SOLD OUT - Keeping up with the speed of disruption: A Public Policy Forum Seminar Series

When: Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 08:30 - Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 13:00

Where: Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, 7 Bayview Rd. Ottawa

This series is now sold out. If you wish to put your name on a wait list for our next sessions in the late winter/early fall of 2018, please email

The Public Policy Forum (PPF) is offering a professional development opportunity for public service executives to better understand disruptive technologies and the way they are challenging policy and governance approaches. Government reactions often lag long behind technological changes; how can governments not only catch up, but reorient their organizations to reliably keep up in the future? It starts with understanding a panoply of powerful technology developments and their broader social and economic impacts.

This series of learning modules, designed for current and prospective government executives, provides a deep dive into a selection of emerging technologies, likely areas of disruption and impact and an exploration of how governments around the world are reacting - or not - to a quickly shifting technological landscape. For each session, we’ll explore the common threads of information security, privacy, ethics, regulatory implications, sustainability and data.

 What you can expect

  • Discussion, learning and critical thinking about emerging technologies, the challenges for governments in leveraging, regulating, or predicting impacts
  • Building capacity for understanding and navigating emerging trends and pressures
  • Creating a core group of interested ambassadors for change

The following sessions will be facilitated by a team of experienced moderators and consist of short presentations by leading experts and guest speakers, interactive learning modules and roundtable discussions.

Session I: The rise of artificial intelligence (Sept. 7, 2017)

  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Cognitive AI
  • Machine Learning


  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Healthcare diagnosis
  • Citizen Service

Session II: The micro of digital biology (Oct.  5, 2017)

  • Synthetic biology
  • Ingestibles/Embeddables


  • Disease research/cure
  • Food security
  • Precision agriculture

Session III: The proliferation of networks & sensors (Nov. 2, 2017)

  • IOT
  • Nanotechnology
  • Blockchain


  • Smart cities
  • Industrial innovation
  • Distributed registries

Session IV: Digital-izing government  (Dec. 7, 2017)

  • Identity, authentication, biometrics
  • User experience
  • Open data / Open API / Open by default


  • Self-Service
  • Cost reduction
  • Reduce fraud and abuse
  • Transparency

Who should attend

The series is for executives, policy directors and practice leads in the Government of Canada and in other sectors who seek a better understanding of digital government trends and digital-era governance challenges.


$ 1950 (+HST) per person for members of the Public Policy Forum

$ 2450 (+HST) per person for non-members


Dates: Sep 7th, Oct 5th and Nov 2nd, Dec 7th 2017

Time: 8 am – 1.30 pm


Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards, Ottawa, Canada

About the PPF

The Public Policy Forum works with all levels of government and the public service, the private sector, labour, post-secondary institutions, NGOs and Indigenous groups to improve policy outcomes for Canadians. As a non-partisan, member-based organization, we work from "inclusion to conclusion," by convening discussions on fundamental policy issues and by identifying new options and paths forward. For 30 years, the Public Policy Forum has broken down barriers among sectors, contributing to meaningful change that builds a better Canada.

The team

Rob Annan

Rob Annan is an accomplished and respected expert on research and innovation policy. As Chief Research Officer, Rob helped establish Mitacs as a major Canadian success in the development and delivery of policy-driven innovation programs. He consults with governments, organizations and institutions across Canada on innovation strategy and policy and speaks regularly with public and private audiences across Canada. Rob has a PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University.





Jen Hunter, Deloitte Greenhouse

Jen brings life and vitality to her work with leaders and organizations. Her passion for process design, engagement, leadership and great work, has been developed in a variety of roles throughout her twenty-five year career. Jen has a profound commitment to connect proven and innovative process with your unique organizational culture and strategy to produce real & sustainable results. She has worked with hundreds of leaders focused on discovering how collaborative leadership can contribute to organizational success.



Anna Jahn, PPF

Anna is the Director of Membership and Partnerships at the Public Policy Forum. She brings a breadth of experience from the higher education sector with a focus on leadership development. At the University of Ottawa, she managed strategic development and operations at the Centre on Public Management and Policy (Odell House) for the Certificate Program in Public Sector Leadership and Governance. Before joining uOttawa, Anna was a Program Manager at The European School of Management and Technology in Berlin, Germany.



Our partners:

NSERC, Singularity University Canada, Deloitte Greenhouse