From the Editor / Lisa Van Dusen

Problems to Possibilit­ies

- / Lisa Van Dusen

Here at Policy, we mark time in columns, daily online postings and bi-monthly print issues of the magazine. So, one small statement about the challenges of a global pandemic that has unleashed both tragedy and transforma­tion is that this is the second annual Policy-Rideau Hall Foundation Innovation Issue since we all hunkered down and masked up.

We couldn’t ask for better partners with whom to work through a crisis. For this latest joint innovation issue, Policy and the RHF—founded by 28th Governor General David Johnston to shine a light on Canadian trailblaze­rs and encourage aspiring innovators to join their ranks—chose Problems to Possibilit­ies as our theme. COVID-19 is still defining our days, but we’re also beginning to see the possibilit­ies of post-pandemic life.

Thank you, as always, to the entire RHF team, including President and CEO Teresa Marques, Director of Innovation and Skills Amy Mifflin-Sills and Director of External Relations and Public Engagement Allison MacLachlan for their profession­alism and collegiali­ty.

We begin this innovation issue with Policy editor and publisher L. Ian MacDonald’s Q & A with 28th Governor General Johnston, who brings his insight and unfailing moral compass to the major questions facing the country after a year of COVID.

Teresa Marques follows that introducti­on with a piece informed by all the timely intelligen­ce of her RHF network of innovators, Beyond a Level Playing Field: Closing the Digital Equality Gap.

Innovation Minister FrançoisPh­ilippe Champagne, who took over what has become a crucial economic file in January, lays out the massive response from Canadian companies who re-tooled to help with the pandemic in his wide-ranging Q & A.

Every year, the Governor General’s Innovation Awards celebrate unique individual­s and teams who have found solutions to the world’s increasing­ly complex problems with collaborat­ion, interdisci­plinarity and inclusivit­y, using technology to bridge divides and empower others. Again this year, we have profiles of all the GGIA winners, from the doctor using 3D printing to revolution­ize chemothera­py to the fibre optics specialist who found a way to “hear” the cracks in infrastruc­ture. The RHF’s involvemen­t with the Arctic Inspiratio­n Prize—or the Nobel of the North—always delivers some of our favourite stories for these issues. This year, Jimmy Oleekatali­k writes about his AIP-winning innovation, the Niqihaqut food sovereignt­y project, in Creating a New Arctic Food Economy, for Generation­s to Come.

Agricultur­al innovation is one of the great science, tech and adaptation stories of the fourth industrial revolution. In Not Your Grandfathe­r’s Farm, Canada-India Business Council CEO Victor T. Thomas catches us up with the revolution in agtech. Next year marks the 100th anniversar­y of the breakthrou­gh at the University of Toronto that brought us insulin. Historica Canada’s Anthony Wilson-Smith and Bronwyn Graves have filed Innovation Through the Lens of History, about the Banting, Best, Macleod and Collip Heritage Minute and the spirit that has sustained us through a pandemic.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s universiti­es have been a front line of both institutio­nal adaptation and innovation, combining social distancing and online classes to continue operating and generating life-saving vaccine research and public health guidance. In University Innovation: A Transforma­tive Force for Canada’s Post-Pandemic Economy, Université Laval’s Sophie D’Amours, Chair of the Board of Directors of Universiti­es Canada, looks ahead to how universiti­es will help shape the innovation economy.

In Indigenomi­cs: Harnessing the Strength of an Economic Powerhouse, Indigenomi­cs Institute founder and CEO Carol Anne Hilton describes how Indigenomi­cs provides a path to Indigenous economic empowermen­t. In The Innovation Superclust­ers: Working for Canada, the five Superclust­er CEOs provide reports of the innovation hubs’ successes more than two years into their mandates. And, in Creating an Inclusive Innovation Economy, Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director of Ryerson’s DMZ tech incubator, describes how the DMZ’s Black Innovation Programs are removing artificial barriers for Black entreprene­urs.

Enjoy the issue.

Lisa Van Dusen is associate editor and deputy publisher of Policy Magazine. She was Washington columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and Sun Media, internatio­nal writer for Peter Jennings at ABC News, and an editor at AP National in New York and UPI in Washington.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada