ImagiNation 150 (i150) generates future-focused thinking by encouraging citizens to get together and share their vision of what is possible for Canada in the next 50 years. Its sesquicentennial legacy project consists of bringing young people together with Members of the Order of Canada into focus group discussions regarding their hopes and fears for the future of our nation, to collect, analyze, and present the results.
i150 will hold a minimum of 30 such roundtable discussions in and around the Calgary area, consisting of 6-12 youth (ages 15-25) and 2-4 Members of the Order of Canada. Youth will be drawn from a range of organizations, schools, and associations to achieve proper demographic representation. All discussions will be moderated by professional facilitators for 90 minutes. Questions to be raised—formulated in a manner to best resonate with youth—are based on 6 key themes that emerged from the McConnell Foundation’s Possible Canadas project, in which i150 participated. They are as follows:
- Using Our Natural Resources Wisely
- Renewing Our Democratic Institutions
- Making Our Pluralism Work
- Taking Our Proper Place in the World
- Increasing the Innovativeness of our Economy
- Building Healthy Communities
The conversations will be recorded and transcribed for thorough data analysis, to produce a final report depicting how youth envisage their future, alongside some of the means by which they might fulfil this vision. Depending upon the results we may expand the geographic and demographic scope of the project in 2017. i150 will work with media and marketing partners to ensure the final document gets the wide reception it will merit among politicians, policymakers, community and business leaders and engaged citizens at large.
The report will be a vision document for all Canadians, providing the signposts for deliberation and action. Without a clear vision, it is difficult to be properly oriented, and as we move forward we must consider the ideas of those who will inherit the consequences of present decision-making. As one of the most imaginative population groups, young people are nevertheless among the least represented in politics. i150’s project seeks to rectify this situation, so that the citizens and leaders of today may participate in building the nation to which citizens and leaders of tomorrow aspire.