Day 1: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 [ YouTube ]

7:30 – 11:30 a.m.


8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 9:15 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks [ PDF ]

Conference Co-Chairs:

  • The Honourable Wayne Wouters, McCarthy Tétrault and former Clerk of the Privy Council, Government of Canada
  • The Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of Ontario and President of the Treasury Board 


9:15 – 10:00 a.m.

(Keynote) Open Dialogue in the Government of Canada

Keynote Speaker:

  • The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, Government of Canada

As this conference unfolds, the Government of Canada will be preparing its third action plan as a member of the Open Government Partnership. In this session, Scott Brison, President of the Federal Treasury Board, will provide reflections on the Government’s overall vision of Open Government, how Open Dialogue fits into this, and its plans to promote Open Dialogue going forward, especially in the next action plan.


  • Jacob GlickChief Corporate Affairs Officer, Rogers


10:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Health Break


10:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Plenary Panel: What Digital Tools can do for Open Dialogue

Moderator: Tim Barber, Co-Founder, Canada 2020


  • Edwin Lau, Division Head, Reform of the Public Sector, Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD
  • Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy, Facebook Canada
  • Rodney MacDonald, Senior Manager, Global Public Policy, Intuit

“Enablement” refers to the opportunities that digital tools create for public involvement in the policy process. For example, they can overcome distance and allow large numbers of people to participate in a single process; they are increasingly inexpensive to use and research shows how they can support genuinely deliberative discussions. The panelists will provide examples of innovative ways that online tools are being used to improve engagement and improve the delivery of public services. They will go on to discuss why governments have been slow to make use of these tools.


11:30 – 11:45 a.m.

OPENAsk Collaborative Exercise [ PDF ]

To help achieve the conference objective of identifying core principles of Open Dialogue, delegates will participate in a short online activity.


11:45 – 1:00 p.m.



1:00 – 1:40 p.m.

(Keynote) Sink or Swim: The New Realities of Open, Collaboration and how Canada wins in the Digital Age [ PDF ]

  • Mr. Tom Jenkins, Chairman of the Board, OpenText Corporation

Mr. Jenkins, as the moving force behind making OpenText an international leader in open data and Canada's largest software company, is in a unique position to explain what is at stake and the opportunity Canada can seize as a country if we embrace the new age of digital in the right manner.


1:40 – 2:45 p.m.

(Breakout Sessions) Open Dialogue: Changing How Governments Work

This breakout session will provide a practical look at how Open Dialogue processes are changing the way governments work. All sessions will ensure lots of time for audience engagement and focus on providing practical lessons from the cases looked at.

1.   Open Policy Making in Europe [ PDF ]

Anthony Zacharzewski, Director, Democratic Society (UK)

“Open Policymaking” a collective term for different initiatives in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, from well-established practices, such as crowdsourcing policy ideas and participatory budgeting, to new initiatives such as NHS Citizen, which brings together online and offline conversations in England’s National Health Service. This session will discuss several examples of open policymaking in Europe, which might show the direction of initiatives to come.

2.   NARA: Engaging Citizens and Managing Risk

Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer, National Archives and Records Administration (USA)

User Contributed Content (UCC) is emerging as a highly effective way to engage citizens with governments and their programs.  Pamela Wright has a front row seat in NARA’s world-leading UCC program. She will draw on this experience to explain when, how and why to engage citizens for UCC projects, as well as sharing some of NARA’s plans for the next leg of this journey.

3.   Ontario's Public Engagement Framework [ PDF ]

Brian Fior, Director, Open Government, Treasury Board Secretariat, Government of Ontario
Don Lenihan, Senior Associate, Policy and Engagement, Canada 2020 and principal advisor, Government of Ontario Open Dialogue Initiative
Phil Simeon, Manager, Standards Development Unit, Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Government of Ontario

The Government of Ontario's Open Government Strategy is giving citizens new opportunities to weigh-in on government decision-making and strengthen public policy. Through its Open Dialogue Initiative, the government is developing a Public Engagement Framework to help it engage a broader, more diverse range of Ontarians more meaningfully. The Framework is now being tested through a variety of demonstration projects. This interactive session will provide an overview of the draft framework, the projects underway to test its principles, and the challenges around its implementation. Participants will learn about Ontario's experience and have lots of opportunities for questions and discussion.

