Norma Domey – National Vice President, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
Arjumand Siddiqi –Division Head, Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
Harlan Pruden (nēhiyo/First Nations Cree Nation) – PhD, Faculty, Health Sciences Simon Fraser University
Moderator: Cara Tannenbaum – Departmental Science Advisor, Health Canada
Context: Three panelists shared their diverse perspectives on the sensitive and ubiquitous topic of systemic racism in multiple aspects of different scientific disciplines. The moderator and panelists guided the audience through an evidence-based journey on how racially biased science can affect how science is practiced, managed, and consumed, and ways to combat this bias. As often happens in life, naming and facing problems might be unsettling, yet doing so should lead to a healthy introspection towards improvement. The discussion showed that, individually and collectively, we can prevent and correct race-based bias by understanding ourselves and holding and recommitting to fundamental scientific principles. Essentially: anti-racist science is better science.
Research informs policies, programs, and practices – if research is biased, policies and practices based on this research will be biased.
Race is a determinant of how people are treated in society and how much access they have to resources and opportunities. The main purpose of including race in census categories is to figure out where systemic disadvantages are occurring. This same logic can be applied to science.
As an example of how bias can affect science and reinforce racism, the null hypothesis used in statistical analysis typically sets white people as the control and the standard by which others are evaluated. This reinforces privilege by implicitly pushing others towards the margins of society and the analysis. To prevent this, data can and should be analyzed through intergroup comparisons.
Bias and racism can be reflected in environmental science. Indigenous communities in Canada suffer disproportionately from weather phenomena, such as wildfires and flooding, that lead to preventable deaths. Consultations with communities are not enough to prevent and address this fact – more should be done to reflect this reality in scientific work and discourse.
Racial inequities may be due to structural barriers embedded within institutions and systems. Collecting race-based disaggregated data is essential to help identify and address racial inequities in public health through the establishment of explicit anti-racist policies.
Utilize the self-focus wheel to begin to address racial issues in the laboratory and other environments. It can help open discussions within groups that lead to corrective action.
Amplify the voices of BIPOC scientists by deliberately recruiting them and forwarding their development and promotion. Actively advocate for diverse leaders in academia and provide professional training.
Include the voices of people who are marginalized in policy and budget discussions, and incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) as criteria for consideration in science funding programs.
Implement and practice the reconciliation framework for an antiracist health care system. This requires intentionality and communal self-examination.
Include representation from impacted communities on research teams to move away from the hegemony of knowledge.
Collect and utilize data on racialized communities from the Census to determine what society looks like right now, the problems being faced, and whether policies are benefiting or disadvantaging groups. Remember that statistics do not create change; political and social intention are needed to address systemic disadvantages.
Hailey Hechtman – Executive Director, Causeway Work Centre
Naomi Tabata – Manager, Centre for Applied Research, Technology and Innovation at North Island College
Gail Bowkett – Vice President, Programs, Mitacs
Kevin Holmes – Managing Director, Social Innovation Lab, Algonquin College
Kelly Lendsey – President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Indigenous Works
Moderator: Denise Amyot – President/CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan)
Context: For vulnerable and underrepresented groups such as women, immigrants, racialized communities and Indigenous peoples, COVID-19 has deepened and exacerbated systemic and underlying inequities. Motivated by solving practical challenges within their communities, college applied research centres gather students, faculty and technology to work collaboratively with a broad range of partners. This “non-traditional” approach to research leverages the unique strengths of each partner for the benefit of the entire community. Five leaders from different segments of the innovation ecosystem shared their recipes for success in collaborating with research partners to achieve social innovation impacts and advance a more just society.
Inclusive innovation has both social and economic benefits: embedding policies that foster inclusion results in higher quality innovation and a more equitable distribution of the benefits of innovation.
There is a trust and engagement gap when working with Indigenous peoples that must be addressed.
One of the challenges of collaboration/research partnerships is that many different organizations or institutions have to interact, and each has their own internal structure or systems. This can make partnerships difficult to navigate.
It is important to have enough data to establish a baseline and better understand the problem so that solutions can be developed.
Working with community partners on various initiatives can help strengthen a community as a whole and provide valuable learning experiences to individuals providing their services or expertise.
