Bringing research to life for Nova Scotia's future

- November 20, 2020

Panelists at the final reimagine NS event (left to right): Alice Aiken, The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, Danny Graham and Lori Turnbull.
Panelists at the final reimagine NS event (left to right): Alice Aiken, The Honourable Wanda Thomas Bernard, Danny Graham and Lori Turnbull.

When Nova Scotia, like much of the world, went into lockdown in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, everything was disrupted, from daily routines and supply chains to health care and employment. Many of those disruptions have persisted even as things have opened up, and it remains unclear what impacts a second wave may have.

Yet through all this, the events of 2020 offer opportunities as well — opportunities taken up by Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management through the reimagine NS project. Weekly throughout the fall, reimagine NS has been releasing research reports on five areas that impact the lives of all Nova Scotians and hosting discussion series exploring how this moment offers a rare opportunity to imagine a more equitable, effective society.

Read more on Dal News: “Dal academics and community come together to "reimagine" post‑pandemic Nova Scotia” (Oct. 9)

Having hosted online panels on themes including health care, education, employment, social support and equity, food systems, and the arts, the reimagine NS series will conclude with one final virtual event on Thursday, November 26 titled “Nova Scotia’s Promise, Reimagined.”

At each of the previous events, a panel of experts shared their research and discussed the societal implications with attendees. The November 26th event, however, will take a different approach. This time, panelists will invite attendees to join a group discussion with the aim of reflecting on lessons learned, and considering the ways these research findings can be applied in a practical way. The goal? To develop a roadmap so that Nova Scotia’s organizations, policymakers, community stakeholders and individuals can work together to create a healthier, more equitable society for all Nova Scotians.

Top takeaways

Whether you missed previous episodes or you simply want a refresher before participating in the final discussion, here are some of reimagine NS’s top takeaways.

From Care and Connect:

“We need to be more creative in our health-care system. That means being better prepared for potential risks such as pandemics, natural disasters and major crimes. The top-of-mind issues such as primary physician shortages seem to hide the significant issues of multi-person rooms in long term care, casual employment of support staff, secure efficient telehealth systems and effective use of other health-care professionals.” – Christopher Hartt, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University

From Learn and Work:

"It's clear that there's a huge opportunity for Nova Scotians. We have a great digital talent pool here in Nova Scotia and that's really led to the recent growth of the digital industries in Nova Scotia, but we have an opportunity to double down on that and have an even wider cross section of our population engaged in digital. Not just the core areas of software, but really in its application across our economy. What's going to drive new businesses and what's going to drive growth in existing businesses is really digital transformation. For that, building up our talent pool in that area is critical and provides opportunities for Nova Scotians. – Andrew Rau-Chaplin, Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University

From Support and Protect:

"We must break the siloed approaches Nova Scotia has long been taking in providing protection, support and care to its residents. These approaches must also be meaningfully informed by the experiences of all stakeholders, but especially those who are the most vulnerable in the society, including racialized individuals, youth, elderly, people living with disabilities, women, victims of violence, and individuals in or released from places of detention." – Adelina Iftene, Professor in the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

From Cultivate and Consume

"Now is the time for us to reflect on our food system, taking the challenges and learnings of this past year to develop a food strategy by Nova Scotians for Nova Scotians. The strategy must encompass the entire food system with consumers at the centre to drive future policy, programs and production in order to strengthen our food system. It is my hope that people will gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by our food system and gain further appreciation for how food gets to our table." – Carolyn Van Den Heuvel, Director of Outreach and Member Relations, Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

From Create and Commemorate

"By creating opportunities for all people to be a part of art, either as a creator or an observer, we offer a chance for empathy, reconciliation and the breaking down of pre-existing colonial barriers. It is extremely important for us to understand our cultural identity within our own country. This report aims to empower those who read it to understand that we need to move forward through equity over equality." – Raeesa Lalani, artistic director, Prismatic Festival 

"For the professional creative community, I hope the report will give us all some lampposts and marker points for a way forward. We will all need to adapt our working processes in the aftermath of the pandemic, and I hope the report will help us all do that with sustainability, equity, thoughtfulness and even greater vision for the benefits to community." – Holly Mathieson, conductor and musical director, Symphony Nova Scotia 

Ready to join the discussion? Register now to attend reimagine NS: Nova Scotia’s Promise, Reimagined on November 26 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (AST)

Panelists: Nova Scotia’s Promise, Reimagined

Dr. Alice B. Aiken, CD, PhD, MSc, BScPT’94, BSc, Vice-President (Research & Innovation), Dalhousie University

The Honourable Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, PhD, C.M., O.N.S, Senator – Nova Scotia (East Preston)

Danny Graham (LLB’88), Chief Engagement Officer, Engage Nova Scotia

Dr. Lori Turnbull, Director, School of Public Administration, Dalhousie University (Moderator)


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