4.   Online Engagement: Feeling like The Martian? or The Revenant? Risk and Relevance for the Public Sector [ PDF ]


Bernard Etzinger, Exec Director, Digital Strategy, Central Innovation Hub, Privy Council Office (Canada)


Geordie Adams, PubliVate Inc.
Mike Colledge, Ipsos Reid

The good news is that online engagement need not be an exercise in survival in an alien landscape or fending off hostile attacks. Online engagement is increasingly a must-have for the public sector - across the policy development, operations and communications spectrum. But even if the need to engage is well defined, traditional definitions of risk can hinder how well an organization embraces engagement as a core function.

Join practitioners from the public and private sectors in an engaging and interactive audience dialogue on what is working, what tools make sense, and how departments, agencies and any public institution can plan for the right type of engagement with Canadians to gain real and useful insight.


2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

Health Break


3:00 – 3:45 p.m.

(Keynote) Open Dialogue Meets Open Data: A Community Perspective

  • Mr. Paul Born, Director, Tamarack

Vibrant Communities, active in over 55 cities (22 in Ontario), is a ground-breaking initiative that uses community dialogue to "map" both the risk factors and assets in a community, then develop a multi-sector action plan to reduce poverty and promote well-being. Open Government is moving this to a new level. Access to datasets of all sorts will make possible highly nuanced analyses of trends in a given community, and support the creation of a shared measurement system. This session will consider how Open Dialogue and Open Data are working in tandem to transform community engagement for the future.  


  • The Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of Ontario and President of the Treasury Board


3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

Conclusion / Roundup

  • Conference Co-Chairs

Co-chairs will comment on the day’s proceedings, setting the stage for the following day’s program. Participants will also have the opportunity to participate in the second OPENAsk collaborative exercise.


Day 2: Wednesday, April 25, 2017 [ YouTube ]

7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast and Registration

8:30 – 8:40 a.m.

Welcome and Look Forward

Conference Co-Chairs:

  • The Honourable Wayne Wouters, McCarthy Tétrault and former Clerk of the Privy Council, Government of Canada
  • The Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of Ontario and President of the Treasury Board 


8:40 – 9:10 a.m.

(Keynote) Open Government and Open Dialogue: The Ontario Experience [ PDF ]

  • The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Premier Wynne will set the tone for the conference by speaking about the goals of Ontario’s Open Dialogue Initiative, the work that has been achieved through the Initiative so far, and the challenges and opportunities Open Dialogue poses from a leadership perspective.


9:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Advancing Open Dialogue among Citizens, Businesses and Government

This breakout session will provide a practical look at the progress on Open Dialogue across the three levels of government. All sessions will ensure lots of time for audience engagement and focus on providing practical lessons from the cases.

1.   An Open Data Perspective on Open Dialogue

  • Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, Open Data Exchange

Open Data Exchange (ODX) is an important private/public sector initiative involved in shaping Canada's digital future by developing Canada's data supply chain for commercial use.  Through dialogue, ODX helps connect demand to open data resources across all levels of government.  In this session, Kevin Tuer will share ideas about how Open Data and Open Dialogue can work together, leverage each other, and advance Open Government even further.

2.   Citizen-Engagement in the Province of British Columbia [ PDF ]

  • David Hume, Executive Director, Citizen-Engagement, Ministry of Citizen Services, Government of British Columbia

Over the last 6 years, BC has been developing a program to engage citizens in improving policies and services that affect them. In this session, you’ll learn about B.C.’s journey in tapping into the power of dialogue and data to make government more effective, and the practical ways B.C. has tried to bring its program to life.