Broadening eligibility is an important way to increase inclusivity and diversity. Removing requirements in internship programs that only allow for citizens, permanent residents, and persons with refugee status to participate only delays the ability of other individuals to develop their careers and impedes inclusivity and diversity.
Accommodating travel costs can help reduce barriers to working more effectively in and with remote communities.
There is great potential to develop an Indigenous research network to help create healthy economies and communities.
Organized by: Centro de Investigación en Computación del Instituto Politécnico Nacional
Verónica Dahl – Professor Emeritus of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
Iara Mantenuto – Assistant Professor of Linguistics, California State University Dominguez Hills
Luis Filiberto Altamirano – Activist for the preservation of the Mixtec language, International Taekwondo Federation
Manuel Mager – Wixarika descendant, Doctoral researcher, Stuttgart University, UNAM
Segun Aroyehun – PhD Graduate, Centro de Investigación en Computación – IPN
Moderator: Christian Efraín Maldonado-Sifuentes – PhD Candidate, Centro de Investigación en Computación – IPN
Context: Speakers of minority languages are often marginalized, discriminated against, unable to find opportunities and they even face hurdles to exercise their basic rights. As a consequence of these many problems, colonization, and other structural issues, minority languages are spoken less and less, falling slowly into obscurity and even completely disappearing from common use. The lack of resources in minority languages pushes society towards languages with abundant resources leading to minority language endangerment. As technology development accelerates creating vast opportunities, it is unacceptable to deprive language minorities of the inclusion opportunities that it could provide. Panelists discussed difficulties and challenges they faced as minority language researchers and ideas on how science could support development of solutions to promote inclusion of minorities.
Technological advances and research from the Global North are more prevalent than in the Global South, demonstrating a division in literature. There is a need to overcome this division so the next generation of scholars can thrive.
Academic research can be used to address social issues and provide potential solutions. For example, as language diversity is eroding at an alarming speed, computational linguists can code methods which automatically generate grammars of under-resourced languages.
There is a need for empathy from the government and others towards minority language communities. We need to work together–both minority and majority language speakers alike–to surmount challenges and break barriers.
Language conveys culturally relevant information. A huge repository of cultural knowledge is lost whenever a minority language disappears.
Change the perception of minority languages and minority language speakers. They should be considered assets, not burdens or liabilities.
Technological methods developed are mainly for languages with many resources, and there is a missed opportunity for technologies to be applied to other languages.
Change the current academic system to recognize collaborative work and workshops with communities as work and not as volunteering.
Develop indicators of equity in every area and advocate for equity for marginalized populations.
Invest in outreach educational programs to remove barriers that restrict access to education–in particular, barriers that affect women and girls.
Conduct outreach to schools in public and private spaces to prioritize Indigenous language needs.
Provide technologies to minority language communities so they can access more resources, use their language in more areas, and create a technological community that can push language research forward.
Decolonize and globalize science and technology. Include other languages so that English is not a requirement to participate in the research community.
Greg Fergus – Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Digital Government
Nahed Mourad – Scientist/Researcher, YWCA Canada
Valerie Nicholson – Elder and Indigenous Peer Researcher, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and AIDS Vancouver
Fred Popowich – Scientific Director, SFU’s Big Data Hub and Professor of Computing Science, Simon Fraser University
Moderator: Angela Kaida – Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Perspectives in HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health, Simon Fraser University
Context: The BC Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and Canada’s Parliamentary Black Caucus are calling for disaggregated data to measure the impacts of systemic racism. The academic community must also address their legacy of data being used against Canada’s oppressed peoples and the historical extractive nature of research. Panelists shared perspectives on co-designing community-benefitting research to serve communities better through ethical, data-driven approaches. We heard from research experts, government leaders, policy makers, Indigenous advocates, and data experts on how the research community can collaborate with community groups to address the growing digital and data divide in Canada.
Various barriers, including language barriers, racial discrimination, lack of representation, etc., may prevent academics or community members from participating in addressing various social justice challenges.
It can be difficult to measure systemic barriers for a number of reasons. It’s important to figure out what needs to be measured and how data should be used. Collecting data can be challenging, so it is important to clearly define what the end goal is.
