Project Info


Royal Roads University, led by Dr. Ann Dale, is leading a series of real-time electronic dialogues to contribute to public policy discussion on leading-edge sustainable development issues to increase civic literacy and to speed the exploitation of knowledge between researchers, practitioners, decision-makers and community leaders across the country.

The purpose of the dialogues is multifold:

  1. to stimulate dialogue among diverse sectors of Canadian society around critical sustainable development issues;
  2. to use and evaluate this media - electronic dialogue - as a tool to change and enhance literacy, both scientific and social, around specific sustainable development issues among both the public and the policy-development community; and
  3. to determine whether 'outside' substantive dialogues inform the policy development process.

The e-Dialogues aim to bring the best minds to bear in the country around a diversity of critical public policy issues, all of which are expertly moderated or co-moderated by Dr. Ann Dale and her colleagues. The majority of the conversations, although some have been conducted privately as a funding variant, are widely publicized and Canadians from across the country are invited to participate in e-audiences, to listen in to the expert panel and to discuss among themselves. Often, the audiences have as much, if not more expertise than the e-panel, and reflect the dynamic engagement of the platform. In addition, they are being used as a novel data collection research method by RRU Masters students and a recent research project explored its potential to achieve three research outcomes: to critique a draft academic journal article, to draft a peer-reviewed draft book chapter, and to lead a series of research meetings. For more information, contact Lenore Newman.

As the software is developed and refined to meet the demands of a truly interactive real-time deliberative dialogue, the dialogues will become increasingly interactive between panelists and audiences. In the future, the e-dialogues will also incorporate e-polling as a mechanism to determine how much change has occurred in the audience as a result of the dialogues. Subsequently, and as a critical part of this research, the project will determine how the knowledge gained from the e-polling can influence Canadian public policy. RRU is planning to hold 3 e-dialogues per year.


For further information on the e-dialogues project, please contact:

Ann Dale
Principal Investigator
School of Environment and Sustainability
Royal Roads University
tel: 250.391-2600, ext. 4117