Innovation is critical to our success as a nation. Canadian innovations have made enormous contributions to our country and to the world. But how pervasive is innovation in our everyday culture?

Today we are proud to announce the launch of our second annual Culture of Innovation Report, which measures how we approach and value innovation in all spheres of our society. Our latest findings paint a picture of a nation that appreciates innovation and sees it as a driver that can improve our everyday lives. But Canadians don’t necessarily see themselves as involved in innovation, nor do they include Canada among the top countries for creating a culture of innovation. In fact, 65 per cent of respondents believe Canadians are risk averse, and only half said they try to innovate in their own daily lives.

Our country is in a time of tremendous change. We are all working quickly to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic – a crisis that will drive longstanding shifts in our attitudes, values and behaviours. In uncertain times like these, innovative thinking is essential for solving large-scale problems. In fact, Canadians believe innovation can lead to healthier people, economic growth and a cleaner environment.

So, what can we – as citizens, community leaders and nation-builders – do to make Canada’s culture of innovation stronger?

We can show and tell the stories of Canadian innovators and inventions. Rather than giving into a growing aversion to risk, we need to find a way to inspire big thinking and new ways of looking at the world. The stories of Canadian innovators provide both a source of inspiration and the foundational understanding of what is required for success.

 We can encourage innovation among younger generations. Building a future generation of innovators means setting our youth up for success. We should expose young Canadians to opportunities to lead, spark new ideas and make change. It is not just up to schools to fill this void – but every Canadian.

We can embrace cooperation across disciplines and institutions. Welcoming different perspectives is part of what makes our nation great. It is also critical for fostering creative thinking. As we navigate a time of rapid and unprecedented change, we must challenge ourselves to see things differently.

Now more than ever, we need to be ambitious in the ways we innovate, embracing collaboration and diversity of thought, to help build a better Canada, and a better world.

To learn more about our Culture of Innovation Report, visit

Teresa Marques

President & CEO, Rideau Hall Foundation