Research has historically been used against marginalized communities. This is a practice that must shift. Research needs to be conducted for the explicit benefit of communities.
The academic community must reflect on research practices and consider how work done in the past and present affects individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Ethical research takes into consideration everyone involved.
Build trust with communities and involve communities in research processes. Consult with people who may be affected by research and ensure that research is beneficial to marginalized communities.
Actively work to improve research practices and challenge discriminatory practices in academia and research.
Use different forms of media to share new knowledge.
Mobilize social media to gather like-minded people and have discussions about important topics.
Use plain language and avoid “insider language”, and explain how the impact of an issue will affect each target audience.
Organized by: Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
Nadine Spencer – CEO of BrandEQ Group Inc. CEO, President, Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)
Tania Saba – BMO Chaired Professor in Diversity and Governance Professor, School of Industrial Relations, Université de Montréal
Moderator: Wendy Cukier – Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Ted Rogers School of Management Director
Context: Canada is a very diverse country with a significant proportion of its demographic and economic growth coming from racialized groups and from immigration. Recognizing the importance of Canadian youth in accounting for one-third of the total Canadian population and as a highly diverse group, the Canadian government introduced multiple policies and programs, such as the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, to support youth engagement in the workforce. Using an intersectional lens, this panel included four presentations on gaps in youth support programs, barriers for Black youth entrepreneurs, stereotypes of youth entrepreneurs, and future skills for youth.
Systemic change is needed at different levels of policy, tech and innovation culture (e.g., values and stereotypes) and organizational practices (e.g., training and education in universities and in K-12).
Our definition of innovation is limited. Innovation is not just technology, infrastructures or tools. It’s about doing things differently and having new services, new collaborations or new processes.
A big blind spot in Canada is that we equate innovation skills with STEM. These are important disciplines, but alone they are not sufficient enough to drive innovation. A consequence of focusing only on STEM is that we exclude Black and Indigenous communities/women, given that they are less represented in STEM fields.
Skills must be more precisely defined to bridge the gap between employer and graduate assessments. Additionally, transferable skills such as collaborative, entrepreneurial and socio-emotional skills should be taught, as they are indispensable to the rapidly growing ecosystem of innovation.
Business incubators need to look at the system through an equity and diversity lens and account for disparities in access and opportunity.
There is less capital and less opportunity for Black entrepreneurs. Due to historical trauma and a confidence gap, Black entrepreneurs less often apply for grants. Black entrepreneurs were twice as impacted by the repercussions of COVID-19, yet were half as likely to get access to government funding.
Create support programs for diverse youth in Canada which address barriers such as discrimination. These programs can provide opportunities for different groups and communities in the innovation ecosystem and provide education on possible entrepreneurial pathways.
Encourage institutions to measure success in different ways (e.g., through levels of sustainability or internally generated resources such as human and social capital).
Develop new strategies for training entrepreneurs in skills which allow them to adapt to changes in the ecosystem (e.g., cognitive, social and communicative skills).
Raise awareness about access to technology, potential barriers, and the tools needed to participate in the programs and mentorships.
Provide coaching and mentorship about business plans and financial literacy and allow entrepreneurs to have access to opportunities and scholarships.
Dr. Jonathan Lai – Executive Director, Canadian Autism and Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA)
Dr. Katie Aubrecht – Canada Research Chair Equity & Social Justice, St. Francis Xavier University
Moderator: Max Brault – Vice President, BDO Consulting
Context: In 2019 the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) came into effect, requiring organizations to prepare and publish accessibility plans, establish feedback processes, and report on these processes and progress in achieving its goal of making Canada barrier-free by 2040. The introduction of the ACA heightened the need for pan-Canadian mechanisms for organizations and stakeholders to engage across sectors, disciplines, and industries in action-oriented collaborations to address the multifaceted issues in accessibility. The Canadian Accessibility Network (CAN), under the leadership of the READ Initiative at Carleton University, has been developed to address this need. This panel focused on a program of work undertaken by CAN’s Policy Domain Area Committee (DAC) to advance disability inclusive accessibility policy processes. Panelists described how disability communities can be meaningfully engaged in policy processes to inform the development of science policy into the future.
