Social innovation

Sesquicentennial is no longer just about Canada

Paul Davidson, president, Universities Canada and Christine Tausig Ford, interim executive director, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Canada’s 150th anniversary offers up a unique moment in time -- a pause, if you will, to reflect on where we’ve been and our country’s potential for the future.

There will be many celebrations over the coming year to mark 150 years since Confederation, but our sesquicentennial is about much more than cake and fireworks. Most importantly, it’s about coming together to chart a path to 2067.

At our 200th anniversary, what kind of Canada do we want to be? What can and should we become as a nation?

That’s the challenge laid before 100 young leaders from universities...

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National dialogue to build a #CreativeCanada

Kayla MacIntosh, Junior Communications Officer, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences  

What does a creative and entrepreneurial Canada look like to you? What are the steps needed to make your vision for a creative and entrepreneurial Canada a reality? How do creative entrepreneurs stay relevant in a rapidly changing digital landscape?

These are only a few of the questions the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and their partnership with Google Canada and Startup Canada are asking Canadian citizens in their national dialogue, launched on September 13, to build a #CreativeCanada.

Over the next two months the partnership will be creating a national dialogue for Canada’s most creative and entrepreneurial citizens. Taking the form of a national, live-streamed panel and...

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Innovation’s crucial human dimensions: Find out more at the People, Place and Possibility Conference organized by the Federation and University of Toronto

Peter Severinson, Policy Analyst, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

This summer Canadians across the country have been hard at work trying to figure out innovation. What is it? Why don’t we have enough of it? How do we get more of it? And how do we ensure that it helps support an inclusive society? The conversation was kicked off in June, when Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, The Honourable Navdeep Bains, launched a federal consultation called “Canada’s Innovation Agenda.”

The Federation has been an active part of this process.

  • We recently submitted a brief...

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We can no longer overlook innovation's human dimension

This op-ed was published in The HIll Times on July 4, 2016

Stephen J. Toope, president, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.

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...

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We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence

Robert R. Janes, independent scholar

We Are Coming Home: Repatriation and the Restoration of Blackfoot Cultural Confidence (Athabasca University Press) is an unusual book in the museum world – not only because it’s about the unconditional return of sacred objects, but also because five of the eight contributors are Blackfoot ceremonialists or spiritual leaders. Although the idea for the book was the result of a restaurant conversation, it is actually the culmination of an evolving, 10-year relationship between the Glenbow Museum (Calgary, Alberta) and the four First Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy – a process of reciprocity, deepening understanding, and mutual appreciation.  The editor of this volume,...

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Des nouvelles méthodes d’apprentissage pour « Imaginer l’avenir du Canada »

Jo-Anni Joncas, doctorante en Administration et évaluation en éducation à l’Université Laval et reporteure pour l’initiative Imaginer l’avenir du Canada organisé par le CRSH et l’ACES

Pour continuer à prospérer au XXIe siècle, le Canada doit être proactif et réfléchir collectivement à ses possibilités d’avenir afin d’être en mesure d’anticiper ses besoins comme société et en matière de connaissances, ainsi que les enjeux auxquels il pourrait devoir faire face. C’est pourquoi l’initiative « Imaginer l’avenir du Canada » a été organisée par l’Association canadienne pour les études supérieures (ACES) et le Conseil de recherche en sciences humaines (CRSH) du Canada. Six questions ont été identifiées pour mettre en lumière les défis que le Canada devra relever dans un contexte mondialisé en...

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Celebrating Canada’s open access “tipping point”

Michael Geist

As Canadians welcome World Book and Copyright Day on April 23rd, the three federal research granting institutions – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada – have provided yet another reason to celebrate.

After years of delay and debate, the Tri-Councils unveiled a harmonized open access policy that takes effect for all grants awarded after May 1st.  The key aspect of the policy is that it requires grant recipients to ensure that their peer-reviewed publications are freely available online within 12 months of initial publication.  Researchers can comply with the open access policy by either self-archiving their publications...

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Not really a philosopher

Chris Eliasmith, University of Waterloo

Chris Eliasmith, Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience, is professor with a joint appointment in Philosophy and Systems Design Engineering and cross-appointment to Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He is Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience. He was awarded the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award for his work developing a computer model of the human brain. We have invited Professor Eliasmith to share his thoughts on interdisciplinary approaches to research. Here is what he wrote:

Not really a philosopher.

And not really an engineer... or a neuroscientist, computer scientist, or psychologist.  Instead, I am someone really interested in how the brain works—all of it, at all levels of description.  Brain function is tackled by many disciplines, and there is no good reason to think that only one discipline has all the answers.  So, to me, disciplines...

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A mega brainstorm!

Caroline Milliard, Manager, Media Relations at the University of Ottawa

The first image evoked by the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is that of a huge gathering of academics, researchers and intellectuals from different disciplines to exchange ideas and create unique partnerships.

This year, that image will be doubly meaningful since Congress will be held at the University of Ottawa, a crossroads of ideas and culture.

Defy the conventional. This is how the University of Ottawa defines itself. It is a place where bold minds gather to redefine debates and generate transformative ideas.

But what does that mean, exactly?

Here are a few examples of innovative ideas generated on our campus:...

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