Skip to content

Policy & Research

Abstract graphic
From September to November 2023, the Dais, supported by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, hosted a five-part discussion series with over 300 live participants and over 1,000 replay viewers. The series explored public policy issues related to education, climate change, …
Ontario’s Blue-Ribbon Panel on Postsecondary Financial Sustainability provided thoughtful, utilitarian advice to the government for shoring up university and college finances in the near-term. But with postsecondary education in the midst of profound and longer-term changes, did this moment actually …
There are nearly two million students enrolled in Canadian universities and colleges at any given time. Higher education is a large sector, with public institutions’ revenues totalling $60 billion annually. The system of post-secondary education is recognized as essential to …
As Canadian representatives gather with counterparts from around the world at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), it is a significant moment to take stock of the attitudes of younger Canadians about their personal actions to address climate …
The Dais at TMU is pleased to contribute this submission to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. The Dais is a public policy and leadership think tank at Toronto …
This submission to the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) highlights areas of concern and recommendations to make Canada’s proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA) fit to purpose to responsibly govern AI and its risks. In October 2023, …
As digital skills continue to evolve at a rapid pace, workforce planners, policymakers and employers must ensure the workforce is equipped to meet current and future labour market demands.
Microcredentials for digital skills can provide alternative pathways for professionals without formal training or education in data science, computer science, or software engineering but show competency in these skill sets.
The significant compensation disparity between Canadian and American tech workers calls for renewed efforts to scale Canadian tech companies.
This report assesses the level of digital transformation of Canadian government services through the lenses of digital culture, skills, and access.
The promise of artificial intelligence has long been its potential to make an economy more productive, increasing wages and living standards for all. For Canada to realize these benefits and remain competitive with our global peers, we will need to …
This research examined the experiences and attitudes towards remote work in Canada for employees and supervisors and sought to understand how the arrangement has affected productivity, satisfaction, trust and well-being. 
College-to-university transfer is an important postsecondary pathway that, with sufficient guidance and support, can increase accessibility for groups traditionally underrepresented in university.
Canada’s pursuit of a net-zero future is occurring amidst the rapid and transformative digitization of the country’s economy and society. Enabled by innovations in information and communications technology (ICT), digitization is impacting everything from industrial production, supply chains, and business …
Investing in young Indigenous tech workers’ prosperity calls for a multi-faceted policy approach that improves physical access, provides demand-driven training, and indigenizes training initiatives.
From origins of blockchain technology decades ago to earliest use cases of digital or e-cash and the introduction of Bitcoin as the first cryptocurrency in 2008, few could have predicted the cultural phenomenon and dramatic market growth for crypto-assets of …
Social media platforms have, in many ways, become a new public square, where people in Canada and around the world connect and engage in society and our democracy. Increasingly, though, the platforms and their algorithms have also been weaponized by …
Scaling Cyber: Advancing Canada’s Cybersecurity Startups December 2022
How digitalization has changed work over a 15-year study period and how these changes have affected the tech labour force in terms of worker inclusion, productivity, and pay.
This report offers a comprehensive look into how technology has impacted jobs and workers across 500 occupations in Canada in the last 15 years.
AI Oversight, Accountability and Protecting Human Rights: Comments on Canada’s Proposed Artificial Intelligence and Data Act November 2022
This report provides detailed action-oriented insights into the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian innovation landscape, along with comprehensive policy recommendations to help deploy successful moonshots in Canada.
This report provides detailed action-oriented insights into the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian innovation landscape, along with comprehensive policy recommendations to help deploy successful moonshots in Canada.
In partnership with the Brookfield Institute and Shift Insights, this report by Mitacs seeks to increases our understanding on the critical skills Canada needs to become a global leader in innovation.
Consultation on the National Cyber Security Strategy: CPX Submission to the Government of Canada August 2022
Secure Smart Cities: Making Municipal Critical Infrastructure Cyber Resilient April 2022
This report provides detailed action-oriented insights into the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian innovation landscape, along with comprehensive policy recommendations to help deploy successful moonshots in Canada.
Drawing from interviews with 14 experts, this report provides insight into the unique challenges and barriers to technology adoption in the construction industry, what industry actors are doing to address it, and what governments and firms can do to improve …
This report provides detailed action-oriented insights into the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian innovation landscape, along with comprehensive policy recommendations to help deploy successful moonshots in Canada.
