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  • 23 Jul 2024 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    The recent research paper "Artificial Intelligence: Its Potential and Ethics in the Practice of Public Participation" by Morgan Boyco MCIP RPP, and Dr. Pamela Robinson MCIP RPP offers a comprehensive look at how AI can shape public participation practices. As AI tools like ChatGPT become more accessible, it's crucial to understand both their potential benefits and inherent risks. This article summarizes key findings and insights from the paper.

    Understanding AI's Potential in Public Participation

    The paper identifies several areas where AI can enhance public participation (P2) processes:

    • Research and Planning: AI can streamline background research and planning, utilizing AI-assisted web searches and data analysis to craft more informed engagement strategies.
    • Communications: Generative AI can expedite the creation of text-based content like press releases and reports, while multimodal AI tools can produce multimedia content that enhances the accessibility and engagement of communication efforts.
    • Interaction and Dialogue: AI tools can support moderation and provide real-time feedback in digital engagement platforms, facilitating more effective and inclusive dialogues.
    • Analysis and Decision Support: AI has the potential to analyze large volumes of community feedback and support decision-making processes in urban planning and other civic engagements.

    Addressing the Risks and Ethical Considerations

    Despite the promising applications, the paper does not shy away from addressing the significant risks associated with AI:

    • Bias and Inaccuracy: AI systems may perpetuate biases present in their training data, leading to unfair treatment of certain groups and inaccurate information.
    • Privacy and Security: The potential for AI to inadvertently leak sensitive information poses serious privacy risks.
    • Overreliance on Technology: There's a concern that excessive reliance on AI could undermine human elements crucial in P2 processes, such as empathy and ethical judgment.

    Ethical Framework for AI Use in Public Participation

    The authors propose an ethical framework to guide P2 practitioners in responsibly integrating AI tools. Key recommendations include:

    • Awareness and Accountability: Practitioners must be aware of the risks and remain accountable for the outcomes of AI tools.
    • Promoting Equity: Efforts should be made to identify and mitigate biases in AI outputs to ensure equitable outcomes.
    • Transparency: Practitioners should be transparent about the use of AI and open to alternative participation methods.
    • Human Oversight: Decisions should always involve human judgment to prevent overautomation and preserve democratic integrity.

    The Future of AI in P2

    Looking ahead, the paper stresses the importance of balancing the efficiency and innovation offered by AI with the need to maintain integrity and inclusivity in public participation. As AI technologies evolve, P2 professionals must stay informed and critical of how these tools are implemented within their practices.


    The research paper by Boyco and Robinson is a vital resource for anyone involved in public participation. It highlights the transformative potential of AI while cautioning against its unmonitored use. As we continue to integrate these technologies, maintaining a focus on ethics, equity, and human oversight will be crucial to harnessing AI's benefits without compromising the foundational values of public participation.

    Consider joining Morgan, Pamela, and your fellow P2 professionals at the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference, taking place from October 24-26, for a pre-conference workshop on AI to share experiences, ethical quandaries, and all other big questions about AI for P2 and help lay the groundwork for building a new AI P2 community of practice.

  • 23 Jul 2024 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Are you ready to dive into the future of public participation and engagement? Join us at the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference for discussions led by dynamic speakers on innovative approaches to community relations. This must-attend event is for those eager to stay ahead in the evolving field of public participation.

    These sessions are just a few of the amazing learning experiences you can expect at #IAP2NAC:

    Navigating the Future with AI: A Deep Dive with Morgan Boyco & Dr. Pamela Robinson

    Join Morgan Boyco and Dr. Pamela Robinson as they explore the vast potential of AI in public participation. Their session, "Artificial Intelligence: Its Potential and Ethics in Public Participation Practice," is a deep dive into AI's transformative power and ethical considerations. Engage with two forward-thinking minds as they discuss how AI can enhance engagement processes and the importance of responsible AI policies.

    Embracing Diversity: Culturally Responsive Engagement Strategies

    Explore inclusive strategies at the session led by Olivia Howard, Amanda Krumins Somkuti, Lyndsay Ward, and Maral Hamayeli. "Beyond Eurocentric Engagement: Culturally Responsive Approaches to Community Engagement" will provide tools and insights to effectively navigate culturally diverse environments and foster genuine connections within communities.

    Empowering Every Voice: Engaging Persons with Disabilities

    Christine Furtado, Luke Anderson, Ron Buling, and Shawn Smith will challenge norms and empower the voices of persons with disabilities. Their panel discussion “Breaking Barriers: Panel Discussion on Engaging Persons with Disabilities” is more than a session; it's a catalyst for change, providing strategic insights to make engagement genuinely inclusive.

