Dan Breznitz and the I2Hub...

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Distribution Sensitive Innovation Policies: Turning inclusive innovation from rhetoric to action

It is clear that innovation and inequality are salient questions to both business and political leaders. Indeed, many have latched to urging for “inclusive innovation” when they wish to support innovation that benefits a broad swathe of society, often individuals who are economically marginalized. But how? While statements such as “Innovation is the path to inclusive growth” makes CEOs and politicians sounds good, details about how this goal is to be achieved are ‘somehow’ lacking. A quick global survey of inclusive innovation highlights an inflation of rhetoric coupled with almost complete dearth of action and details.

In this talk, based on several papers co-authored with Amos Zehavi, contend that there are already set of policies that achieve these goals – we termed them Distribution-Sensitive Innovation Policies. These are policy actions devised with the aim of increasing growth while taking into account economic distribution. Looking at diverse countries from the United State, to Canada, Sweden, Poland, Israel and Germany, DSIPs policies work by benefiting disadvantages group, specifically we look at Low skilled manufacturing workers, The economic periphery, ascriptive minorities and People With Disabilities (PWD).

DSIPs or by no mean a panacea for all social and economic ills. However, given that economies are no better than the societies in which they are embedded; it is of critical importance that business and political leaders seriously turn their attention to them. We desperately need to maximize both growth and equality in our society, the consequences of not doing so are just too dire. DSIPs offers a venue of constructive private-public experimentation

About the speaker:

Dan Breznitz

Dan Breznitz is a University Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science of the University of Toronto, where he is also the Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab and a Senior Fellow of Massey College. In addition, he is a Fellow of CIFAR where he Co-Directs the program on Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity. Professor Breznitz is known worldwide as an expert on rapid-innovation-based industries and their globalization, as well as for his pioneering research on the distributional impact of innovation policies. He has been a member of several boards, and has served as an advisor on science, technology, and innovation policies to multinational corporations, governments, and international organizations. He served as the Clifford Clarke

Economist of the Canadian Department of Finance during 2021-22, where he was responsible for new economic thinking on the restructuring of the Canadian economy, including the creation of new agencies such as the Canadian Innovation Corporation. Before moving to U of T, Breznitz spent eight years as a professor in Georgia Institute of Technology and was the cofounder and CEO of a software company in Israel. He is the recipient of several honours including a Sloan Fellowship, and the author of numerous papers, chapters and edited volumes as well as award winning books including Innovation and the State: Political Choice and Strategies for Growth in Israel, Taiwan, and Ireland, (winner of the Don Price best book on Science, Technology and Politics) and The Run of the Red Queen: Government, Innovation, Globalization, and Economic Growth in China (winner of the Susan Strange Best Book in International Affairs). His recently published book, Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World, that offers pragmatic advice while debunking dangerous myth on innovation, growth and prosperity, was chosen by the Financial Times as one of the best books of 2021, and won the inaugural Balsillie prize for Public Policy given by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, as well as the Donner Prize for the Best Book on Public Policy.

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