We’d like to introduce you to some of the awesome humans who will be joining us at the Code for Canada Showcase in Ottawa on July 24 and Edmonton on July 29. They’re at the forefront of civic tech and digital government in Canada (and around the world) and they’ll be sharing their learnings, experiences and wisdom with our audience. If you’d like to be there when they do, it’s not too late to get tickets!
Laura Wesley is an Executive Director at the Government of Canada’s Privy Council Office. After 16 years in the public service, she’s come to believe that working across boundaries — sectors, disciplines and organizations — results in better outcomes for everyone.
The Code for Canada Showcase is a celebration of civic tech in Canada. What does civic tech mean to you?
Civic tech is a new way of being a citizen. A new way of working across sectors. Specifically, it sees us working together to apply our tech capabilities and capacity wherever it resides for public good.
How does the theme of civic tech or the values of the civic tech movement relate to your work?
For me, connecting civic techies with public engagement processes could result in amazing collaborations. The potential to involve citizens in the crafting of processes, content and platforms could advance the way we work together for the public good.
Both efforts have, as one potential outcome, working together across sectors to bring about the kind of society we want to live in. That’s how the theme of civic tech relates to my work.
What’s unique about civic tech and digital government in Canada? Are there unique opportunities? Unique challenges?
Perhaps not unique, however there are specific characteristics that define the Canadian context. We are in transition from an economy that is based on natural resources to an economy rooted in human capabilities. The future of work must optimize the skills, vision, resourcefulness and creativity of the diverse populations who live here.
An opportunity is also emerging as building nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples catalyzes transformational change within an existing three-tiered Federation.
The Showcase brings together public servants, entrepreneurs, community organizers and residents. From your perspective, why is it important to get people from across sectors in the same room?
Because no one authority can bring about the massive shifts we need to realize in a short timeframe to become more in balance with ourselves, each other, and the Earth.
What are you most excited about for the Showcase this year?
Challenging myself to walk the talk.
Laura will be delivering a lightning talk at the 2019 Code for Canada Showcase in Ottawa on July 24. Get your tickets today!