Conference 2011

People’s Blueprint Conference – Real Voices for Real Change

On Monday April 4th, 2011 the results of the research conducted by the People’ Blueprint Panel was presented at the People’s Blueprint Conference held in downtown Toronto. The conference was an opportunity for the Blueprinters to meet face to face with others with lived experience, government representatives, and service workers, and describe their observations from the research. The conference would also provide a rare opportunity to provide feedback to government and service providers in a structured way that enabled constructive dialogue that could engage all at the table and produce positive outcomes.

The goals of the conference were:  to change the perception of who experiences poverty; increase awareness of the project; change the perception of what the poor want; have government policy makers and service providers walk away with some new and useful information as well as an ongoing connection to the Blueprint Panel and people with lived experience generally; and to show that people with a lived experience can and should have a major role in a social assistance review, being true partners in redesigning social assistance.

For all intents and purposes, these goals were achieved. Regardless of people’s experience or relationship to the system, many learned something crucial that they could move forward with. One attendee mentioned that “…many of the issues and problems identified by the peer researchers coincide with those identified by other kinds of experts. Clearly there are many possible links to be made.” The experiences and difficulties people personally experienced with the system were connected to potential policy options and approaches. The day’s events also left people with a renewed sense of optimism and hope, and many are asking “what’s next?”

Moving forward, notes from the conference will provide an overview of key areas that are important for the Province to focus on during the next 14 months as it conducts its own review of the system.

Download the Conference Booklet >>

Conference Notes

Employment & Caseworkers
Food & Health/Social Participation
Housing
Stigma
Changes