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The BlackBerry may have been the first smart phone to wow the business world, but it also opened the eyes of Research in Motion co-founder Jim Balsillie to the importance of making the planet a better place.

Since 2001 Balsillie has devoted well over $100 million of his own money — and his trademark passion — to creating unique university programs and a well-respected think tank on international governance that many people credit with helping boost Canada’s reputation and role in the world.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) has become a leading research and advocacy group on a host of...

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