    Building Bridges: Indigenous Engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility

    Katlan Holman and Caoimhe Laird's session is “Building Authenticity Skills and Practices for Corporate Social Responsibility & Indigenous Engagement”. Attendees will learn how to build sustainable and respectful relationships with Indigenous communities, ensuring a legacy of responsible corporate conduct intertwined with Indigenous wisdom.

    Laying the Foundations: Trust and Engagement in Transit Infrastructure

    Join Lauren Reaman and Avril Fisken as they lead a revolutionary session, “Building Trust, Building Acceptance and Building Transit Infrastructure”. Learn cutting-edge engagement techniques and how to integrate community feedback effectively to enhance public transit projects.

    Collaborative Innovations in Affordable Housing (Simultaneous translation available)

    Join CMHC for a dynamic fireside chat titled "Practices for Community-led Design and Development of Affordable Housing in Canada." This session will showcase successful community co-design and governance projects, offering participants insights from field pioneers, real-time method demonstrations, and guidance on applying these practices in their own communities.

    Join us at the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference to be at the forefront of these critical conversations. Register now and be part of shaping the future of public participation.

  • 23 Jul 2024 12:24 PM | Anonymous

    Effective public engagement is crucial in urban planning and governance, particularly in projects like Ottawa's Solid Waste Master Plan (SWMP). This initiative highlights how an inclusive engagement process can build trust, ensure transparency, and encourage collaboration between city officials and residents. Ottawa’s approach, which earned them the 2023 Respect for Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture Award from IAP2 Canada, involved embracing diversity and equitable representation. This commitment allowed the community to play a significant role in reshaping the city's waste management strategies, demonstrating the profound impact of inclusivity in public policy development.

    The Cornerstone of Public Engagement in Ottawa's SWMP Development

    Starting in 2019, Ottawa undertook a significant overhaul of its SWMP with a clear goal: align waste management strategies with sustainability goals and community needs. Central to this initiative was creating multiple platforms for dialogue. The city launched surveys across a variety of languages, including French and English, to ensure wide accessibility and conducted virtual dialogue sessions for deeper community involvement. Focus groups specifically aimed to include voices from marginalized and equity-seeking communities, ensuring that policies reflected the diverse needs and values across Ottawa.

    A Tapestry of Voices: Incorporating Diverse Community Feedback

    The development of the SWMP was rooted in the principle that all community perspectives are vital. Ottawa's strategy involved extensive outreach to gather varied insights from its culturally diverse population. The city's commitment to inclusivity led to a rich collection of feedback that illuminated various community needs and aspirations, significantly shaping the final waste management strategies.

    Innovative Practices and Lessons Learned

    Two innovative practices stood out in Ottawa's public engagement process: tailored communication materials and the strategic use of honoraria use of multilingual content. Tailored communications ensured that complex information was accessible to all, breaking down barriers that language and technical jargon might create. Developing content in, up to, 10 languages helped to ensure no one was excluded from the opportunity and set the bar for public engagement initiatives at the City.

    Adhering to IAP2 Core Values for Authentic Engagement

    Ottawa’s engagement strategy was deeply aligned with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Core Values. This alignment ensured that the engagement process was not only transparent and inclusive but also respectful and meaningful. The city’s efforts to engage diverse communities through customized communication and respectful interaction reinforced its commitment to these values, enhancing public trust and participation quality.

    Impact of Inclusive Engagement on Public Trust and Policy Efficacy

    The inclusive nature of Ottawa's engagement strategy has proven effective in building public trust and enhancing policy efficacy. By integrating extensive community feedback into the SWMP, Ottawa has developed waste management policies that not only meet environmental goals but also resonate with the community’s values. The new SWMP, approved by City Council in June 2024, is reflective of the input received during the engagement process. Residents and stakeholders consistently underlined the importance of the City working with the community, multi-lingual, and external partners to ensure the success of many of the actions in the Plan.

    Ottawa's journey through the development of its SWMP serves as a powerful example of how cities can effectively engage with their communities to create policies that are both sustainable and widely supported. This case study illustrates the importance of inclusive public engagement in urban planning and the positive impacts it can have on both policy development and community trust.

  • 17 Jul 2024 12:29 PM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to share updates and highlights from the past quarter, including insights from our recent Annual General Meeting and the release of our 2023 Annual Report. Explore how we are advancing public participation and inclusion across communities. Your continued support and involvement are invaluable to us at IAP2 Canada, and we thank you for being a part of our journey.


