About Big Thinking

The breakfast is hot—and so are the ideas

How big is big? Formerly known as Breakfast on the Hill, the Federation's Big Thinking lecture series lets leading researchers offer fresh ideas to Canada’s parliamentarians—and the results are often as big as the thinking. Perhaps more than any other program or lecture series, this one demonstrates the critical link between publicly funded research and policy development.

Launched in 1994, the Big Thinking series has featured more than 50 humanists and social scientists presenting their findings to thousands of key members in the Ottawa policy community. Held up to six times a year, Big Thinking lectures are delivered when the House and Senate are in session. The talks are high profile opportunities to introduce evidence from current research on the most pressing public policy issues.

Relevant, focussed, and timely

With lecture topics included at the request of policy developers, the Big Thinking series helps the Federation demonstrate our research community’s ability to offer timely findings and breakthrough perspectives on a range of subjects. The series also helps emphasize to elected officials and policy-makers the healthy link between the social sciences and humanities and the development of sound public policy.

Because big thinking can also happen in small groups, researchers featured in the series also have opportunity for one-on-one meetings with MPs and leaders in federal departments. On an ad-hoc basis, lecturers can also participate in regional government discussions, media interviews, and informal presentations in smaller settings.

Free for parliamentarians and the media and accessible to the public for $20, Big Thinking talks are held in the prestigious and historical parliamentary restaurant. The 25-minute presentations begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by a question-and-answer period.

And of course, a hot breakfast is served.

Register now for the next Big Thinking lecture.