Robin Prest


Pronouns: he/him

Robin Prest is the Program Director at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, where he strengthens the democratic process through dialogue-based engagement and builds the capacity of governments, residents and stakeholders to co-create solutions. His commentary and insights have been featured in such forums as the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26), the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy's inaugural Environmental Democracy conferenceThe Hill TimesThe Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun and the Union of BC Municipalities Annual Convention.

Robin is co-founder of the Mitigating Wildfire initiative, which aims to increase resilience against catastrophic wildfire in BC. He regularly oversees large-scale deliberative processes such as the Burnaby Citizens’ Assembly on Livable and Resilient Neighbourhoods and the Citizen Dialogues on Canada’s Energy Future, which was included as a case study in the OECD’s landmark 2020 report, Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave. In 2014, he served as the staff lead for Reconciling Injustices in a Pluralistic Canada, which brought together three levels of government, major institutions and six communities affected by historical and contemporary injustices to develop principles to support improved approaches towards reconciliation.

A member of Canada’s Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Open Government, Robin regularly supports elected officials and senior decision-makers to improve the clarity and impact of public engagement initiatives, and to embed engagement within organizational cultures. This work includes co-founding the International Climate Engagement Network to help national and sub-national governments accelerate climate action, advising Canada's Treasury Board Secretariat in the development of its 4th Open Government Plan and facilitating the Mayor’s Task Force on Public Engagement at the City of New Westminster. He is the lead author of the report, Can Public Participation Accelerate the Transition to Net-Zero? and co-authored Participatory Systems Change: A Primer and the Centre's Strategic Framework for Public Engagement

Robin’s current interests include improving the integration between engagement and decision-making functions, enhancing the role of equity in the design and delivery of engagement processes, and developing participatory methods that enhance the legitimacy of institutions, reduce polarization and earn public trust.