Public interaction

We Value People

To foster a community of engaged citizens, the Foundation organizes and provides financial and logistical support for some twenty events every year, attracting hundreds of participants. The Public Interaction Program brings together all Trudeau award winners – Fellows, Scholars and Mentors – to generate informed and lively debate on major issues of public policy affecting Canadians and global society. The Foundation is building a community of creative and critical thinkers and providing ways for them to work together with the wider public to develop and communicate ideas that matter.

We Build Connections

The program brings together thinkers and decision-makers from the public, private and NGO sectors, as well as high-ranking civil servants, renowned scholars and young researchers, who all wish to engage in a rich and stimulating dialogue. The members of this critical, provocative, informed and engaged network collaborate on the transformation of great ideas into concrete improvements for Canada and the world.

We Encourage Audacity

Our unique public activities are organized to reflect a particular approach – nicknamed “KATE” for Knowledge Acquisition, Transfer and Exchange. We believe that the best solutions emerge when individuals from different generations and different backgrounds focus on a problem together; when technical, scientific and policy innovations are informed by outstanding contributions from intellectual fields rich in deep cultural understanding, from ethics to literature and from geography to law; and when new patterns of human behaviours are revealed and deep cultural understanding achieved.


  • Number of events organized between 2003-2012: 99
  • Total annual attendance at Trudeau events: 2,000
  • Four annual Trudeau events: the Conference on Public Policy (November), the Mentors-Scholars Retreat (January/February), the Summer Institute (May), and the five Trudeau Lectures Series
  • Several other events organized by Fellows, Mentors or Scholars are held every year
  • Amount spent through PIP from 2003 to 2012: $11.1 million
  • Typically the second largest program expense for the Foundation: 35%
  • Portion of overall Foundation expenses: 25% in 2011-2012