This report provides detailed action-oriented insights into the challenges and opportunities in the Canadian innovation landscape, along with comprehensive policy recommendations to help deploy successful moonshots in Canada.
In collaboration with five partners, the project took an innovation-based approach to identify new and novel solutions to pressing labour market challenges in identified regions across Canada.
This report shows that while small in number, taken together, scale-ups are crucial in ensuring Canada’s long term economic sustainability. In order to unlock their full potential, policymakers need to carefully approach discussing scale-ups, particularly in distinguishing the different ways …
Now You See Me?: Advancing Data Protection and Privacy for Police Use of Facial Recognition in Canada October 2021
Rebuilding Canada’s Public Square: Response to the Government of Canada’s Proposed Approach to Address Harmful Content Online September 2021
Workplace Surveillance and Remote Work: Exploring the Impacts and Implications Amidst Covid-19 in Canada September 2021
Why Canada Must Defend Encryption: Protecting the privacy of communications in Canada September 2021
See Something, Say Something: Coordinating the Disclosure of Security Vulnerabilities in Canada June 2021
Exploring what we know about digital technology’s impact on labour and the economy — and how to best conceptualize and measure its impact in the future.
Increasing digital technology adoption and skills among Canada’s SMEs could have a significant, positive impact on Canada’s wider economy.
This updated Playbook for policymakers, employers and service providers delivers a revised framework and new methods for identifying job transitions pathways for mid-career workers.
As the food retail sector continues to evolve, so does the reality of many grocery jobs. This report identifies specific opportunities for workers looking to transition into other in-demand jobs in Ontario.
Academic streaming describes the process of dividing students into differentiated groups based on their perceived academic ability and/or prior achievement. While streaming happens both formally and informally across grade levels, entrance into secondary school in Ontario marks a more institutional …
Exploring trends driving the evolution of the food retail sector — from the rise of data and e-commerce to changing consumer habits — and their impact on grocery workers and employers in Ontario
Private Messaging Public Harms: Disinformation and Online Harms on Private Messaging Platforms in Canada June 2020
The foundations of today’s global economy are rapidly shifting, and a new type of economy is emerging that is dominated by intangible assets like ideas, data, and talent. This report explores the most important barriers that Canadian scale-ups face along …
This toolkit is designed to provide actionable examples of changes funders can make to reduce biases and increase capital access for equity-deserving groups, including but not limited to: Black women, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, women of colour, trans …
John Knubley, Canada’s former Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, reflects on the rationale, challenges and performance of the Superclusters
Using Statistic Canada’s Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), we analyzed business trends throughout the pandemic, such as remote work, online sales, and employment and skills demands.
This report explores how gender control of a firm impacts growth and the likelihood that a firm becomes a scale-up. The findings indicate that gender control does not directly impact the probability that a firm will reach scale-up status, but …
Using a wide array of data, we explore Canada’s inclusive innovation performance relative to international peers. COVID-19 and the ensuing economic crisis have revealed the need to boost participation in the innovation economy and broaden the distribution of its benefits …
Facing the Realities of Facial Recognition Technology: Recommendations for Canada’s Privacy Act February 2021
Using futures research and expert workshops, this report explores a broad range of trends with the potential to impact Canada’s labour market over the coming decade—many of which have been accelerated, disrupted, or created by COVID-19. It is designed to …
The digital divide in Canada is often described as urban-rural. However, overall rates can mask critical dimensions of the divide in cities — who is not connected and why, and whether access is sufficient and affordable. This report analyzes home …
A surprising consensus is emerging across the political spectrum in Canada on two issues: governments need to engage in activist industrial policy; and economic growth isn’t a sign of success if it exacerbates inequalities, damages the environment, destroys communities and …
Creative businesses and workers are a vital component of Canada’s economy, from freelancers, artist collectives, to internationally competitive firms, spurring innovation and knowledge transfer, commercial and cultural value, and employment opportunities. This project explores the role of creative entrepreneurship in …
Home Ice Advantage: Securing Data Sovereignty for Canadians on Social Media November 2020
Facial Recognition Technology Policy Roundtable: What We Heard November 2020
An in-depth survey of the experiences of high-growth women founders as they scale their companies, revealing divergent pathways to growth and new strategies for government, policymakers, accelerators and funders to better support the distinct needs of women-led firms.
