Canada News

ForeignPolicy Camp by Canada’s World

8 October 2009 at 02:37 | 474 views


Date: Monday, November 30, 2009

Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm PST

Location: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings St. Vancouver, BC

Cost: $30 (Scholarships may be available).

There’s a revolution going on right now in the way we think of foreign policy - it’s no longer solely what the government does, but rather what we all do to shape our role in the world. Whether they call it foreign policy or not, groups that operate outside the purview of government — from businesses to not-for-profits to artists to technologists — are creating Canada’s role in the world, acting as diplomats and cultural translators, and doing things we would traditionally think of as the responsibility of government. There’s also a need for government to connect with these new ways of working and to get the advice they require to develop strong and robust policy options going forward. At the same time as this has been happening in the foreign policy realm, the camp movement has been breaking down the traditional hierarchies created at conferences, reminding us of the magic of self-organizing and idea innovation. Given this, we think it’s time for a ForeignPolicyCamp.

In Vancouver, we will be focusing our attention on some of the key foreign policy challenges before us - with the goal of shining the light on the new thinkers and doers in Canadian foreign policy. There is a team of collaborators across the country who are involved in organizing this initiative - which will include a satellite camp in Montreal, flash mobs in cities across the country, and a series of sessions in Vancouver amplified through various social media channels.

We’re inviting some of the biggest names in the Canadian foreign policy scene — lawmakers, politicians, civil servants — and combining their discussions with those of younger participants more interested in new media-based participation. We want this event to be interesting, engaging, useful and innovative. Because of these priorities, we have decided to execute ForeignPolicyCamp in HYBRID style.

ForeignPolicyCamp’s hybrid format will feature THREE SEPARATE ELEMENTS that form the camp’s essential core:

1) regional case studies for 6 specific regions (including AFRICA), delivered in traditional conference format, and planned in advance by some of the foreign policy world’s most innovative and outspoken thinkers. These case studies will implement pragmatic and realistic policy analysis and focus on results and new conclusions.

2) open sessions which will be proposed and formatted unconference-style by the participants themselves. Many of these sessions will not be decided until the day of the event itself - so the sky is the limit as far as what kind of session you’d like to participate in. Ideas about potential open sessions can be shared in advance on our collaborative open session Wiki seen on the navigation bar to your right.

3) an interactive media lab where we share the data and discussions from both our case studies and unconference-style open sessions leading up to this camp and on the day of the camp itself. This collaborative, new media-focused room will feature massive projectors sharing live information via tweet clouds, participation dashboards, new video-conferencing software provided by TakingITGlobal, chatrooms, live room video feeds. We will be asking participants to fill out a live survey on their thoughts about Canadian foreign policy as it stands today, and computers will be provided throughout the room as well, enabling a whole toolkit of new ideas for participant interaction.


It is our hope that, together, these three parts will combine to form an exciting new whole which incorporates varying levels of interaction and provokes innovative new results in the process.

ForeignPolicyCamp is open to all Canadian organizations and individuals on every level, from the highly experienced to those entirely new to foreign policy. Registration is required for this event – to register please visit our website ( We are excited to see you at the camp!

ForeignPolicyCamp invites Canadian organizations and individuals to pitch a session related to foreign policy as part of the Open Space portion of the day. Those interested in convening a session should indicate the session topic through the wiki on our website at:

There’s a few ways to be a part of this camp and get involved in the action!

First of all, we’d love you to interact with us by tweeting with the hashtag ‘#ForeignPolicyCamp’ (your tweets will be showcased on the Twitter app to your right!) and by checking for updates via Facebook and the Canada’s World webpage.

We are also looking for volunteers who are interested in gaining experience in a national hybrid event with an international scope — please email us at if you are interested in being a part of the event team. It would be great to hear from you!

Lastly, if you are interested in attending this event, please register online today! Your registration will allow us to better plan the day based on the amount of participants we can expect.

For more information, please visit