    IAP2 Canada successfully conducted its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the year, during which we also released our comprehensive 2023 Annual Report. This report details our achievements, financials, and strategic initiatives from the past year. Members and interested parties can access the AGM minutes and view the Annual Report through the links provided below:

    Global Learning Pathway Update

    We are pleased to announce the successful licensing of trainers for our Global Learning Pathway (GLP) courses. Congratulations to the following members of our IAP2 community of trainers who have been accredited to deliver these essential courses:

    GLP Prerequisite Courses

    • Kristi Merilees

    GLP Electives

    Understanding People and Communities:

    Working with Conflict and High Emotion:

    • Jessica Delaney, CP3
    • Tracey Ehl, MCP3
    • Kim Hyshka, CP3

    These trainers are now prepared to deliver insightful and valuable learning experiences tailored to public participation practitioners.

    CP3 Designation Progress

    Congratulations to our newest CP3 designated members:

    We celebrate your achievement and welcome you to our community of certified professionals.

    Indigenous Awareness Learning Program

    We recently celebrated the successful completion of our January 2024 cohort for the IAP2 Canada Indigenous Awareness Learning Program, marking a milestone in advancing P2. In June, we launched a new cohort, furthering our commitment to integrating Indigenous perspectives and enhancing P2 practices.

    Digital Discovery Series 2024

    The Digital Discovery Series concluded in June 2024 with more than 200 participants, offering innovative insights into digital strategies for P2. We sincerely thank Susanna Haas Lyons for her her invaluable leadership throughout.


    Alison Fraser joined us as the new Executive Director of IAP2 Canada in June 2024, enriching our leadership team with her extensive background in marketing and communications. With over 20 years of experience from diverse sectors including healthcare, entertainment, and corporate strategy, Alison is well-equipped to steer our initiatives towards new heights. Learn more about Alison.

    2024 IAP2 NAC Keynote Speakers

    As we gear up for the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference in Ottawa, we are thrilled to highlight our keynote speakers, each a distinguished leader in their field:

    • The Hon. Catherine McKenna: Former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna brings a wealth of experience in environmental policy and climate action. Her insights will inspire and challenge us to integrate sustainable practices in public participation.
    • The Hon. Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, C.M., O.N.S.: Senator for Nova Scotia (East Preston), Dr. Bernard is renowned for her advocacy in social justice and community engagement. Her extensive work in promoting inclusivity and understanding in public policies, particularly focusing on building bridges and best practices in P2, will provide valuable perspectives to our discussions.

    Join us in Ottawa for an opportunity to learn from these visionary leaders and to further your professional development in the field of public participation.

    IAP2 Canada Research Paper

    The research paper "Artificial Intelligence: Its Potential and Ethics in the Practice of Public Participation," released in April 2024 by the International Association for Public Participation Canada and authored by Morgan Boyco and Dr. Pamela Robinson, examines the impact of AI on public participation. It discusses the advantages and challenges of AI tools like ChatGPT, which are becoming increasingly accessible.

  • 28 May 2024 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    As a public participation champion aiming to elevate your career, acquiring the CP3 designation from IAP2 Canada signifies a profound step towards becoming a recognized expert in public participation (P2) and engagement. This credential not only boosts your professional stature but also opens doors to myriad opportunities. In this article, we'll delve into how obtaining the CP3 designation can enrich your career and impact your community positively.

    What is the CP3 Designation?

    The Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) designation represents the national standard in the field of public participation. It serves as a benchmark of excellence, symbolizing a practitioner's mastery and unwavering commitment to the principles and practices of effective public participation and engagement.

    Achieving the CP3 designation is a rigorous process that demands a deep understanding and skilled application in several key domains of public participation. Candidates undergo a comprehensive three-step assessment process designed to challenge and validate their expertise across various competencies. This ensures that those who achieve the designation are well-equipped to handle the complexities and nuances of engaging diverse communities in meaningful ways.

    The designation is built around specific Core Competencies that are essential for effective, impactful public engagement and that position you as a leader in the field.

    The IAP2 Core Competencies Explained

    The IAP2 Core Competencies include:

    • P2 Process Planning and Application Skills: Demonstrating strategic proficiency in designing and implementing participation processes that effectively engage stakeholders.
    • P2 Event Planning and Implementation Skills: Crafting and managing public events that foster open dialogue and productive participation.
    • Appropriate Use of P2 Techniques: Employing a range of tools and methods tailored to meet the objectives of the engagement and the needs of the community.
    • P2 Communication Skills: Mastering the art of communication to ensure clarity, understanding, and constructive interactions across diverse audiences.
    • P2 People Skills: Building rapport, managing conflict, and nurturing an inclusive environment that respects and values diverse perspectives and contributions.

