2018 Policy Community Conference

How can policy and the public service be modern, relevant and responsive in addressing the needs of Canadians?

The Policy Community is an inclusive community of policy makers and shapers working across the policy spectrum, including research, development, implementation and evaluation. When it asked CKX to help design and host the 2018 Policy Community Conference, we were excited to craft an experience that would help policy practitioners strive for policy excellence.

Designing an engaging participant experience


From start to finish, we worked with intentionality to bring people from across systems and sectors together to exchange ideas, build relationships and hold important policy conversations. We embedded reflective practices in conversations about policy design and development. We designed immersive experiences that allowed more than 500 participants to learn about policy issues, tools and approaches in a hands-on way. This included online content, allowing more than 150 people in nine provinces to attend and participate virtually.

Engaging across the federal public service

The program included participants from more than 45 federal departments and agencies, including Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada, Indigenous Services, and Health Canada, as well as public policy innovators from foreign governments and the private and social change sectors. Participants pushed the envelope on how policy and the public service can be modern, relevant and responsive in addressing the needs of Canadians.

Policy Community Conference

In addition to supporting the design of the overall conference, CKX also hosted the Speakers Salon, where thought leaders, international experts and new voices shared their big ideas, lived experience and visions for the future. In the six salon conversations, speakers discussed balancing Indigenous and non-Indigenous ways of knowing, the powerful outcomes of working across policy and communications, why gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)  matters for Canadians, and more.

And the result?

The conference made a big impact—more than 85% of participants who provided feedback said they were challenged to do things differently, and nearly 90% said they learned something new that they could apply to their job.

CKX and the Policy Community have already begun work on the 2019 Policy Community Conference: Practice Makes Policy, which will again provide an exciting and enriching environment for policy makers to have important conversations and build relationships as they strive for policy excellence.