Innovation, Equity & The Future of Prosperity 

About the Program

Innovation can promote economic growth and social and cultural well-being. However, innovation is often conceived and implemented in a way that leads to unequal distribution of its benefits. This program takes a multidisciplinary and cross-national look at how, why, and when the benefits of innovation aren’t always broadly shared.

The benefits of innovation tend to be concentrated in a limited number of industries, regions and hands. Innovation that exacerbates – rather than reduces – inequality can undermine public support for science and innovation and contribute to broader political alienation.

The program examines how the policies used to generate and diffuse innovation affect the distribution of opportunities and outcomes in society. It also looks at which institutions and other factors facilitate or impede the development and implementation of distribution-sensitive innovation policies, programs and practices.

The program will develop knowledge that can be used to design and implement innovation policies, programs and practices that support equitable economic growth and fair distribution around the globe.

Upcoming Meetings


We hope to return to in-person meetings as soon as possible. In the meantime, CIFAR will continue to assess a number of logistical considerations (e.g. international travel restrictions and requirements, venue safety, and other insurance/liability-related issues). In addition, we ask that you familiarize yourself with the restrictions and travel and health insurance coverage from your home institutions.

Confirmed 2022 Meetings:

  • Tuesday, February 22: 10 am to 2:30 pm Eastern Time 
  • May 13-15 HOLD
  • October 21-23 HOLD

We have a virtual program meeting scheduled for February 22, 2022.  We'd like to use that as a "work in progress" meeting similar to the one we held last winter.  The idea is to use our time together to hear about new or early stage work for which you'd like feedback from members of the program.  Ideally, these discussions will also help to lay the groundwork for some collaborations across/between program members, advisors, and global scholars as we still have catalyst funds available for collaborative seed grants.  If you have a paper, a proposal, or anything in between that you'd like to share, send me a note with a line or two about what you have that you'd like to present and let me know how much time you think you might need/want.  Feel free to be vague: a little, a lot, or just right will do!    


Future Meetings

Please also assume that the "week of" schedule will hold in perpetuity once we are able to hold in-person meetings again (3rd week of January, 2nd week on May, 3rd week of October). 

Calendar invitations and zoom information will be sent by Grace Wong (CIFAR Event & Meeting Coordinator) to all program members and guests. Read more in the "Upcoming Meetings" tab on this program website.