Policy Horizons Canada uses foresight to help the federal government build stronger policies and programs in the face of an uncertain future.
This document reflects research on the potential medium- to long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic by Policy Horizons Canada. It explores some potential changes, disruptions, and shifts that may arise due to COVID-19, highlights some critical uncertainties, and considers future-relevant questions. It also includes sections on using foresight in policy making, including working with scenarios, identifying policy implications, testing assumptions, and practicing visions thinking.
A broad consensus on citizenship – who deserves it and the rights and responsibilities it entails – is a mainstay of democracy. This shared status promotes a point of identification that transcends regional and/or cultural distinctions and therefore promotes social cohesion. However, should this consensus unravel or transform, significant disruptions to Canada’s social solidarity and democratic institutions might follow.
Kristel Van der Elst, Director General at Policy Horizons Canada, presented an overview of our COVID-19 foresight work. She introduced some of the forces driving change and disruption in a number of different areas, and highlighted a few shifts we might experience in the medium term that challenge our policy assumptions and tools.