About Us

Our Vision

A Canada that is prosperous, resilient and equitable, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive in the midst of unprecedented social and technological change.  

Our Mission

To transform bold ideas into real-world solutions designed to help Canada navigate the complex forces and astounding possibilities of the innovation economy. 

Our Story


he Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) was made possible by the vision of two prominent Canadian leaders: Sheldon Levy and Jack Cockwell.

As a former President of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University), Sheldon had overseen an explosion of innovation and entrepreneurial talent within the university. He saw the need to continue translating these successes to a larger, national stage. The Institute is inspired by best-in-class examples like Nesta in the United Kingdom and the Kauffman Foundation in the United States.

As a long-time collaborator of Sheldon and a strong supporter of the university, Jack Cockwell, along with the Brookfield Partners Foundation, helped turn this vision into reality by providing a generous $16 million donation to seed the Institute.

The new Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship was announced in early 2015. Since then, executive director Sean Mullin and the leadership team have been building a multi-disciplinary roster of economists, researchers, policy professionals, communicators, program managers and administrative staff to activate BII+E’s mission and build upon Sheldon and Jack’s vision for the institute. In June 2016, BII+E released a first-of-its-kind report measuring the impact that automation is likely to have on Canadian jobs, which garnered national media attention and influenced government policy. In July, the inaugural State of Canada’s Tech Sector report measured the size and economic impact of technology companies and technology related jobs. Since then, a steady stream of ground-breaking BII+E research has informed the innovation policy debate in Canada.

Acting on Sheldon and Jack’s shared commitment to helping young people succeed, BII+E has also partnered with government and community groups to explore ways of promoting and disseminating digital literacy across Ontario, with a focus on underserved communities to support broad-based inclusion in the innovation economy. While the institute focuses on all aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship, it endeavours to provide special attention to youth-focused opportunities, educational partnerships, programs and initiatives.

BII+E is continuing to partner and collaborate with various levels of government, community organizations, private-sector enterprises, Indigenous groups and a wide network of researchers and experts who share an interest in the institute’s work.

Our Approach

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship tests assumptions with credible research to ensure Canadian governments and businesses are focusing on the most relevant issues and opportunities for Canada.

Our multi-disciplinary teams focus on forward-looking work streams which we believe are critical to Canada’s future economic success. They build collaborative relationships with our partners to generate rigorous research, propose unconventional approaches and pilot ideas to explore how Canada’s innovation economy can include people of different ages, incomes and backgrounds.

Skills for an Innovation-Driven Economy

We seek to understand future skill demands across Canada to help companies and people gain the skills they need to thrive in an innovation-driven economy.

An Innovative + Inclusive Economy

We examine the distribution of risks and benefits in Canada’s innovation economy and explore how to improve equity and broaden participation.

Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

This work stream maps entrepreneurship, start-up and scale-up activity across Canada to better understand the areas of growth and opportunity, and to inform policies aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed.


Our Team


Sean Mullin
Executive Director
Mark Hazelden
Senior Director


At BII+E, we believe strongly in an open and collaborative approach to problem-solving. We are deliberately building opportunities to engage external experts early in our research process. If you are interested in exploring a collaboration with BII+E, please contact Erin Ellis, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, at ellis.erin@ryerson.ca.

AJ Tibando
Executive Director, Palette Inc.
Amos Zehavi
Research Fellow
Anne-Marie Mulumba
Asher Zafar
Project Lead, Data Science
Ashleigh Montague
Brent Barron
Director, Public Policy, CIFAR
Brian Bohunicky
Vice-President of Policy, Public Policy Forum
Dan Breznitz
Research Fellow
Daniel Munro
Research Advisor
Darren Elias
David Rubinger
Data Scientist, Polar
Denise Hearn
Co-author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition
Emma Loewen
Research Assistant
Gaga Boskovic
Public Policy Associate, CIFAR
Heather Russek
Collaborator, Innovation Design + Futures
Jessica Thornton
Jill Earthy
Principal, Risery Consulting
John Knubley
Consultant and former Deputy Minister, Government of Canada
Jon Medow
Project Advisor
Josephine Tsui
Kenan Fikri
Research Director, Economic Innovation Group
Kim de Laat
Postdoctoral fellow at Brock University, Department of Sociology
Linda Nguyen
Marlena Flick
Policy Lead, Public Policy Forum
Matthew Mendelsohn
Co-founder of First Policy Response at Ryerson University and a Senior Advisor to BCG’s Global Public Sector Practice
Noah Zon
Co-founder and Principal of Springboard Policy
Rob Willoughby
Data Analyst
Robert Asselin
Sarah Doyle
Chief Of Staff, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
Sean Speer
Sheldon Levy
Special Advisor to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
Simona Ramkisson
Stephanie Fielding
Policy + Research Analyst
Steve Denney
Research Collaborator
Tara O’Neil
Futures Researcher
Thomas Goldsmith

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board is comprised of thought leaders, prominent academics, distinguished business leaders, philanthropists and senior public leaders—all with a connection to the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship. Members of the Advisory Board provide guidance on the Institute’s overall direction and strategy.

Janice Fukakusa C.M.
Janice Fukakusa C.M.
Chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University
Nadir Mohamed
Nadir Mohamed
Former CEO and President, Rogers Communications
Sachin Shah
Sachin Shah
Chief Investment Officer, Brookfield Asset Management

Funding Relationships

The Brookfield Institute proudly engages a diverse group of funders to support, inform, and catalyze our work, consistent with our values, and subject to a thorough internal review. As a non-partisan, public-interest institute, we only accept funds from organizations that support our mission and enable us to undertake work independently with full editorial control. The names of all financial supporters are publicly and transparently displayed on all online and printed material. 

We are always looking for new partners. Interested in working with us? For more information, contact Mark Hazelden, our Director of Business Development, mark.hazelden@ryerson.ca.

Relationship with Toronto Metropolitan University

The Brookfield Institute is housed within Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson University), one of Canada’s most prominent universities and a national leader in integrating innovation and entrepreneurship into its core educational mandate.

The Institute’s focus is external-facing and national in scope. To achieve our mission, we intend to work with all parties—academics, students, entrepreneurs, business executives and public sector leaders—across all organizations, without limitations or restrictions.

The Institute is governed by an independent Advisory Board, which provides strategic direction and oversees the Institute’s leadership team.

The Brookfield Institute and Toronto Metropolitan University are strong partners, but with separate voices. We are immensely proud of this relationship and believe it will mutually benefit both partners— and Canada—for many years to come.

Contact Us

On Location

Suite 921
20 Dundas St W.
Toronto, ON M5G 2C2

Entrance: Atrium on Bay, just west of Yonge Street on Dundas West. Just west of Dundas subway station.

Media Inquiries

Contact Nina Rafeek to arrange an interview with one of our leaders, Fellows or staff, or for additional information on our events, publications or other related material.