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Non-profit Shares its Economic Expertise

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Given the constant fluctuations in the economy, it is essential to be aware of the key issues affecting the markets today. But, as experts in forecasting and minimizing risk, actuaries also have to keep an eye on the future.

The website of the Conference Board of Canada aims to make it a little easier to remain on top of current and forthcoming economic trends, thanks to extensive research.
Describing itself as "the foremost independent, not-for-profit applied research organization in Canada", the board says its mission is to "build leadership capacity for a better Canada by creating and sharing insights on economic trends, public policy and organizational performance".
To achieve that goal, its website offers a range of research papers and analysis—some free, some paid-for—aimed at financial professionals. Recent topics include:
  • Thought leadership in risk and governance;
  • A quarterly index of business confidence, the result of sending 10 qualitative questions to senior officers of around 1,500 Canadian business organizations;
  • The importance of measuring patient experience and outcomes when integrating health systems;
  • A study of the U.S. economy;
  • Senior management compensation; and
  • De-risking for long-term success.
 The research is divided into subject areas. For example, the papers and webinars in the Risk Management category include:
  • Re-Thinking Risk: How to Proactively Approach Large External Risks;
  • The Role of the Board in Fraud Risk Management; and
  • The Adoption and Diffusion of Risk Governance Structures and Practices.
 Although most reports are in English, hundreds are available in French, along with Québec-focused analysis and studies.
Besides the paid-for material, the site also includes free studies, speeches, and commentaries, on subjects like:
  • Women in senior management;
  • The case for regionalism;
  • Whether Cuba could be the next China; and
  • The federal budget.
 The organization also offers conferences and access to e-data, plus a free e-magazine, Inside Edge, which currently features articles on such issues as tax reform, leadership, and workplace mental health.

Pros: the diversity of information; the clear layout.
Con: the cost of certain material may be prohibitive to some.

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