Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
The William R. Rhodes Center

POSTPONED: Dan Breznitz — Innovation in Real Places

Dan Breznitz — Innovation in Real Places

Friday, April 7, 2023

12:00pm – 1:00pm



Professor Dan Breznitz joins the Rhodes Center to discuss his new book," Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World." This book is a challenge to prevailing ideas about innovation and a guide to identifying the best growth strategy for your community.

Across the world, cities and regions have wasted trillions of dollars on blindly copying the Silicon Valley model of growth creation. Since the early years of the information age, we've been told that economic growth derives from harnessing technological innovation. To do this, places must create good education systems, partner with local research universities, and attract innovative hi-tech firms. We have lived with this system for decades, and the result is clear: a small number of regions and cities at the top of the high-tech industry but many more fighting a losing battle to retain economic dynamism.

But are there other models that don't rely on a flourishing high-tech industry? In Innovation in Real Places, Dan Breznitz argues that there are.



Dan Breznitz has been elected as a University Professor of the University of Toronto, and the holder of the Munk Chair of Innovation Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science of the University of Toronto, where he is also the Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab and a Senior Fellow of Messi College. In addition, he is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) where he co-founded and co-directs the program on Innovation, Equity and the Future of Prosperity.

Professor Breznitz is known worldwide as an expert on rapid-innovation-based industries and their globalization, as well as for his pioneering research on the distributional impact of innovation policies. He has been a member of several boards, and has served as an advisor on science, technology, and innovation policies to multinational corporations, governments, and international organizations. He currently serves as the Clifford Clarke Economist of the Canadian Department of Finance, where he is responsible for new economic thinking and the restructuring of the Canadian economy. He was awarded multiple scholarly and public policy awards including the GTRC 75th Anniversary Innovation Award for Public Service, Leadership, and Policy and a Sloan Industry Studies Fellow. Before joining the Munk School, Breznitz spent eight years in Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) as a professor in the Scheller College of Business, the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, and the School of Public Policy. In an earlier life he founded and served as a CEO of a small software company.

In addition to publishing numerous academic articles chapters and edited volumes in multiple disciplines, opinion pieces in leading media outlets, and national and regional policy documents, he is an award-winning author. His first book, Innovation and the State: Political Choice and Strategies for Growth in Israel, Taiwan, and Ireland, won the 2008 Don K. Price for best book on science and technology. His second book (co-authored with Michael Murphree) The Run of the Red Queen: Government, Innovation, Globalization, and Economic Growth in China, was chosen as the 2012 Susan Strange Best Book in International Studies by the British International Studies Association, and was featured in multiple media outlets including The Economist, the New York Times, and Forbes. His latest book Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World offers pragmatic advice while debunking dangerous myth on innovation, growth and prosperity, was chosen by the Financial Times as one of the best books of 2021, and won the inaugural Balsillie prize for Public Policy given by the Writers’ Trust of Canada, as well as the Donner Prize for the Best Book on Public Policy.