IPAC Edmonton Regional Group launched the Café Pracademique initiative as one of the country's most ambitious experiments in public policy research and design.
Modeled on successful Café Philosophique projects in Europe, and based on years of piloting in the Edmonton Region, Café Pracademique brought the design, delivery, and study of public policy out of government boardrooms and university classrooms, and into the community.
The Café Pracademique initiative represents a revolutionary way of designing, delivering and studying public policy in Canada. It mobilizes knowledge by uniting practitioners, academics and citizens to develop concrete solutions to pressing challenges in the Canadian Public Service.
Café Pracademique has not only culminated in innovative approaches to addressing challenges in public sector leadership, environmental sustainability, the inclusiveness of digital public services, and indigenous affairs. It also produced a working model for other IPAC regional groups and partners to adopt and adapt.
The initiative has garnered national attention and considerable financial support, including sponsorships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Government of Alberta, MNP, and KPMG. This is in addition to over nineteen (19) community partners, ranging from university departments and think tanks, to community organizations and local thought leaders.
As its name suggests, Café Pracademique is built on the promise of "pracademia" – a shared commitment to improving real-world outcomes by combining the perspectives of practitioners and academics with those of citizens.
Since 2015, IPAC Edmonton has been exploring the space between the the practice and study of public policy, hosting a series of forums and workshops across Canada.
Each Café Pracademique session typically begins with a “fireside” chat, with experienced thought leaders and keynote speakers stimulating new ways of thinking. This is followed by small group workshops designed to engage participants in producing a unique, concrete “deliverable”. By the end of each face-to-face session, participants generate and publicly present a series of specific and immediate initiatives as well as concrete actions that academics, practitioners, and citizens can undertake individually and collectively to address the public policy issue at hand.
For upcoming Café Pracademique events, please visit our Events Page.