Between the spring and winter of 2012, the following core activities were carried out under the Imagining Canada’s Future initiative and resulted in a draft long list of 12 future challenge areas:
Futures Scan conducted by Shaping Tomorrow followed by a report to SSHRC
- This horizon scan provided an independent “outside-in” perspective on Canada in a global context and was the starting point for a series of activities intended to engage our community and initiate a dialogue including SSHRC Leaders, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and other relevant stakeholders.
- The scan suggests what changes might shape and affect Canada’s future on a national and global scale and what challenges and potential consequences may emerge.
Engagement activities with the community
- Panel discussion on Imagining Canada’s Future at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. With their fingers on the pulse of Canadian and global issues, three leading thinkers (Don Tapscott, Diana Carney and Dan Gardner) led a discussion about emerging issues and areas that matter to Canadians and to the world.
- The panel “Thinking Ahead–What will Canada look like in 2030?” presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, brought together four Canada Research Chairs and four graduate students in two panel discussions on Canada’s future challenge areas over the next five, 10 and 20 years. The panelists identified future challenges and societal needs from the vantage points of their diverse fields of research.
- Roundtable at the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) Congress—a consultation meeting held with a small group of multi-disciplinary experts from the Quebec research community resulting in recommendations for future challenge areas in the social sciences and humanities.
Scenarios development workshop
- Two-day interactive and dynamic workshop comprising a cross-sectoral group of individuals. Participants engaged in dialogue to frame four plausible scenarios to broaden thinking of where Canada could be in the next five, 10 and 20 years, and to build a shared understanding of the complex, interacting forces and key uncertainties shaping the future of Canada to 2030.
Seven SSHRC Leaders held a meeting on the regional panels and reported at the annual meeting of SSHRC Leaders
- In spring 2012, six panels initiated the involvement of 42 postsecondary institutions and 653 individual participants (45 per cent researchers/academics; 14 per cent students and post-doctoral researchers; 41 per cent public, private, creative and not-for-profit sectors) in a sustained dialogue around Canada’s future challenge areas from a regional perspective:
- In fall 2012, the Université de Montréal invited SSHRC Leaders from Quebec to a roundtable.
Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR) International Expert Panel
- The panel, comprised of distinguished leaders and academics, has compiled a list of interrelated future challenges and identified potential areas for contribution from the social sciences and humanities perspectives, as well as for opportunities for multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Social Media Engagement
- The social media consultation targeting young adults, emerging scholars, critical thinkers and engaged citizens elicited input on the draft long list of future challenge areas as a complementary engagement activity.