Jim Balsillie

In addition to his commitment to CIGI, Jim Balsillie is the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs, the Centre for Digital Rights and the Arctic Research Foundation and co-founder of the Council of Canadian Innovators.



Jim Balsillie’s career is unique in Canadian business. He is the former chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), a technology company he scaled from an idea to $20 billion in sales globally. Jim’s private investment office includes global and domestic technology investments and was part of the consortium that recently purchased the Canadian space technology leader MDA.

He is the co-founder of the Institute for New Economic Thinking in New York, the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) based in Toronto, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, the Centre for Digital Rights and the CIO Strategy Council (CIOSC). He currently chairs the boards of the CCI and CIGI, and co-chairs the CIOSC. He is also the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Arctic Research Foundation, a member of the board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the advisory board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, an Honorary Captain (Navy) of the Royal Canadian Navy and an advisor to the Canada School of Public Service.

Jim was the only Canadian ever appointed to the US Business Council and was the private sector representative on the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel for Global Sustainability. His awards include: several honorary degrees, Mobile World Congress Lifetime Achievement Award, India’s Priyadarshni Academy Global Award, Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Time Magazine World’s 100 Most Influential People and three times on Barron’s list of “World’s Top CEOs.”

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