Political acuity is among the hardest concepts to teach or employ. Traditional thinking suggests you either have it, or you don’t. New research and the real-life experiences of the course instructor combine to provide a candid and insightful conversation about what it means to be politically astute. The workshop will use case-based discussions to explore new approaches to thinking and analysis that will remove the mysteries of what it means to think politically and enhance the quality of our analysis and capacity for strategic thinking.
This module will introduce participants to the skills and abilities needed to understand and cultivate your political acuity and strategic thinking. Participants will focus on building skills to better work with formal and informal systems, practices, relationships and cultures so that you can identify impacts, influence decisions and achieve organizational objectives. Participants will develop skills to better predict the way new events and emerging issues will affect their municipality, the public and stakeholders. We will delve into techniques for providing that will ultimately meet the needs and expectations of elected officials and their political staff and build skills for problem solving when there is a ‘disconnect’ between short-term and longer-term objectives.
Political Acuity involves the ability to identify real decision-makers and understand how an organization really works. It is the ability to appreciate, understand and use formal and informal power relationships within organizations and within the political structure, and predict how new events will affect individuals and groups.
The workshop explores what political acuity means in a practical sense in your role as a public servant working in a political environment. Political acuity will be defined, its importance set out and application explored in your daily work in the current environment.
NOTE: This is an interactive, virtual workshop, which is different from a webinar. Participants will be expected to participate through voice and video, and to engage with each other and the facilitator in large and small group discussions, to learn from each other and practice skill development.
This workshop will be of interest to human services staff who make key decisions and especially to those that write reports for council and other levels of government.
Two, three-and-a-half-hour online workshops held over two consecutive days.
Workshop Dates and Registration
All sessions in Eastern Standard Time.
November 23 & 30, 2023
Part 1: Thursday, November 23 | 8:30 – 12:00
Part 2: Thursday, November 30 | 8:30 – 12:00
Registration Cut-Off: Tuesday, November 21
This workshop is now full. Registration is closed.
March 13 & 20, 2024
Part 1: Wednesday, March 13 | 8:30 – 12:00
Part 2: Wednesday, March 20 | 8:30 – 12:00
Registration Cut-Off: Monday, March 11
Registration coming soon.
October 9 & 16, 2024
Part 1: Wednesday, October 9 | 8:30 – 12:00
Part 2: Wednesday, October 16 | 8:30 – 12:00
Registration Cut-Off: Monday, October 7
Registration coming soon.
Members: $425 + HST
Non-Members: $555 + HST
Non-Member Education Level 1/2: $445 + HST
OMSSA hosts this virtual workshop using Zoom, an online, interactive platform that you can join straight from your web browser, or by downloading 'Zoom Client for Meetings' on your computer or tablet.
Participants will be expected to join the workshop via both video and audio. Participants should therefore have access to a desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet with:
a webcam or built-in camera
a built-in microphone or a headphone jack where you can plug in a headset or earphones
We strongly recommend that participants use a headset or earphones with a built-in microphone in order to limit background noise.
System requirements: Click here for more detailed information on system requirements from Zoom.
Dr. Peter P. Constantinou,
President and CEO, Political Acuity Institute
Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration, York University
Academic Director, Ontario Legislature Internship Programme
Peter Constantinou is one of Canada’s leading public policy practitioner academics and award winning university lecturer. He holds a BA (Specialized Honours) in Public Policy and Administration from York University, and an MA in Public Policy and Administration from McMaster, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Toronto. His doctoral dissertation was a landmark study of government relations with stakeholders in the post-secondary education sector in Ontario.
Dr. Constantinou is a long-time public servant who has worked at the federal and provincial levels of government and in the college and university sector. He was a Research Analyst with the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing; a Policy Analyst, Senior Policy Advisor and Senior International Trade Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy; and Chief of Staff to an Ontario Minister of Education and Training. Before joining York, Peter was Director of Government Relations at Seneca College and Special Advisor to the President, responsible for the government and community engagement that led to the creation of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), now Ontario Tech University. He currently holds the post of Academic Director of the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme.
For over 25 years, Peter has been active in teaching and research in the area of public policy and administration. Dr. Constantinou is currently working with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group to provide advice to government officials, academic leaders and faculty in universities and colleges.
Dr. Constantinou’s study Political Acuity and Council-Staff Relations in the Canadian Journal of Local Government has been the basis for development of training programs for staff and executive teams in hundreds of municipalities throughout Canada and abroad, including working with clients in Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Israel, Peru, United Kingdom, Vietnam, among others. To date he has worked with 480 Chinese partners at the municipal and provincial levels and delivered over 500 lectures and workshops. He has been a visiting professor and delivered workshops in China for Zhejiang Shuren University and Suqian College.