Communications Strategy for Policy Workshop (Humanities & Social Sciences)

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Communications Strategy for Policy Workshop (Humanities & Social Sciences)

An 80-minute hybrid workshop on communications strategies for policy advocacy, conducted by Dr. Heidi Tworek and Kshitij (KJ) Sharan.

By Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions

When and where

Date and time

Tue, May 16, 2023 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM PDT


xʷθəθiqətəm (Place of Many Trees), Liu Institute for Global Issues 6476 NW Marine Drive Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada

About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

About the Workshop

Professor Heidi Tworek and Kshitij (KJ) Sharan will lead an 80-minute hybrid workshop on communications strategies for policy advocacy. Communications strategies are living documents that express the objectives, audiences, messages, and channels of each of your outreach activities. These strategies can make the difference between policy products that reach a receptive audience and those that sink without a trace. The workshop is open to students, faculty, and staff at UBC. This workshop will focus on policy briefs for research in the 'sciences'. A separate workshop will be held for the ‘humanities and social sciences’ and more details can be found here.

This workshop is part of the Policy Communications Workshop series run by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at UBC, in partnership with the Knowledge Exchange Unit, VPRI.

Topics will include:

  • Why do we need a comms strategy?
  • Elements of a comms strategy
  • Potential pitfalls

The Zoom link for those who registered to attend online and workshop resources will be sent to the email address provided 1-2 days before the workshop.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Heidi Tworek

Dr. Heidi Tworek is a Canada Research Chair and associate professor of international history and public policy at UBC. Her work examines history and policy around communications, particularly the effects of new media technologies on democracy. She is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation as well as a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. She co-edits the Journal of Global History.

Alongside writing policy reports on topics including Covid-19 communications and online harassment, Heidi has briefed or advised officials and policymakers from governments around the world on media, democracy, and the digital economy. Her writing has been published and featured in major magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Politico, The Globe & Mail, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Financial Times, CNN, and many others. She also writes a monthly column for the Centre for International Governance Innovation. ​

Heidi’s interest in democracy was spurred by writing her prize-winning book, News from Germany: The Competition to Control World Communications, 1900-1945 (Harvard University Press, 2019). Alongside co-editing four volumes, Heidi has published or has forthcoming over 45 book chapters and journal articles on media and communications, global history, and health. She is currently working on several projects, including global platform governance, the history and policy of health communications, and an edited volume on the interwar world. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, the United Nations Foundation, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Harvard University.

She received her BA (Hons) in Modern and Medieval Languages with a double first from Cambridge University and earned her MA and PhD in History from Harvard University. Heidi has held visiting fellowships at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, the Transatlantic Academy in Washington DC, Birkbeck, University of London, and the Centre for Contemporary History, Potsdam, Germany. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Visit Heidi’s website for more information or follow her on Twitter @HeidiTworek.

Kshitij (KJ) Sharan

Kshitij Sharan is the Strategy and Operations Lead at the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) at UBC. He has a Masters in Public Policy and Global Affairs from UBC and a BA in Economics and Political Science from McGill University. His work has ranged across sectors of education, water and sanitation, menstrual hygiene, gender equity, child protection and social entrepreneurship. He has been a founding member of medium to large scale non-profits and social enterprises in India, which has allowed him to engage deeply with decision-makers including ministers, parliamentarians, CEOs and communities. He was a founding member of one of India’s largest digital advocacy organizations, Global Citizen India, which uses the collective voice of the youth to hold decisionmakers accountable and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. Kshitij has also managed a political campaign during the 2019 Indian National Election and led strategy for an anti-trafficking organization in India. He is a Khemka Fellow, a StartingBloc School of Social Innovation Fellow and a Fellow at the Global Social Change Leadership Institute at the Wagner School of Public Service, New York University. For more, see

CSDI Policy Communications Workshop Series

Policy intersects with almost every academic field. Many research or knowledge products can effect greater change if they are also communicated to non-academic audiences in the policy world. CSDI will manage and conduct an integrated series of six workshops across UBC to help students, faculty, and staff communicate their research effectively to stakeholders for policy change.

Do you ask yourself any of the following questions as a member of the academic community at UBC?

  • How can my research create impact in the real world?
  • My research is technical. How will I communicate to important stakeholders and decision-makers, including the general public, so that it is used constructively?
  • How can I include policy communication in my grants?
  • What are the best policy communications vehicles to reach people?
  • Who can help me to write new genres and format them attractively?
  • If YES, then the CSDI Policy Communications Workshop series is for you! The policy communications workshop series is a component of the CSDI Policy Communications Consulting Clinic (CPCC).

What is CPCC?

The CSDI Policy Communications Clinic is a service for the policy communications and policy impact needs of students, staff, and faculty at UBC. CPCC offers workshops and individualized consulting hours to help develop policy communications products.

Read more about CPCC here.

About the Organizers

What is CSDI?

The Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI) is part of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It aims to advance interdisciplinary publicly-engaged research, teaching, and dissemination of knowledge about innovation in democratic practice and institutions. CSDI leads and participates in projects at the local (BC), national (Canada), and international levels.

Our interdisciplinary work seeks to:

  • Understand the past;
  • Analyze the present;
  • Train for the future.

Read more about CSDI here.

What is the Knowledge Exchange unit?

The UBC Knowledge Exchange team is part of the UBC Innovation Hub in the Vice President’s Office for Research and Innovation. We aim to build capacity among researchers, students and staff across disciplines to develop and share impactful knowledge through connections and exchange with communities, government, not-for-profit organizations and the general public.

About the organizer

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