2021 Symposiums


Adaptation: Planning and Performance throughout and beyond COVID.

The PPX Symposium theme for 2021 is Adaptation: Planning and Performance throughout and beyond COVID. The global pandemic has had significant impacts on governments, organizations, and people all around the world. In addition to responding to the pandemic, we’ve also witnessed renewed global movements to end racism and socio-economic inequalities. Questions about how this changing environment has impacted planning, performance and evaluation functions are worth considering at this juncture. These are critical areas in public policy discussions and practices aimed at more effectively and efficiently responding to the needs of Canadians.

On behalf of Organizing Committee and Board of Directors for Performance Planning and Exchange (PPX), thank you for attending the first PPX Virtual Symposium!

Please note the recordings are now available for paid registrants on the EventMobi platform for 6 months, with the exception of Jennifer Keesmaats which is available for 2 months. As well you will find some of the speaker’s presentations. When you are on the platform please join in on the Discussion Groups which you will find on the left-hand side in the menu.

PPX Symposium Agenda

12:30 – 1:45 pm

FAO Reports: Between the Covers- How data and analysis support transparency and trust.

The presentation will go deep” into the methodology behind the creation of some of the key FAO reports, from data gathering, cleansing, modelling, analysis, messaging, to follow-up on performance/hits/quotes in Question Period, etc. Mr Weltman will involve a few key staff in the presentation, to get into some crunchy details on some of the elements, and help the audience understand some of the requirements needed to produce reliable performance evaluations.

Peter Weltman, Financial Accountability Office of Ontario
Peter was appointed Ontario’s second Financial Accountability Officer on May 7, 2018.Mr. Weltman has extensive experience working at the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) in Ottawa most recently serving as Director of Executive Services, Communication and Parliamentary Relations to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. He has also served as President of the Canadian Chapter of the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association (ICEEA). Before working at the PBO, Mr. Weltman worked in different capacities for Industry Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Treasury Board Secretariat.

1:45 – 2:00 pm

Entertainment Break

Natasha Meister

Natasha a 30 year old singer/guitarist/songwriter. Born in London, Ontario, Natasha started music at the age of 6. Growing up singing in her local church and entering competitions lead her to pursuing music full time. With tons of performance experience over the last several years on various stages internationally, she captures audiences wherever she goes with her skilful guitar playing and powerful vocals. She is a versatile artist playing anything from blues, jazz, rock, to pop music. Now under her belt is over 10 years experience in the industry with notable performances opening for The Pixies and LIVE on tour in South Africa 2017.

2:00 – 3:00 pm

Advancing Transformative Change: what is within reach?

We can help transform our world around us, addressing the most pressing challenges of our time, by building knowledge and understanding to inform necessary, strategic and transformative actions. Over the course of the last year, many of our lives changed on a dime: we have worked, played and lived in a fundamentally different way. Cities have needed to adapt, and responding with urgency, have unlocked critical and tricky issues such as access to housing, parks, and bike lanes. Using case studies from a variety of cities, Jennifer will explore the foundations for success in driving forward change and measuring its achievement.

Jennifer Keesmaat, Former Chief Planner, City of Toronto | Renowned Urbanist
Jennifer Keesmaat is passionate about creating places where people flourish. Named one of the “most powerful people in Canada” by Maclean’s, one of the “most influential” by Toronto Life, and one of the top Women of Influence in Canada, she spent five years as Toronto’s Chief City Planner, where she was celebrated for her forward thinking and collaborative approach to city-building.

A Distinguished Visitor in Residence Emeritus at the University of Toronto, Keesmaat continues to share her vision for cities of the future, and her belief in the importance of public sector leadership through a variety of publications including The Guardian, Macleans, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and on her podcast, Invisible City, where she covers a broad range of future city and technological topics.

Today, Keesmaat heads up The Keesmaat Group. With her team of city building experts, she provides inspiration through public speaking, and delivers impact through her consulting services pertaining to creating complete, walkable communities. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Urban Land Institute in Toronto and appointed to the International Panel of Experts for the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority.

