Sept. 28, 2023Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University is grateful to Jim Balsillie for his incredible act of generosity and support through a $5M donation to fund a new technology governance initiative at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA).
Founded in 2007 thanks to a gift from Jim Balsillie, the BSIA is an equal collaboration among Wilfrid Laurier University, the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the University of Waterloo. The BSIA is a community that includes Laurier scholars and students who are working on the broad themes and problems arising from the globalization of economic, political, environmental and social systems. The director of the BSIA, Ann Fitz-Gerald, is a professor in Laurier’s political science department.
WATERLOO, ON, September 28, 2023 — The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) was the recipient of a $5-million donation from the Balsillie Family Fund for the establishment of the Technology Governance Initiative (TGI) at the School. Capitalizing on the strengths of its founding institutions — the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University — the School will facilitate collaborations in technology governance across research, teaching and practice. The announcement was made today (Sept. 28, 2023) at an event hosted by the School, and featured remarks by the Honourable Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, Government of Ontario; and Dr. Jeff Casello, Chair of the Board of Directors at the BSIA.
“Technology now impacts every aspect of international affairs,” said Ann Fitz-Gerald, the Director of the BSIA and professor in Laurier’s Political Science Department. “The BSIA’s Technology Governance Initiative will lay the foundation for addressing technology’s role in policy development, and for educating future leaders responsible for its creation, management and governance. We are very grateful to the Balsillie Family Fund for generously supporting this important initiative.”
The TGI at the BSIA will include the development of several new projects including The Balsillie Scholars Program, which will bring top international technology governance scholars/practitioners to the School for terms ranging from three months to one year for mentorship, research and collaboration; the establishment of the annual Balsillie Survey, which will present data and analysis reflecting technology governance and policy-related feedback from Canada’s top technology leaders; the publication of the Technology Governance Case Study series, which will address contemporary technology-related challenges impacting on public policy and global governance; and several student-focused initiatives including a two-week Technology Governance Summer School, paid internship support in technology fields, and an annual student symposium.
“Rapid technology innovations continue to impact all areas of international affairs,” said philanthropist and BSIA founder Jim Balsillie. “Good governance and effective policy supporting these innovations are critical for national resilience, and the strength of the international system. I believe that the research expertise in Waterloo Region, led by the Balsillie School of International Affairs, will bring solutions to these challenges.”
The BSIA is an institute for advanced research, education, and outreach in the fields of global governance and international public policy. Founded in 2007 by philanthropist Jim Balsillie, the BSIA is an equal collaboration among the Centre for International Governance Innovation, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. As an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, the School is a global network of scholars, practitioners and students, with a mission to develop new solutions to humanity’s critical problems, to improve global governance now and in the future, and to contribute to enhancing the quality of people’s lives around the world.