The 2023 Spring Tune Up – Recap

It’s been a couple of weeks since ACFO-ACAF hosted our first Hybrid Spring Tune Up, on June 6.
After 4 years of not being able to gather in person, we welcomed guests in person and online to our highly anticipated professional development event. We had the honour of hosting 700+ members at the Shaw Centre and an additional 1,300+ online from across the country, making this year’s event our biggest professional development event yet. This year, we dove into the role of the public service in a changing world, through engaging and informative presentations delivered from our amazing line up of speakers.

The 2023 Spring Tune Up kicked off with our wonderful emcee, award-winning journalist, Rachel Gilmore. Guests were welcomed with warm opening remarks followed by a land acknowledgement, as the ACFO-ACAF office and the in-person event rests on the traditional and unceded land of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. ACFO-ACAF president Dany Richard then took the stage to personally welcome every guest and gave updates on all things ACFO-ACAF, including, initiatives, advocacy, upcoming projects, and exciting events.

Our first speaker was none other than the enthusiastic and inspirational former mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi. During his presentation, he highlighted five simultaneous crises facing civilization. Through various analogies we were shown that, as a country, we’re in our wet clay moment and the future is ours to mould.

After a networking break, we had the honour of welcoming Tyler Meredith, former chief economic advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, to the stage for a very enlightening presentation on the relationship between public servants and MP’s. He was able to share a lot of insight on this relationship and its realities by illustrating his points with his own experiences.

After the lunch break, we had a thought-provoking presentation from the founder of The Why Not Lab,  who flew in all the way from Denmark, Dr. Christina J. Colclough. AI is a very popular topic these days and there are pros and cons to its advancement. Dr. Colclough’s presentation allowed us to understand the role AI is playing in the future of public services and this led to a very engaging question period with the audience.

The event continued with guest speaker Emilie Nicolas, political affairs columnist, and podcast host, taking the stage. It is undoubtable that the world around us is ever changing and in the public service we feel these changes heavily, especially within the political sphere. Emilie’s presentation dove into the current political realities in 2023 and what we can expect moving forward.

We closed out the event by welcoming author, academic and filmmaker, Dr. Raven Sinclair. Through her own testimony and detailed examples, we were able to discuss the importance of accountable communications and indigenous ethics. It is important that, as public servants, we are conscious of these things if we wish to truly contribute to and reach real reconciliation.

Every year we look forward to hosting our members at our highly anticipated Spring Tune Up event. It is an honour to host such great members and welcome amazing speakers that allow the Spring Tune Up to be one of the most engaging, fun, and anticipated Professional Development events of the year. This would also not be possible without the constant effort that the entire ACFO-ACAF team put into planning this event. We look forward to seeing you all next year at the 2024 Spring Tune up! You won’t want to miss it.

A video recording of the event will be available to ACFO-ACAF members through the member portal, until July 10.  If you’re unaware of your member number to log into the portal, contact to assist you in retrieving your member number.

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