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Fall conference seeks solutions to Northern Ontario challenges

Northern Policy Institute's Northern Directions will take place Nov. 16-18 in North Bay
North Bay aerial
City of North Bay

Northern Directions is an initiative from Northern Policy Institute that starts conversations and instigates discussions between all types of parties to propose actions, priorities, and solutions that can address the challenges faced by regions of Northern Ontario. By doing so, Northern Directions stimulates social, sustainable, and economic development in the regions of Northern Ontario.

The goal of Northern Directions is to explore evidence-based interventions and policies that will spur growth in the various regions of Northern Ontario. The conference invites the private sector, policymakers, academics, and the public to meet, exchange information, and set priorities tied to specific actions and assigned to specific actors for the coming 12 months.

The Northern Directions conference will operate annually as a hybrid virtual and in-person conference. A hybrid approach will not only address the lingering results of COVID-19 but also acknowledges the reality of travelling across the vast geography of Northern Ontario. This approach will maximize the diversity of delegates and ensure that the findings reflect the needs of our communities.

Each year, the conference’s delegates are updated on progress against the prior year’s goals. Annual evaluations of investment attraction and economic growth initiatives and the implementation of prior year action items will measure the progress of the project and how successfully our communities are growing.

The 2022 Northern Directions conference is scheduled to be a two-and-a-half-day event on Nov. 16, 17 and 18, 2022. This year’s conference will be held in combination with the annual meeting and conference of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation.

The main theme of Northern Directions 2022 is “Working to Scale.” This theme touches on how rural and remote communities, especially those in Northern Ontario and similar locations, can scale best practices, initiatives, and programs to best fit their communities. Discussions will develop around sub-themes such as reconciliation, revitalization and reinvestment, population retention and welcoming, regional transportation, and revenue generation, all focused on rural and remote contexts.

The event will consist of three keynote presentations, multiple paper presentation sessions, two panels, chance for a community visit, and a poster competition. More details are coming soon.

About NPI: Northern Policy Institute is Northern Ontario’s independent, evidence-driven think tank. We perform research, analyze data, and disseminate ideas. Our mission is to enhance Northern Ontario's capacity to take the lead position on socioeconomic policy that impacts our communities, our province, our country, and our world.