Alex Conliffe

Former Director, Policy Innovation Platform

Alex Conliffe has left the Brookfield Institute team in January 2019, but remains an insightful collaborator and supportive partner.

As an engineer-social scientist with a background in policy and operations. This non-linear path led perfectly to Alex’s role as Director, Policy Innovation Platform at the Brookfield Institute.

The Policy Innovation Platform began as a pilot initiative designed to assist policy professionals in generating innovative solutions to challenges in today’s society. The platform is our exploration of new models of collaboration in policy innovation. Engaging multidisciplinary teams and applying new approaches and tools to tricky issues, the platform aims to demonstrate the power of leveraging the collective intelligence of skilled, forward-thinking and civically minded individuals to accelerate change.

Alex joins BII+E from Engineers Without Borders (EWB), where she served as VP Operations. EWB is a global leader in developing and supporting innovative solutions to intractable development challenges. Its foundational belief is that the best ideas most often emerge from outside its own walls, where its community of thousands of leaders intersects with other sectors and organizations.

Prior to EWB, Alex worked at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as a senior policy analyst. There, she worked passionately on a range of international files on food security, climate change and agriculture. She quickly discovered that policy was often developed with stakeholders beyond the public service, but that connecting to the right people and with the right tools to generate insights and solutions was frequently challenging.

The Policy Innovation Platform contains a variety of approaches to co-creating policy solutions with the general public. Alex looks forward to bringing together the best elements from her previous roles to the platform; the co-creation philosophy she helped steward at EWB, and the critical public policy work we must get right to enable a thriving society.

Alex holds a B.Eng from McGill University, where she studied as a Loran Scholar, and an M.Sc. in Environmental Change and Management and D.Phil. in Geography from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar. She is a board director of the Institute on Governance and a member of the McGill Engineering Faculty Advisory Board.

8 Contributions


Nov 16, 2018

This project is designed to improve support for women entrepreneurs in Ontario, while exploring novel methods for co-creating and funding interventions in complex policy domains
Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

May 7, 2018

A look at how technology can bring citizens closer to the policymaking process using the example of Budget Talks, an Ontario government program launched in 2015 to inform pre-budget consultation
Budget Talks: Then, now, next

May 7, 2018

A sketch of the policy innovation landscape in Canada, identifying the challenges and opportunities that lie before public sector innovators and point to future areas of research
Exploring Policy Innovation: Tools, techniques and approaches

Dec 13, 2017

We're using a design-led approach to create and implement a Call for Proposals to provide better supports for women entrepreneurs, including social entrepreneurs in Ontario
Illustration of floating platforms connected by stairs and a ladder on the highest one.
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