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FSN Seminar – June 27 at 1 pm

Title: Why is it so hard to beat Anthropogenic Global Warming?

Date: June 27, 2023 commencing at 1:00 – 3:30 pm via Zoom with pre-registration required using the following link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Sociopathic narcissistic leadership in our current mercantile empire is potentially leading us to the brink of extinction by ignoring climate change solutions. After nearly 300,000 years of egalitarian nomadic life, encounters with archaic humans were quickly followed by a switch to agriculture, and the rise of empires in which wealth, status and the abuse of power established modern society. The extremely wealthy fossil fuel empire is now global. At best, its intentions are to reach net zero by 2100. I will explore the consequences of that decision and describe briefly the potentially devastating climate creep we can expect. 

Feeding the resistance to solving climate change has been the fossil fuel encouraged rise of anti-science and in particular the rise of aggressive climate change deniers. I include examples of their behaviour, including the “macho man” and “petro-masculinity” along with examples. I will describe anecdotal results of a survey of deniers defining the “loss” if we reach net zero by 2100. Then I will examine the cost of ignoring anthropogenic climate change compared to solving climate change, and end with a brief look at a future world that could work.


Alan R. Emery, BSc. University of Toronto, MSc. McGill University, PhD. Cornell University and University of Miami

Alan’s scientific specialty is ecology and evolution with a focus on marine sciences. He pioneered in direct observation underwater at night on coral reefs and in fresh water. He was among the first to dive under the ice in the Arctic. He has led expeditions to the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. He was a research scientist with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario, Professor at the University of Toronto, Curator and Sciences Coordinator at the Royal Ontario Museum, President of the Canadian Museum of Nature, and has been the governor, president, or director of many scientific organizations. 

He has published nearly 100 scientific, technical, and popular articles and books spanning subjects from marine biology to the management of academic organizations. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and television interviews and has been the subject of, technical advisor for, or written over 150 television shows for CTV, Discovery, and the CBC.

As part of his work with indigenous people, he prepared policy papers for Canada, the World Bank and the UN. In addition, he has worked as a consultant with the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization almost since its inception.  When his brother fell terminally ill, Alan brought his engineering company back to a profitable position to be sold by his brother’s family. 

Recently, Alan has moved his primary attention from global biodiversity loss to the solution of human-caused global warming. In 2015, he initiated and is now leading an international group of scientists and engineers to help solve the global warming problems.  It is called The Stable Climate Group ( 

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FSN Seminar – June 8 at 1 pm on Zoom

“Peter MacKinnon here, FSN Chair.  I wish to advise that we have a new 2023 program for FSN with the first of five webinars scheduled as per the notice below.  I apologise for the hiatus as the three of us who maintain FSN were preoccupied with demanding work over the winter. 

The following three webinars, which include the notice on The Computer Revolution as noted below, will then be followed by a hard hitting presentation on Climate Change issues followed by a webinar in July on ChatGPT, Large Language Models and the issue of regulating AI.”

Date: June 8, 2023 from 1:00 to 3:30 ET via Zoom

TitleThe Computer Revolution

Presenter: Gord Deinstadt, Independent Researcher

This seminar will discuss the development of numbers, arithmetic, and computing aids in antiquity before moving on to the history of modern calculating tools and full-blown computers. 

I will then predict some near-term (within 5 years) developments in computer hardware. 

Finally, I will discuss the problem of ransomware and an approach to easing the problem with enhanced computer hardware. Note that this seminar does not discuss ChatGPT or any other aspect of AI, which will be covered in forthcoming webinars.

Gord Deinstadt met his first computer, a PDP-5 donated by DEC Canada, in 1966 upon entering Ottawa Technical High School. He went on to Algonquin College to study electronics, then worked in the computer industry for 30 years, first in hardware then in software.  He then bailed out from the Internet frenzy of the 90s to become an academic. As an academic he completed a BA in Classics and BA and MA in Philosophy while teaching Ancient Science and Technology (Course: TSE2305) at Carleton University. He retired in 2020.

Please register in advance for this meeting

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Next Event details

Title: Why is it so hard to beat Anthropogenic Global Warming?

