We believe that dialogue can lead to transformative change: new ideas, shifted perspectives, renewed energy and momentum toward navigating complex issues. We actively pursue projects as well as maintain ongoing programming with the aim to create space for meaningful discussion. We have projects that take place over a number of days or weeks and well as programs that are ongoing over a number of years.
Everything we do is designed to mindfully engage people, bring forward new ideas and re-imagine how dialogue and public engagement can be done.
The world is deeply complex and as a result, so is the scope, scale, breadth and depth of conversations that need to be had. Our dialogue programming spans many topics and thematic areas, but we do consistently return to a few that carry a particular urgency.
We design processes that will help groups work through problems, build solutions, and share expertise. We recognize dialogue participants as each holding an important piece of knowledge that, when shared with others, can help produce a stronger collaborative whole.
Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue
The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented every second year to an individual who has demonstrated international excellence in the use of dialogue to increase mutual understanding and advance complex public issues.
Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue
This annual program engages the community at large with academics to explore innovative approaches to issues of public importance through cross-sectoral dialogue.
Semester in Dialogue
SFU's Semester in Dialogue is a one-semester, full-time program designed to inspire students with a sense of civic responsibility and encourage their passion for improving society. Each semester the program offers an original, interdisciplinary experience that bridges the classroom with the community and creates space for students to reflect on what they are doing and why it matters.
Beyond Inclusion: Equity in Public Engagement proposes eight principles to support the meaningful and equitable inclusion of diverse voices in public engagement processes across sectors.
International Climate Engagement Network (ICEN)
To accelerate climate action, we need to listen and respond to citizen voices. That’s where the International Climate Engagement Network (ICEN) comes in. We provide a platform to highlight success stories in climate engagement and to amplify and expand engagement toolkits currently being used by national and sub-national governments.
Moving in a Livable Region
Moving in a Livable Region (MLR) is an initiative that works to build understanding and support with the public and other stakeholders on regional mobility and land-use priorities in Metro Vancouver.
Strengthening Canadian Democracy
The Strengthening Canadian Democracy Initiative catalyzes conversations for creating a more resilient democratic culture across Canada. We develop collaborations with institutions, practitioners, and citizens and then evaluate the results of these collaborations to identify what works, when, and how to improve democracy.
Urban Resilient Futures
The Urban Resilient Futures Initiative will work with the City of Burnaby, residents and stakeholders to accelerate climate action and to co-create a new, locally developed narrative for a resilient, low-carbon future. The result will be a community-driven vision and actions that are rooted in local context, values and climate science.
ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), SFU
ACT at SFU was the first university-based think tank in North America dedicated to climate change adaptation and remains the only one focused on a comprehensive suite of adaptation research topics.
Clean Energy Canada
Clean Energy Canada is a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. It works to accelerate Canada’s clean energy transition by sharing the story of the global shift to renewable energy sources and clean technology.
Michael Small's work as Fellow at the Centre focuses on climate change and energy transition, with particular attention to the long-term goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
Decolonization and Urban Indigenous Planning: Ginger Gosnell-Myers
Ginger Gosnell-Myers' Fellowship focuses on Urban Indigenous Policy and Planning. She explores the lessons learned from her experiences working with cities across the country, what the aspirations for Indigenous city building can be, and some of the foundational tools and steps needed to ensure its success.
Dialogue and Engagement: Dr. Mark Winston
Dr. Mark Winston partners with universities, corporations, NGOs, governments and communities to advance dialogue and communication skills, engage public and stakeholder audiences with controversial issues through dialogue, and implement experiential learning and community engagement in educational institutions.
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Access and Reconciliation: Dr. Robert Daum
Dr. Robert Daum collaborates with colleagues to work with governments and post-secondary institutions as well as NGOs, foundations and museums in advancing equity, diversity, accessibility, and reconciliation.
Peace and Security
Learn more about the work of our Peace & Security Fellows, Dr. Jennifer Allen Simons and Paul Meyer. Dr. Simons is an award-winning educator in peace, disarmament, international law and human security. Paul Meyer specializes in promoting conflict prevention and diplomatic problem solving in priority international security fields.
