Media Releases

Delvinia and Munk School of Global Affairs partner to study eDemocracy

April 18, 2013

Partnership to examine innovative uses of digital technology in citizen engagement

TORONTO, ON – Delvinia, a lead­ing dig­i­tal strat­e­gy and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence design firm, and the Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to are pleased to announce a part­ner­ship to study eDemoc­ra­cy and the impact of tech­nol­o­gy on cit­i­zen engage­ment in Cana­da.

Delvinia has exten­sive expe­ri­ence work­ing with all lev­els of gov­ern­ment in design­ing and imple­ment­ing cit­i­zen engage­ment strate­gies that uti­lize dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies. As a result, Delvinia is embark­ing on a new ini­tia­tive with the Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs, led by Dr. David Wolfe, to fur­ther study a cit­i­zen-cen­tric approach to improve pub­lic engage­ment in pol­i­cy issues.

This indus­try-led part­ner­ship will ulti­mate­ly sup­port the devel­op­ment of the Voice of eDemoc­ra­cy, an online forum to be built on Delvinia’s Ask­ing­Cana­di­ans plat­form. The pur­pose of the forum is to cre­ate new dig­i­tal par­tic­i­pa­tion expe­ri­ences that will help munic­i­pal­i­ties to engage res­i­dent opin­ion, inform res­i­dents, and involve them in pol­i­tics to a greater degree.

“We were look­ing for an aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tion that had the fore­sight and the abil­i­ty to devel­op strate­gic and schol­ar­ly insight around the poli­cies that will affect the future of democ­ra­cy and the use of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies in gov­ern­ment,” said Delvinia CEO Adam Fro­man, who orig­i­nal­ly approached the Inno­va­tions and Part­ner­ships Office at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, which then set up the intro­duc­tion to Dr. Wolfe. “We were intrigued when intro­duced to the Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab because of its man­date to research demand-dri­ven inno­va­tion, which is con­sis­tent with Delvinia’s cus­tomer-cen­tric design phi­los­o­phy.”

As part of the part­ner­ship, Delvinia has made a finan­cial invest­ment, matched by the finan­cial sup­port of Mitacs, a nation­al not-for-prof­it research orga­ni­za­tion, to fund Nicole Good­man, PhD, as a post­doc­tor­al fel­low at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs. Nicole sup­port­ed Delvinia’s past research in the area of eDemoc­ra­cy as the author of the 2011 Delvinia Report on Inter­net Vot­ing. She will work through the Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab to con­duct inde­pen­dent aca­d­e­m­ic research and pro­vide a schol­ar­ly per­spec­tive on Delvinia’s ongo­ing work in eDemoc­ra­cy.

“We are excit­ed that Delvinia came to the Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs to help them study this emerg­ing area,” Wolfe said. “The oppor­tu­ni­ty to part­ner with Delvinia and to bring Nicole on board to study eDemoc­ra­cy will help pro­pel for­ward the Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab’s research and teach­ing agen­da in demand-dri­ven inno­va­tion.”

The Inno­va­tion Pol­i­cy Lab will study the impact of the Voice of eDemoc­ra­cy ini­tia­tive on soci­ety from a citizen’s point of view, pro­vid­ing an inde­pen­dent schol­ar­ly per­spec­tive to help munic­i­pal­i­ties and oth­er gov­ern­ments under­stand and devel­op pol­i­cy that engages, informs, and involves cit­i­zens.

This project is designed to solve the gov­ern­ment-cit­i­zen dis­con­nect through the devel­op­ment of a dig­i­tal-based forum that can facil­i­tate demo­c­ra­t­ic dia­logue between elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives and cit­i­zens,” Fro­man said. It rep­re­sents a nov­el approach to bring cit­i­zens back into the demo­c­ra­t­ic process by har­ness­ing the pow­er of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies.”

About Delvinia
Delvinia is a lead­ing dig­i­tal strat­e­gy and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence design con­sul­tan­cy that spe­cial­izes in solv­ing cus­tomer expe­ri­ence prob­lems. Found­ed in 1998, our approach to enhanc­ing and inno­vat­ing cus­tomer expe­ri­ences is root­ed in the use of our cus­tomer-cen­tric design process, data-dri­ven insights, sto­ry­telling and dig­i­tal plat­forms. With strong cus­tomer insight capa­bil­i­ties pow­ered by our Ask­ing­Cana­di­ans online research com­mu­ni­ty, we are able to gain cus­tomer intel­li­gence to fuel our award-win­ning strat­e­gy and design teams. Delvinia works with lead­ing brands across a spec­trum of indus­tries, includ­ing finan­cial ser­vices, media and pub­lish­ing, edu­ca­tion, retail, hos­pi­tal­i­ty, health­care and tech­nol­o­gy. For more infor­ma­tion about Delvinia, please vis­it

About the Munk School for Glob­al Affairs
The Munk School of Glob­al Affairs speaks to the diverse set of com­plex ideas and chal­lenges shap­ing the glob­al sys­tem. The new­ly strong pow­ers in Asia, a glob­al plat­form of inno­va­tion, glob­al cap­i­tal mar­kets, the chal­lenges of secu­ri­ty in cyber­space, the secu­ri­ty of the Arc­tic, and new con­cepts of glob­al jus­tice are all engaged by out­stand­ing fac­ul­ty and researchers drawn from across the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, Canada’s pre­mier research uni­ver­si­ty. With excep­tion­al degree pro­grams and inno­v­a­tive research labs, the School attracts thought-lead­ers and stu­dents from around the world who are deeply engaged in glob­al affairs. It is home to the flag­ship Mas­ter of Glob­al Affairs and over forty research insti­tutes and pro­grams. For more infor­ma­tion, please vis­it:

About the Inno­va­tions & Part­ner­ships Office at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
The Inno­va­tions & Part­ner­ships Office (IPO) helps build suc­cess­ful part­ner­ships between indus­try and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to research com­mu­ni­ty and man­ages U of T’s port­fo­lio of intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty – turn­ing ideas and inno­va­tions into prod­ucts, ser­vices, com­pa­nies, and jobs.

About Mitacs Accel­er­ate
Mitacs Accel­er­ate, the pro­gram fund­ing Nicole Good­man, is a nation­al pro­gram to sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tion between aca­d­e­m­ic researchers and pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies. Mitacs grate­ful­ly acknowl­edges the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da, the Net­works of Cen­tres of Excel­lence’s Indus­tri­al Research and Devel­op­ment Intern­ship pro­gram and the Gov­ern­ment of Ontario for their sup­port of Mitacs Accel­er­ate in the province.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Susan O’Neill
Pub­lic Rela­tions Man­ag­er
416.364.1455 ext. 272

Sean Wil­lett
Chief of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
Munk School of Glob­al Affairs