Date: June 27, 2023 commencing at 1:00 – 3:30 pm via Zoom with pre-registration required


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Robert Hoffman

In memory of my good friend and colleague the late Robert Hoffman, I am very pleased that FSN has decided to post on its website the Club of Rome Theme Paper we co-authored and presented at its Annual Meeting held in Ottawa in September 2013.  The paper examines why the governance of the commons is an appropriate frame of reference for analysing the interrelationships between humans and the biophysical world, and describes the critical role played by Elinor Ostrom and her many colleagues in furthering our understanding of this frame of reference as captured in their Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) Framework.  The more recent discussions of Rob and I over the past decade illustrated how and why the IAD framework and insights of Ostrom, for which she won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, have become even more important for managing the global commons and addressing the climate change wicked problem

Derek Ireland

Here is the paper:

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FSN Seminar – Nov. 18 at 1 pm on Zoom

Planetary Limits: Coming Future Threats?

by Peter MacKinnon

Synergy Technology Management & Faculty of Engineering, uOttawa

November 18, 2022

Youtube link:

Update 1: here are the slides.

Please register in advance for this meeting <deleted as event in the past>

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Today’s world is faced with a growing range of increasing planetary-scale threats to the environment, the biosphere and humankind. Climate change is the most widely discussed of these threats, yet it is only one of nine interrelated planetary-scale disturbances triggered by human activities over the past two and a half centuries.  

This webinar will explore the emergence and practicality in viewing the Earth’s planetary system through the lens of these planetary limits or boundaries. 

‘Planetary boundaries’ represent human-caused perturbations of Earth systems making them change in a way not accommodated by the environmental boundaries separating the natural changes since the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago.  Thus, crossing a planetary boundary comes at the risk of abrupt environmental change. 

The framework is based on scientific evidence that human actions, especially those of the industrialized world, have become the main driver of global environmental change.

The implications of crossing these limits as well as the timing and interdependencies among such crossings will form the basis for discussion in terms of addressing these future threats.


Peter serves as chair of FSN. He has a background as a scientist, business manager, entrepreneur, domestic and international bureaucrat, executive, diplomat, management advisor, and academic; including affiliation with both Telfer and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa.

He is a pioneer in the commercialization of AI and today is actively involved in ethical and policy issues related to AI, especially as member of the IEEE-USA Artificial Intelligence Systems Policy Committee.  Peter has an extensive background on the forefront of scientific and technological breakthroughs around disruptive technologies and their impacts on society.

His scientific career included working in paleoclimate studies based on ice core and radar data from polar ice sheets.  He served as Chief Glaciologist at the World Data Center for Glaciology at the University of Colorado (Boulder), where he was involved in the development of the concept of Nuclear Winter. 

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FSN Seminar – October 21, 2022 at 1 pm EST

A Meditation on the Corruption of Our Character:

An Attempt to Assess the Dangerousness of Conservative Populist Politicians


Ruben Nelson, Executive Director, Foresight Canada

Youtube link:

Abstract:  In this webinar, Ruben Nelson, one of Canada’s most distinguished Foresight practitioners, will dig into three questions related to the above topic, namely: 

  1. How should we assess the rise of conservative populist politicians in Canada?  
  2. In combination, is the noisy ruckus and the apparent success of Pierre Poilievre, Danielle Smith and François Legault just a new kind of ‘business as usual’?  
  3. Or is it a sign, as Dr. James Alexander Corry, then past Principle of Queen’s University, put it in his 1973 lecture when being honoured by the Royal Bank of Canada, that “Something has gone wrong!”  If the latter, what sense can we make of what has gone wrong?  

Ruben will “draw a long bow” on these questions.  He will suggest that beneath the titillation of much of the political nonsense of our times lies a truly rare evolution in human consciousness and culture.  He also will suggest that such a transition, if it is to be successful, requires a quality of leadership which must be extraordinary.  

Since the development of such leadership is not on the agenda of any sector of Canadian society, we should not be surprised that feckless politicians, as well as those who would use them, have grasped the deep turmoil of our times to advance their own fortunes.  In short, we are in far more and far deeper trouble than these politicians understand.  Sadly, we as citizens share a superficial understanding of the danger we are in.  

