Creating Canada’s Future by Design

Victoria, BC – February 7, 2018 ~ The “Canadian Values Conversation” (CVC) Initiative, a coalition of three Canadian organizations has launched the first Canadian initiative to understand what values shape us as Canadians today and what values are important to design Canada’s future tomorrow.

The initiative, which emerged among practitioners of organizational culture and transformation, was launched to foster attention and discussion about what matters most to us as Canadians, and to think about what we hope our country will be like for our children and future generations.

The key members spearheading the coalition: Marilyn Taylor, a Professor of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University, David Jamieson, Chief Scientist at Environics Research, a leading social values research firm, and Nick Foster, co-founder of values-based corporate consulting firm, 1-degree, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Values Alliance, cohesively believe, that we are more likely to make thoughtful decisions and take action in service of our best interests when we have had time to think and talk about our values. The initiative also involves the Barrett Values Centre, pioneering National Values Assessment in over 25 countries across the world, as a contributing partner.

“Our intention is to create our future by design. By gathering the wisdom of thousands of Canadians we can get a picture of the kind of society that we want to build and be a part of. Our motivation to realize the vision has been amplified by the growing attention to social values in public and community life along with the growing need for dialogue, respect, listening across differences, and understanding across apparent demographic and geographic divides,” says Marilyn Taylor. “We want the 2018 CVC initiative between February and May to be the first of many that make it possible for us to follow, track our progress and update our priorities!”

“Values are a short-form way of describing what is important to us,” explains Nick Foster. “If we value something then you can expect behaviours to be aligned. Of course, sometimes the walk doesn’t match the talk but generally we act in accordance with what we value. Shared values are important to a cohesive group, organization or society because we know what to expect from each other.”

The initiative has four components: an interactive values survey, online dialogue, values café gatherings across the country, and the communication of key values priorities that inspire action. The first Values Café Conversation took place in Winnipeg in October 2017 and several Values Café Conversations are scheduled to occur across the country beginning in February 2018.

“We are learning through conversation when different people say they value something, “protecting the environment for future generations” for example, they sometimes mean different things. Our goal is both to learn what Canadians mean by what we say we value, and to reach some sort of consensus about what our country would look like if we were to live that value more consciously as individuals and as a people,” stated David Jamieson, Chief Scientist at Environics Research, the organization who designed the interactive survey.

The public access survey is available in both English and French and is divided into three parts: collection of values, collection of demographic and geographic information, and post-survey interaction with the accumulated data for discovery and comparison (of self and other Canadians).

All Canadians are encouraged to participate in this important initiative. They can do so by taking the survey, encouraging friends, family and colleagues to participate, starting a conversation about values, visiting the CVC website to learn more, engaging in discussions through CVC’s social media channels and attending an upcoming Café Conversation in their region.

Survey results will be published later this year which could inform important decisions and actions affecting the futures of our communities and our country.

To learn more visit



The Canadian Values Conversations initiative–a collaboration among Royal Roads University, Environics Research and the Canadian Values Alliance–is designed to provide Canadians with an opportunity to express their priority values and those that they want to characterize their country.  This initiative aims to create national awareness and an understanding about our values as the foundation for shared purpose and direction.  What does it mean to be Canadian? What values are alive in our communities?  What is the future we want to build together?  The initiative comprises participation in a values survey and engagement in dialogue about what those values really mean in our everyday lives.  Join the conversation by using #canadianvaluesconversations in your social media or join us at a Café Conversation in select locations across Canada.

For further information, please contact us:




Marilyn Taylor, Ph.D., School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University

Marilyn Taylor is appointed Professor in the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University.  She is the former director of an Institute for Values Based Leadership and initiator of a graduate Certificate in Values Based Leadership.  With Adjunct Professor David Jamieson, she led the National Values Assessment for Canada in 2009. She also teaches in the Doctor of Applied Social Sciences program at the University.  Previously, Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Social Science at Concordia University in Montréal and Director of its Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies.  She co-led the development of the MA in Human Systems Intervention.

Her common purpose has been to advance interdisciplinary research and teaching in social science that make a practical difference in the wider world.  Currently, she is devoted to fostering citizen engagement in a national discussion of values that could make a positive difference to Canada’s future.  In the perspective of transformative learning, she has conducted research of communities and individuals confronted with challenges in adaptation to employment loss and coronary heart disease.

