Jim Balsillie

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

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Jim Balsillie’s career is unique in Canadian business. He is a former Chairman and co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), a Canadian technology company he scaled from an idea to $20 billion in sales globally.

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, Centre for Digital Rights and the CIO Strategy Council. He currently chairs the boards of CCI, CIGI, and co-Chairs CIOSC. He is also the founder of the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Arctic Research Foundation. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre and an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy. He is an Advisor to Canada School of Public Policy.

Mr. Balsillie was the only Canadian ever appointed to US Business Council and the sole private sector representative on the UN Secretary General’s High Panel for Sustainability.  He is the only Canadian member of the US Council on Competitiveness where he serves on the Executive Committee and an internationally renowned voice on innovation strategy, competitiveness and international economic policy. He testified to the US Senate on America Innovates Act, a landmark legislation for management of intellectual property.  

His awards include: several honorary degrees, Mobile World Congress Lifetime Achievement Award, India’s Priyadarshni Academy Global Award, GSMA Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Business Hall of Fame, Time Magazine’s World’s 100 Most Influential People and three times Barron’s list of "World’s Top CEOs.” 

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