The word “innovation” pops up everywhere. It refers to everything from technology to services to economic growth – but is innovation just about goods and services or does it depend on who we are, our institutions, culture and education? The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), in partnership with the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP), is organizing a one-day interdisciplinary workshop during McGill University’s Innovation Week. Open to students, entrepreneurs, policy makers and community leaders we will explore together the fundamental role that human structures, attitudes, skills and knowledge have in determining the impact of innovation. 

Panels will examine how innovation is as much as social phenomenon as a technological one. The bias towards  technology ignores the reality that many of the most significant  innovations are either not related to technology or are only peripherally so. Great technologies that don’t meet social needs will fail; important social changes can have substantial impact even without technologies. Ultimately, the event will explore what conditions in society lead people not only to create but to turn those creations into innovations. Idea-driven goods and services pose new challenges for our societies.