March 2016 Update

This is my annual(ish) update where I send you a few words on my recent experience, and then a few more about an event that you might like to attend.

As you might know, I have been working in Open Dialogue at the Open Government Secretariat, which is part of the Chief Information Officer’s Branch, at the Treasury Board Secretariat in the Government of Canada. What that means is that I have had the opportunity to design and practice high calibre citizen engagement, and perhaps provide a nudge towards better engagement across the enterprise. It has been a most interesting 18 months, and I am hoping for an opportunity to help implement some of the new government’s commitments to openness and collaboration.

In addition to being an advocate for transparency and collaboration in the Government of Canada, I am also addicted to teaching, mostly at Algonquin’s Advertising and Marketing Communication Management Program. For the last few years I have been conducting two courses:

  1. For graduating students I curate and deliver a Professional Practice speaker’s series designed to help them develop self awareness and networking skills. If you have a story to that you think would be insightful to a marketing communications student about to graduate, I would be happy to chat about you speaking to the class.
  2. I also teach first year students a course about why consumers do what they do, and how you can sometimes influence behaviour through clever messaging.

I learn a lot from teaching, much of which is applicable to a changing public service, and I am happy to share, so feel free to connect if you think I might know something of use to you in your work.

The event of interest is about policy making in the digital age. This year promises to be an exciting one for citizen engagement in Canada, and this conference just might mark a pivotal moment in our democracy. Taking place in Ottawa, March 31-April 1, the Canadian Open Dialogue Forum (Open 2016), aims to “bring together 300 participants for conversations about the untapped potential of open dialogue, and how the convergence of data, information and dialogue could create new opportunities for prosperity.” I understand there is a buy 2 tickets and get 3 offer in place until March 13. Simply email with the names of your two paid registrants and the name and email of your free registration.

I’m pretty excited about the potential of this gathering and hope to see you there.

Thanks for taking the time to read this message, I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.

All the best for 2016,



About Thom Kearney

Change agent, teacher, arts, science, open government, father, mentor, storyteller, husband, dog owner,collaborator, not necessarily in that order.
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