I have pioneered the Café Pracademique model with eight (8) policy areas, supported by SSHRC Connections and Partnership Development Grants. The model is premised on moving beyond research dissemination toward knowledge co-creation among members of the academic, practitioner, and public communities. This spurs the type of relationship-building and reciprocity necessary to generate lasting commitments to implement policy change after the event. The Café begins with a series of short (five-minute) talks from inspiring thought leaders, typically in virtual fishbowl, world café, or petcha kucha format. After this brief introduction, experienced facilitators will use systemic design techniques to work with small groups of participants in an ordered set of activities designed to culminate in a concrete deliverable. In the past, this technique has resulted in the production of actionable roadmaps for the future of civics education, environmental sustainability, affordable housing, human rights, cannabis legalization, basic income, and other issues.
Do you have a difficult policy challenge that could benefit from collaboration among practitioners, academics, and members of the public? I'd love to help.
I studied the legalization of cannabis in Canada. This research included how governments organized themselves internally, negotiated with one another, coordinated policy, excluded Indigenous communities, blocked academic research, developed policy, and branded themselves to sell cannabis.
I assembled a team of 16 researchers from 14 institutions across Canada to study elections in the Canadian provinces. Amassing the largest survey dataset of its kind to that point in Canadian history, the project has produced dozens of publications, including Big Worlds.
I compiled 800+ pieces of campaign literature, drawn from across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, dating to 1905. These documents are digitally catalogued for public use, and integrated into the Poltext Project collection. They formed the basis of Code Politics.