What is FWD50

FWD50 is a groundbreaking new government technology event. It’s a three-day conversation on digital transformation held in Canada’s capital city, bringing together citizens, the public service, elected officials, technologists, and innovative thinkers from around the world.

Because it’s time for some forward thinking.



The FWD50 Personality

Here’s what we believe

  • Pragmatic: What can we change in 50 days? What’s the world like in 50 years? We need to streamline today as much as we imagine tomorrow.
  • Unafraid: Everything is up for discussion. We call out the elephant in the room and aren’t afraid of sacred cows.
  • Subversive: We’re after small, seemingly innocuous ideas that can have big, transformative consequences.
  • Inclusive: Change only works when it helps everyone. We’re focused on improving the lives of all citizens.
  • Transformative: Done right, government is a platform atop which we can create a better world.

This is more than a conference. It’s a conversation about what we can be when we steer progress towards our better selves.


High Level Agenda


The event offers 3 days of workshops, keynotes, and plenary sessions on government technology innovation.

You’ll hear timely, hard-hitting discussions with govtech leaders from around the world on critical policy issues. We’ll use unconventional formats, from lightning talks and chain reaction panels to workshops and Oxford Debates to drive engagement with a focus on proven approaches that turn technologies into positive outcomes for citizens.

What we’re discussing

The content and conversations are pulled from today’s headlines, exploring how technology can address some of our greatest challenges.

Key topic areas

Labor employment
Electoral efficiency
National security
Crime, justice, and policing
Digital identity and privacy

Critical Challenges

Security and privacy in a connected society
Automation, regulation, and transparency
Aging populations
Food production
Transitioning resource economies
Civil rights and the digital divide
First Nations and northern regions
Pollution and Climate Change
Transgenics and biotech regulation 


Why now?

We’re at a singular time in human history. Digital technology and a connected citizenry let us rethink every aspect of government. There’s tremendous potential to dramatically improve the lives of everyone, increasing engagement and dialogue while streamlining bureaucracy.

Yet most discussions of technological advancement are either demonized as a job-stealing, privacy-violating terror, or seen as a panacea that will rescue us all from ourselves.

We believe there’s a middle ground—a way forward that shapes technology to benefit us, building the kind of society we want, atop it.

With proper stewardship, technology can make the lives of all Canadians better.

In the immediate future, it can streamline the way Canada governs, improving antiquated processes and updating how citizens and the government interact at every level. In the long term, we can reimagine what’s possible for us as a nation, anticipating pitfalls while putting the best innovations to work.

This conversation has to start now. We’re creating FWD50 as a place for it to happen. And we want you to join us.

About the Organizing Team

FWD50 is an initiative of Embrase, a seasoned team with decades of experience launching and growing extraordinary events for diverse audiences in iconic locations. We’re behind Startupfest, ResolveTO, and the Elevator World Tour.

1361-2 Greene Avenue, Westmount, Quebec H3Z 2A5 Canada