Ontario experiments with open policy development

Ontario experiments with open policy development
Click to edit social innovation policy in Ontario

Earlier this week, MaRS co-hosted the Social Innovation Summit, Building Partnerships for Social Change. Over 200+ participants from government, business and the public benefit sector gathered to discuss how Ontario could create enabling conditions for social innovation to thrive.

The topic of social innovation alone combined with the fact that three provincial ministries worked together to convene the summit make the event a unique happening in the otherwise business-as-usual world of public policy development. But there’s more.

As part of the summit, the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the Ministry of Research and Innovation, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced what they called North America’s first open wiki for public policy development. In the morning and afternoon, Summit participants engaged in two break-out discussions on social innovation. Notes from each table were captured on the wiki.

Building on these notes, Ontario residents are invited to contribute big ideas, case studies, concrete actions and other input that will inform a policy paper on the topic of advancing social innovation in the province. Starting on May 23rd, a small team of volunteer editors coordinated by MaRS and led by Anthony D. Williams of Moxie Insight will be synthesizing the input gathered on the wiki and drafting the policy paper to present to the government as a recommendation.

If social innovation wasn’t an exciting enough topic on its own, the added layer of open policy development makes this story an important one to watch (and contribute to).

If you haven’t already, go ahead and create an account on the Ontario’s Social Innovation Wiki, and help shape the future of Ontario’s social innovation policy.

You can also check out highlights from the summit via the Twitter #SIont hashtag.