Broad Citizen and Stakeholder Engagement

During the civic digital trust workshop, participants identified some next steps for engaging citizens and stakeholders in a broader conversation. This section summarizes their advice.

Who we need to Engage

Broad engagement by the citizens of Toronto, public and private sector is needed to help shape this complex and important topic of data governance. Looking to all these stakeholders for input and feedback will require a substantial effort to understand the motivations and concerns of each. Large projects tackling data governance, such as the DECODE effort in the EU, provide an example on how to engage the public utilizing strategic pilots to create engagement, test technologies and platforms, and gather feedback.

Citizens at the Centre

Through the development of the civic digital trust, there must be citizen representation at all stages. Because the trust will provide stewardship of data generated from the activity of citizens, the citizens themselves should be the primary beneficiary that we design this trust around.
Governments, regulators and public agencies should be the conveners and facilitators of this conversation, as they have formal authority and a duty of care. These stakeholders are fundamental to the conversation and will need to be in close collaboration during the process.

Key Stakeholders

We recognize that there are categories of stakeholders that will need to be consulted and included in this process.

Experts and Academia

Domain experts and academics on the forefront of digital governance, data, privacy, and civic participation will need to be consulted to provide the latest evidence to inform design of the trust.

Community Educators

The community educators are the linch-pins in various community groups. These are the not for profits and community groups like Open North, Digital Justice Lab, and MaRS to name a few, that have a pulse for their community to be able to voice those perspectives, as well as provide domain expertise in their field. Whether its the voices of the start-up communities, open data and governance initiatives, or inclusive innovation, participants said we need to have more of these voices involved in co-creating potential solutions.


The innovators include the local civic and urban technology community. It is important to have their perspectives to ensure the models of data governance does not put them at a disadvantage compared to multi-nationals that already conduct business here in Canada.
Policy Makers & Conveners
This group of policy makers needs to be in close proximity to the project for two reasons. First, the civic digital trust will need to operate within the legislation and rules governing privacy and acceptable uses of data. Secondly, we see the legislation and trust models as complementary pieces, and must work together to provide proactive protection of citizen data and privacy.
Community Groups
These are the citizens in prominent groups in the city. Youth, local community groups, are actively solicited to partake in research studies, and contribute to the city they would like built. Toronto is a very diverse community of individuals from many different races, social statuses, and we must continue to capture their voices to make sure as we design smarter cities.
Core Service Providers
These stakeholders include entities that provide core services to the city. Included are the telecommunication providers, utility companies, emergency services and essential services, like hospitals and education providers. Many of these industries are undergoing transformations with the emergence of technology, and having these stakeholders in these discussion will help identify uses of data that may need to be considered in future prototypes.

At Risk of Being Forgotten

These are the citizens that typically do not have prominent voices in Toronto. Currently, informed citizens around this topic are engaging through round table discussions and workshops, but many more are still forgotten or disengaged in this process. A few groups we should work hard to include: new Canadians, refugees, individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals with mental disabilities, unemployed, pregnant mothers, individuals in poverty and individuals living in an analogue world with no technology. It is important to solicit feedback from these groups to ensure the diverse voices in Toronto are being captured, and that a civic digital trust works for the benefit of all.