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Podcast Article June 26th, 2017

In conversation with… Canadian digital leaders

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Recorded live at last month’s Digital Governance Forum in Ottawa, we present a series of conversations around the subjects of digital government, legitimacy and how policymakers can harness new technologies to improve services and meet fast-rising citizen expectations.

We first hear from Erin Kelly, chief executive of Advanced Symbolics, who talks to  Adrian Brown about using public polling to explore public viewpoints and help governments improve the way they interact with citizens. She also tells us about using artificial intellience (AI) technology to create randomised control samples of the population online, in order to understand what people think about the issues of the day – a totally new way of sampling that ensures greater accuracy than past techniques.

We then hear from Christopher Emery and Nilufer Erdebill who tell us about trust and innovation in public services. Emery, who is the vice president, digital channels at Rogers Communications Inc, says that trust is built over time but it can be done, if it is taken step by step and citizens encounter no problems with their digital interactions. Erdebill, who is the founder and chief executive of Spring2 Innovation, examines the need to co-create services with citizens in order to build greater trust and legitimacy.

And finally, Adrian and Nadine chat to Brian Topp, a fellow at Canada’s Public Policy Forum, about the issue of legitimacy with governments around the western world, and citizens’ demand for better outcomes. He says that digital technology is a “wonderful tool” for opening government and making it transparent, but it has also made it harder for policymakers to have the necessary time to deliberate and make better decisions.

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