Keeping Up With the Speed of Disruption

Man in front of heavily texted presentation

Back by popular demand, the Public Policy Forum’s professional development seminar series Keeping Up With the Speed of Disruption is being offered for a third time, with the first of four sessions taking place on December 7, 2018. The aim of this series is to equip the participants, public service executives, to better understand disruptive technologies, how they can be used to enhance government services and the ways 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 technological 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 and sustainability.

Register now

What to 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 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.


Participants have heard from amazing speakers during the course of the first two offerings including:

  • Allan Dafoe, Director of the Governance of AI Program, at the Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford
  • Steffen Christensen, Senior Policy Researcher, Policy Horizons
  • Marc Saner, Chair of the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, University of Ottawa
  • Rees Kassen, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa
  • Rob Annan, PPF Fellow and Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, Genome Canada
  • Christina Lomazzo, Consultant & Blockchain Leader, Deloitte
  • Erin Kelly, CEO of Advanced Symbolics Inc.
  • Eric Swedersky, Senior Vice President, Delivery and Public Sector, SecureKey

Data Literacy Primer (date to be confirmed, will be held in January 2019)

All participants are invited to attend a hands-on session about data literacy – interpreting the myriad facts and figures that come at us every day and understanding how they fit into both day-to-day work and the big picture.

Session I: The New Biology (December 7, 2018)

  • This session will explore the technologies that are changing the way we interact with biological information and biological systems.

 Session II: The New Intelligence (January 18, 2019)

  • This session will explore the technologies and applications arising from artificial intelligence and the big data movement.

Session III: The New Community (February 15, 2019)

  • This session will explore networks, including blockchain technology, and the many ways they are (and soon will be) connecting people and communities.

Session IV: The New Governance (March 22, 2019)

  • Our final session runs longer than the first three and focuses on the themes of 1) actual government pilots implementing disruptive technologies, 2) regulatory responses to disruptive technologies and 3) the government-wide ramifications brought on by disruptive technologies. During this session, the participants will be divided into three groups, each corresponding with one of the three themes. Each group will develop a proposal related to the theme.

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.


$ 2,250 (+HST) per person for members of the Public Policy Forum

$ 2,950 (+HST) per person for non-members


Register now

Contact: Jonathan Perron-Clow

Keeping Up With the Speed of Disruption The Team

Jen Hunter

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 25-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.

Kabi PPF

Satyamoorthy Kabilan (Kabi), Public Policy Forum

PPF’s new Director of Policy, Satyamoorthy Kabilan (Kabi), comes to PPF after five years at the Conference Board of Canada, where he was most recently Director, National Security and Strategic Foresight. Before coming to Canada, he worked for the British Home Office, founded and managed two technology start-ups and led a research team at the University of Cambridge. He is a scientist, entrepreneur and internationally recognized expert in cyber security, emergency management and national security issues.

Zac DeLong

Zac Delong, Public Policy Forum

Zac is a licensed lawyer with the Law Society of Upper Canada, having received his Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Ottawa Law Review. After several years as an associate in Gowling WLG’s advocacy department and as a volunteer with Pro Bono Ontario, Zac now brings his breadth of legal experience as a civil litigator to the Public Policy Forum.

Anna Jahn

Anna Jahn, Public Policy Forum

Anna Jahn is the Director of Learning Programs and the Action Canada Fellowship at Public Policy Forum. She works with all sectors to foster inclusive dialogue and improve policy outcomes. She brings a breadth of experience from the higher education sector.

At the University of Ottawa, she held a leadership role at the Centre on Public Management and Policy and was a part of the marketing and communications team of the Faculty of Social Science. Before moving to Canada, Anna was a Program Manager at The European School of Management and Technology in Berlin, Germany. Her university degrees and research in social anthropology, sociology and African studies brought her to Freie Universität Berlin, Stanford University, Aix-Marseille Université and Benin, West Africa. She is fluent in English, French, and German.

Jonathan Perron-Clow

Jonathan Perron-Clow, Public Policy Forum

Jonathan Perron-Clow is the Project Lead for the Learning Programs and Action Canada Fellowship at the Public Policy Forum after having joined PPF in the communications team. Previously, Jonathan consulted with a number of organizations including the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres and the Foundation for the Study of Processes of Government in Canada on projects ranging from a guide for Francophone communities seeking to improve access to primary health care to increasing the number of participants in the Forum for Young Canadians program.

In Calgary for three years, he led the development and opening of the Clinique francophone de Calgary, a community health centre managed and governed by the Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta régionale de Calgary.

He has also been a reporter for a variety of community newspapers in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. A graduate of the MA in Political Science program at Carleton University and the Honours Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, Jonathan also volunteers in a wide range of areas including Junior A hockey, Canada’s hot air balloon community and in civic engagement projects.

Katherine Chirke

Katherine Chirke, Public Policy Forum

Since joining the Public Policy Forum as a project administrator, Katherine Chirke has played an instrumental role in coordinating several of the PPF’s complex projects. Now, she joins the Learning Programs and Action Canada Fellowship team to continue her great work. From conducting background research to managing logistical details, she continues to contribute her knowledge and expertise to the successful implementation of large-scale events held across the country.

With degrees in Political Studies specializing in Comparative International Relations from Queen’s University and Concordia University, as well as varied work experience in the private and non-for-profit spheres, she brings with her a proven track record and resourcefulness that enables PPF to work towards achieving better policymaking in Canada.

A committed volunteer, Katherine has also served on the boards of charities dedicated to bettering the lives of women in Ottawa.

Keeping Up With the Speed of Disruption
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