Recent legislation like the Accessible Canada Act help to highlight key areas of action for accessibility policy. Putting disability accommodations into practice remains a work-in-progress.
Corporations and organizations recognize the importance of building around individual experience, but often do not understand how individuals with disabilities should be accommodated.
Collective action approaches rely on a strong base of data and evidence, community voices to provide meaningful stories, and levers of action for enacting policy. It is important to listen to individuals with lived experience and to understand power dynamics between groups when implementing a national strategy.
The public policy process is a series of sequential stages that build on one another. It begins by clearly defining the problem, setting an agenda, developing policy options, making decisions to support logically sound policy options, implementing the policy and monitoring for unintended consequences, and evaluating the initiative’s successes and failures through a variety of perspectives. Federal jurisdictions often serve as a starting point.
Inclusive design thinking involves a holistic consideration of the full range of human diversity impacted by policy development. It is important to engage and design with people who have diverse perspectives; in this case, specifically those with disabilities.
Organizations must first assess their business and establish a framework with all stakeholders to ensure that individuals with disabilities are being heard.
Adopt concrete systems that are conducive to reaching and recruiting neurodiverse people and people with disabilities. (e.g., provide employment interview questions in advance as opposed to on the spot during an onboarding process).
Recognize that sociocultural identities are at the centre of inclusive design, and view history through this lens to learn new perspectives on systemic ableism.
Co-lead and centre the design of accessibility policy alongside people with lived experiences of disability. This can help in developing targeted initiatives to address equity gaps and increase representation (e.g., in education).
Context: In this panel, the Immigrant and International Women in Science (IWS) Network introduced results from our recent survey, launched in 2020 among our members to draw a clearer picture of the actual challenges and barriers that IWS settled in Canada face daily. With our panel, composed of leaders in different science workplace ecosystems (academia, industry and government), we discussed the outcomes of the survey and strategies in overcoming common challenges.
IWS launched a survey investigating the challenges and barriers of immigrant women in entering their careers, including the effect of the pandemic on their careers.
In the past few years, many changes have been made with respect to EDI in workplaces. Despite these changes, there is still dissatisfaction among immigrant women, with many unable to find STEM-related jobs.
There are programs run by government agencies (e.g., NSERC’s Dimensions Program) which focus on recognizing multiple facets of diversity. Immigrant women have contributed to many sound policies and programs through giving input and providing leadership.
There are many barriers for immigrants within the federal hiring process. The processes are geared towards Canadian citizens, and language barriers can be challenging.
There are also many structural barriers for immigrant women working within institutions, e.g., at the University of Calgary there is a 15% gender pay gap as a result of most department heads being male, immigrant women being offered lower salaries and few EDI training opportunities.
Support and build capacity for EDI, provide resources, and engage with stakeholders to include immigrant voices in science policy.
More platforms are needed where EDI and the barriers immigrant women face can be discussed and solutions can be proposed.
Elect visionaries who have future generations in mind as leaders.
Place greater emphasis on self-teaching, transferable skills, emotional intelligence, relationship skills, and communicating. The social aspect/soft skills of STEM are essential, especially network-building.
We are going to face many grand challenges in the near future, and immigrant women can provide insight to these solutions. We need leadership with diverse points of view to build just, inclusive systems.
Kukik Baker – Executive Director, Aqqiumavvik Society
Murray Humphries – Associate Professor, McGill Northern Research Chair Director, Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment
Andrew Arreak– Regional Operations Lead, Qikiqtaaluk Region, SmartICE
Nicole Redvers – Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Moderator: Norma Kassi – Co-Research Director, Canadian Mountain Network; Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Science, McGill University; Senior Advisor, Indigenous Leadership Initiative
Context: High-quality collaborative research is needed to meet the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing Arctic. Indigenous Peoples in Canada’s North are well equipped to lead high-quality Arctic research of priority to Northerners. In this session, we heard from research leaders combining Indigenous and western approaches. Research in the Canadian Arctic has been and will continue to be shaped by Indigenous voices.
Research in the Arctic is done on a “what needs to be done” basis which allows researchers and the community to assess needs and conduct research beneficial to the community.
