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Creativity unleashed: Taking innovation out of the laboratory and into the labour force

Despite three decades of concentrated public policy work and incentive programs, Canada still lags behind its competitors in innovation and productivity.1 Innovation is a key driver of productivity and yet Canada’s productivity growth is 20% less than that of the United States.2 Canada is in the bottom quartile for innovation within the OECD.3 In an increasingly unpredictable and complex world economy, Canada must consider revisiting its innovation policies by focusing on its greatest resource: its people. Just as the knowledge economy shaped economic development through the second half of the 20th century, the creative economy has become a dominant force in today’s world economy. How can public policy work to unleash creativity in the Canadian labour force across all sectors? To build economic strength and resiliency, Canada should develop a bold strategy to incubate creative minds and the places and processes in which they can thrive. This task force report makes the case for high-impact federal initiatives that could work to unite business leaders, academics and artists in building a more competitive and creative Canada.