2023 Jocelyne Bourgon Visiting Scholar Lecture: Building an Adaptable Country (TRN5-E17)

Product code: TRN5-E17

Available Session

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June 22, 2023


10:30 am to 12:00 pm (ET)

English, with interpretation in French

Closed captioning is provided for all events. Accommodation needs can be specified in a separate form after registration. For technical support or help registering for this event, please email:


Delivery method

Delivery method




1.5 hours



All public servants at all levels



Governments must ensure that our public institutions are effective in anticipating and responding to changing conditions. The most prosperous countries are those which are adaptable and can rebuild their core institutions and practices so that they are ready to tackle longer term challenges. Adaptability is especially important in periods of rapid economic, technological, and geopolitical transformation.

This insightful event features Dr. Alasdair Roberts who will examine Canada’s track record on adaptability over the last 40 years. In his role as visiting scholar through the Jocelyne Bourgon Visiting Scholar Initiative, Dr. Roberts will speak about how the Canadian approach to governance has improved adaptability during this period, and how our ability to adapt may be threatened today.

Participants will learn about why adaptability is essential for any political system, the functions that political systems must perform to remain adaptable, how Canadian institutions and political culture has enhanced adaptability in recent years and four potential threats to adaptability in current Canadian governance, and how these threats might be addressed.


  • Dr. Alasdair Roberts, Visiting Scholar at the Canada School of Public Service and Professor of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • Caroline Pitfield, Executive Faculty Member, Canada School of Public Service
  • Jill Sinclair, Advisor, Geo-Politics and National Security Programme, Canada School of Public Service

Opening Remarks

  • Taki Sarantakis, President, Canada School of Public Service


Date modified: 2023-05-04