Bio:  Ruben Nelson has long been fascinated by the many ways we and our world are changing and what this evolutions mean for our future.  He is one of a handful of Canadians who, in the 1960s and ‘70s, pioneered serious futures thinking and its application to the practice of strategic Foresight.  

He has used his insights in every corner and sector of Canada to assist those willing to work with him make reliable sense of their adjacent futures.  Ruben’s research has led him to the view that, if we are to sustain success in the unique conditions of the 21st Century, we must develop new mental maps of where we are in history.  

For over six decades, Ruben has taught philosophy and comparative religion, worked for Pierre Trudeau, helped formulate Canada’s policy on Multiculturalism and been a leader in the Canadian Association for Futures Studies, the International Association for Humanistic Psychology, the World Futures Studies Federation and the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science.  Ruben is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and the World Business Academy.  

Ruben was born and raised in Calgary, educated at Queen’s University, Kingston, Queen’s Theological College, Kingston, and United Theological College, Bangalore, India.  Today, Ruben is Executive Director of Foresight Canada.  He and Heather have been married for 61 years.  They live with their three cats Lac Des Arcs in the Alberta Rockies.  They have two, now adult, children.  


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FSN Seminar – October 13 at 1 pm via Zoom

Welcome back to a new season of Foresight Synergy Network webinars. The first is scheduled for October 13th commencing at 1:00 pm via Zoom. It will be a presentation by Omer Kaya, CEO of Global Advantage Consulting Group of Ottawa on “A New Strategy for Canada’s R&D/Innovation Ecosystem?”.  See below for further information on this event. 

The second webinar will take place at the same time on October 21st.  The presentation will be given by Ruben Nelson, Executive Director of Foresight Canada, on the topic of “The Corruption of Character:  An Attempt to Assess the Dangerousness of Conservative Populist Politicians.”  Ruben lives in Canmore, Alberta. 

A third webinar is planned for the 18th November, same start time, by Peter MacKinnon, Chair FSN, on “Planetary Limits: Coming Future Threats”.

What follows is information on Omer’s webinar, please register in advance for this meeting: <link deleted as event has passed>

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Presenter: Omer Kaya, CEO Global Advantage Consulting Group, Ottawa 

Title: A New Strategy for Canada’s R&D/Innovation Ecosystem?

Abstract: Canada’s research and development (R&D) and innovation ecosystem encompasses thousands of firms, hundreds of academic institutions and programs, dozens of government departments and support mechanisms, and numerous not-for-profits, Indigenous organizations, industry groups and associations. Yet Canada significantly underinvests in R&D — its National R&D expenditures are 57%, Business R&D expenditures are 55%, and Government R&D expenditures are 50% below the OECD average (OECD, latest 2020). While Canada is 8th in innovation inputs, it ranks only 23rd in innovation outputs (Global Innovation Index, latest 2021) — a persisting issue in Canada’s innovation system is our inability to turn innovation inputs into outputs. As a result, Canada is lagging in labour productivity and competitiveness, which impacts Canadians’ standard of living and quality of life. Moreover, Canada risks falling further behind while its international allies forge ahead with new historic investments in research and innovation (e.g., U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness Act, Inflation Reduction Act, EU Research and Innovation Strategy and Plan, etc.). In this regard, the Federal Budget 2022 moved towards better supporting Canadian enterprise and promoting innovation with an emphasis on increasing productivity — showing signs of change and rethinking the entire approach to innovation. Will anything that’s announced in this budget, help even get Canada back to a baseline that might allow it to compete globally? On the other hand, if such a shift of approach is occurring, what might it mean for the research and innovation community in Canada? Is a new strategy for Canada’s R&D/Innovation Ecosystem, potentially underway? 

Bio: Ömer Kaya is the Chief Executive Officer at Global Advantage Consulting Group. As CEO, Ömer supports public and private sector organizations by executing and leading key aspects of the company including overall business strategy and planning, team leadership, management of processes, programs, and projects, as well as client relationships and partnerships. He has nearly 5 years of experience in the management consulting industry. Ömer had previously worked in academia holding teaching and research positions, and the private sector in sales, marketing, and financial services. He holds a Master of Arts degree in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies from the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University.

