Policy Entrepreneurship Program

Spring 2015: Jumping Through Hoops? Overcoming Policy Barriers and Institutional Hurdles that Prevent Your Research from Achieving Its Full Impact

Mobilizing knowledge to generate impact has become a core requirement for most Canadian research funding bodies, but what happens when misaligned or outdated policies and regulations obstruct impact? While policies and regulations are designed with the intent to guide decisions and to shape conduct in order to achieve rational outcomes, in many instances, they stall science. Regulatory bodies cannot keep pace with the advances of disruptive technologies. Roadblocks are exacerbated by a lack of consensus over the question of who is responsible for addressing policy barriers to research.

Why should researchers invest their resources into overcoming policy barriers to conducting research and to research uptake? While a definitive answer to the “Whose job is it?” question continues to be beyond our reach, researchers are responsible for ensuring that their research is communicated and mobilized outside the lab effectively, and that it is transmitted through the right channels in order to achieve its full impact potential.

This combination of speaker sessions and hands-on workshops will provide tools that will enable researchers to develop strategies to address the policy and regulatory challenges involved in conducting research, securing funding, and mobilizing research outside of the lab. While the workshops and speaker sessions are designed to build on each other as a program, participants may choose to attend individual sessions at any point throughout the program.

Key Objectives

a. Diagnose Your Policy Problem
b. Refine Your Value Proposition(s)
c. Map Your Stakeholder Landscape
d. Build a Responsive Strategy
e. Articulate the return-on-investment your project will generate to all relevant stakeholders (“benefits to Canada”)

Intended Audience

This program is open to anyone who has an innovative idea or project that they want to develop to its full potential. This includes University of British Columbia-based scientists and researchers including Principal Investigators, Laboratory Technicians, Post-Doctoral Researchers, Graduate/Undergraduate Students, and Research Associates (including Project Managers and Research Grant Facilitators). Participants from outside the UBC community are also welcome.

The Speaker Series

The speakers in this series are expert practitioners and researchers in various fields including policy, advocacy, design strategy/systems, and social innovation. The series is intended to provide a bird’s-eye view of the issues at hand.

Date Talk Speakers Information
March 31, 2015
Nurturing Innovation Across Boundaries Al Etmanski, Social Entrepreneur and Social Innovator Session video
April 14, 2015
12:00 – 1:30pm
Making It Count – How Policymakers Use Science-Based Research to Make Decisions Dr.Evert Lindquist, Director, School of Public Administration, University of Victoria Session video
May 12, 2015
Measuring Change Sarah Stachowiak, Senior Vice President of ORS Impact Sketchnotes

The Workshop Series

The ‘hands-on’ half-day workshops are intended to give participants an opportunity to directly apply the concepts presented during the session through a series of exercises. Participants will receive guidance from key practitioners in relevant fields.

Date Workshop Key Practitioners Information
April 7, 2015
Diagnose Your Policy Problem & Refine Your Value Proposition Blair Simonite, Program Director, e@UBC; Adjunct Professor, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Sauder School of Business Video recap
April 21, 2015
Map Your Stakeholder Landscape Steve Williams, President of Constructive Public Engagement Video recap
May 14, 2015
Build Your Strategy Steve Williams, President of Constructive Public Engagement Video recap

The workshops and speaker sessions are designed to build on each other as a program, but participants may choose to attend individual sessions at any point throughout the program.


The Facilitator & Content Co-Designer

Steve Williams, President of Constructive Public Engagement, has successfully prepared and facilitated stakeholder engagement workshops for the GREAT Program in the past.  He has ample experience working in strategic planning, business development, public speaking and sustainability in social enterprises. Steve specializes in Corporate Social Responsibility design, evaluation, impact measurement, and data visualization for sustainability. He is a technology strategist designing and facilitating participant-driven public engagement events. Read more.

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