An Inclusive Innovation Monitor for Canada: A discussion paper

In partnership, the Brookfield Institute and the Innovation Policy Lab introduce a new way to measure innovation and inclusion (or inclusive innovation) in Canada—and why we need it
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Daniel Munro
Research Advisor

About this Report

BII+E and the Innovation Policy Lab will develop the first integrated picture of inclusion and innovation (or inclusive innovation) in Canada that looks at how the country is performing relative to our peers. Canada’s first inclusive innovation monitor will help to generate a better understanding of innovation and inclusive growth and provide insight into the relationships between different indicators of  innovation, participation, and distribution. An innovation agenda that neglects equity and inclusion is both unjust and unwise. 

Researchers from BII+E and the Innovation Policy Lab, with assistance from graduate students at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, are designing a framework to understand and monitor the various dimensions of inclusive innovation; identifying key indicators of innovation and inclusion; populating the framework with relevant and internationally comparable data; and analyzing Canada’s performance in a global context. This discussion paper presents our preliminary thinking on the design, uses, and limitations of an inclusive innovation monitor

We invite policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to reflect on our proposed approach and offer insights and advice on how best to select, weigh, present and analyze relevant data. 

Read this report to help you:
  • Clarify what inclusive innovation means for Canada’s economy and why it matters
  • Understand how innovation affects opportunities to participate in and benefit from economic activity and, in turn, how the distribution of opportunities and benefits affects innovation performance
  • Consider how various dimensions of inclusive innovation can be measured and tracked over time  

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Why make innovation inclusive?

Persistent inequality in an age of technological progress and prosperity poses questions of fairness. When innovation and economic growth are strong, but only some people and communities are benefitting while others are being left behind—or even actively harmed—by innovation, we should be concerned. We should ask what changes private and public sector organizations could make in practice and policy to ensure that the economy works for everyone and not a select few. 

The inclusive innovation monitor aims to illuminate the distribution of harms, risks, benefits and opportunities associated with innovation activity in Canada, as well as the areas where change may be needed.


This is a joint project between the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) and the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.