So I have some personal employment news to pass along. I would very much like to this keep short and sweet — it’s tedious when someone rattles on about his employment — but it’s complicated. Sorry. Bear with me.
First, I am no longer editor of the Institute for Research on Public Policy’s Policy Options. Although I was only in charge for a little more than a year, it was a pleasure to take the helm of a venerable Canadian institution, give it a thorough re-think, and turn it into an open digital forum for serious discussions of Canadian public policy. It’s still too early to judge but it looks as if the experiment was a success. Traffic is up 150% from the previous year and the roster of contributors has expanded enormously. Even more promisingly, the new Policy Options has formidable resources which will, I hope, give my successor the capacity to make it the central node of public life I know it can be — and that Canada needs.
A huge thank you to Shirley, Chantal, Francesca, Felice and Alex. And to Graham Fox for his open-mindedness and generosity. Best of luck to you all.
So what next? Here’s where it gets complicated.
First, I’m going to write another book. I have a fairly well-rounded mental image of what it will be but the work is still at the very earliest stages so I won’t discuss what it’s about just now.
No, that’s not complicated. The complicated part is that in addition to writing a book, I’m going all entrepreneurial and hanging out my shingle.
I’ve been writing and lecturing about risk, forecasting, psychology, communication, and decision-making since 2008 and many times I’ve been asked to consult on this or that. I always declined because I was too busy. Or because I was a staff employee, which precluded consulting. But mostly, I was too busy.
No longer. “Dan Gardner — journalist, author, lecturer” is now “Dan Gardner — journalist, author, lecturer, consultant.”
What shall people consult me about? Whatever they like, really. I’m happy to give advice about anything, from how to dress (no brown around town) to what’s wrong with the Montreal Canadiens (they’re the Habs — go Bruins!). But policy and communications advice is the only thing I expect people would pay me for so I’ll put that on the business card.
Happily, I have my first customer. In the very official language of Langevin Block, “Dan has accepted an offer to work with the Prime Minister’s Office. His work will focus on advising the prime minister and his senior staff on analyzing complex information to arrive at better decisions. In other words, Dan is being asked to put the methodology described in his book, Superforecasting, to work for PMO.”
My first strategic insight for the prime minister: Always take Australia. The extra two armies may not seem like much but they really add up over time.
If you want to know more, drop me an email.