Rationale for OLI Workshops

Science, technology, trade and politics

In the early 2000’s I worked at Canada’s federal government department of foreign affairs and international trade. Within its science and technology (S&T) unit, I held the title of Science and Technology Intelligence Officer.  To say it was fun, challenging and invigorating would be an understatement.

At a training course on competitive intelligence — meaning, in that context, information that is relevant for policy — I learned that some 95% of “intelligence” is in the public domain. However without a framework, guidance and background knowledge on what to look for, this material remains inaccessible for many.

The purpose of this blog and our OLI workshops is to help you learn about selected science and technology topics that have global ramifications, by bringing onto our platform credible and diverse experts, often with field experience in low income countries, to whom you can talk.

Self-reliance for a complex, unpredictable future

If it is a challenge for government to assemble all of the knowledge necessary for good policy-making, it is certainly a greater one for individuals trying to make sense of the world.  With more than 30 years experience in S&T, public, foreign and development policy and projects, I still feel new to the area. Why? Because it is constantly expanding and influencing us in profound ways.

Knowing more about contemporary S&T, trade-related aspects and foreign policy may help confer more self-reliance. Participating more effectively in our own personal decisions, and understanding their individual and collective implications, gives us more certainty. The more we learn, the better, if investing time or money in promising organizations or initiatives. We wish to vote for levels of (Western) government that theoretically at least, exist to serve citizens. But do they?

Who might be at an OLI workshop?

An OLI-works facilitator will be at the workshop, and often others in our network.

What about you?  You might be a small-scale investor, potential exporter or individual development consultant. You could be a scientific research leader or fund administrator. Perhaps you are a writer, journalist, playwright or film-maker.  You might even be an expert that you believe we should recruit (in which case let us know).

Almost everyone in our network has helped governments of advanced and developing societies.  We may be able help you, too, to develop and share knowledge in the realm of science, technology, public policy, international affairs and markets.

Embracing virtual, on-line opportunities

Part of our rationale for these OLI workshops is to expand training and comfort with remote work and new forms of personal interaction on-line. Here at OLI-works we are committed users of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and are confident our methods will be useful for you.

Your suggestions welcome

Please feel encouraged to be in touch with us  if you have a subject you wish to see included in the syllabus.


Oct 30th, 2019

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