Providing a Voice – Ryan Clarke, Advocacy Solutions

As young leaders, we are constantly encouraged to find our passion and look for opportunities to galvanize others to drive change with us. Mr. Ryan Clarke, President of Advocacy Solutions, aspires to give everyone the tools to become an advocate for their own passion. His team provides necessary resources to organizations and individuals to become the most impactful proponents of change in their communities. OLIP is proud to be sponsored by such an inspiring organization and have the opportunity to learn from Mr. Clarke’s expertise.

In a condensed module, we learned about the power of storytelling as a key ingredient to changemaking. Mr. Clarke shared lessons of perseverance through his own journey starting as a family lawyer, moving into politics and eventually becoming President of his own company with speaking initiatives across the country. One of the most fascinating parts of his discussion was his distinction between advocacy and activism. He described advocacy, as a fact driven, sustained pursuit towards change and activism as an emotionally driven means for  reform. With this difference in mind, he suggested that the key to achieving your advocacy goal, is to ensure a succinct “one ask” that clearly identifies to your audience your overall need.

The most powerful advocates are those that have a personal connection and story to tell. Thank you so much, Mr. Clarke for sharing yours, we will be sure to keep our “one ask” in mind as we start our own journeys at the Legislature this year. We sincerely appreciate all of your support to the OLIP programme and taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with us.


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The Interns are BACK with our first sponsorship meeting

The interns are back! The 2018/2019 OLIP year has begun, and we are so incredibly grateful and excited to have this opportunity. We hit the ground running on September 5, and we have been in (what seems to be) nonstop meetings ever since. So far, we love it! Come follow along on our journey to see how this year unfolds.

Our first sponsor meeting was with Tim Smitheman, Senior Government Affairs Advisor of Enbridge. We met Tim at the Union Gas, Enbridge office in downtown Toronto and were blown away by his candidness and energy. As a former political staffer, Tim had a wealth of knowledge to share with us about government relations as well as the energy sector. He was so patient with us as we asked several questions about the energy sector, and he was able to communicate some of its complexities in a more accessible way. Throughout the meeting, there was much laughter and sharing. One piece of advice that stuck with us is to use this internship as an opportunity to foster relationships and friendships. The business of government relations (GR) only works when there is a network of trust amongst colleagues, and this, perhaps, includes making connections across party lines. Even if one isn’t working in GR, Queen’s Park is an exceptional place to meet new friends and mentors. 

We want to thank Enbridge for welcoming us to your office and, of course, for being an invaluable sponsor to OLIP.