Working in the Open: Oct. 22–26, 2018

One of Code for Canada’s principles is to operate in public. These regular blog posts put that value into practice, giving readers a window into what we’re doing — and how we do it.

As part of the final week of fellowship onboarding, Code for Canada fellows and their government partners shared some of their motivations for working in the public service.

Welcome to our #weeknotes! Here’s our Rose, Bud and Thorn for the week of Oct. 22–26, 2018.

🌹 Rose: The second cohort of Code for Canada fellows were joined by their government partners for the final week of onboarding. It’s always great to watch siloes come down, and see fellows and government partners working with — and learning from — each other. A particular rose petal to highlight was Luke’s session on agile communication. It was a new addition to onboarding for this year and it really got government partners excited about communicating more openly. It was also the first time we’ve applied the “capacity building” language that surrounds the fellowship program to communications specifically; the exercise helped us to see and articulate how the fellowship is not only an opportunity for government teams to increase capacity around how they build products, but also how they talk about those products.

🌱 Bud: The City of Toronto and the Pontiac Group held the first of four community consultations around the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE), and they brought Civic Hall Toronto along to apply a design thinking lens to the event. The conversation was wide-ranging and thought provoking, and served as a reminder that when consulting with residents, creating a space where people can be heard (and feel like they’ve been heard) is often more important than sticking to a pre-planned agenda or activity. The event also got us excited to find more ways to connect with urban Indigenous communities, and ensure their voices are included in the civic tech conversation. You can read more about Wednesday’s event in this article from CBC Indigenous.

📌 Thorn: It’s with a heavy heart (and an empty stomach) that we say goodbye to Code for Canada’s first Operations Lead, Jenny Struyk. Jenny was instrumental in standing up many of the policies and practices that make Code for Canada an effective and sustainable organization. She also made our small but mighty nonprofit more human. From organizing team-building activities to checking in with staff about health and happiness, or simply bringing snacks to all our retros, Jenny always had our backs. We’ll miss Jenny a lot, and wish her all the best as she embarks on the next phase of her career!