What policy conditions are necessary for social innovation and R&D to flourish in Canada?
This was the question that SiG and Public Policy Forum wanted to explore before the Government of Canada launched its formal review of innovation policy. In the search for answers, on May 18th, 2016, SiG and Public Policy Forum convened a multi-sector breakfast roundtable in Ottawa.
Leaders and practitioners from diverse sectors participated, including: John Knubley, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Yancy Craig, Head of Strategic Development, National Association of Friendship Centres; Tonya Surman, CEO, Centre for Social Innovation; Stephen Huddart, President and CEO, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation; Blair McMurren, Director of Social Innovation, Employment and Social Development Canada, and; Sandra Odendahl, Senior Director of Social Innovation, Royal Bank of Canada.
Hosted with leadership from SiG Fellow Vinod Rajasekaran and moderated by Tim Brodhead, Senior SiG Fellow, participants explored how to seize the opportunity of the Review of Canada’s Innovation Policy to shape an innovation strategy that also supports new and scale-ready innovations that accelerate Canadians’ wellbeing.
The recent roundtable was an activity of the Social R&D exploration incubated by SiG. It set the stage for continued discussion and action bringing together the federal government, social entrepreneurs, academia, social innovation intermediaries, and business leaders from across Canada.
The following key themes and recommended next steps from the roundtable could help Canada realize this vision:
- Take an “Integrated Innovation” Approach to drive Inclusive Growth.
- Cultivate a Culture and Practice of Innovation.
- Strengthen Innovation Capacity in Social Impact Sector.
- Better Connect Canada’s Social Innovation System.
Recommended next steps:
- Create a support platform: A Cross-sector Working Group on Social Innovation
- Advocate for a “Centre for Social Evidence”
- Host a Canadian ‘Integrated Innovation’ Summit
The summary report elaborates on these themes and next steps. We look forward to engaging you on the journey. Join close to 200 individuals already part of the Social R&D movement in Canada to realize a collective vision of an innovation-savvy social impact sector.