    These core competencies are not just fundamental areas of expertise; they are essential pillars that support the CP3 holder’s role as a leader in the field. They enable professionals to design and lead public participation initiatives that are not only effective but also transformative, fostering democratic processes and enhancing community involvement.

    Benefits of Earning the CP3 Designation

    Achieving the CP3 designation provides significant advantages that can transform your career in public participation and engagement.

    The CP3 designation marks you as a thought leader in public participation, enabling you to influence community projects and policies profoundly. With this credential, you're seen as a pivotal figure in shaping engagement strategies that are inclusive, effective, and innovative. It empowers you to drive significant changes and ensure community voices are appropriately reflected in decision-making processes.

    Here’s how this accreditation can benefit you:

    Enhanced Professional Credibility

    The CP3 designation is recognized internationally as a mark of excellence in public participation and engagement. Holding this credential demonstrates your mastery of essential skills and your commitment to high standards in the field, significantly boosting your professional reputation.

    Competitive Edge in the Job Market

    With the CP3 designation, you distinguish yourself from your peers, showcasing your advanced capabilities in leading and managing public engagement initiatives. This makes you a highly desirable candidate for senior roles and specialized positions that require expert skills.

    Access to Advanced Career Opportunities

    The designation opens doors to higher-level opportunities that may previously have been out of reach. It positions you for leadership roles within organizations, enables you to handle more significant, impactful projects, and can lead to consulting opportunities where your expertise can directly influence public policy and community outcomes.

    Leadership in Complex Projects

    The CP3 designation equips you with the skills and knowledge to effectively lead complex engagement projects. It signals to employers and community members your ability to manage substantial, diverse projects with strategic insight and professionalism.

    Joining the Global CP3 Network

    Becoming a CP3 integrates you into a network of skilled professionals dedicated to advancing public participation. This network provides a platform for collaboration, learning, and professional growth, allowing you to share insights, challenge your ideas, and enhance your practice through exposure to diverse perspectives and strategies.

    As a CP3 designation holder, you not only advance your own career but also contribute to the evolution of public participation and engagement globally. Your work sets standards, challenges norms, and introduces innovative practices that enhance how public engagement is conducted worldwide.

    Your Pathway to Becoming a CP3

    The journey to earning a CP3 designation through IAP2 Canada is a transformative experience that begins with a thorough self-assessment and continues through strategic learning and practical application. It challenges you to refine your skills and push beyond your comfort zone, setting you on a path to not just participate in, but lead the evolution of public engagement practices.

    Unlock New Opportunities in Public Participation

    Are you ready to lead the future of public participation and engagement? Apply for your CP3 designation through IAP2 Canada and open doors to new professional possibilities!

    Get started today!

  • 24 Apr 2024 1:55 PM | Anonymous

    Public participation and engagement play a crucial role in community decision-making, influencing policies and projects that affect everyday life. The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada leads the charge in training professionals to excel in this area. We offer a comprehensive learning pathway and a variety of specialized courses, making IAP2 Canada a go-to resource for those looking to improve their skills in creating meaningful community dialogue and involvement. This post explores how our learning pathway can significantly enhance public engagement practices and support professional development.

    Exploring the IAP2 Global Learning Pathway

    The IAP2 Global Learning Pathway is a carefully designed program that equips those involved in public participation with the necessary skills and knowledge to lead successful community engagement efforts. This program covers both basic and advanced topics, from the fundamentals of engaging community members to handling conflicts effectively. What makes this pathway unique is its combination of theory and practical application, ensuring learners are well-prepared to make a positive impact in their communities and workplaces.

    Customizing Your Learning with Electives

    IAP2 Canada's elective courses allow for personalized professional development in the field of public participation. These electives cater to the varied career goals and interests of learners, covering topics from diversity and inclusion to managing high emotion and conflict. This flexible approach to learning ensures that professionals can stay current with the evolving demands of public participation.

    A Closer Look at IAP2's Elective Courses

    IAP2 Canada offers a broad range of elective courses, each providing practical insights and strategies for effective public engagement. Alumni of the IAP2 Foundations program (which was available until the end of 2021) can access these electives without having to retake the certificate program, needing only to watch a bridging video to qualify for electives with prerequisites. These courses, complementing the Global Learning Pathway, provide a flexible learning experience tailored to individual career aspirations and interests. These courses are an excellent opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, tackle real-world challenges, and enhance your skill set. 

    Here's a glimpse into some of the electives:

    • Understanding People and Communities: Focuses on engaging diverse communities effectively, integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles.

    • Managing Conflict in Public Engagement: Aims to improve understanding and management of conflicts in public participation.

