Our vision for 2017: A letter from our co-chairs and CEO
Newcomers to any society are unsure of their status, and if they are truly welcome. They can encounter intransigence and ignorance, even overt racism. As a result, some feel marginalized, never fully at home. In an age when divisive politics and thinking are triumphant world-wide, the Institute for Canadian Citizenship is committed to fostering inclusion and countering exclusion. Our mission goes to the heart of the Canadian experiment.
Over the past decade the ICC has evolved best practices and best thinking in the cause of accelerating inclusion for new Canadians, and active, advanced citizenship for all of us. For our next decade we will be creating spaces and conversations that will advance a global community committed to the ideals of inclusion using better language, stronger connections, and practical calls to action.
We are poised to take our work, and our thinking, to a new level.
At the forefront of our vision is the creation of a digital space for our programs that is inclusive, interactive, and responsive to our destabilized – but hopeful – times. We must create tools for our work that are bold in design and accessible in application, at once mindful of how technology is evolving and how people are gathering information, and connecting.
The ICC Digital Space will consist of three major technological components.
1. Our thought leadership program, 6 Degrees, will host an ongoing digital dialogue and exchange – a ‘magazine’ of sorts – around the dynamics of citizenship and inclusion.
2. Our Cultural Access Pass (CAP), which has welcomed more than 240,000 new Canadians into more than 1,300 partner cultural spaces over the last eight years, will accelerate its impact and value via the creation of a digital platform to maximize national engagement — and successfully model this unique cultural program to other countries.
3. ICC Insights, our in-house knowledge and research program, will launch an innovative major longitudinal digital dialogue about how to measure inclusion in the lives of new Canadians. We will create and maintain a dynamic platform that will allow for ongoing exchanges and measurements of well-being.
We will be a counter-force to the current global reflex to fear the ‘other’.
Starting in 2017, the ICC will work to become connective tissue between universal ideals and national and trans-national populations. A digital space to promote citizenship best practices that is non-partisan, positive, and full of impactful programs, outcomes and voices, creates the beginnings of a social movement that leaps across borders, oceans, politics, and languages. The capacity of technology to show all that connects humans is unparalleled. We must insist on using it fully and progressively, and using it well.
Critical to the success of the Digital Space will be finding partners who share our commitment to inclusion and advanced citizenship. Societies rise and fall as places of safety, security and prosperity in direct proportion to their generosity towards their newest members, and the quality of conversation among all its citizens. Please join us.