3:00 – 3:15 pm

Entertainment Break

Nagata Shachu Drumming Band

Nagata Shachu, based in Toronto, has enthralled audiences with its mesmerizing and heart-pounding performances of the Japanese drum (taiko) since its formation in 1998.  The group has toured widely throughout Canada, the US and Italy and has performed at major engagements in Mexico and Lebanon.  While rooted in the folk drumming traditions of Japan, the ensemble’s principal aim is to rejuvenate this ancient art form by producing innovative and exciting music that seeks to create a new voice for the taiko.


3:15 – 4:15 pm

Reducing Inequalities by Focusing on Wellbeing: Evidence from the Canadian Index of Wellbeing

Canadians’ wellbeing is influenced by a complex interplay of factors in their lives. Through a comprehensive consideration of those factors and how they combine and interact, we better understand how wellbeing is entwined in the broader and more complex challenge of inequality. This is the approach taken by Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW). The CIW captures a broad range of indicators from diverse areas to reveal how inequality is manifested in the lives of Canadians, especially those who are most marginalised. This presentation will provide an overview of the CIW, its work from the national to the local, and how focusing on wellbeing can provide a pathway to more impactful social policy.

Bryan Smale, Director, Canadian Index of Wellbeing

Bryan Smale is Director of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing housed in the Faculty of Health at the University of Waterloo (UW) and a Full Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies with a cross-appointment to the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Western Ontario and both his Master’s and B.A. in Leisure Studies from the University of Waterloo. He is currently a member of Statistics Canada’s Advisory Committee on Social Conditions, an Advisor to the Vanier Institute’s Canadian Family Well-Being Index, Past President of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies (CALS), and former Editor-in-Chief of Leisure/Loisir. His research is guided by a focus advocating for reducing inequities in wellbeing with particular interest in the role of leisure in the wellbeing of individuals and communities, the spatial distribution and analysis of quality of life in communities, time use allocation, and social indicators research. He was elected a Fellow to the Academy of Leisure Sciences in 2012 and honoured with the international Hall of Heroes Leadership Award by the Community Indicators Consortium in 2020.

12:30 – 1:45 pm

Climate Crisis: Trying Out Solutions

En-ROADS Climate Workshop is a transparent policy simulation model that gives everyone the chance to design their own scenarios to limit global heating. Join Dianne Saxe, a certified Canadian Climate Ambassador, to try out your favourite policies and get immediate feedback on the likely results, both in terms of global temperature and in terms of many associated impacts, from air pollution to sea level to the cost of energy. The simulation offers an intuitive interface, has been carefully grounded in the best available science, and has been calibrated against a wide range of integrated assessment, climate and energy models.

Dianne Saxe, SaxeFacts Law Professional Corporation
Dr. Saxe is one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers, with 40+ years’ unparalleled experience writing, interpreting, and litigating Ontario’s energy and environmental laws. An experienced team leader with substantial board experience; a skilled communicator with broad strategic vision. Hard-won expertise in government relations, corporate governance and public consultation. A can-do person always striving to make a difference. Now heading Saxe Facts, a law firm on climate, energy and environment.

1:45 – 2:00 pm

Entertainment Break

James Addis

James is a dynamic up-and-coming jazz pianist who regularly appears solo, with his own trio, and as a sideman in various projects. Since first becoming interested in jazz at the age of 9 after seeing the Esbjörn Svensson Trio perform live, James’ love for the music has only intensified – he has developed a strong personal voice, inventiveness and sophistication which makes his performances, arrangements and original compositions uniquely identifiable. What truly sets James apart is his “big sound”, engaging and exciting the audience in the bluesy tradition of Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, and Gene Harris.

An audience favourite, James has played at numerous major venues in Toronto and across Ontario, including Koerner Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts, the Mod Club, Hugh’s Room, and the Home Smith Bar. He is honoured to have performed with Chris Potter, Barry Elmes, Aura Rully, Jack McFadden, and Wendy Lands. James has studied with greats like Jeff Hamilton, Michael Occhipinti, Frank Falco, and Mark Eisenman. He was thrilled to be featured at the 2018 Toronto Duke Ellington Society Gala Concert and to be selected for the inaugural 2018 TD Toronto Jazz Festival Jazz Musician Intensive. James is humbled to have been awarded numerous scholarships, including the York University Oscar Peterson Scholarship MTCU.