    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Helps participants address power imbalances and promote inclusive engagement.

    • Cultural Engagement and Transformation: Teaches how to foster a culture of engagement within organizations.

    • Effective Communication in Public Participation: Covers the collection, analysis, and reporting of public feedback.

    • Handling High Emotions and Conflict: Offers strategies for de-escalating conflicts and transforming them into constructive discussions.

    Advancing Your Career with IAP2 Electives

    Incorporating IAP2's electives into your professional development is a strategic way to achieve your career objectives and enhance your impact in the field of public engagement. By applying what you learn and connecting with a network of peers, you can significantly contribute to effective community participation.

    The Future of Public Participation

    As our world continues to evolve, the need for skilled public engagement professionals has never been greater. IAP2 Canada is at the forefront of training practitioners to meet these challenges, ensuring the future of public participation is bright. Our training programs are essential for building a more inclusive, responsive, and transparent decision-making landscape, underscoring the lasting importance of effective public engagement.

    Learn more about our learning pathway

  • 24 Apr 2024 1:53 PM | Anonymous

    Great cities don't just happen by chance. They are the result of meticulous planning and the collaborative efforts of their residents to make visionary decisions. This truth is exemplified by City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined, which was awarded the prestigious IAP2 Canada Visual Engagement Award in 2023. This plan isn't merely a blueprint for Nanaimo's growth; it represents a unified vision that integrates critical aspects of urban living into a cohesive strategy for the city's future.

    To share the success and insights gained from their groundbreaking urban planning initiative, the IAP2 Canada and IAP2 USA teams organized a webinar in collaboration with team members behind City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined. This webinar, offered free to members, served as a platform to showcase the innovative strategies, challenges, and triumphs encountered during the ReImagine Nanaimo process. It provided a unique opportunity for professionals committed to public participation to learn from Nanaimo's experiences and engage in knowledge-sharing.

    The Genesis of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined

    The inception of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined was driven by the recognition that thriving cities operate best when their systems are considered holistically. This plan amalgamates Nanaimo’s Official Community Plan (OCP) with strategies for parks, recreation, culture & wellness, active mobility, transportation, climate action & resilience, reconciliation and accessibility & inclusion into a single, comprehensive document.

    This initiative reflects the insights and aspirations of thousands of Nanaimo residents who, over two years and amidst the challenges of a global pandemic, contributed their time and energy to reimagine their city. This extensive and inclusive community consultation, dubbed ReImagine Nanaimo, set a new benchmark for public engagement on Vancouver Island.

    Charting Uncharted Waters: The Engagement Journey

    ReImagine Nanaimo embarked on what became the city's most ambitious community engagement program. Launched in Spring 2020 and culminating in July 2022, it was a period marked by adaptation, innovation, and broad-based collaboration. Despite the evolving challenges posed by COVID-19, the initiative successfully captured the largest and most diverse participation in any city engagement to date.

    Over 50% of respondents to the initial surveys were first-time participants in a city engagement process, highlighting the success of ReImagine Nanaimo in reaching new voices. This achievement was supported by a wide-ranging outreach strategy, ensuring that no resident could overlook the opportunity to contribute to the city's future planning.

    The Community Connection

    ReImagine Nanaimo used a multifaceted approach to gather community input, from traditional media outreach to innovative public installations and virtual meetings. This mix of in-person and digital engagement methods supported wide-reaching participation, including from traditionally underrepresented groups.

    A notable feature of the engagement process was the use of creative contests, inviting residents to express their vision for Nanaimo through art and poetry. This, alongside targeted efforts to engage youth, vulnerable populations, and Indigenous communities, allowed a rich tapestry of perspectives to be woven into the planning process.

    From Vision to Validation: The Phased Approach

    The engagement journey was structured into three phases: Gathering Ideas, Exploring Options, and Confirming Priorities. Each phase was designed to progressively refine the community's vision into actionable strategies. The feedback collected through these phases directly informed the development of policy areas and the overarching concept directions that would guide Nanaimo's growth.

    The engagement process culminated in a set of draft directions that were rigorously reviewed and adjusted based on community input. This iterative process ensured that the final City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined not only captured the community's shared values but also laid a solid foundation for future development.

    Looking Ahead: A Blueprint for Engagement and Urban Planning

    The success of City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined and its recognition by IAP2 Canada underscores the power of inclusive and innovative community engagement in urban planning. By listening to and incorporating the diverse voices of its residents, Nanaimo has set a new standard for how cities can and should plan their futures.

    Great cities are the result of visionary planning, inclusive engagement, and the collective will to create a space that meets the needs of all its residents. City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined is a shining example of this principle in action, serving as a beacon for other municipalities seeking to reimagine their futures through the lens of comprehensive and inclusive urban planning.

    Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice:

    The webinar provided a comprehensive overview of how Nanaimo successfully navigated the complexities of community engagement amidst the constraints of a global pandemic. By presenting their project in this format, the team not only highlighted their commitment to inclusive participation but also provided tangible insights that could inspire and guide other cities and communities.

    Participants gained an insider's view of the multi-faceted engagement strategy that characterized the ReImagine Nanaimo initiative. From leveraging social media and traditional advertising to employing creative outreach methods like community contests and virtual meetings, the webinar unpacked the tools and tactics that facilitated widespread public involvement. It highlighted how the principles of inclusivity, innovation, and collaboration could lead to the successful realization of complex urban planning projects.

    Through this webinar, City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined not only shared a blueprint for engagement but also inspired a dialogue on the future of community planning and participation.

    Access the IAP2 Canada webinar (Member login required)

    Access their website

    View all 2023 IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards recipients

  • 24 Apr 2024 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    The theme for the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference (NAC), "Building Together: The Role of Community Engagement in Shaping the Future," serves as a compelling call to action for public engagement professionals. This theme reflects not only our collective mission but also underscores the significant role community engagement plays in envisioning and crafting an inclusive, sustainable future reflective of shared values. Let’s delve into why this theme positions the 2024 IAP2 NAC as an essential event in your professional calendar.

    Recognizing Collaborative Efforts

    The conference theme underscores the dynamic nature of shaping the future through collaborative efforts. It acknowledges that the future isn't predetermined but rather actively shaped through collaborative endeavors. This recognition makes the event essential for professionals seeking to make a positive impact on their communities. It emphasizes the importance of fostering partnerships and collective action to address complex societal challenges.

    Diverse Learning Opportunities

    The 2024 IAP2 NAC offers a diverse array of discussions, case studies, and interactive sessions showcasing the indispensable role of collaborative public participation in shaping societies. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore various aspects of community engagement, ranging from innovative strategies for involving diverse stakeholders to best practices for fostering inclusive decision-making processes. Workshops and panel discussions will delve into specific tools, techniques, and methodologies that empower communities to play an active role in shaping their futures.

    Networking and Partnership

    Industry leaders, innovators, and pioneers gather under the banner of "Building Together" to network, share ideas, and cultivate partnerships driven by a shared commitment to leveraging community engagement for societal progress. The conference provides a platform for attendees to connect with peers, exchange insights, and forge collaborations that transcend organizational boundaries. Through networking sessions, attendees can engage in meaningful conversations with like-minded professionals, fostering relationships that can lead to lasting partnerships and collective action initiatives.

    Equipping for Change

    Educational opportunities at the conference aim to equip attendees with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration needed to drive change within their communities. Workshops and sessions emphasize the significance of collective efforts in public participation and provide practical guidance on how to effectively engage stakeholders and facilitate meaningful dialogue. Attendees will learn about emerging trends and innovative approaches in community engagement, gaining valuable insights that can inform their practice and enhance their ability to effect positive change.

    Inspiration and Practical Insights

    Success stories shared at the conference provide compelling evidence of the effectiveness of collective action in community engagement. Keynote speeches and presentations offer practical frameworks for replicating similar successes and overcoming common challenges. Attendees will gain insights into real-world examples of successful collaborative initiatives, learning from the experiences of peers and industry experts. Interactive sessions and case studies will provide opportunities for attendees to explore different approaches to community engagement and identify strategies that align with their goals and objectives.

    Bridging National Insights with Local Actions

    The conference theme emphasizes not only bridging insights from across Canada and the US with local actions but also enriching perspectives with diverse approaches adaptable to community-specific needs and aspirations. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from case studies and best practices, gaining a deeper understanding of the global landscape of community engagement. By incorporating lessons learned from diverse contexts, attendees can develop more inclusive and culturally responsive approaches to public participation, ensuring that their efforts are relevant and effective in addressing the unique needs of their communities.

    Joining a Movement for Change

    "Building Together" invites attendees to join a movement towards a collaborative, inclusive future. By participating in the conference, attendees become part of a community committed to shaping tomorrow's societies through collective engagement. Through shared learning, collaboration, and advocacy, attendees can contribute to the advancement of community engagement practices and promote positive social change. By working together, attendees can harness the collective power of engagement to address pressing issues, build stronger communities, and create a better future for all.

    By attending this conference, you are not simply engaging in a professional event; you are becoming part of a community of change-makers committed to leveraging the collective power of engagement to shape the societies of tomorrow.