Sharing lessons from our pilot program, which tested a model for delivering accessible digital literacy and coding programs in libraries and community spaces across Ontario. This report captures the thinking behind the pilot and makes a case for supporting after-school …
Advancing a Cybersecure Canada: Introducing the Cybersecure Policy Exchange June 2020
The Race to Trace: Security and Privacy of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps June 2020
Our new employment and skills forecast—the culmination of our Employment in 2030 project—provides a new tool for understanding how Canada’s employment and skills landscape could change between now and 2030. The accompanying report, Ahead by a Decade, explores what this …
In partnership, the Brookfield Institute and the Innovation Policy Lab introduce, articulate the need for, and conceptualize a new way to monitor innovation and inclusion (or inclusive innovation) in Canada—and shed light on how the country is performing
The drivers of value creation in our economy are shifting from tangible to intangible assets, such as data, intellectual property, and brands. Canada needs to adjust to this shift to develop a globally competitive economy. This report provides an introduction …
This report uses online job postings data from Burning Glass to push our understanding of which digital skills are in demand and what combination of digital and soft skills can help workers successfully navigate the Canadian job market.
This report and accompanying playbook present a new model to help displaced workers transition to jobs where employers are experiencing talent gaps. Using labour market information, they focus on the underlying skills required in a job while also considering the …
This report outlines the insights we gathered at six expert workshops held across Canada as part of our Employment in 2030 initiative. It shares the key trends that participants see as most likely to create change for Canada’s labour market, …
We partnered with CIFAR to design and deliver a series of labs to discuss the public policy implications of artificial intelligence (AI). This series engaged over 125 policymakers from the public, private, academic, and not-for-profit sectors across Canada. This report …
This report benchmarks and maps scale-up activity in Ontario, supplying vital insights into the best performing companies Ontario has to offer.
Despite the productivity promise of AI, adoption across Canadian firms has been slow. Our analysis of available literature on AI adoption identifies talent as a critical pre-condition to successful firm-level adoption; scarcity of talent is therefore a key barrier to …
This report provides a summary of the content covered and insights generated during the AI Futures Policy Lab hosted in Montreal, Quebec in partnership with CIFAR. This is the final lab in a series of five cross-country workshops aimed at …
A look at the complex trends impacting the future of employment in Canada–and how these trends interact in not-so-obvious ways. While not a prediction tool or a deep analysis of any one trend, this report is designed to spark exploratory …
Developed in partnership with MaRS Solutions Lab and the City of Guelph, this report seeks to better understand innovation procurement and identify opportunities for greater experimentation. As municipal governments look to purchase innovations as well as purchase innovatively, what are …
Looking at the many faces behind Canada’s tech occupations, with a focus on who are Canada’s tech workers? Where do they work? And what do they earn?
This report provides a summary of the content covered and insights generated during the AI Futures Policy Lab hosted in Ottawa, Ontario in partnership with CIFAR. This is the fourth lab in a series of five cross-country series of workshops …
This report provides a summary of the activities and content covered during the AI Futures Policy Lab hosted in Vancouver, British Columbia in partnership with CIFAR. This lab is part of a cross-country series of workshops with emerging policymakers exploring …
This report provides insight into the activities and policy recommendations generated during the second in a series of AI Futures Policy Labs we’re hosting across Canada in partnership with CIFAR.
An overview of activities and insights from participants during the first AI Futures Policy Lab we hosted in partnership with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).
Informed by interviews with leaders in Waterloo’s tech community, this report provides a set of key takeaways for employers and aspiring tech workers alike, on the process of finding and retaining top tech talent.
By highlighting case-studies from Finland and North Carolina, this report demonstrates new ways that policymakers, employers and stakeholders are pursuing innovation-driven economic goals, while ensuring workers are not left behind in the process.