Renewable Cities is a global program of Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, Canada. Its mission is to support cities through the transition to 100% renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. Using research-based dialogue, collaboration, and thought leadership, Renewable Cities works towards urban energy solutions with cities, governments, the private sector, utilities, researchers, and civil society.
Systems Thinking in Health:
Dr. Diane Finegood
Dr. Diane Finegood works with the application of systems thinking and dialogue to address complex problems across a broad range of topics with a particular focus on health systems and public health.
Youth are a driving force in cities. To attract and retain youth, cities need to engage and prioritize the most relevant attributes of a city. Youthful Cities is on a mission to make cities across Canada and the world more youthful. Its purpose is to help cities and their youth create a strong youthful infrastructure and adopt a vibrant youthful attitude.
CityHive’s mission is to transform the way young people shape their cities and the civic processes that engage them. It envisions cities where youth are actively involved in civic planning, shaping, and decision making. Through civic education and innovation labs, CityHive harnesses the innovative energy, ideas, and desire for impact of young people to create a more equitable, sustainable, inclusive, and livable city.
Hey Neighbour Collective
Hey Neighbour Collective (HNC) brings together housing providers, researchers, wellbeing experts, local and regional governments, housing associations, and health authorities to experiment with and learn about ways of effectively building community, social connectedness, and resilience in BC’s fast-growing vertical communities.
SFU Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement
SFU’s Dialogue and Civic Engagement Certificate helps you build the skills you need to design and implement engagement strategies where people feel valued, connected to the process, and more committed to the outcomes. By integrating proven dialogic principles and engagement techniques, you can enable your stakeholders, whether internal or external to your organization or community, to influence outcomes on key issues.
The Laurier Institution
A nationally registered charity founded by a group of local changemakers in 1989, The Laurier Institution collaborates with partners to ignite collaboration, deepen shared learning, and inspire action around equity, diversity, and inclusion. As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, it aims to shift from solutions that meet the needs of the few to those that meet the needs of the many.
Canada’s World was a non-partisan initiative designed to articulate a new vision for Canada’s role in the world. The project was the most comprehensive citizen’s consultation on Canadian foreign policy in history, engaging more than 10,000 Canadians in-person and 200,000 Canadians on-line. It was implemented in collaboration with 15 post-secondary institutions and 40 non-profit organizations.
Carbon Talks was a program that promoted leadership, ideas, and dialogue on how to shift to the low-carbon economy.
COVID-19: Our Response
In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, we are focusing our energy on strengthening democracy by reinforcing the social infrastructure of our communities and creating greater resilience and equity in these shifting times. From our homes, the Centre’s staff and faculty are doing what we do best - convening people to address the challenges in our communities. Check out some of the ways we are showing up.
Distant, Not Disengaged
Distant, Not Disengaged was created as an experimental and innovative programming collaboration from SFU Public Square, CityHive and the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue to meet the urgent issues and opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Community connection, courage to stand up to the status quo in times of crisis, and relevance to local and global events are at the core of our event series.
Pivot 2020 was a deep urban exploration and information gathering project led by 1,200 young people in 27 cities across Canada. Youth collected data through surveying youth, interviewing community members and collecting benchmark information on the issues that matter to them most.
Doubling Down was a monthly virtual event series exploring dialogue and democracy as necessary pillars to advancing challenging conversations. How do we double down on democracy and dialogue in challenging times?
Gordon Price is a Canadian urban planner and a former politician who served for six terms as the first openly gay member of Vancouver City Council. Gordon is the founder of SFU’s City Program and the force behind PriceTags, an online blog and podcast series on urban issues.
Conversations That Matter
Conversations That Matter is a long-form interview show featuring thought leaders who shape our world. Join veteran journalist Stuart McNish weekly as he digs deep into topics that matter to you. The program is recorded at Oh Boy Productions in beautiful Vancouver, as well as guest-related locations.