Introduction to Policy Communications

Date & Time

Monday, September 25, 2023
12:30 pm to 2:00 pm


Hybrid: UBC C.K. Choi Building (1855 West Mall) or Zoom

Offered by

UBC’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI), Knowledge Exchange Unit, Graduate Pathways to Success

Registration Closed / Past Event


How can you share your research to influence policymakers? How can you get your perspectives, experiences and insights into policy debates?

Dr. Chris Tenove, KJ Sharan, and Seth Klein will lead an 80-minute hybrid workshop on strategies for policy communication and advocacy to answer these questions. We will work on communicating your research to a diverse set of policy audiences. We will discuss how to create and disseminate effective, inclusive, and powerful policy writing. And hopefully make policy communications more approachable! The workshop will also introduce and provide an overview of the topics and forms of writing that will be covered in successive CSDI Policy Communications Workshops. The workshop is open to students, faculty, and staff at UBC.

Topics will include:

  • Aims of policy communication
  • Identifying your audience
  • Choosing the right policy product
  • Framing and creativity
  • Formatting and design
  • Writing tips

Workshops in this series, click here for more information on this series



Chris Tenove is the Director (interim) director of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI), and a researcher and instructor at  the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the challenges that digital media pose to democracy and human rights, focusing on topics such as electoral disinformation, online harassment of politicians, and social media regulation. His policy reports on these topics include Trolled on the Campaign Trail: Online Incivility and Abuse in Canadian Politics (2020), Online hate in the pandemic (2022), and Not Just Words: How Reputational Attacks Harm Journalists and Undermine Press Freedom (2023). His peer-reviewed articles in journals such as International Journal of Press/Politics, Political Communication, and Political Research Quarterly. Before obtaining a PhD in Political Science, Chris worked in Canada and internationally as an award-winning journalist. His work has appeared in outlets including The Globe and Mail, The Tyee, Macleans’, The Walrus, The Conversation, Toronto Star, This American Life, and CBC’s The Current and Ideas.

Kshitij Sharan is the Head of Strategy and Operations 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 decision-makers 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

Seth Klein is the Team Lead and Director of Strategy of the Climate Emergency Unit (a 5-year project of the David Suzuki Institute that Seth launched in early 2021). Prior to that, he served for 22 years (1996-2018) as the founding British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social, economic and environmental justice. He is the author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (published in 2020) and writes a regular column for Canada’s National Observer. Seth is a founder and served for eight years as co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, a network of over 60 community organizations in BC campaigning for a comprehensive poverty reduction plan in BC. He is a founder and served for 10 years on the advisory committee of the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families campaign (and was co-creator of the methodology for calculating the living family wage, now used in about three dozen Canadian communities). And for 10 years he was a founder, advisor and instructor for Next Up, a leadership program for young people committed to social and environmental justice. Seth is a board member with the non-profit Dogwood, and an advisory board member for the Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance. A frequent media commentator on public policy issues, Seth regularly gives talks across the province and nationally. His research deals primarily with climate policy and climate justice, fiscal policy, taxation, welfare policy, poverty, inequality, economic security, and job creation. His research reports can be found on the CCPA’s website; and his policy commentary can be found primarily on the CCPA-BC’s blog."

Registration Information

General registration opens on Monday, September 11th at 9 am.

Registration is open to current UBC graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members and staff. After registering, you will receive an automated confirmation email. If you experience any difficulty using the online registration tool, please e-mail us at

Please email us if you are registered and are no longer able to attend this event.


If you have a disability or medical condition that may affect your full participation in the event, please email, 604-827-4578, well in advance of the event.