2019 Conference Planning: Program sub-theme champions

As IPAC Manitoba plans the 2019 IPAC National Conference, we explore what it’s like for a regional group to plan a 400-500 person conference that is international in scope.  This month, Programs Committee co-chair Guy Gordon announces the champions we have lined up for each sub-theme!


“Sure – I’ll do it.” Those words were so easy to utter last spring when colleague and Conference Co-chair Calvin Hawley called and asked if I would serve as program committee co-chair of the 2019 IPAC National Conference. I was particularly excited when he listed a series of potential themes: public sector transformation, reconciliation, disruption and digital government.

In my mind, I could instantly recognize the relevance to public service professionals nationally but in particular to a Manitoba audience – an audience of public sector professionals who are currently being asked to engage, discern and attempt to make sense of staggering array of changes. Senior and middle managers are being urged to serve as innovators, volunteer pathfinders, coaches and as leaders of profound change across the entirety of the public sector in Manitoba. From a fundamental re-examination of our relationship as governments with First Nations people, to redefining the relationship between the province and municipal governments, to revisiting questions of who does what across the breadth of the broad public sector Manitoba is a hot bed of public sector transformation and innovation. Throw in a pinch of digital disruption and Manitoba has a great story to share with the rest of the country.

Over the past summer, our program committee team began to take shape and began to think about how to organize ourselves and the conference. Among the early notions that emerged was the importance of introducing innovations to the 2019 IPAC National Conference to make it even more engaging and valuable. In particular, could we find ways to make the conference more interactive? Could we, for example, introduce optional professional development? Could we leverage physical proximity to the Canadian Human Rights Museum and The Forks National Historic Site into our program?

As fall emerged the team agreed to reach out and invite leaders in the public service to be champions for each of the sub-themes. I am pleased that all of the individuals we invited agreed to participate. The champions are:

Public Sector Transformation

Fred Meier- Clerk of Executive Council, Province of Manitoba

Reconciliation in Action

Loretta Ross- Treaty Commissioner, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba

Innovation and Disruption

Scott Sinclair- Acting Deputy Minister- Manitoba Infrastructure

Digital Government

Munna Zaman- Acting Associate Deputy Minister, Manitoba Finance-Central Services

Each of our distinguished champions have agreed to help the Programs Committee develop and shape the themes, identify potential speakers and champion active participation in the conference. Winter has officially arrived on the Prairies and it’s time to pick up the organizing efforts. Over the next few weeks, we will meeting with the champions, IPAC National and developing an initial program design, list of topics and priority list of invitees we want to confirm early in the new year. This will be informed by gathering input from IPAC regional councils, IPAC members, and the preferences of potential local participants we plan to gather via a survey of managers and leaders from across the public sector in Manitoba. Our goal is to have a program locked into place by mid to late February so that we can really focus on attracting and registering attendees.

There is a lot of work to do but the Organizing and Programs Committees are chock full of engaged and talented public servants, academics and students of public administration. Our real task to now to reach out to you.

Let us know what you think and how we can do better.


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