The central focus of CACP is on policy, writ broadly. Traditionally policy can be thought of as a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy articulates intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by a decision-making function within an organization. More broadly, public policy focuses on addressing interests related to the public sphere – social, economic, and political, and management of those interests.
Policy is mutable and responds to a variety of inputs – and is an iterative process by which the convergence of actions yields a change in societal structure and interactions. It can be thought of as a set of interrelated decisions concerning the selection of goals and the means of achieving them within a specified situation where those decisions should, in principle, be within the power of those actors to achieve.
Innovation needs not be applied just to technology. CACP’s multi-disciplinary researchers work together to explore new approaches to policy development. These range from the inclusion of a wide array of stakeholders into envision social and educational impacts of technology implementation to application of alternative policy approaches such as design-thinking to achieve desired social outcomes. These inclusive approaches encourages citizens, policy designers, planners, and agencies to work in a collaborative and iterative manner.
The most important skill for policy innovation is to ‘imagine the world from multiple perspectives – those of colleagues, clients, end‐users, and customers (current and prospective). By gathering and consolidating a varied and healthy representation of different stakeholders who both are affected and would affect the policy in the policy formulation process, from the beginning, public policies can more closely approach an inclusive outcome.