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Building Human Infrastructure for the Digital Economy: Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone

Abstract : Drawing upon the policy literature and empirical work, this paper proposes an ecological model in which entrepreneurial skills are a critical part of the human infrastructure needed to fuel national Digital Economy and Innovation strategies. While many countries around the world reference the importance of building a “culture of innovation” and some countries, such as Israel, are seen as having this deeply embedded, there are few definitions and fewer empirical studies assessing this. We suggest that the prevalence of individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets and a willingness to take risks will drive economic growth and development but that developing this is easier said than done, as complex factors shape values and aspirations. While University-based incubators have long been seen as important parts of the innovation ecosystem, we provide a case study of a unique incubator, Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (Toronto, Canada), and suggest that it not only offers short term outcomes but also offers a model that is critical to fostering a culture of innovation. We conclude that more needs to be done in Canada to promote this culture of innovation and that it needs to begin long before students reach university.
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Wendy Cukier, Valerie Fox, Hossein Rahnama. Building Human Infrastructure for the Digital Economy: Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone. 10th International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (HCC), Sep 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands. pp.156-169, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-33332-3_15⟩. ⟨hal-01525117⟩

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