Five Good Ideas ®

Five Good Ideas for getting your issues on the public policy dance floor

Published on 15/10/2014

The community sector has much to offer when it comes to the public policy-making process. Communities are bellwethers for emerging challenges and solutions. We are on the front lines in implementing programs, adapting big ideas to local realities and learning what works and what doesn’t. Yet, too often, a gap remains between policy intentions and lived experience. The worlds of those who design policy and those who implement it do not come together nearly enough. There are a number of changes that government could make to break down barriers and provide a more integrated, grounded and participatory approach to designing public policy. But like the old saying goes: it takes two to tango. So in that spirit, what can we do to bring the worlds of theory and practice together? What are some of the moves that we in the community sector should be thinking about as we approach the policy-making dance floor and make our ideas shine?

Five Good Ideas

  1. Know your stuff and bring the solutions
  2. Be a good listener
  3. Build social movements
  4. Diversity is your strength
  5. Celebrate

Good resources

Pedro Barata

Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Known for his strategic leadership, an active voice on social policy, and a commitment to community building, Pedro’s career and extensive volunteer work in the non-profit sector spans two decades.

As the Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, Pedro works with the key project partners to realize the Centre’s mandate and objectives: to build a network of key partners and stakeholders, lead and invest in cutting-edge research, test and evaluate innovative projects, and ensure that knowledge is shared and acted on.

During his tenure as United Way Greater Toronto’s Senior Vice President of Community Impact & Strategy, he oversaw United Way’s $94M community investment and partnership strategy as well as communications, policy and public affairs, research and evaluation, and cross-organizational strategy. Prior to joining United Way, Pedro held roles at the Atkinson Foundation, Family Service Toronto, Social Planning Toronto, and the City of Toronto. Pedro holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.