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Episode #22 - So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

The Martin Prosperity Institute will be closing its doors at the end of June. Over a decade ago we set out to make a difference in the world in our explorations of city building and geographic advantage and in our investigation into the underpinnings and fault lines of democratic capitalism. For details on the latter, we highly recommend taking a listen to our previous episode that lays out some solutions for the ills facing democratic capitalism. But for our final episode, wanted to take...


Episode #21 Solutions for Democratic Capitalism

Over the course of the last decade, MPI researchers have looked at the problems faced by democratic capitalism from a number of different angles. In our last episode, MPI Institute Director Roger Martin talked about some of the solutions he’s explored for the problems facing our democratic, capitalist system. He specifically had call-to-actions for four different actors: citizens, policy makers, business and educators. On this episode he drills down further, offering the what, why and how...


Episode 20 - Rethinking Efficiency

As part of MPI's ongoing work around shared prosperity, Roger Martin outlines his case against efficiency, specifically the way it's come to dominate how we think about the economy and politics and how that impacts are day to day lives. Once considered an unalloyed good, he argues we've gone to far, pushing our systems of finance and government to a point where they no longer work towards the betterment of the average middle-class family. This episode is based on the article "Rethinking...


Episode #19 The Power of Citizenship

We examine the idea of citizenship and the power that comes with it. Here in North America, and across the Western world, we don’t put stringent definitions or limitations on what constitutes citizenship. Some simply define citizenship as voting while others would argue that even that is too limiting. Everyone we spoke with for this podcast, agreed on though was that it’s through citizenship that we create power, especially political power. Yet, as a whole we’ve become power illiterate....


Episode #18 What is a Music City?

we kick-off 2018 by looking at the term Music City, its meaning, intent and how such recognitions shape cultural policy in cities. Featuring interviews with Toronto Music Sector Development Officer Mike Tanner and Sound Diplomacy founder Shain Shapiro. Featured music: Wake - "Steppin'" Poddington Bear - "Woop Groove" & "The Window"


Episode #17 - Year in Review

16 blog posts, 14 research reports, 13 op-eds, four books and 1 short film – it’s been quite a year for us here at MPI. On this episode we take stock and looking back at some of that research while casting our gaze forward to 2018. The Shiftdisturbers Holiday Playlist: Music in this episode: "Steppin'" by Wake "Playtime" by Jahzzar "Jingle Bells" by Poddington Bear


Episode 16 Integrative Thinking

We take a look at integrative thinking, a problem-solving theory that MPI Institute director Roger Martin conceived about a dozen years ago. He’s written two books on the subject, 2007’s The Opposable Mind, and the just-released Creating Great Choices, co-authored by Jennifer Riel. Put simply, integrative thinking is a technique through which two opposing ideas are “resolved” by taking the best elements of each to create a new, better idea. The theory was born out of Roger’s quest to get...


Episode #15 Roger Martin and ProsperUS

A look into the themes explored in the new documentary short film ProsperUS. Produced by the Nantucket Project, an annual gathering of leading thinkers and decision makers with an aim making quote meaningful change, ProsperUS puts the spotlight on the decline of the American Dream and the dangers that imbalance poses to the capitalist democratic system. It also offers some solutions for this most wicked of problems and features MPI Institute Director Roger Martin and MPI Fellow Zeynep Ton....


Episode #14 10 Years of MPI

This episode celebrates MPI's 10th anniversary and features a sit-down conversation with Institute director Roger Martin and Director of Cities Richard Florida. In the mid-2000s, Joseph Rotman came to then dean Roger Martin, offering Roger the financial support needed to build his own think tank. Excited by the opportunity, Roger immediately called up Richard Florida, someone he’d wanted to work with for some time. Forces beyond his control had stymied Roger’s attempts to bring Richard to...


Episode #13 Design Thinking

Featuring interviews with IDEO CEO Tim Brown, Claudia Kotchka and Roger Martin, we take a closer look at design thinking. While you might not know what that term means, you’ve no doubt encountered many of the products the methodology has helped shape. It's a way for companies to figure out what consumers want and how best to give that to them. Apple is probably the most famous example of a company that’s incorporated design thinking into its products. But design thinking can be much more...


