A Vision for Centres of Knowledge

The Vision for Simon Fraser University

  • To increase the profile of the University locally, nationally, and internationally
  • To position the University in a manner which sets it apart as bold, innovative, and unique in Canada and around the world
  • To improve the University’s ability to meet the needs of the communities it serves, whether defined by geography, demographics, or common interest
  • To make a greater contribution to the social and economic well-being and quality of life of all people
  • To become economically self-sufficient
  • To establish measures of accountability that reflect the role and contribution of the University
  • To establish the Centre for Dialogue as a global facility that focuses attention on issues of common interest and concern, stimulates widespread dialogue, facilitates access to information and learning resources, and assists in the generation of new ideas and initiatives to move us forward to a better future.

The Vision for the Public Policy Program

  • To support the vision and future direction of the University
  • To attract and provide benefits to a larger audience locally and globally
  • To focus attention, generate interest, create dialogue, provide opportunities for learning, stimulate new ideas, new thinking, and new initiatives, and assist in finding ways to address important issues and concerns
  • To earn or attract resources required to expand the program and improve its effectiveness in contributing to new ideas and initiatives around issues of common interest and concern

The Market

The market for the Public Policy Program might be segmented into the following customer groups:

  • Individuals whose work involves increasing their knowledge and understanding of issues of concern to society
  • Individuals who are informed, concerned, active, resourced, and enlightened, who want to increase understanding of issues of common interest and concern in order to improve their ability to make a contribution
  • Individuals who represent the interest of organizations who are engaged in activities that contribute to improving the quality of life and our future well being
  • Individuals who represent the interests of corporate or social enterprises who want to attract and build relationships with customers who are socially responsible and who understand the opportunities and benefits offered by cooperative partnerships
  • Individuals or organizations who are involved in providing communication media or producing content that serves and benefits these high value customer segments

The Opportunity for Simon Fraser University

To employ the Public Policy program as the vehicle, and the Centre for Dialogue as the foundation to create a new enterprise that connects individuals and organizations in communities of common interests, and provides them with learning opportunities, experiences, resources, and services to pursue their interests

How to Make This Happen

  • Develop the concept and create a brand for the Public Policy Program that communicates the purchase opportunities and benefits to the market and which articulates and supports the role and objectives of the Program, the Centre for Dialogue, and the University
  • Establish a customer development strategy that design-builds the enterprise working collaboratively with key founding partners who can provide the additional resources, marketing strength, and capabilities required to implement the strategy most rapidly and cost-effectively
  • Obtain the support of the Board of Governors and the key founding partners to launch the program in a manner that reaches the widest possible audience and position the program, the Centre for Dialogue, and the University on a global stage as rapidly as possible


Connections is a name which:

  • immediately suggests the benefits and opportunities offered by the enterprise
  • has universal appeal
  • is memorable and associative
  • communicates the purpose, activities, and legacy of the enterprise

Connections are:

  • important in understanding the relationship between things in problem solving
  • necessary for communication and dialogue
  • the first requirement for establishing relationships between individuals and organizations
  • essential for understanding our world systemically

What Does Connections Do?

  • Connects individuals and organizations who have information, knowledge, ideas, and points of view to contribute to issues of common interest and concern
  • Connects individuals in public dialogue to generate new ideas and insights to provide the participants and audiences with a learning experience around an issue of interest and concern
  • Connects individuals and organizations within and between communities of common interest by providing services and facilities that assist them in communication, collaborating, and cooperating to their mutual and our collective benefit
  • Connects bodies of knowledge around issues of common interest and concern to improve our ability to explore the connections between things to stimulate new insights, understanding, ideas, and initiatives around issues of common interest and concern
  • Connects ideas for new initiatives with the organizations who can act on them in a leveraged, collaborative, and cooperative manner

How Does Connections Do This?

  • Provides individuals and organizations with the opportunity to become part of the Connections program which provides them with relevant information, services, purchase opportunities, and benefits
  • Creates a network of relationships that gives the University the opportunity to become an active participant in the new media
  • Create groups of active learners around areas of common interest that represent high value customer segments and buyers of learning resources, experiences, services, and related products that meet their needs and interests
  • Create cooperative partnerships with organizations who have related interests who can benefit from the services offered by Connections and who can contribute to the partnership by bringing their resources, capabilities, and customers to the enterprise
  • Create partnerships with corporate partners and the media who can bring audiences, and communication and distribution vehicles to the Connections program.

Simon Fraser University
A Vision for Centres of Knowledge – PDF

Simon Fraser University
School of Public Policy

School of Public Policy and Global Affairs

As an interdisciplinary hub for innovation and learning, the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia draws on the expertise of university institutes, research centres and faculties, and invites collaboration with local and global communities.

School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
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