    Join us in Ottawa, Canada’s vibrant capital, from October 24 - 26 at the 2024 IAP2 NAC. Let's build the future, together.

    View our schedule at-a-glance

    Learn about sponsorship opportunities

    Discover Ottawa - a city of celebrations and cultures

  • 24 Apr 2024 12:49 PM | Anonymous

    IAP2 Canada's recent research paper, conducted by Guthrie & Kroiss, dives into how public participation processes can be more inclusive for people with diverse cognitive abilities. In a world striving for fairness and inclusiveness, it's essential that public engagement efforts truly reflect the diversity of our communities. This research sheds light on practical ways to ensure everyone's voice can be heard, especially those of neurodivergent individuals.

    What is Neurodiversity?

    Neurodiversity is the idea that everyone's brain works in unique ways. This concept includes people who think, learn, and interact with the world in what's considered typical ways (neurotypical) and those who have differences like Autism, ADHD, Tourette’s, and Dyslexia (neurodivergent). The paper emphasizes seeing these differences not as issues to be fixed but as part of the rich variety of human minds.

    How the Research Was Done

    To understand the experiences of neurodivergent individuals, the researchers combined surveys, group discussions, and interviews. This approach helped highlight not just the hurdles these individuals face in public engagement settings but also the unique strengths they bring, such as deep empathy, creative thinking, and a strong sense of justice.

    The Gap in Current Practices

    Despite these strengths, the research found that many neurodivergent individuals feel left out or uncomfortable in public participation activities. This signals a need for changes to make these spaces more welcoming and accessible to everyone, regardless of how their brain works.

    Recommendations for More Inclusive Practices

    To bridge the gap, the research offers actionable advice. This includes designing materials that are easy for everyone to use and planning events that consider diverse needs from the start. Simple steps like providing clear information in advance and offering various ways to participate can make a big difference. These efforts aim to create a safe space where everyone feels valued and can contribute effectively.

    Webinar Highlights

    The webinar, following the release of the research, served as an engaging platform for discussing these findings and recommendations in greater detail. It provided an opportunity for participants to ask questions, share experiences, and learn directly from the researchers about practical steps toward more inclusive public participation practices.

    Looking Forward: Building a More Inclusive Future

    This research is more than just a set of recommendations. It's a guide towards building a society where diversity in thought and perspective is not just acknowledged but celebrated. It invites us to challenge old ways of thinking, learn from each other, and work together to ensure that public participation truly includes everyone. As we move forward, embracing these insights will help us create a more equitable and inclusive community for all.

    Access the webinar (free for Members)

    Read the full publication

    View more P2 resources from IAP2 Canada

  • 24 Apr 2024 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    In the busy first quarter of 2024, the IAP2 Canada team achieved significant milestones, advancing our mission to enhance public participation practices both nationally and internationally. This update provides a comprehensive overview of the key accomplishments accomplished by our team during this period.

    Training Update

    In Q1 2024, IAP2 Canada experienced an exceptional surge of activity, successfully launching and delivering a total of 17 training courses. This remarkable achievement stands as a testament to the tireless dedication and hard work exhibited by our team and licensed trainers to uphold the delivery of top-notch educational experiences. As we forge ahead, we remain committed to our mission, with an additional 35 courses already scheduled for Q2 and active efforts underway to plan training sessions for the remainder of the year. This ongoing commitment underscores our unwavering dedication to providing valuable training opportunities for our members and stakeholders.

    CP3 Intake

    In January, we launched the intake process for the Certified Public Participation Professional (CP3) program scheduled for the June 2024 Assessment Centre.

    The CP3 designation is awarded through a structured three-step evaluation process. In this process, Assessors examine the candidates' abilities against the IAP2 Core Competencies. For further details about the CP3 program, interested individuals are encouraged to view an informative webinar. Those looking to apply for a November assessment center should note that applications will be accepted starting July 2024.

    Enhancing Website Accessibility: French Translation

    The IAP2 Canada team has successfully translated our website into French to enhance accessibility for our Francophone communities. This project, launched in January 2024, has facilitated easier access to essential resources and information concerning public participation, solidifying our position as a leader in advocating for effective engagement practices in Canada. It also aligns with IAP2 Canada's broader mission of fostering inclusion and collaboration among diverse groups.

    Explore our new French language web pages

    Indigenous Awareness Learning Program

    The team dedicated significant effort to recruiting participants for the January 2024 cohort of the Indigenous Awareness Learning Program. The remarkable registration numbers exceeded capacity limits and underscored the widespread interest and engagement in this crucial initiative.

    Our sincere gratitude extends to all the Learning Partners for generously contributing their time, knowledge, and expertise to enrich the learning experience for program participants.

