Jul 07, 2021

Is Canada’s strong innovation culture going under the radar?

Rideau Hall Foundation’s third annual Culture of Innovation Index sees Canadians continuing to value a culture of innovation despite exposing major barriers to participation.

OTTAWA, ON – July 7, 2021 – Released today by the Rideau Hall Foundation, the 2021 Canada’s Culture of Innovation Report reveals Canadians continue to value innovation in their work, in their communities, and in their lives, even through the traumatic pandemic year and the worst recession since our economic growth records began.

This year’s results show that 62% of Canadians recognize that their own communities have been forced to adapt and change – innovate – during the past year, a strong marker of an active culture of innovation. This is in sharp contrast to trust, which has been dealt a serious blow. ​

“While these results are initially heartening, this year’s Index has revealed major barriers to innovation. There is a clear need for more equitable access to the tools required to participate effectively in innovation culture, such as digital access,” said Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the Rideau Hall Foundation. “In fact, fully 25% of respondents reported not being able to afford such tools. And, along with factors like diversity, collaboration and curiosity, openness to technology is critical to building a culture of innovation.”

Respondents also told us that they are inspired by hearing about innovators in Canada. However, there is a deepening thirst for more stories about innovators who “look like me” and who represent diverse communities. For example, fewer respondents could recall seeing stories about women innovators in the past month, compared to our earlier studies. And while Canadians have adapted and innovated in their personal lives and communities throughout the pandemic, they continue to perceive the business sector as a leader in the creation of a broad culture of innovation.

“At the Rideau Hall Foundation, we will continue to spotlight and celebrate Canadian success stories, inspiring the next generation of dreamers and doers,” concluded Marques. “But to truly unlock the innovative potential of all Canadians and achieve equitable participation, we have to work together across sectors to ensure everyone has the tools and skills they need to contribute effectively in the digital world.”

Read the full report at www.rhf-frh.ca/innovation-index.

 

Media contact:
Allison MacLachlan
Allison.maclachlan@rhf-frh.gc.ca
613-316-3473