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Opinion

We can no longer overlook innovation’s human dimension

By Stephen J. Toope      

To meet the challenges ahead, we’ll need help from a broad range of non-technological innovators, including designers, economists, business managers, political scientists, humanities researchers, psychologists, legal experts and artists.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, pictured in this file photo on the Hill. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

It is reassuring to see the subject of innovation emerge once again in conversations across Canada. As evidenced by the recent announcement by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Science Minister Kirsty Duncan and Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger, our world is changing—economically, socially, politically—and our ability to adapt will depend on how well we innovate. Among the announced plans was a commitment to consult broadly with Canadians about the kind of innovation agenda we need in this country. This is encouraging, because right now we’re running the risk of thinking too narrowly about innovation in Canada—precisely when we should be thinking expansively. A rich, inclusive conversation is just what we need.

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