Global Advantage Consulting Group Inc. (GACG) was established in 2002 and has been operating in Canada for over 20 years. GACG has completed over 700 assignments since its creation, primarily in the areas of science and technology, innovation, commercialization, economic development and trade. The firm helps public and private sector organizations to understand and navigate research and innovation ecosystems, to develop growth strategies and new collaboration networks, to assess and develop new business models, to design new support services for industry, to enter new commercial markets, and to design measurement systems to monitor performance. See: for further information on Global Advantage.  

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FSN Seminar – July 29 at 1 pm EST via Zoom

Youtube link:

Please join us on July 29 at 1 pm by registering to the following zoom link:
<deleted as event has passed, you can watch it on YouTube – see link above>

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Nothing but a “vague residue”: Synthesizing Ideological Violence and Social Figurations

A vague residue. Is that how humans recollect greater social changes resulting from their social interactions, known as social figurations? According to Norbert Elias, who developed the Civilizing Process, we are so focused on the individual social level that we are oblivious to social processes that influence these figurations, which he likened to a dance:

A dance can be any style – the tango, a waltz, rock ‘n roll – but it remains a dance. Dancers may join in, sit out, re-engage or leave, but the dance continues with unplanned structure and process. While independent of any one dancer, the dance is not independent of the collective – those who come together.

It is the effect of these social figurations that are of interest; I like to describe them as ripples in the water: Throw a handful of pebbles in the water and each creates a ripple that, as it fans out, impacts other proximate ripples. From this, alterations occur that are driven by conditions – the number of pebbles, ripples, and environmental elements, like wind, shoreline or other barriers and interferences. The common elements that create repeat alterations, but in social interactions, are the focus.

Both vivid metaphors emphasize how figurations, floating above and beneath an invisible line between individual and group, result in unplanned, yet structured, social change from the predictability from group behaviour.

But why is answering – or even asking – the above question important in the context of present-day sociology?

Understanding social figurations and their role in forming groups, societies, and nations creating long chain social change can permit us to shift our analytical eye from the individual to social along with environmental conditions surrounding them that may hint at causality. By looking to other areas for answers, novel approaches may be developed as social policy, rather than social programs, to address this social phenomenon that has confounded scholars for centuries.  

Here, ideological violence is the phenomenon of focus. It has woven its way through history for thousands of years and in many nations, and enjoyed substantial debate on whether particular incidents are legitimate acts of violence, state monopolies of violence, violence in colonization and civil conflict, or terror-motivated acts meant to move an ideological agenda. Underscoring the concept of legitimacy, the phrase “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” rings relevant and the conundrum of social violence persists.

For that reason, modern scholars have struggled to identify root causes of ideological violence, and still after every incident that makes the headlines the first question is, what caused this individual or group to resort to violence? Presumably, if we continue to look in the same place – to the psychology, demographics and environmental impacts of individuals – we will likely continue to arrive at the same answers, or lack thereof. Conceptually, it may be argued that ideological violence develops from alternate social standards that have mutated from the accepted social habitus through an unconscious formulation.

The aim of this webinar is to provide a synthesized overview of social conditions with the incidence of ideological violence in selected nations over specific time periods by using the theoretical concepts of Elias’s processual theory. It is the core of Elias’s process theory that is of particular interest in examining the phenomenon of ideological violence: social life and the world around us are natural reflections of human tendencies, emerging from social interactions, social bonding, and developing social habitus, social codes and group identity. Additionally, the applied goal is to reveal an alternate research area for ideological violence prevention and acknowledge issues embedded in existing Countering/Preventing Violent Extremism (C/PVE) programs and to supplant them with social policy approaches.

Heavily relied upon, these C/PVE programs were hastily developed after the attacks of 9/11 by US and allied nations to identify individuals at risk of extremist violence using characteristics and behaviours that may signal radicalization or may precede a violent act. In recent years, these programs have been found to employ controversial techniques and simple psychological criteria and proxies, such as individual religiosity, political activism and “feelings of alienation/hopelessness/futility”.

