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How to Influence Public Policy ... What Happens When You Leave the Room? with Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Public policy is about making the world better. However, this only happens when policymakers consider all relevant points of view. 

After defining some key terms, the discussion will focus on how scientists and other technical experts should engage government for maximal positive impact. Drawing from his varied policy experiences in both Canada and Haiti, Jean-Jacques will provide tips on how to advocate for policy change. The key takeaway is that, while science is necessary, it is not sufficient in making a positive impact in the policy realm. This is true even in areas like pandemic preparedness where science is predominant. 

Considerations such as the clarity of your messaging, the stakeholder environment, stage in the electoral cycle, and quality coalition building will all be discussed for their impact on advocacy success. Your own experiences using science to impact policy are welcome!

Speaker profile

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a philosopher of science, innovation policy expert, and serial entrepreneur. He is passionate about innovation for impact and committed to unlocking the value of AI for positive change. 

His broad work experience includes leading the teams that successfully launched Clinical Trials Ontario and Alpha Haïti, the largest tech incubator in the Caribbean region. In Canada, he held the roles of Economist, Community Safety Advisor to a Deputy Minister, Senior Manager of Life Sciences Programs, and Director of Government Affairs for a national industry association. Abroad, he was the inaugural Technical Advisor in Innovation, Science, and Competitiveness to the President of the Republic of Haiti. 

Jean-Jacques holds a BA in Law from Carleton University, MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and PhD in Philosophy of Science from the University of Toronto. He completed three years as Postdoctoral Fellow in Explainability & Trust in AI Systems at the Lassonde School of Engineering. He is the inaugural Network Manager of the AI for Pandemic and Epidemic Preparedness (AI4PEP) global network. 

Through his boutique consultancy, Rousseau Ventures, he co-created the Digital Tech by GeniusLab pre-employment training program and led the development of digital strategy at the Université de l’Ontario Français. More recently, he advises on the opportunity that Decolonisation, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion presents for strategic innovation.

Jean-Jacques is Past Board Chair at CARE for Internationally Educated Nurses. He is a former Member of both Groupe Média TFO and the World Summit AI Board of International Government and UN Advisors. He was also Mentor at NextAI (Montreal) and Past Chair of the Board of the Obsidian Theatre Company. He currently lectures in strategic innovation in the MBA program at the Schulich School of Business. 

Register below and join us on Wednesday, January 25, at 1 p.m.


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Wednesday, January 25, 2023


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


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