Canada’s Innovation Imperative

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Monday, November 9th, 2020

Monday, November 9, 20203:00PM - 4:00PMOnline Event, Online
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Innovation contributes to regional and national prosperity and is a well-established economic concept. To succeed in building capacity and strength in this technical realm, government policies must be deliberate, systematic and rooted in expertise. Data shows that Canada missed the shift from the tangible to intangible economy. Moving forward, how can we make sure Canada builds competitive advantage through policy that leverages innovation for tomorrow’s economy?

Jim Balsillie’s career is unique in Canadian business. He is the former Chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), a technology company he scaled from an idea to $20 billion in sales globally. Mr. Balsillie’s private investment office includes global and domestic technology investments and was part of the consortium that recently purchased the Canadian space technology leader MDA.
He is the co-founder of the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York, the Council of Canadian Innovators based in Toronto, the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, the Centre for Digital Rights; and, the CIO Strategy Council. He currently chairs the boards of CCI, CIGI, and co-Chairs CIOSC. He is also the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Arctic Research Foundation; a member of the Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Advisory Board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre; an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and an Advisor to Canada School of Public Policy.
Mr. Balsillie was the only Canadian ever appointed to US Business Council and was the private sector representative on the UN Secretary General’s High Panel for Sustainability. His awards include: several honorary degrees, Mobile World Congress Lifetime Achievement Award, India’s Priyadarshni Academy Global Award, Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People and three times Barron’s list of “World’s Top CEOs.”

Dan Breznitz, is a Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies, in the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science of the University of Toronto. Where he is also the Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research where he co-founded and co-directs the program on Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity. Professor Breznitz is known worldwide as an expert on rapid-innovation-based industries and their globalization, as well as for his pioneering research on the distributional impact of innovation policies. He has been a member of several boards, as well as serving an advisor on science, technology, and innovation policies to multinational corporations, governments, and international organizations.

Meagan Simpson is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer who is proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene, Meagan graduated from Carleton University’s Journalism program. Previously, she worked at IT World Canada, and has freelanced as a political reporter on Parliament Hill, a sports reporter in Ottawa, and a number of smaller community publications.


Daria Dumbabze


Jim Balsillie
Retired Chairman and Co-CEO of RIM, Chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators

Dan Breznitz
Professor, Munk Chair of Innovation Studies, Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

Meagan Simpson
Associate Editor for BetaKit

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