2:00 – 3:00 pm

The Future of Performance Measurement is Here: Data, Evidence, and Behavioural Science

Governments at all levels in the U.S. are looking at multiple ways to improve the use of performance information in decision making and program delivery: performance measurement, the use of evidence and data, as well as the application of behavioral science insights. John Kamensky, Senior Fellow, IBM Centre for the Business of Government will address the Evidence Act (2018) and the key initiatives and takeaways that the U.S. is undertaking to support government operations and service delivery excellence.

John Kamensky, IBM Centre for the Business of Government
Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government in Washington, DC, which sponsors research on management challenges facing government leaders.During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the U.S. federal government’s performance and results orientation. He is passionate about creating a government that is results-oriented, performance-based, customer-focused, and collaborative in nature. Prior to 2001, Mr. Kamensky served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the U.S. Government Accountability Office for 16 years where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. During his time with the IBM Center, he has edited or co-authored eight books and writes and speaks extensively on leadership, organizational performance management, collaborative governance, strategic foresight, and government reform.

Mr. Kamensky is an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and appointed to be senior fellow with the Administrative Conference of the United States. He serves on the National Science Foundation’s Business Operations Advisory Committee. He was the recipient of the Association of Government Accountant’s Cornelius Tierney Research Award in 2011, appointed to the IBM Industry Academy in 2018, and received the Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Award in 2019.

He received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin in 1977, and a Bachelors of Arts in Government at Angelo State University, in San Angelo, Texas, in 1975.

3:00 – 3:15 pm

Entertainment Break

Sam Fleming aka DJ Efsharp from Evolved Entertainment

Evolved Entertainment started in the summer of 2009, since then we have performed coast to coast in Canada using sounds and lights to create your best nights! Lifelong learning is core to our goal of #PersistentRefinement. We DJ with music videos as well as vinyl to mix music in a way most cannot. Fun uplifting and positive mixes for music lovers for virtual, hybrid and live events. We have great MC’s to host as well as lighting design to bring the experience together.

www.evolvedentertainment.com @evolvedent or text 647.221.5399

3:15 – 4:15 pm

Building Back Better Means Building Back Better For Everyone: The Myths That Hold us Back on Gender Diversity and Inclusion and Some Solutions That Can Drive us Forward.

Before the pandemic hit, women’s representation in the labour market was slowly increasing. However, that increase in gender diversity was not matched by an increase in gender inclusion, and now, even some of the ground that had been gained on representation has been lost during this pandemic. In this talk, Sonia will draw upon several decades of research and practice in the field of management and related disciplines to identify and bust common myths that continue to block the path toward gender diversity and inclusion and propose evidence-based solutions to move us forward, especially as we attempt to build back better coming out of this pandemic.

Dr. Sonia Kang, Canada Research Chair in Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour and HR Management
Department of Management, University of Toronto
Dr. Sonia Kang holds the Canada Research Chair in Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of Toronto, where she is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the Rotman School of Management’s Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) and Chief Scientist, Organizations in the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre at Rotman (BEAR). Sonia earned a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Toronto and completed a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University. Sonia’s research explores the challenges and opportunities of identity, diversity, and inclusion. She takes a novel approach by harnessing the power of behavioral insights and organizational design to disrupt systems, processes, and structures that block the path toward diversity and inclusion for individuals, organizations, and society.


Session 1

Peter Weltman
FAO Reports: Between the Covers- How data and analysis support transparency and trust


Session 2

Bryan Smale

Session 3

Climate Crisis: Trying Out Solutions


Session 4

John Kamensky

Session 5

Building Back Better Means Building Back Better For Everyone: The Myths That Hold us Back on Gender Diversity and Inclusion and Some Solutions That Can Drive us Forward.