Largely rejected by academics, these techniques can have dangerous implications and risk branding innocent individuals as terrorists. Ineffectiveness aside, the misuse of C/PVE programs has also been rampant – surveillance and informant recruiting, charges of racial-bias targeting Muslims, refugees and immigrants and unsophisticated – bringing about human and civil rights criticisms.

Now begs the question: Is the individual level the only viable focal point to reveal elements that influence ideological violence? Considering how ideological violence manifests as a social phenomenon, its sociogenesis alone infers the existence of social conditions that warrant exploration. Just as meteorologists can deduce the probability of specific weather events from certain environmental conditions, the social strata that emerge from social figurations may hold similar, valuable contributions.  


Valarie Findlay is currently in her second year of Royal Roads University’s Doctorate in Social Sciences program. Born in Ottawa, Canada and having spent many years in the US, she has a Master of Terrorism Studies and a Master of Sociology. Her doctoral research area focuses on synthesizing ideological violence and social figurations, guided by Norbert Elias’s Civilizing Process theory.

For the past seven years she has focused her academic efforts in becoming a “student” of Elias’s main theory by interpreting and applying his concepts from his major texts, Beyond the Civilizing Process. With her prime sociological interest in group behaviour and habitus, she shifted from individual psychological elements that influence violent behaviours to how groups interact and the social conditions around them that may influence conflict and violence, in order to develop more effective social programs and policy to prevent and counter ideological violence.

On her professional side, Valarie has worked in US and Canadian national security and intelligence for over twenty years and has specialized in cybersecurity and technologies as tools in ideological movements and recruitment. She sits on several North American intelligence, cyber and law enforcement committees and has studied various investigative and interviewing disciplines, such as inductive, psychological, physiological and predictive profiling. She is also a past member of the Canadian Association Chiefs of Police/CATA eCrime Council, the American Society for Evidence-Based Policing (ASEBP), AFCEA Cyber Committee (Washington DC) and research fellow with the National Police Foundation, affording her the opportunity to collaborate with some of the brightest academics and experts in applied science.

As a side project, she has developed and commercialized a risk intelligence software solution, TIGIR, that provides comprehensive assessments on government and industry assets and data that includes organizational risk derived social vulnerability and quality of life indices. TIGIR was granted its a US patent last year and is currently in Canadian patent examinations.

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FSN Seminar – June 29th at 1 pm EST via Zoom

Update 2: Attached updated slides

Update: here are the slides

We are pleased to introduce our next talk of the 2022 season, led by Guy Stanley and Stephen Fanjoy, on the authoritarian challenge to US liberalism.

Register in advance for this meeting:
<deleting as event has passed>

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The “Deep Right” Authoritarian Challenge to Contemporary Liberalism: How Secure is US Liberalism?

Since the last FSN meeting about the US post-Trump (2020), here’s where we are: 

War in the Ukraine, an imminent global food crisis, energy crisis exacerbating an already threatening climate crisis, economic uncertainty, and a political crisis challenging the liberal institutions of the West. Is this what a general breakdown of management capacity and world leadership looks like? Is populist authoritarianism the next “normal”?

Consider that the world’s most powerful democracy, the United States, consciously founded its institutions on the explicit if imperfect application of Enlightenment principles to its governance. Yet today powerful political forces have abandoned those principles – especially those of anchoring political speech and policy in  verifiable facts. Instead, power is regularly pursued through the industrial production of lies and distortions, under cover of which powerful domestic and foreign economic and anti-democratic interests pursue their aggrandizement.  

A political force once thought to be marginal  and “extreme” – right wing populism- is manifesting in the US and around the world as a significant electoral force. In the US it is the new heart of the GOP and  its MAGA (Trumpist) segments. Accompanying  this upsurge are important ideological aspects which make it a particularly dangerous threat to institutions of liberal governance. For example, the most recent DHS threat warnings places domestic white supremacy terrorism at the head of its list. 

A fundamental question poses itself: can a system of institutions based on the Enlightenment’s privileging of objective facts and democratic individualism adequately defend itself against technology-driven systems of deception, social division and political corruption?

This session will examine this question, mainly as it pertains to the US,  in light of current trends, events and ideas.