Taylor is author of Emergent learning for wisdom (2011) and co-editor of Learning toward an ecological consciousness: Selected transformative practices (2004) both published by Palgrave Macmillan; the most recent of a series of published articles and book chapters is “Cultivating practical wisdom through emergent learning”, in Wendelin Küpers & Olen Gunnlaugson (eds.) Wisdom Learning: ‘Wising up’ management education. Farnham, UK: Gower Publishing.

She received a doctorate in Educational Theory from the University of Toronto after a M.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin and B.A, from the University of Saskatchewan.  She is also a Partner and trainer in Cultural Transformation Tools with the Barrett Values Centre.


David W. Jamieson, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Environics Research 

David W. Jamieson received his doctorate in Social Psychology in 1986 from the University of Waterloo, Canada.  He has worked in academic, Canadian federal government, and marketing and public polling research positions since, as well as running his own consultancy.  His academic area of expertise is theory and research investigating human attitudes and values: their formation, their 07.nransportation,al areaschange via self- and other-persuasion, their consistency with social behaviour, their ambivalence structures and their functional psychological underpinnings.

Since 1997 Dr. Jamieson has served as Chief Scientist, and Director of Advanced Analytics, at Environics Research, the oldest privately held Canadian marketing and public polling company in Canada (founded 1970).  He also serves as Chief Analyst for Environics’ Social Values Research Program, which for 35 years has continuously tracked human social values, needs, motivations and world-views in Canada, as well as in over 20 other countries. This work informs public policy and client advocacy issues as well as a wide range of commercial client areas (e.g., tourism, automotive and public transportation, health and wellness, etc.)

With Michael Adams, Environics’ founder, and Amy Langstaff, Dr. Jamieson has co-authored three books on socio-cultural change, including Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada, and the Myth of Converging Values, which won the prestigious Donner Prize for Canadian Public Policy writing in 2003, and which was named in 2007 to the Literary Review of Canada’s LRC 100: Canada’s Most Important Books.

In recent years, as a natural extension of his interest in human values, Dr. Jamieson has consulted as a corporate culture professional, applying the Barrett Values Centre assessment and cultural transformation methods to the measurement and change of Canadian corporate leaders and their corporate operating cultures. Dr. Jamieson, is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C.


Nick Foster, Co-Founder, 1-degree Shift Inc.

Nick Foster is a partner and Co-Founder in the Toronto consultancy 1-degree Shift Inc. an organization dedicated to inspiring and equipping organizations with the agility to transform in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

Nick was on the executive team of Toronto technology company Softchoice Corporation for 18 years from very early days culminating in a public offering. Softchoice experienced incredible growth using every measure – revenue, employees, offices, customers – but what was always at the core was a focus on an incredible workplace culture. Nick held roles such as VP of Sales, VP of Marketing, VP of Operations, VP of Human Resources, VP of Mergers and Acquisitions – evidence of his incredible thirst for challenge. During that time Softchoice was recognized as a Most Admired Culture and a Great Place to Work for many years.

Nick is also known for his philanthropic efforts. He was instrumental in the creation of the corporate social responsibility program known as Softchoice Cares and has taken corporate and non-corporate teams to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Uganda, Rwanda, India, Ghana, Guatemala and Kenya. Currently he is on the board of Regeneration Outreach – an agency in Brampton, Ontario dedicated to helping the poor, the nearly homeless with food, community and opportunity.

Nick began meditating in the early ‘90’s and credits the practice with his ability to stay calm in incredibly stressful situations. He taught basic techniques to the team at Softchoice over many years and convened private sessions in his home. Nick has been bringing these techniques to organizations for three years driven by client demand – the need for personal stress management techniques are critical in today’s business environment. Studies have shown that senior executives are more intuitive than junior managers and Nick is focused on helping leaders develop this skill in service of better business.

Nick holds a B. Comm., from the University of Alberta and is a Barrett Values Centre – Certified Practitioner. He lives in Toronto, Ontario and is an active Master’s swimmer, husband and father.

CVC Press Release_02072018

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