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The Munk School's Dan Breznitz Captures First Ever, $60,000 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy

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We've got more literary prize news for you as this morning The Writers’ Trust of Canada today announced the winner for the inaugural Balsillie Prize for Public Policy.

The brand new $60,000 literary award was presented for the first time yesterday evening at a private dinner in Toronto. It honours a nonfiction book that combine new insights with impressive research to inform thought-provoking debates on issues that impact both public consciousness and Canadian policymakers.

2021 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy winner:

Innovation in Real Places: Strategies for Prosperity in an Unforgiving World (Oxford University Press) by Dan Breznitz

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The jury, composed of author and physician Samantha Nutt, policy expert Taki Sarantakis, and digital strategist Scott Young, praised Breznitz's ability, in the book, to "deftly argue that Canadians often confuse 'innovation' with 'invention'... Breznitz offers advice for leaders at all levels: you don’t have to invent it; you do, however, have to bring it to market in a better way."

Breznitz is a professor, Chair of Innovation Studies, and co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, with a cross-appointment in the Department of Political Science. He is also a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, where he co-founded and co-directs the program on Innovation, Equity, and the Future of Prosperity. His award-winning books include Innovation and the State, Run of the Red Queen, and The Third Globalization

The jury read 69 titles submitted by 34 publishers before selecting Breznitz's book. The remaining three finalists from the shortlist, Gregor Craigie, André Picard, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, each received $5,000. 

Prize sponsor and namesake, the philanthropist Jim Balsillie, said expressed hope that "the winner and shortlist will inspire discussions and debate at home and in policy communities that ultimately contribute to the development of smart public policy for our country."