @mariekegoettsch @teofirpo)

Want to try your hand at experimentation? Here is your chance! Presenters from Nesta's Innovation Growth Lab will ground participants in what is policy experimentation and some examples of trials, before leading you in a role play exercise where you will be able to develop your own experiment to test something new!

Failure, Balance and Experimentation - Workshop | 10:45am - 12:15pm and 1:15pm - 2:45pm

Matt Tod, Lead Facilitator, and Matthieu Bister, Associate Facilitator, Twenty-One Toys (@21toys)

This highly experiential workshop explores the challenges and opportunities that come with failure. Through multiple hands-on games with the Failure Toy®, participants will explore the way they experiment, iterate, approach problems and respond to failure, and will discuss the role of failure in policy innovation.

Integrating Indigenous Perspectives in Policy - Circle Discussion | 10:45am - 12:15pm and 1:15pm - 2:45pm

Nathalie Gagnon, Canada School of Public Service (@school_gc)

Join this circle discussion on integrating Indigenous perspectives in policy! To set the stage for this, we will review the history of Indigenous policy making in Canada and the federal government’s agenda for advancing reconciliation and renewed Nation-to-Nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnerships. We will also review the drivers that influence Indigenous policy making in this new context and the need to develop a holistic process for policy development that is rooted in relationships in a co-development and partnership environment.

Integrating Data in Policy - Presentation & Workshop | 10:45am - 12:15pm

Statistics Canada (@statcan_eng)

If you would like to gain the basics in the use of quantitative data, this session is for you! Participants will have the opportunity to work through a case study, exploring what type of evidence is needed and what the data tells us.

Thinking through data as a social and technological system! | 12:30pm - 1:15pm

Tracey Lauriault, Assistant Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, Carleton University (@traceylauriault)

Data Data Everywhere! What approaches can we apply to help us think through our data systems and how can these be applied in a public policy context? Come and find out!

Integrated Policy: A UK Perspective - Interactive Presentation | 1:15pm - 2:15pm

Andrea Siodmok, UK Cabinet Office - Policy Lab and Open Innovation Team (@policylabuk @openinnovteam @andreasiodmok) 

Let’s explore working beyond boundaries and “government as a system” toolkit to deliver change in complex policy environments.

Behavioural Insights - Presentation & Workshop | 1:15pm - 2:45pm

The Behavioural Insights Team (@b_i_tweets)

This foundational session provides an introduction to the field of behavioural insights (BI) and an overview of the key principles that drive human behaviour. Participants will get exposure to a range of examples where BI have been applied to improve policy outcomes, focusing on case studies that align to current Government of Canada policy priorities. Participants will be walked through exercises to think through how BI might be relevant to their own work.

Visualizing Complexity in the Policy Environment - Interactive Presentation & Hands-on Activity | 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Enrique Martinez, Public Sector Leadership Consultant (@mtzenrique)

A visual language easy to learn and use by everyone--the language of diagrams--is disrupting government by making operations, management, policy-making, and civic processes more transparent and participatory. This session will explain how schematic visualization is transforming the way in which public servants and government leaders are framing problems and making decisions. This is an interactive session: all participants will engage hands-on and experience the power of diagramming and low-tech visual communication techniques to clarify complex ideas and processes in the policy environment and across government.

Small Talk: Connecting through Stories and Conversations on Integrated Policy | 10:45am - 12:15pm and 1:15pm - 2:45pm

Are you curious about various facets of integrated policy and eager to connect with others in a meaningful way? Small Talks are a unique opportunity for just that! In the convivial setting of a living room and in groups of up to 10 participants will hear a story on integrated policy from one of our guest speakers, who have diverse perspectives to share. The story will serve as the spark for a conversation with fellow participants and the speaker. Participate in as many Small Talks as you like. There will be a roster of guest speakers and an element of surprise - you won’t know which speaker you will get!

Can You Unlock the GBA+ Enigma? - Group Activity in Escape Room | 10:00am - 4:30pm

GBA+ considerations need to be taken into account throughout the policy cycle (policy development and delivery). Delve into GBA+ in an unexpected, collaborative quickly can you unlock the GBA+ enigma in the escape room designed specially for this conference? This 30-minute activity is available throughout the day for groups of up to 6 participants. Use the sign up sheet in front of Ottawa D room.