Canada-DPRK Relations Scenarios

CENARIOS ON THE FUTURE OF CANADA-DPRK RELATIONS Erich Weingartner, CanKor Editor, 15 October 2009
World class experts on North Korea have joined minds in the inaugural Virtual ThinkNet (VTN) Scenarios project. Using email and an internet-based virtual platform, more than 50 Canadian and international DPRK watchers, scholars, civil servants and NGO representatives have contributed to a process that is culminating in the creation of narratives that project four possible futures in Canada-DPRK relations within the next decade.
Grappling with the focal question, “Will Canada play a significant role in encouraging the DPRK towards regional peace and stability by
2020?” participants listed 78 major and minor “forces” that drive Canada’s role in the region. The most critical and uncertain of these drivers were then positioned on a matrix that produced parameters for four distinct futures. The four scenarios whose narratives are currently being written will be fed into a face-to-face consultation in Toronto on November 11th. At the day-long meeting, participants will formulate strategic options for Canadian policy at both governmental and civil society levels.
“Over the summer, our ‘Brain Trust’ of North Korea experts has been defining the place of Canada in a very complex region. Although Canada is one of the small number of Western countries that has diplomatic relations with the DPRK, it has so far played a very limited role, loosely defined as a ‘not-business-as-usual’ policy,” says VTN scenarios leader Miranda Weingartner. “Opinions are divided as to whether Canada should, or even could, play a more active role. While our Government has decided to take a back seat to the leadership of the USA in the region, some Canadian NGOs have urged a more active role, providing humanitarian assistance, English language education for North Koreans, and maintaining people-to-people contacts.”
Weingartner stresses that those involved in the Virtual ThinkNet’s ‘Brain Trust’ straddle a variety of professions and political allegiances. Some members are in the public service, and therefore participate anonymously.
“This is what differentiates our think-NET from the many think-TANKs out there,” says Weingartner. “Think tanks usually operate from an ideologically fixed position. Because of the inclusiveness of our Brain Trust, our scenarios promise to possess an authenticity that is unique.”
Sponsored by the Toronto-based Canada-DPR Korea Association, the project is managed by Weingartner Consulting, publishers of the CanKor newsletter. Weingartner Consulting’s Virtual ThinkNet hosts scenarios-building processes that mimic methodologies generally used in weeklong face-to-face workshops. With the help of Canadian tech-marketing company the SomaGroup, the VTN uses the depth and breadth of innovative social networking technologies to achieve a fertile collaboration that is accessible to busy professionals.Erich Weingartner, CanKor Editor, 15 October 2009

World class experts on North Korea have joined minds in the inaugural Virtual ThinkNet (VTN) Scenarios project. Using email and an internet-based virtual platform, more than 50 Canadian and international DPRK watchers, scholars, civil servants and NGO representatives have contributed to a process that is culminating in the creation of narratives that project four possible futures in Canada-DPRK relations within the next decade.

Grappling with the focal question, “Will Canada play a significant role in encouraging the DPRK towards regional peace and stability by 2020?” participants listed 78 major and minor “forces” that drive Canada’s role in the region. The most critical and uncertain of these drivers were then positioned on a matrix that produced parameters for four distinct futures. The four scenarios whose narratives are currently being written will be fed into a face-to-face consultation in Toronto on November 11th. At the day-long meeting, participants will formulate strategic options for Canadian policy at both governmental and civil society levels.

“Over the summer, our ‘Brain Trust’ of North Korea experts has been defining the place of Canada in a very complex region. Although Canada is one of the small number of Western countries that has diplomatic relations with the DPRK, it has so far played a very limited role, loosely defined as a ‘not-business-as-usual’ policy,” says VTN scenarios leader Miranda Weingartner. “Opinions are divided as to whether Canada should, or even could, play a more active role. While our Government has decided to take a back seat to the leadership of the USA in the region, some Canadian NGOs have urged a more active role, providing humanitarian assistance, English language education for North Koreans, and maintaining people-to-people contacts.”

Weingartner stresses that those involved in the Virtual ThinkNet’s ‘Brain Trust’ straddle a variety of professions and political allegiances. Some members are in the public service, and therefore participate anonymously.

“This is what differentiates our think-NET from the many think-TANKs out there,” says Weingartner. “Think tanks usually operate from an ideologically fixed position. Because of the inclusiveness of our Brain Trust, our scenarios promise to possess an authenticity that is unique.”

Sponsored by the Toronto-based Canada-DPR Korea Association, the project is managed by Weingartner Consulting, publishers of the CanKor newsletter. Weingartner Consulting’s Virtual ThinkNet hosts scenarios-building processes that mimic methodologies generally used in weeklong face-to-face workshops. With the help of Canadian tech-marketing company the SomaGroup, the VTN uses the depth and breadth of innovative social networking technologies to achieve a fertile collaboration that is accessible to busy professionals.

2 Responses to “Canada-DPRK Relations Scenarios”

  1. Term Papers Says:

    It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also get knowledge, from these type of blog, nice entry. Thanks


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