Design With Dialogue: Connecting Citizens to Future Governance

Image of three people holding a conversation with black text and speech icon
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 11:00pm to Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 2:00am

Can we motivate civil society to form a collaborative approach to Canadian governance?

How will governing – public decision making – be influenced through citizens evolving new digital and place-based channels?

The January DwD will be a public workshop convened by OCADU’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) as part of our ongoing SSHRC-sponsored action research conducted during 2014.

We invite participants to join us in reframing and representing the key challenges and future innovations that might influence civic participation and governing across Canadian government sectors. You will be engaging in a mix of plenary and focused small-group workshops to develop responses to emerging and future governing challenges. Using our current Gigamap (large-scale system map) as a departure point for participant contributions, you can contribute to the discourse by building on and critiquing the findings of a recent major workshop via card sort and dialogue mapping.

We are interested in discovering how the practices and expectations of governance are and will be shifting from the vantage point of citizens and other stakeholders, communities, and sectors. We aim to explore how Canada – with all of its levels of government and regional diversity – might evolve as a basis for considering how government practices ought to transform.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Room 187

OCAD's Strategic Innovation Lab to lead major foresight project '2020 Media Futures'

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 8:00pm

(Toronto — February 16, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) today announced it will lead a multidisciplinary strategic foresight project called 2020 Media Futures: Strategic Foresight for Ontario’s Cultural Media Industries, designed to understand and envision what media may look like by the year 2020 – what kind of cross-platform internet environment may shape media and entertainment in the coming decade and how Ontario firms can take action today toward capturing and maintaining positions of national and international leadership.

2020 Media Futures is an ambitious, 14-month long foresight project bringing together researchers, creators, policymakers and other professionals representing the cultural and digital media industries. A significant grant of $132,500 has been provided by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) through the Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund. Additional support will be provided by key industry partners and OCAD, bringing the total value of the project to $226,500.

2020 Media Futures builds on OCAD’s demonstrated capacity undertaking industry-driven research through consortia such as CONCERT and the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC),” explained OCAD President Sara Diamond. “OCAD’s sLab is uniquely positioned to lever our community’s strengths to support research, commercialization and economic development within the entertainment, screen-based and creative industries, including design, services, technology, infrastructure and policy.”

“sLab is delighted to have this opportunity to lead the development of a shared future vision for the media and entertainment industries in Ontario,” said Lenore Richards, Director of sLab. “In this unprecedented project, initiated and shaped through a close collaboration among Communitech, Nordicity and sLab, we will draw on distinct and diverse capabilities within our own communities and from across the Creative Cluster throughout the foresight scenario process. Unique to this project will be the active participation of graduate students in OCAD’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, a groundbreaking new program and the first of its kind in Canada.”

Strategic foresight is a systematic approach to gathering intelligence about possible futures, and building a high quality forward view aimed at guiding and enabling present-day decisions. 2020 Media Futures will investigate several key areas of inquiry, including media convergence, consumer choice, distribution channels, distinctions between producers and consumers, interactivity, and the integration of technologies.

“sLab develops design thinking, business insight, and strategic foresight through an open, informed, imaginative and disciplined process,” said Greg Van Alstyne, Director of Research at sLab, and project leader for 2020 Media Futures. “Our aim is to help Ontario’s creative companies and industries ‘future-proof’ themselves, preparing for rich opportunities and unexpected threats brought on by the rapid evolution of media.”

The project aims to build upon previous foresight programs undertaken around the world, but within an Ontario-specific context. The resulting research from 2020 Media Futures will be made available in an open, publicly accessible forum with the goal that the project’s findings will help significantly build capacity and provide early-stage recognition and support for innovative products, services, platforms, and business models.


2020 Media Futures Partners:
Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
Achilles Media
Corus Entertainment
Breakthrough Films and Television
GlassBOX Television
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment
National Film Board of Canada
Nordicity Group
Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
York University

About Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab)
Strategic Innovation Lab ( is a centre for research in design, strategic foresight and innovation at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD). sLab integrates academic investigation, professional engagement, education and skills development for private, public, and not-for-profit stakeholders. sLab is a growing community of researchers and practitioners, design and business professionals, teachers and students, who are passionate about envisioning possible futures.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design ( is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information and images please contact:


Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)