The Munk School of Global Affairs is home to a wide range of researchers, teaching programs and international partnerships, all of which share a strong focus on innovation.

The existing strengths at the Munk School in the field of Innovation Policy are spread across a number of different centres and research programs, whose collective research and teaching initiatives describe a unique and exciting approach to the study of innovation.  The Innovation Policy Lab will provide a new institutional home for these initiatives.

A major focus of the Innovation Policy Lab will be an analysis of the ways in which innovation is occurring in both the industrial countries as well as in the global south, reflecting the growing reality of distributed innovation across a wide range of nodes around the globe. The Lab will pool the knowledge that scholars at the Munk School and from across the University of Toronto have generated about “demand-driven” innovation and develop shared explanations of the impact of policy on innovation across different economic sectors and at different geographic scales.  We understand demand-driven as innovation that succeeds in meeting the needs of a wide range of end-users; is reflected in increasing rates of adoption, and improves outcomes and/or generates efficiencies.

The Innovation Policy Lab will work to disseminate policy-relevant knowledge about “demand-driven” innovation to interested policy-makers and attentive publics, in Canada and abroad.  Research, teaching programs and international partnering activities will focus on new ways of sharing knowledge about adoption among both academic researchers and relevant policymakers in Canada and other countries.

The Lab will be directed by David Wolfe, Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy, and director of the Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems at the Munk School of Global Affairs.


On Thursday, September 20, the Munk School held a seminar to celebrate the official opening of a new building for the Munk School. Check back soon for the webcast.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Munk School have been working together to develop new approaches to the study, practice, and application of innovation in the global south. Despite extraordinary economic growth, social development and technological innovation worldwide, hundreds of millions of people in the south have failed to benefit. While the developed world pushes cutting-edge innovations at the technological frontier, many continue to struggle with basic human challenges in securing health, energy, nutrition, sanitation, and economic opportunity. The distributive consequences of innovation have not been even, both within and among nations. This panel – featuring scholars affiliated with the Munk School – will discuss how we can harness what we already know and apply it in interactive ways with the needs of those living in the global south.


David Wolfe

Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy, Munk School of Global Affairs
Director, Innovation Policy Lab, and Program on Globalization and Regional Innovation Systems


Dilip Soman

Director, India Innovation Institute
Corus Chair in Communication Strategy, Rotman School of Management

Janice Stein

Director, Munk School of Global Affairs
Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management, Department of Political Science

Joseph Wong

Director, Asian Institute
Professor & Canada Research Chair, Political Science