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Welcome to the new OpenCanada

By: /
15 October, 2015

I am delighted to share the new OpenCanada with you. OpenCanada has been a labour of love for the past five years. The initial goal of the project was to rethink the digital media presence of an international affairs think tank. The Canadian International Council identified before many that the days of the austere think tank publishing printed reports and op-eds were over.  In the digital age policy impact can be measured in clicks, reach and engagement, not just ministerial briefings and closed door meetings (as important as these remain). Anyone can now be a media company, and think tanks, with their networks of experts, policy makers and engaged publics, are uniquely suited to enter into the new media fray. And so we jumped in, and over the course of five years have produced thousands of articles, infographics, videos and social media conversations about international affairs from a Canadian perspective. 

Until now, OpenCanada has served as both a media platform and the homepage of the Canadian International Council. One lesson we learned is that it is difficult to be both of these things simultaneously, and so we have been working tirelessly to develop a new, stand alone OpenCanada. And we are launching it today. The CIC will maintain its own institutional site, soon to be found here.

This new model for OpenCanada was made possible by bringing together three like-minded organizations, who share the vision of experimenting and innovating the international affairs conversation: the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the Canadian International Council and the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History.

The new OpenCanada was redesigned from the ground up by the incredible CIGI digital media group, and our newly expanded editorial team has re-imagined our core mandate of explaining international affairs in a fun, informative, visually dynamic and at times provocative way.

OpenCanada will continue to produce Q&As with high-profile global thinkers, infographics, essays and explainers, but this new edition gives equal weight to visuals, narrative and storytelling. This intersection of research, storytelling and explanatory journalism is where we think both think tanks and news sites are headed, and so we are going to dive in and experiment.

In addition to the new OpenCanada, we are entering into a range of new exciting partnerships. We are partnering with News Deeply, the remarkable team behind Syria Deeply, to develop a new site called Arctic Deeply, which aims to be main site in the world for the discussion and debate of Arctic issues.  We are also co-producing a major speaker series and online discussion around Global Inequality with the Liu Institute for Global Issues being led by Joseph Stiglitz. We will be rolling out more similar partnerships over the coming months. 

We hope you enjoy the new site, and look forward to hearing from you and working with you.

 Taylor

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

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