This report maps the digital literacy education and training landscape in Canada. It highlights the types of digital skills that people in Canada are pursuing, sheds light on barriers to access, and identifies existing gaps and potential opportunities to improve …
This report looks at how technology can bring citizens closer to the policymaking process. It was developed in response to Budget Talks, a program launched by the Ontario government in February 2015 to inform the pre-budget consultation process. This program …
This research report provides a sketch of the policy innovation landscape in Canada, with specific reference to the tools, techniques, and approaches occurring at all three levels of government. Through this analysis, we have identified the challenges and opportunities that …
This report shares insights from a policy innovation engagement with BII+E and the Anti-Racism Directorate, which aimed to create a foundational narrative for a public awareness campaign on systemic racism; engage community partners and build relationships; and ensure participants left …
This report explores the risks and rewards automation and outlines the dual challenge technology advances present to Ontario’s economy—to simultaneously improve lagging technological adoption, while mitigating its negative impacts for some workers—and proposes a bold strategy to meet this challenge …
This report gathers insights from guest speakers and participants gathered during our one-day conference, hosted in partnership with the Government of Ontario’s Policy Innovation Hub. The event explored changes in technical capabilities of AI, their commercial applications, and proposed recommendations …
This report provides of an overview of insights and perspectives from a Toronto regional consultation on the development of an Ontario Scale-Up Strategy. Hosted on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Development & Growth, the event was attended by thirty-one …
This report was produced in collaboration with one of Canada’s leading thinkers on innovation policy, Professor David Wolfe (Innovation Policy Lab Co-Lead, Munk School of Global Affairs, U of T). Creating Digital Opportunity’s mission is to identify strengths in current …
This report responds to a growing recognition worldwide about the importance of digital literacy for students, workers, and citizens in an increasingly digital economy. It focuses on digital literacy as it pertains to the changing nature of work, drawing upon …
Prepared as background reading for participants at our March 2018 AI + Public Policy conference, this report explores the origins of AI, AI’s present-day capabilities, the challenges and opportunities associated with these technological advances, and their application to public life …
In a knowledge economy, a talented workforce is the difference between success and failure for a company. This report captures insights from a series of roundtables held with fast-growing tech companies to better understand their talent needs and the barriers …
Produced in partnership with BII+E, the Centre for Innovation Studies (THECIS) and Ryerson University, this report goes beyond conventional measures of entrepreneurial success to focus on entrepreneurs themselves. It presents data that quantifies Ontario’s flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem and compares Ontario …
This report summarizes key insights from our workshop on women in entrepreneurship, which we hosted to inform the design of a call for proposals. The event sought to better understand the experiences and challenges of women entrepreneurs, and the supports …
Produced with Stack Overflow, the world’s largest software developer community, this report highlights a growing and increasingly important segment of Canada’s tech economy: software developers. It offers a detailed look at the lives of Canada’s developers, how they learned their …
This white paper distills key insights gathered at an event we co-hosted with the Ontario Public Service Renewal team to obtain insights on their strategic framework for public service renewal. The purpose of this workshop was to hear from organizations …
This is the first discussion paper in our a research series aiming to help policymakers and other stakeholders understand the growing need for digital literacy in Canada’s workforce. It sets out our initial thinking on the need for digital knowledge …
This report looks at what rapidly advancing technology means for Canadian regional economies, especially those identified as most susceptible to automation, such as Woodstock, Ont., and Quesnel, B.C. It aims to inform the design of policies and programs that seek …
This case-study looks at the Guelph Civic Accelerator pilot, a project that is breathing new life into traditional public procurement. It is one example of what can happen when a city government reimagines how they do procurement within the existing regulatory context, in …
In its 2017 budget, the federal government committed $950 million to foster the growth and development of “superclusters”. This discussion paper provides an overview of why clusters are important and what the role of government is in cultivating them. It …
This report looks at both the technical and soft skills Canadian youth need to succeed in a changing labour market. To ensure Canada’s youth are adequately prepared for this new economic reality, new models that focus on both improving youth …
Distilling the feedback we received from Let’s Get Digital, an event co-hosted with the Ontario Digital team, this white paper looks to advance insights and recommendations for Ontario’s Digital Government Action Plan. The event convened digital leaders from across industry, …
This report explores the driving forces behind a rise in Ontario’s entrepreneurship rates, including the attitudes, motives and aspirations of entrepreneurs. It elves into relevant policy recommendations, including mentoring programs, developing a strategic vision and programs for women in entrepreneurship, …
This report provides an in-depth look at Canada’s tech sector, along with an updated and broadened definition of it, taking into account the pervasive impact that technology and related jobs have on the size of our country’s economy and workforce.
This report offers a bird’s eye view of Canada’s innovation + entrepreneurship ecosystem. It helps identify and categorize key actors involved to help obtain a high-level overview. It is a resource to learn about other actors, identify opportunities, discover patterns and connect with …
This report demonstrates that nearly 42 percent of the Canadian labour force is at a high risk of being impacted by automation in the next decade or two. Using a different methodology, we also found that 42 percent of the …