    Learn more about the program

    Digital Discovery Series 2024

    The Digital Discovery Series kicked off its official launch in January 2024, with the first session starting in February 2024. Spearheaded by Susanna Haas Lyons, this initiative underscores IAP2 Canada's unwavering dedication to leading the way in leveraging digital advancements for public participation. The sessions include:

    Learn more

    A Transition of Leadership

    On February 1, 2024, Anne Harding assumed the role of part-time Interim Executive Director at IAP2 Canada, while the organization continues its search for a full-time Executive Director. Anne brings extensive experience and a strong dedication to the principles and practices of public participation. Anne is widely respected in the field of public participation, with significant involvement in IAP2 Canada since 2010. Her contributions have been invaluable in supporting our current staff, members, and trainers as we transition.

    Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

    In 2023, IAP2 Canada's leadership team worked closely with a consultant, who had conducted a comprehensive Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) audit and also engaged in benchmarking efforts for the organization. The purpose of this collaboration was to examine the findings from the consultant's research. Through this review process, we were able to pinpoint areas needing enhancement to more effectively embrace and implement best practices in equity, diversity, and inclusion. Following this review, an action plan targeting these key areas was developed and subsequently approved by the IAP2 Canada board of directors in the first quarter of 2024.

    The commitment statement: “Leaders at IAP2 Canada establish collective behaviors, values, and attitudes that shape the overall environment. Leadership is transparent in its decision-making processes and fosters a culture that champions EDI.”

    IAP2 Canada's action plan focuses on three core pillars to reinforce its commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI):

    • Leadership & Culture: Prioritizes transparent decision-making and cultivating an organizational culture that champions EDI, guided by leaders who exemplify the organization's values and behaviors.
    • Supporting Communities & Knowledge Building: Aims to support historically underrepresented communities through dedicated frameworks and opportunities, enabling them to contribute significantly and thrive within IAP2 Canada.
    • Communication & Connection: Focuses on enhancing communication channels to ensure everyone's perspectives are heard and valued, fostering a culture of understanding and belonging.

    The board is looking forward to collaborating with the new Executive Director on an implementation plan.

    Technology Challenges and Solutions

    In 2023 and early 2024, the IAP2 Canada team dedicated significant time to research and testing to identify a comprehensive system or systems that would cater to our distinct requirements. These needs encompass multilingual content management, learning management tailored to our unique training and certification process, membership management, event scheduling, community support, and email marketing.

    We are in the process of recommending a budget to the board of directors for approval in the Spring. This will enable us to proceed with a comprehensive system update that aligns with our organizational goals and effectively supports our operations and our community.

    Webinar Program Relaunch

    In early 2024, IAP2 Canada relaunched the webinar program, with free access available to all members and paid-access available to non-members.

    Nanaimo Re-Imagined

    As part of our initiative, we launched the City Plan - Nanaimo ReImagined webinar. This session shared insights from Nanaimo's urban planning initiative, ReImagine Nanaimo, offering professionals in public participation a chance to learn from their experiences, including innovative strategies, challenges, and successes. The webinar encouraged valuable knowledge-sharing and engagement among participants.

    Find out more 

    Neuro-Inclusion in Public Participation

    The webinar, held after the research release, offered an interactive platform to delve into the findings and recommendations in depth. Participants had the chance to ask questions, share their experiences, and gain insights from the researchers on implementing practical steps for fostering neuro-inclusive public participation practices.

    Find out more

    IAP2 NAC Submissions

    In February we launched the IAP2 NAC Call for Proposals. The Conference Committee received over 80 proposals showcasing innovative approaches, successful case studies, and insightful projects, even those that didn’t go as planned but offered valuable insights. We appreciate the contributions and look forward to delivering an enriching and impactful conference experience!

    IAP2 NAC 2024 Sponsorship Prospectus

    In March we launched the Sponsorship Prospectus for the 2024 IAP2 North American Conference (NAC). Our upcoming conference, themed "Building Together: The Role of Community Engagement in Shaping the Future," promises to be an extraordinary gathering at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa. This prospectus offers a window into the potential pathways for organizations to join us in championing the cause of public participation.

    Learn more about the 2024 IAP2 NAC

    Access the Sponsorship Prospectus

    Core Values Awards

    In March we launched IAP2 Canada’s annual Core Values Awards. These awards recognize and encourage organizations and individuals in the practice of public participation and engagement – promoting excellence, quality and innovation in the way they execute their projects and programs and exemplify the IAP2 Core Values. The deadline to apply for the Core Values Awards is May 8, 2024.

    Learn more

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