Strategic Intelligence Series

Designing a Made-in-Canada China Strategy: Leveraging Urban Soft-power Advantage

Canada is a Pacific nation with an unprecedented opportunity to enhance its competitive advantage globally by building a strategic partnership with China.

The key to developing a successful Canada-China relationship that is mutually beneficial is to maximize the strategic options available to Canadian political, business, and community leaders.

This strategy design book provides Canadian leaders with a comprehensive framework for engaging with China that goes beyond the transactional approach of a trade-based foreign policy.

How this Guidebook is Structured

Part One (The Pivot) provides an overview of Canada’s “mini-pivot” to China in the context of increasing geo-political risk and geo-economic uncertainty.

Part Two (The Challenge) examines the structural challenges that Canada and China confront as they transition to knowledge-based global economy.

Part Three (The Opportunity) examines how Canada’s urban “soft-power” advantage can be leveraged more effectively to expand the number of strategic options available to Canadian political and business leaders.

Part Four (The Strategy) provides an iterative strategy design model as a way of creating powerful synergies in critical economic areas that augment the country’s status as a secondary global power.

Strategic City-Making in an Uncertain World

Cities may be constitutionally subordinate to the nation-state, but they play a global leadership role in managing a complex array of policy issues. The shift to a knowledge-based urban economy will further raise the premium of municipal leadership around the world.

In Canada, forward-looking metropolitan regions and middle-sized cities that receive adequate support building the next-generation of “hard” and “soft” infrastructures have a realistic hope of securing a “second mover” advantage in a qualitatively different stage of economic and social development.

That is why strengthening municipal leadership is not only in Canada’s long-term economic interest, it is a strategic imperative.


A Primer on the Global Knowledge-Mobility Nexus

The knowledge-mobility nexus is a multi-disciplinary analytic framework that both public and private sector managers can use to better anticipate the cascading effects of disruptive change and to leverage next-generation opportunities for strategic advantage.

As a forward-looking document that examines the complex intersection of three international mega-trends, it is also a useful backgrounder for Developing A Global Mindset: Adopting a Strategic Approach to Knowledge Mobilization. 

How this Guidebook is Structured

Part One surveys the geopolitical shifts and realignments are overturning many core assumptions about international power relations and systems of governance.

Part Two examines how self-organizing global mobility networks increase their power and velocity by incorporating innovative ideas from diverse knowledge sources.

Part Three reviews the key characteristics of urban knowledge and innovation capitals.