Highlights from the 2016 Conference

The inaugural CODF 2016 Conference was a tremendous success. Some of the highlights include:


April 25, 2016
  • 5:00pm - 6:30pm CODF Keynote Public Event - Reid Hoffman

    Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn, tackled the topic of Why Big Data Needs Open Dialogue.  Big Data can vastly improve the effectiveness of policy but requires a new level of sophistication in how data and dialogue work together.  This keynote considered how and why real progress on evidence-based decision making requires both Big Data and Open Dialogue.


April 26, 2016
    • 8:45am - 9:20am Are Cities at the Vanguard of a New Policymaking?

      Big cities are the epicenter of some of our most intractable problems. In response, many are turning away from reactive approaches, such as traditional law enforcement, and toward proactive solutions, such as crime prevention, poverty reduction and social inclusion. But just how effective are these initiatives, and how do we know where they will make an impact? What role does Open Dialogue play in guiding them? How will Big Data change this?


    • 9:20am - 10:25am From Reactive to Proactive Policymaking – Dialogue Meets Big Data

      Leading a shift from reactive to proactive policymaking will be challenging for decision-makers. The complexity of the issues heightens risk. However, the rewards are equally attractive. Indeed, some experts argue that the only way for governments to regain control of health and law enforcement budgets is through successful prevention programs. Are decision-makers ready to take the risks? Do they have confidence in the methodology? This session engaged senior decision-makers from two governments, one from the political side, the other from the public service, on the challenges and opportunities around such an effort.


  • 1:00pm - 1:45pm Evidence-Based Decision-Making vs. Post-Truth Politics

    A new phrase has crept into our public vocabulary: post-truth politics. Far from a Golden Era of evidence-informed decision-making, this view is that political debate is increasingly driven by appeals to emotion, then reinforced through the repetition of talking points. Ironically, just as the tools and data to resolve many political debates are finally coming online, the political culture needed to leverage them seems to be disintegrating. Are we at some historic cross-roads? Will better evidence—much better evidence—silence the demagogues? Is social media and ally or a foe in this battle? Does Open Dialogue have any special techniques or tools to help us? Could Big Data tell us anything new and useful about how to engage citizens in an informed discussion?

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