Local knowledge of the community and the land drives what research needs to be done. Typically, researchers and scientists will come to communities and collaborate with the community while conducting their research. This ensures that research won’t be disconnected from what communities actually need. Researchers listen to stories, questions, and concerns from the community and develop personal relationships with people there.
The Young Hunters Program, part of the Aqqiumavvik Society Arviat Wellness Society, was used as a way to tackle food insecurity and teach youth sustainable harvesting practices. However, as the program developed, it also turned into a mental health and suicide prevention program for youth within the community and helped connect young people in Arviat to their culture and families.
There are challenges with education in the North, as different types of training and post-secondary education is difficult to access. Many are reluctant to leave and travel to the South to seek training and education, so having access to instructors in the North is beneficial to the young people there.
Actively attempt to challenge Eurocentric Western ideologies. Western research must shift to acknowledge Indigenous research. Indigenous researchers must protect Indigenous beliefs and cultures within the Western research paradigm.
Listen to communities and their needs. Non-Indigenous researchers conducting research in the North need to listen to and learn from Indigenous researchers.
Reinterpret what knowledge is and how it is defined. Consider how certain practices are beneficial or otherwise to a community, and consider what is important to a community.
It’s important to build trust between researchers and communities. Discovering new ways of working together will create more opportunities and allow for greater respect and understanding of Indigenous beliefs and cultures in the research community.
Organized by: Public Services and Procurement Canada – Laboratories Canada
Emily McAuley – Director, Indigenous Science Liaison Office and Interdepartmental Indigenous STEM (I-STEM) Cluster, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and a member of Lake Manitoba First Nation
Leah Creaser – Lois Vallely-Fischer Award for Democratic Student Citizenship and 3M National Student Fellowship recipient, Acadia University and President of the Indigenous Student Society of Acadia (ISSA)
David Fortin – Citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, LEED accredited professional, registered architect in the provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba
Jacqueline Ottmann – President, First Nations University of Canada and Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) from Fishing Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan
Elizabeth Foster – Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada
Natalka Cmoc – Director General of Science and Policy, Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).
Context: Systemic barriers, past and present, continue to hinder progress towards inclusivity of First Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation knowledge and ways of knowing. These barriers are physical, operational, and cultural. This session explored how Indigenous voices in STEM may be amplified by talking with Indigenous leaders of change. The panelists have been walking the path of reconciliation by leading transformative change, bringing First Nation, Inuit and Métis Nation perspectives to their work and influencing their organisations and institutions. The panelists shared their recent experiences and thoughts on how Indigenous Peoples and allies can support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation inclusion in science by creating cultural safety through physical and interpersonal spaces.
Western and Indigenous sciences are based on different worldviews. What is considered knowledge or truth in one worldview may or may not be the same in the other.
Within one country, ways of doing, knowing and being vary widely.
The knowledge systems within Indigenous practices have been developed over thousands of years. Knowledge is passed down and protected within communities.
Indigenous approaches tend to understand systems as a whole, in contrast to Western sciences, which tend to focus less on the connections between things. In scientific theory, you pick one thing, create a hypothesis, and test it. Indigenous approaches explore interconnectedness.
Indigenous peoples are the first conservationists and innovators of sustainability.
Properties, boundaries and surveying of land is a violent act for Indigenous peoples
Address systemic barriers. Explore policies and consider whether or not they are inclusive. Are various ways of knowing accepted, or are certain worldviews being dismissed? Are organizations welcoming of a multitude of perspectives?
Incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the structure of organizations. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada has made efforts to use both Western and Indigenous knowledge systems.
Create inclusive spaces that consider cultural competency, awareness, sensitivity and humility. Acknowledge value systems and use appropriate language. Ensure physical safety (this includes the layout of a building).
Ensure Indigenous representation in decision making so that critical issues are considered from a variety of viewpoints.
Louise Poissant – Scientific Director, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture
Moderator: Maryse Lassonde – President, Conseil supérieur de l’éducation du Québec
Context: The people who lead the organizations that support or oversee scientific activity can have a profound impact on the research produced within their agencies. To what extent can women, who are under-represented in many scientific fields and in leadership positions, bring about significant changes in the science ecosystem?
For the first time in history, the three research funds in Québec are led by women. During this panel, the three scientific directors discussed their roles and their priorities with other leading women in research and reflected on ways to redesign the system in order to ensure that more women have access to leadership positions in science.
