What Innovation? Big Thinking on Progress and Measurement


There’s so much buzz about innovation and science and technology and productivity. But, what do we really mean by these terms? What does progress look like? How will we know when we’re doing better? How can we best promote innovation, which by definition is rarely predictable and often disruptive?

On January 31, 2012, I delivered the Canadian Federation for Humanities and Social Sciences’ Big Thinking lecture on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. I explained why effective decision-making in a dynamic environment of tech-driven global knowledge networks requires us to think differently about science and technology and how we measure success. My talk drew on experiences from current Canadian and international research projects and my expertise in intellectual property, international trade and technology to demonstrate creative ways of assessing the human impact of innovation policy.