How can innovation be beneficial to all?

Innovation, Equity, & The Future of Prosperity


Innovation can promote economic growth and social and cultural well-being. However, innovation is often conceived and implemented in a way that leads to unequal distribution of its benefits. This program takes a multidisciplinary and cross-national look at how, why, and when the benefits of innovation aren’t always broadly shared.

The benefits of innovation tend to be concentrated in a limited number of industries, regions and hands. Innovation that exacerbates – rather than reduces – inequality can undermine public support for science and innovation and contribute to broader political alienation.

The program examines how the policies used to generate and diffuse innovation affect the distribution of opportunities and outcomes in society. It also looks at which institutions and other factors facilitate or impede the development and implementation of distribution-sensitive innovation policies, programs and practices.

The program will develop knowledge that can be used to design and implement innovation policies, programs and practices that support equitable economic growth and fair distribution around the globe.

Founded in: 2019

CIFAR Director:
Rachel Parker

Fellows & Advisors

Program Directors

Dan Breznitz
Program Co-Director

Dan 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.

Profile Outline
Susan Helper
Program Co-Director

Susan Helper is an economist who looks at how management and public policies affect innovation and bargaining power in supply chains, including impacts on workers and small businesses. 

Amos Zehavi
Associate Program Director

Amos Zehavi is a political scientist interested in the social aspects of innovation policy, comparative social policy, the political implications of privatization and mechanisms of institutional change.