At the top of their class

Twenty-five non-profit leaders from across the province are heading back to school. Each is participating in the eighth annual session of United Way’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). Sessions are open to organizations that are involved in social or health related services from all regions of the province.

This leadership program supports participants, and the organizations they represent, to better understand and influence the public policy process in British Columbia. Between January and June 2018, participants will explore topics such as policy options, evidence, engagement and implementation. They will also learn from area experts and present their final projects to Institute faculty.

Public Policy Institute participants

Members of the 2018 PPI cohort at the session’s welcome dinner.

Policy projects to be explored over the next six months include the implementation of age-friendly community principles (through the Tri-Cities Seniors Planning Network); a coordinated community strategy for supporting kindergarten transition (through Saanich Neighbourhood place); and eradicating disparity between on- and off-reserve income services (through United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo).

Deanna Ogle is the Campaign Organizer for the Living Wage for Families Campaign and a 2017 PPI graduate. The policy work she completed during her time with the Institute was instrumental in helping the City of Vancouver achieve an important milestone last year – its official recognition as a Living Wage Employer.

“The mentorship provided through the Public Policy Institute supported me as I navigated the route from policy proposal to policy implementation. Additionally, the connections I made with other non-profits leaders across sectors was invaluable to my work on the living wage,” she said.

2018 faculty members include former premier of British Columbia Mike Harcourt, Brenda Eaton, Elizabeth Cull, Ida Goodreau and Liz Whynot. Each brings a wealth of real-life public policy experience to the program, which is complemented by an impressive and diverse array of panelists and guest speakers.

Mike Harcourt and keynote speaker Joy McPhail at the PPI welcome dinner.

Mike Harcourt and keynote speaker Joy McPhail at the PPI welcome dinner.

The ongoing success of the Public Policy Institute would not be possible without the support of Premier Sponsor Vancity and Venue Sponsor UBC Robson Square.

“Vancity is proud to sponsor the Public Policy Institute as a way to strengthen and deepen our collective capacity around progressive public policy,” says Catherine Ludgate, Manager, Community Investment. “Through the Institute, we support those who are shaping decisions that will build healthy and resilient communities.”

Interested in public policy? Want to know how to have your idea heard? Connect with us here.