Some decades ago, more women began entering fields like journalism and medical sciences and made their voices heard in sectors which were historically male-dominated. Today, more than ever before, many women hold leadership positions in research organizations.
It is a continuous challenge to ensure that traditionally unrepresented or under-represented groups achieve equitable participation in all spheres of work. In some fields like natural sciences and engineering, women receive less funding than men.
Diversity is an essential component of scientific and academic excellence.
In research, having an equitable, diverse and inclusive environment has several advantages. For example, promoting the presence of marginalized groups/women ensures that we have a multiplicity of perspectives and thus an environment that is representative of the society we live in.
For younger generations, research is a privileged space to address issues such as social inequalities and climate change.
Establish networks of women in leadership positions.
Promote and improve family-work balance measures by providing opportunities for remote work, interviews for grants by teleconference, distance education, etc.
Be aware of prejudices in the workplace and in research environments, and actively work to dismantle unconscious biases that exist in these areas.
Make changes to program rules so that women may extend their maternity leave or deduct babysitting costs from their subsidies when they go to international conventions.
Foster careers in digital science or computer science among women at the college and university level.
Establish new ways of communicating to better encompass various points of view. This will facilitate the development of research that resonates with and positively impacts a wider audience.
Offer training in rhetoric and teach debating skills. Offer training in writing as well.
Caleb Behn – Director, Rights, Assembly of First Nations
Diane Campbell – Assistant Deputy Minister, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environmental and Climate Change Canada
Sophie D’Amours – Rectrice, l’Université Laval
Alison Nankivell – Senior Vice President, Fund Investments and Global Scaling, BDC Capital
Éliane Ubalijoro – Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and the Global Hub Director in Canada, Future Earth
Moderator: Geneviève Tanguay – Vice President – Emerging Technologies, National Research Council of Canada
Context: Humankind is facing unprecedented challenges such as climate change and water scarcity, which must be resolved at the global level. Addressing global sustainability issues will require tremendous effort.
To maximize our collective potential to achieve a sustainable future, the full participation of women is required. Gender inequality in STEM hinders women’s economic prosperity and undermines global contributions to the innovation economy that are crucial to shared sustainability goals.
The panelists, from diverse sectors and domains, discussed needs and gaps, tools and policies, and shared best practices for advancing gender equity and diversifying a STEM workforce.
There is a lack of diversity and inclusion in academia, business, technology and science.
To promote sustainability and build a better future, it is beneficial that every group is at the table to voice their unique perspectives and solutions. Societal transformation cannot afford to exclude women’s voices.
To solve sustainability issues, it is important to present actions in a way that attracts and mobilizes a diversity of talents to ensure care for the most fragile people in the community.
Advancement opportunities for women should be understood in the short, medium and long term.
To increase participation of women and minority groups in STEM at the university-level, it is important to establish and communicate the purpose of the program. BIPOC/young women must have a sense that they are investing in their futures and establishing supportive knowledge networks in academic circles.
Providing just, inclusive and diverse education to all youth will reduce systemic gaps and lift the barriers that exist between men and women.
There is a critical need for social innovation that will allow women/minoritized groups to come together and support each other in authentic and vulnerable ways.
There is much hope for the future as evidenced by the new generation of young people who are determined to make a difference in society.
Increasing literacy and amplifying the voices of those most marginalized will aid in workplace culture and beyond. The lived experiences of BIPOC/women must be valued in the workplace and in society as a whole.
There is a serious need for equal representation and support for women in STEM fields because these women will present new ideas and thus be the agents of change.
Safety in leadership roles is a right for all people, regardless of gender.
Continuous dialogue that recognizes biases and systemic barriers and works on inclusiveness can create an environment for societal change.
We must change society together and be aided by allyship and sponsorship.
Context: These sessions explored sector trends, challenges and creative ideas from researchers, Future Skills Centre-funded innovation projects, and industry leaders.
Panel Topic 1: Skills for Inclusive Innovation
What is Inclusive Innovation? And what skills are needed to ensure we design and develop solutions facing those with the greatest barriers in employment and education. In this session, participants were provided the opportunity to understand what skills are needed for inclusive innovation by learning about diverse projects that are cultivating the space to test, disrupt and create new approaches for training and development.