Guy Stanley has been active with the Foresight Synergy Network for many years. Born in Toronto, he holds an MA and Ph.D. in international history (LSE 1974) and a BA (History & Pol. Sci.) from the University of Victoria (1967).  His career combined consulting with Fortune 500 multinational firms and international organizations with university teaching and research in Geneva, New York, Montréal and Ottawa. Guy was Director of the IMBA program at the University of Ottawa (2000-3) and Director of Technology & Innovation at the Conference Board of Canada. (2004-7) He taught international commerce at McGill and HEC, Montréal 1991-2007 and worked with l’Ecole polytechnique de Montréal (2007-8). His latest book, Rebuilding Liberalism, Dundurn Press, was published in July 2019. He lives in Beaconsfield, QC.

Stephen Fanjoy is a member of the Foresight Synergy Network organizing committee and a management consultant specializing in strategy, primarily in the domain of business software, including cybersecurity, data science, artificial intelligence and medical devices. He is an avid analyst of technology, political history and ethics. Stephen has previously presented to the FSN community, ”Technology and Democracy, Self-correcting or Collision Course?” and co-led a series of workshops on technology, democracy and autocracy. He is a graduate of the Dalhousie University School of Business and a Certified Management Consultant (CMC).

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FSN Seminar – April 25 at 1 pm via Zoom

Here are the slides –

Link to recording on youtube:

Please register in advance for this meeting:
<deleted as event has passed, please see recording above>

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

TitleHarmonia Universalis: Perennial Wisdom and Future Design

Abstract: This presentation provides a review of the concept of harmony over the past 2,500 years, spanning classical Chinese and Greek civilization and into the modern era. Topics in physics, neuroscience, psychology, computer science and design. Implications are considered for sustainability design and global politics. If we want a harmonious future, we should design for it.

Bio: As an assistant professor of Human-Centered Design at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), The Netherlands, Derek Lomas researches design for wellbeing, the design of AI systems to support wellbeing and the role of resonance in interaction design. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science (YaIe University), a master’s degree in Design (UC San Diego) and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction (Carnegie Mellon University). He lives in Amsterdam with his family.

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FSN Seminar – March 17 at 1 pm EST via Zoom

We are pleased to introduce our second speaker of the 2022 season, Professor David Wolfe of the University of Toronto’s Innovation Policy Lab.

Recent years have taught us many things but one of them is the importance of successful innovation. The challenges of today and tomorrow are complex and coming fast. While Canadian research is world class, our performance at translating to commercial success through innovation that grows our economy and helps Canadians and the world is much less than we should expect. 

Please join us on March 17th to learn more about Canada’s innovation challenges and opportunities by registering in advance for this meeting:
<Deleted as event has passed>

Link on youtube for recording:

Canada’s Innovation Challenge: Current State of Industrial R&D in Canada

David A. Wolfe, PhD

Professor of Political Science and Co-Director, Innovation Policy Lab

University of Toronto

This presentation will discuss both the extent and the sources of weakness in Canada’s innovation system. The shortcomings of Canada’s innovation system are well documented in a series of recent reports on the state of innovation in the Canadian economy, particularly those from the Council of Canadian Academies, including its most recent report Competing in the Global Innovation Economy. The reports underline Canada’s failure to keep pace with some of its leading competitors. What is less evident is why Canada has failed to improve the performance of its innovation system over the past 40 years. Neither is it clear why Canada’s political institutions have failed to respond to the combined challenge of globalization and rapid technological change with a more effective policy framework to improve the innovative performance of domestic firms. The urgency of both these questions is accentuated by the growing strength of the platform economy and the rise of what the OECD labels ‘superstar firms’, as well as the pressures of climate change. The presentation will include some working hypotheses about why Canada has lagged the other members of the G7 in this respect and present some ideas about what needs to be done.

David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. From 1990 to 1993 he served as Executive Coordinator for Economic and Labour Policy in the Cabinet Office of the Government of Ontario. From 2009 to 2014 he was the Royal Bank Chair in Public and Economic Policy at the University of Toronto. He has served on three Expert Panels for the Council of Canadian Academies. He recently completed a six-year SSHRC-funded partnership grant on Creating Digital Opportunity for Canada. He has been a Research Associate for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and is the editor or co-editor of ten books and numerous scholarly articles. He is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Council of Canadian Academies.