Episode #12 Most Canadian Moment

In honour of Canada Day, on today’s episode, we’re taking a break from our usual dives into MPI research and have a little nationalistic fun. We canvased the staff here at MPI and our sister think tank, the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity asking people to share their most Canadian moment with the pod. And while no one was willing to admit that they’d arm wrestled a beaver, the stories that we heard reflected the good, the bad, and the just plain weird of Canada. Featuring the...


Episode #11 Childcare

On today’s episode, we’re talking childcare. This seemingly innocuous piece of public-private policy can have a huge impact on kids, parents and even the economy. Childcare is finally being viewed through an economic, rather than a social lens as governments realize that childcare is about creating jobs, getting people back to work and preparing future generations for the workforce. In the most recent budget, the federal Liberals committed $7 billion to child care over the next decade....


Episode #10: Creative Process

A look at the different processes that thinkers Roger Martin, Richard Florida, and Jennifer Riel as well as journalists David Frum and Adam Radwanski use to come up with, articulate, and disseminate their thoughts and ideas. These are unique ways of approaching thinking and research specific to the individual, but we hope that if givesome insight into our work and a better understanding of how you think and communicate with others. Music in this episode: "Steppin'" by Wake "The Last Ones" by...


Episode #9: What Trump Got Right & What The Dems Got Wrong

Ever since he burst back onto the political scene back in 2015, politicians, pundits and the general populace has been trying to figure out what makes Donald Trump tick. While many claim to understand the motivations of the president, few believed he’d actually win. Not so with Roger Martin. The former Dean of Rotman and our own Institute Director viewed Trump’s primary run through a business lens. By the beginning of 2016, Roger felt so strongly that Trump would clinch the nomination that...


Episode #7: Year End

We’re taking stock and looking back at some of the research we’ve done over the past year. On the whole, we think that we’re on the right track.But, the base assumptions through which we filter much of our work has been altered by both the Brexit vote and the recent US election. How will this affect our work in the upcoming new year? Music by Wake ("Steppin") and Jahzzar ("The Last Ones")


Episode #6: Social Mobility

What do you do when your country goes on without you? On today’s episode, we take a look at the concept of social mobility, or moving up the socio-economic ladder. Politicians, particularly in the most recent election cycle, like to talk about the American dream – the idea that if you keep your head down and work hard, you can be lifted out of poverty, or into the upper echelons of the so-called middle class. That sort of rhetoric is common here in Canada too. And, as we saw through the...


Episode #2.5 (Mini-Episode): Where do the World's Billionaires Live?

In this mini-episode, MPI's very own Director of Cities Richard Florida talks about the cities’ team’s new report, the Geography of the Global Super-Rich which tracks the geography of the world’s billionaires. Richard tells us what he and his team discovered including where the world’s wealthiest people live, why they live there and how they can affect the neighbourhoods and cities that they call home. Music in this episode: "Steppin'" by Wake


Episode #5: Chuck Klosterman

We had the chance to speak with New York Times best-selling author Chuck Klosterman when he stopped by Rotman as part of our Shiftdisturbers speaker series. Klosterman is known for his keen sports and pop culture observations as well as his stint as the Ethicist for New York Times Magazine. He’s a super smart guy who brings his a unique worldview to almost any topic. But we were specifically talking about his new book, But What If We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present as if it Were the...


Episode #4: Good Jobs with Zeynep Ton

Speaking with MIT Sloan School of Management prof Zeynep Ton, author of the Good Jobs Strategy, and the United Way's Michelynn LaFleche, we take a look at the changing nature of work. Specifically, we put on the spotlight on workplace instability and how bad jobs and precarious work are sending ripple effects across the economy. The Good Jobs Strategy United Way - The Precarity Penalty Music in this episode:...


Episode #3.5 (Mini-Episode): Your Worst Job Ever

For this mini-episode we polled the MPI office about our own worst work experiences. We talk a lot about the shift from an industrial economy to a creativity and knowledge driven economy. Yet, what gets obscured is that that this shift hasn’t benefitted everyone; while those who have moved into creative fields enjoy both higher compensation and job satisfaction, an alarming number of people aren’t so lucky. They find themselves stuck in precarious service industry work – dead-end low pay,...