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2017 Queen's Policy Forum: The Academy and the policy world: How can universities respond to Canada's Policy Challenges

Saturday, November 4, 2017
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Donald Gordon Centre
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Most public policy problems are complex, with interdependent aspects requiring a collaborative approach to policy development and implementation. Some problems have come to be called “wicked” because their shape keeps shifting depending on the perspectives of multiple stakeholders: each aspect seems to be a symptom of some deeper problem, and solutions seem impossible. How can policy research be useful in the face of such problems?

The purpose of this Policy Forum, is to ask how relations between the academy and the policy world have changed. What external research, analysis and advice do policy practitioners now need to do their jobs effectively? How do they make sense of the explosion of information and advice from disparate sources? How can the academy help?

A focus on solving complex policy problems reveals both the strengths and weaknesses of the academy. On the one hand, universities are deep repositories of sophisticated knowledge about every aspect of collective life. On the other hand, since universities are organized by discipline, academic success is achieved by contributing to the evolution of each discipline’s understanding of the world. This impedes the multi and inter-disciplinary approaches needed to tackle today’s complex policy challenges. How must the academy change to make its knowledge and expertise available whenever and however they are needed? How must governments change to make better use of the knowledge, ideas and innovation in the academy?

General Registration: $125 (plus tax) Student Registration: $25 (plus tax)
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