Creating space for transformative conversations
Participant at dialogue with the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada Bridges that Unite Exhibit in Kitchener-Waterloo. (April 27, 2009)

Canada's World: Rationale and Goals

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Rationale:

In 2009, Canada’s World interviewed 200 thought leaders and convened 14 focus groups to identify the new realities facing Canada in the international arena. Based on this research, nine new realities were identified — which surfaced the following concerns about Canadian foreign policy:

  • The gap between perception and reality of Canada’s place in the world is growing.
  • There is a need to increase the number of Canadians who think and care about international policy.
  • Discussions about international policy are becoming increasingly polarized.
  • There are competing visions about Canada’s role in the world that deserve careful consideration.
  • Our perceptions of ourselves as a nation are evolving.
  • Our notions of federalism are evolving.
  • The actors shaping our international policy are shifting.
  • The nature of government decision-making is changing.

Goals:

Canada’s World sought to develop a new story for Canada in the world that reflected the historical experiences, values, assets, and interests of Canadians.

In order to accomplish this, Canada’s World wanted to design and deliver a national dialogue process that could act as a model for citizen engagement and deliberation that also:

  • involved individuals, organizations, businesses, and institutions;
  • engaged Canadians who have not traditionally participated in foreign policy initiatives;
  • increased Canadians’ knowledge of foreign policy;
  • empowered citizens to deliberate, formulate, and advance options for Canadian international policy;
  • and, built the capacity of participants to communicate the new story for Canada’s role in the world to government, media, and other international policy actors.