The innovation economy is growing faster than any other economy, and talent is needed to support this growth.
There are structural barriers to inclusive innovation. For example, Black- and/or women-owned ventures are less likely to receive financial investment than white, male entrepreneurs.
Innovation does not mean just technical innovation; it includes new products, new approaches, new programs, etc., and by defining innovation as technology alone, it excludes groups who are underrepresented in that area.
Development and use of micro-credentials is a valuable way to allow individuals to bridge existing skills into new careers or industries. By acknowledging the value of a person’s lived experiences or previously learned skills, this can help erode the barrier to entry to many industries where various groups are underrepresented.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of being able to adapt programming quickly, and also the importance of being able to develop online communities.
To increase inclusivity, it is important to address barriers such as access to the internet, access to financing, and entrepreneurial business advice/expertise. It is also necessary to identify alternate pathways that lower the barrier to entry for underrepresented groups.
Intentionally include inclusivity and embed it into program development by identifying gaps in programming from the beginning.
Get support from businesses and the government for inclusive programming.
Established institutions need to rethink and rework their recruitment/hiring practices through a more inclusive lens, rather than continuing to hire in the same way they always have (e.g., relying on informal networks).
Moderator: Mike Moffat – Assistant Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey Business School, Western University, Senior Director at the Smart Prosperity Institute
Context: These sessions explored sector trends, challenges and creative ideas from researchers, Future Skills Centre-funded innovation projects, and industry leaders.
Panel Topic 2: Skills for a Green Future
What does a green future look like? What skills will we need for green jobs? In this panel discussion with researchers, industry leaders and community builders, we focused on understanding the skills needed to develop and transition to a low carbon economy and support the growth of rising sectors and emerging career pathways.
Environmental workers include both those who require environmental skills or knowledge to do their jobs, regardless of industry, and individuals who work for environmental organizations, regardless of role. This diversity of environmental roles makes it difficult to fully capture the market of environmental workers.
There are many barriers to accessing and completing training/retraining in new green career paths, including the cost of the programs, the time and money required for transportation, issues with childcare, and even the use of gendered language in corporate or recruitment documents.
It’s important to understand what skills will be needed for a green transition to allow Canadians to reskill and upskill. Understanding what skills are needed will also allow organizations to update training programs and create new certifications.
There will be many opportunities in environmental work for Canadians who are in transitioning industries.
Healthcare services and systems are one of Canada’s biggest GHG emitters. There is a need for the creation and integration of green solutions within the healthcare system.
There is a need to understand and apply knowledge about human behaviour to develop more effective policies and programs. For example, understanding the resistance to transitions towards a green future can help provide solutions on how to respond to this resistance.
It is important to deepen connections at a community level to better understand what challenges people face and identify how to best support those who are being impacted (or will be impacted) by transitions towards a greener future.
Provide resources and information for the public (e.g. through webinars) on green technologies.
International organizations, governments and corporations need to collaborate across industries so that knowledge can move beyond individual organizations and facilitate better decision-making.
Science Policy is inclusive of both policy for science and science for policy. Policy for Science focuses on management of science enterprises, i.e., the generation of new knowledge, the development of new technology, capacity building, training highly qualified personnel and research infrastructure. In general, the key targets of policy for science are post-secondary institutions, research funding organizations and government science-based departments and agencies. Science for policy is the application and use of scientific research and knowledge to inform evidence-based decisions for public policy and regulations in all policy areas, not limited to but including public-interest policy priorities such as health, environment, national security, education, and criminal justice and others.
Innovation Policy Definition
Innovation Policy focuses on putting the outputs of research (knowledge, technology) into use for broad socio-economic benefits. Innovation policies generally support and promote technology transfer, product, process development, validation, commercialization and scale up, national and regional innovation systems with the objective of improving productivity and competitiveness and driving economic growth and job creation. Social innovation is considered as an integral part of innovation policy. CSPC encourages nominations from all disciplines of science (natural sciences and engineering, social and human sciences, and health sciences) and from all sectors (governments at all levels, academia, private and non-profit sectors, media, and others).