The Relevancy of Public Policy in a Digital Age
While digital government has been a well embedded feature of many mature public service models around the world, Canadian uptake of it was relatively limited until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The need to physically distance from each other and for many, work remotely, necessitated the rapid automation and digitization of service delivery models and administration.
Even prior to the pandemic and the digital renaissance that ensued, public policy typically trailed behind digital innovation that has long in existence. The rise of social media platforms, for example, has had profound impacts on not only how individuals engage with each other, but also has become the means to disrupt democratic elections and organize violent protests ostensibly to harm or kill elected leaders. Technological innovation is hailed as one of humanity’s brightest lights in linear progression but it holds profound contradictions – and often widens existing rifts of inequity.
In a time of increasing socio-political polarization, a clear mandate for Indigenous reconciliation in British Columbia, and rising economic pressures on communities and households, what is the role of policy in the oversight and regulation of technology? Is the status quo sufficient to ensure key values such as vertical equity, cultural safety, and parity in access to the modern economy are upheld?
Join Adjunct Professor Natasha Thambirajah, current SPPGA Practitioner Fellow in a conversation moderated by Chris Tenove with SPPGA’s Practitioner alumni, Jessica Wood Si Sityaawks and Professor Andrea Reimer as each explores the relevancy of public policy in a digital age.
Jessica Wood Si Sityaawks is the Associate Deputy Minister, Declaration Act Secretariat, Province of BC. Professor Andrea Reimer is an Adjunct Professor of Practice at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.
Student Host: Mackenzie Edwards, Student, Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC
Moderator: Chris Tenove, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC
- Natasha Thambirajah, Adjunct Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC
- Jessica Wood, Associate Deputy Minister, Declaration Act Secretariat, Province of B.C.
- Andrea Reimer, Adjunct Professor of Practice, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC
Natasha Thambirajah is Adjunct Professor and SPPGA Practitioner Fellow, as part of the 2022 SPPGA Practitioner Fellowship at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Natasha is a third-generation public servant and has worked for the Province of BC since 2006. Over the past 15 years, she has led nationally recognized examples of transformative, citizen-centred public policy, including the prize-winning BC Services Card and the modernization of gender identity expression on government issued identification.
Known as Si Sityaawks – (Woman who creates change) Jessica Wood is from the Gitxsan and Tsimshian First Nations with extended roots among the Tahltan and Nisga’a Nations. She is currently serving as Associate Deputy Minister, Declaration Act Secretariat, with the Province of B.C. She previously served as Assistant Deputy Minister for the Reconciliation Transformation and Strategies Division with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. Jessica is a former Policy Practitioner Fellow with UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.
Andrea Reimer is an Adjunct Professor of Practice at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. She was the school’s first Policy Practitioner Fellow. Andrea has been a strong public voice in Vancouver and the metro region for almost two decades, with a focus on working with residents to build green, reconciled, engaged communities and making government easy for the public to access.
Chris Tenove is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, and previously at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics and the Munk School of Global Affairs. He is the instructor for PPGA 509 (002): Communicating Policy. Dr. Tenove conducts research in the fields of political theory, political communication, and international relations.
Hosted by: The School of Public Policy and Global Affairs