Policy Research Symposium

In November 2019, the Marvyn Novick Legacy Planning Group organized a Policy Research Symposium, The Social Commons: Transformational Thinking on Social Solidarity for the 21st Century. This page captures some of the key moments and take-aways from that event. Click here to download a program brochure of the Symposium.

Video Coverage of the Event

Click here to watch a video of the Symposium. You can view time stamps of specific topics in the video description.

Participant Feedback From Symposium

During the symposium we asked some of the participants to comment on how relevant they thought the social commons framework was to their work in community practice and/or policy development, which can be viewed here.

Twenty-five of the 100 symposium participants responded to a participant evaluation survey sent following the event. All 25 respondents considered the day spent discussing the social commons to be worthwhile (28% “extremely worthwhile” and 32% “very worthwhile”). Only two respondents thought that the Social Commons Framework has “not much potential” to advance work for equity, inclusion and social justice for all, while five (20%) thought it had “very good potential, eight (32%) “good potential” and ten (40%) “some potential.”

Participants found the four break-out sessions and assembled panellists a valuable part of the program (76% “very” and “extremely valuable”).  The Future Forward Panel of young leaders was very well received, as reflected in the following comment, “It’s encouraging to see and hear young leaders coming forward with strong views. They were articulate and they give hope for the future of the social commons.”

There were, however, a number of comments that there needed to be more clarity and discussion on the social commons and what it means in the Canadian community and policy development context.  This feedback and the enthusiasm shown on the Symposium day last November has encouraged the Marvyn Novick legacy Planning Group to do further study and offer it to the community for continuing conversation. The Marvyn Novick Legacy Planning Group has since produced a Working Monograph on the Social Commons; we further encourage your feedback on the Monograph and on this website.