An Inclusive Innovative Monitor for Canada

In partnership, the Brookfield Institute and the Munk School’s Innovation Policy Lab present the first integrated framework to explore the relationship between innovation and inclusion in Canada

Project Team

Daniel Munro
Research Advisor
Dan Breznitz
Research Fellow
Sarah Doyle
Director of Policy + Research
Erin Warner
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Nisa Malli
Work Stream Manager, Innovative + Inclusive Economy

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.

Why we’re doing this project

Innovation is a core ingredient in the prosperity and well-being of a community. New or improved services, products, and processes––and the business and social benefits they generate––shape economic performance, as well as individual and community well-being. As many reports and scorecards have revealed, however, Canada’s innovation performance is lacklustre when compared to our international peers. Improving Canada’s innovation performance requires a clear understanding of the various opportunities, capacities, activities, and structural conditions that comprise the innovation ecosystem.

At the same time, economists and policymakers are realizing that a focus on innovation and economic growth alone can create large disparities between various demographics and income levels. In fact, there is increasing evidence that inequality of opportunity and resources “obstructs, subverts, and distorts” innovation and growth by preventing the development and effective use of skills, knowledge and creativity. While innovation can generate substantial economic and social benefits––often those benefits are captured by a select few rather than more equitably distributed among groups and regions. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have highlighted and exacerbated these disparities, giving us both the opportunity and the obligation to enhance equity in economic participation and distribution. This is needed both to foster a more inclusive and equitable economy and to improve innovation performance itself.

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Our Partners and Sponsors

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. We are grateful to our advisors and to the students of the Inclusive Innovation Scorecards course at the Munk School for helping to shape this project.

Our Approach

BII+E and the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy will develop the first integrated picture of inclusion and innovation (or inclusive innovation) in Canada––and of how the country is performing relative to its peers. 

Together we will design 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. 

Key steps in the development of our Inclusive Innovation Monitor include:
  • March 2020: A discussion paper that outlines the need, rationale, and initial concept for the Inclusive Innovation Monitor, including discussion of candidate areas of analysis, indicators and data, and risks and limitations of the project.
  • January–May 2020: A seminar for second year master’s students at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy led by BII+E and Munk researchers. The seminar––which focused on what makes an economy innovative and how we might know if that innovation is inclusive––will help to inform the creation of our Inclusive Innovation Monitor. Students created their own scorecards and explored how measurement shapes public and policy debate.  
  • November 2020: An online, interactive dashboard exploring Canada’s performance on innovation, inclusivity, equity, and their intersection. This will serve as a new resource for researchers and policymakers seeking to help Canada shape an economic recovery from COVID-19 that leads to a more innovative, inclusive, and equitable economy. This website will be accompanied by a report that compares performance on a subset of inclusive innovation indicators among Canada’s provinces and its international peers. 

Our Advisors

Armine Yalnizyan
IIE Work Stream Fellow
John Knubley
Corporate Director, Strategic Advisor, and former senior civil servant
Daniel Munro
Research Advisor
Dan Breznitz
Research Fellow
Sarah Doyle
Director of Policy + Research
Erin Warner
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Nisa Malli
Work Stream Manager, Innovative + Inclusive Economy

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Mar 31, 2020

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
An Inclusive Innovation Monitor for Canada: A discussion paper
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