3.   Open Dialogue in the Cities of Guelph and Ottawa

Moderator: Edwin Lau, Division Head, Reform of the Public Sector, Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD

  • Ann Pappert, CAO, City of Guelph
  • Tobi Nussbaum, City Councillor, Rideau-Rockcliffe Ward, Ottawa

As a leader in community engagement, Guelph is now building an innovative platform for real-time, open dialogue between citizens, staff and elected officials. The goal is to give citizens a direct voice in the decisions that shape their community, including changes to parks, trails, road design and parking. Ann Pappert will provide a critical overview of the City’s progress, including lessons learned from their community well-being, open government, and solution-based roundtables initiatives.

Cities around the world are leading the citizen engagement and Open Government movement. Drawing on his work with community consultation designs in Ottawa and experience in the international space, Councillor Tobi Nussbaum will lead a discussion on innovative engagement models and lessons learned.

4.   Fostering Open Dialogue: Canada's First Public Sector Institution Open by Default

  • John Messina, CIO, Government of Canada
  • Alex Benay, President and CEO, CSTMC

Open Information is the next frontier for the Open Government Agenda. While Open Data is well understood and embraced in many quarters, Open Information faces a host of policy, legal, logistical, and cultural challenges.

The Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC) Open Heritage portal is first of its kind in open information and open government, providing direct, real-time digital access to unpublished information and knowledge CSTMC holds in trust for all Canadians, and decision making records it creates in the course of carrying out its mandate.

CSTMC is using the portal to engage external stakeholders by opening up its information holdings, with the aim of fostering participatory heritage, allowing citizens to better engage in dialogue with the CSTMC and its work.

John Messina, CIO, Government of Canada, will speak to the challenges of open information and open by default across the federal government sector.

Alex Benay, President and CEO of the CSTMC, will explore how to tackle the challenges of open government, discussing CSTMC's journey as an open institution, and how the Open Heritage portal represents a potential blueprint for Open by Default across the Federal sector.


10:30 – 10:45 a.m.

Health Break


10:45 – 11:25 a.m.

(Keynote) Lessons from Two Early Adopters

  • Mr. Joseph Powell, Acting Executive Director of the Open Government Partnership Support Unit, Washington DC

The Acting Executive Director of the OGP’s international secretariat will discuss the importance of civil society engagement in creating a truly open government. He will identify early lessons learned from OGP, with specific reference to examples from OGP countries that may be applicable to other governments, including Canada.


  • Ailish CampbellAssociate Assistant Deputy Minister, Finance Canada


11:25 - 11:50 

Co-Chairs - Round-up and Recap [ PDF ]

  • Conference Co-Chairs

Co-chairs will comment on the morning’s proceedings, and set the stage for the afternoon’s panel discussion by senior leaders. In advancing the task of further defining the Core Principles, a revised set of core principles will be presented and participants will have the opportunity to participate in the third OPENAsk collaborative exercise.  


12:00 – 12:50 p.m.



1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Leaders' Roundtable: Speaking to the Open Dialogue Principles


Don Lenihan, Senior Associate, Canada2020
Colin McKay, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Google Canada.


  • Mark Barrenechea, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, OpenText Corporation
  • The Honourable Judy Foote, Minister of Public Works and Procurement Services, Government of Canada
  • The Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier of Ontario and President of the Treasury Board
  • The Honourable Wayne Wouters, McCarthy Tétrault and former Clerk of the Privy Council, Government of Canada

In this session, the moderators will draw on the draft declaration presented by the co-chairs to stimulate discussion on the future of Open Dialogue, among the four members of this senior leadership panel. The audience will be invited to join in with questions for the panellists.


2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Table Discussions on Open Dialogue Principles

  • All Participants

Drawing on the Co-Chairs’ presentation, earlier exercises, and the discussion by the panel, participants will collaboratively review and discuss the conference findings at their tables. 


2:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Reporting Back, Discussion of Results

Following the table discussions and interactive engagement by the participants, the results will be shared and discussed.


3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

Closing Remarks

The Co-Chairs will provide closing remarks.


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