Video - Future of Asia - Engagement Process

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Alternative Format - FoA_ENGLISH_Web.wmv

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(Black background, a series of blue circles joined by intersecting lines. The bottom circle looks like planet Earth with the text “horizons” to its right. Upbeat music plays. Various business-themed photos cascade onto a table. A female narrator speaks. )

Policy Horizons Canada is a unique organization within the Federal Public Service; our main areas of focus… foresight and engagement. So, what is foresight? And why is it important?

(A montage shows three men giving a presentation to a group.)

In the most basic terms, foresight is the step before planning. Foresight doesn’t predict the future, but rather explores a range of plausible futures to identify challenges and opportunities that Canada could confront over the next 10-15 years.

(A woman works with a desktop computer.)

Each year, the Horizons team focuses on a broad policy-related research topic; the result: a MetaScan.

(Several Government of Canada publications are shown on a desk. The titles include: “Digital Asia, Green Asia and Regional Asia.” An infographic titled: “The Future of Asia – Foresight Process” is shown. It contains a series of circles with graphics within them, connected by short lines with dates underneath each circle. Headings above each circle read “Insight Sharing, Change Drivers, Cross Impact, Scenarios, Policy Challenges and Refining.” A wall in a long office hallway is covered by a complex weekly calendar.)

These studies encompass intensive scanning and foresight processes, conducted over many months, which culminate in the development of a thorough and multi-layered report

(Several Government of Canada publications are shown on a desk. The titles include: “Energy Cluster Findings, Economy Cluster Findings, Geostrategic Cluster Findings and Social Cluster Findings.” A woman places flashcards on a table. A group of people read posters on a boardroom wall. )

Throughout the process, we explore the future through a variety of lenses, including technology, the economy, society, the environment, and others.

(A montage shows three men giving a presentation to a group. The group applauds at the end of the presentation.)

Naturally, to cover complex policy problems, a great variety of expertise is needed

(A man in an office speaks to another man via videoconference. A man sitting on a stool is interviewed under studio lighting. )

During the MetaScan on the Future of Asia, we brought together over 50 participants from across the public service, in addition to interviewing Canadian and international subject experts on Asia.

(A group of people standing in a boardroom have a discussion.)

Although our goal of generating insight and building foresight capacity remain a constant, the way we get there evolves with each project.

(A montage shows various people giving presentations.)

For the scanning and foresight phases, participants followed a carefully designed process, meeting regularly at the Horizons’ lab to tackle each phase of the project.

Taking time to look longer term is challenging but at the same time very worthwhile.

(A group of people read posters on a boardroom wall. A man speaks in French from a boardroom chair. Text: “Martin Berry – Policy Horizons Canada”. An intermittent montage shows people collaborating in an office environment. )

For me, it’s the moment where it clicks with our participants. We often have many different groups at the table from the academic sector, different industries and professionals. We bring them together. There is really a moment where everyone starts to understand the objective and starts working together. From that moment forward, we are highly productive.

(A woman speaks from an office. Text: “Amal Ahmed – Natural Resources Canada”. An intermittent montage shows people collaborating in an office environment. )

It enables you to think longer-term, think outside the box, think in different ways then you normally do.

(A montage shows people collaborating in an office environment.)

These many in-person sessions were facilitated by our multi-disciplinary team using a variety of foresight and learning organization tools and methods.

Facilitating large scale collaboration is never a simple task. But the rewards from a productive exchange of ideas are very valuable.

(A man speaks in French via videoconference on a tablet. Text: “Pierre-Olivier DesMarchais – Policy Horizons Canada”. The video conference robot is mounted on a stand with wheels and rolls down an office hallway while a man walks beside it, continuing the videoconference conversation. )

I think seeing the participants project themselves into the future and being comfortable doing it without judgement. Without a doubt, this is one of the elements that I find the most enjoyable.

(A man speaks from an office. Text: “Imran Arshad – Policy Horizons Canada”.)

What I enjoy the most about facilitating a session is watching participants feed off of each other’s ideas. One participant may say something that may trigger an idea in another person and they build off each other and that is the most enjoyable part for me.

(A montage shows people collaborating in an office environment.)

Our approach at Horizons is to foster a culture of innovation and creativity, learning and experimentation to enhance our results.

(A man speaks in French from an office. Text: “Martin Roy – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada”.)

What we need to constantly remind ourselves is that foresight is a domain of work that makes our institutions more resilient and adaptable to change and this area is often forgotten in our day-to-day work.

(A montage shows people collaborating in an office environment.)

This experience of the foresight process was seen by policy analysts as a unique, creative new tool that can be added to their toolbox.

(A man speaks from an office. Text: “Rahil Khan – Natural Resources Canada”.)

For me there are a couple of valuable things that I have got out of the process: the testing of the policy assumptions, scenario building, testing the robustness of our policies and programs against these scenarios.

(A montage shows people collaborating in an office environment.)

The spirit of collaboration enables participants and Horizons’ staff to work together to achieve a defined purpose.

(A man speaks in front of a wall adorned with post-it notes. Text: “Philip Tomlinson – Natural Resources Canada”.)

I think it is very very useful to the public service. I would like to see more people have the opportunity to do a process like this.

(A montage shows several people giving a presentation to a group. The group applauds at the end of the presentation.)

With a sound strategy, a dedicated team, and strong facilitation, foresight can generate surprising and important insights that help develop more robust policies to better prepare for the future.

(A computer screen shows the home page of the Policy Horizons Canada website. A user is shown navigating the website. Text: “horizons.gc.ca”.)

For more information on the Future of Asia project and other Horizons’ MetaScans, please visit us at www.horizons.gc.ca.

(Policy Horizons Canada’s GcPedia and GcConnex pages are shown. Text: “GcPedia.gc.ca – GcConnex.gc.ca”.)

You can also find us on GCPedia and GCConnex.

(Black background, a series of blue circles joined by intersecting lines. The bottom circle looks like planet Earth with the text “horizons” to its right. )

(Fade to black Text: “Copyright Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Policy Horizons Canada, 2015.”)

©Her majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Policy Horizons Canada, 2015.

(Canada wordmark appears.)

Canada