JLT Canada’s inaugural Public Sector Summit 2017 delivered a number of engaging sessions led by some of Canada’s boldest and brightest speakers. Topics ranged from mental resiliency and positive psychology, to post-traumatic stress, cyber security, the impact of severe weather, infrastructure, leadership and the future of the Canadian economy.
With new economic, environmental and human realities affecting communities on a daily basis, a number of challenges emerge. Through surveying and conversing with the delegates, the following topics were brought to the forefront:
Looking ahead to 2050 and beyond
The majority of delegates believe that crumbling infrastructure is the biggest potential challenge in the period leading up to 2050, followed by environmental issues and the ability to keep pace with emerging technology capabilities. Only a few attendees felt that the ability to integrate new Canadians into the community was a top concern.
Upgrading Canada’s infrastructure to become a greater priority
By 2028, the Federal Government is expected to invest $186 billion in existing and new infrastructure projects. The majority of delegates believe that upgrading and replacing crumbling infrastructure, investing in ‘green’ and environmentally-conscious infrastructure and investing in IT and digital infrastructure are the most important drivers of success for the Canadian Public Sector.
When asked about the single greatest potential impact on the Canadian economy in the next 25 years, many delegates say tech innovations will be the number one priority. This demonstrates a greater need for more innovative products, software and other technological capabilities in the Public Sector space.
Post-traumatic stress (PTSD) takes a toll on municipal employees
There is growing awareness of the negative impact that PTSD can have on municipal employees, especially first responders. As such, prioritizing the needs of people with PTSD and providing the necessary support both in the workplace and community will be a key driver of success in the future. Following the discussion on mental health, it was discovered that many municipalities have hosted workshops on PTSD to educate their community and municipal-level employees to build awareness and remove the stigma associated with the disorder. Others indicated that they have created communications and visual messaging to build awareness and encourage people to come together to support one another. Whereas, only a few municipalities appear not to have any programs in place for PTSD.
Cybersecurity a growing threat to municipalities
When asked about the security landscape, more than half of the delegates believe that increased investment in the protection of critical IT systems is the most important investment when looking to create a safer, more secure environment. Educating residents on security related matters and increased investment in physical security were also top priorities.
Risk management to prepare for the future
The topic of managing risk and the total costs associated with such programs are becoming more prevalent in the Public Sector. Most delegates believe that their municipality has a structured claims management process in place and some employ a risk manager to help mitigate incidents before they happen. Surprisingly only a few think that there are metrics in place to evaluate the risk management processes and monitor the results. These startling findings reveal that much more needs to be done to manage future risks and be prepared for what is to come.
For more information on these findings, please contact ClientFirst@jltcanada.com.