i-CANADA Chair Welcomes SSHRC Leader Chad Gaffield to Governors Council
January 21, 2014

Chair of i-CANADA Bill Hutchison has welcomed the President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Chad Gaffield, to the Governors Council of i-CANADA.

“As President of SSHRC, Dr. Gaffield brings a focus to one of the most important elements in realizing the acceleration of Intelligent Community transformation in Canada – a focus on people,” said Mr. Hutchison.  “Addressing  literacy and adaptation of technology are critical  to the social and economic development of communities and in this way, Dr. Gaffield will be making a meaningful contribution to helping i-Canada fulfill its goals. “

“The social sciences and humanities provide insights about people – how we behave and make decisions- and at SSHRC we fund the very best talent and ideas in research to help create a better future for Canadian communities,” said Dr. Gaffield.

 In June 2011 SSHRC launched an initiative called Imagining Canada’s Future to identify future challenge areas for Canada in an evolving global context that are likely to emerge in five, 10 and 20 years and to which the social sciences and humanities research community could contribute its knowledge, talent and expertise. One of the areas identified was how emerging technologies can be leveraged to benefit Canadians. The Council is now assessing the scope and capacity of existing research in this area that can be mobilized to assist individuals, businesses, organizations, and communities to better adapt to and leverage technologies for the future.”

The i-CANADA Governors Council is chaired by New Brunswick Premier David Alward, and includes other Premiers, Mayors and CEOs. I-CANADA’s goal is to create an Intelligent Nation, where each community is making full use of digital inclusion, ultra-broadband communications, and a rainbow of applications, to prosper with the higher employment and better living standards that are the hallmark of Intelligent Communities.

“Bluntly put, this is the single most important economic and social activity being undertaken in the world today,” stated Mr. Hutchison. “Networked and interconnected communities have the highest wages, best living standards, highest economic growth, best education, and most sustainable societies.  The rise of the Intelligent Community is arguably the greatest economic transformation in history. 

In this Intelligent Economy, it is increasingly the skills of the labor force, and the ability of business and government to adapt and innovate, that power job creation. Here, Dr. Gaffield’s contribution can help develop an advantage that will power our growth in the years to come.”

About Chad Gaffield

Chad Gaffield, one of Canada’s foremost historians, was appointed president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) on September 18, 2006. As president of SSHRC, he has helped define a new model of innovation that places understanding about people—human thought and behavior—at its core, and that reaffirms the contributions of social sciences and humanities research to our economy and quality of life.

Dr. Gaffield has emphasized the value for the private, public, and non-profit sectors of increasing our knowledge of human thought and behaviour in the past and present in order to create more prosperous, just and resilient societies in the 21st century.

Gaffield came to SSHRC from the University of Ottawa, where, as a professor of history, he held a University Research Chair and was the founding director of the Institute of Canadian Studies. He is a former president of the Canadian Historical Association and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

An expert on 19th and 20th century Canada, Gaffield has analyzed the ways demographic, economic and cultural changes influenced, and are influenced by, institutional and political history. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he received the society’s J.B. Tyrrell Medal in 2004 for his outstanding contributions to the study of Canada. His most recent awards are the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal presented in May 2012 for his contributions to the discipline of history and his work with the Canadian Historical Association, the Antonio Zampolli Prize presented in June 2011 at Stanford University and given every three years by the international Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations for innovative contributions to digital scholarship.

Chad Gaffield received his BA and MA from McGill University, and his PhD from the University of Toronto.

About i-CANADA

i-CANADA is a movement dedicated towards making all Canadian communities  --  large and small, urban and rural  --  into Intelligent Communities, fully employing e-health, e-work, e-commerce, e-education and e-government, to provide the sustainable prosperity that comes from full digital enablement.  i-CANADA is powered by Canada’s largest technology organization: the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).  I-CANADA’s mission is to provide Canadian communications with the knowledge and tools to become leaders in the global intelligent economy.  It is currently working with some 50 Canadian communities, rural and local, to transform them into Intelligent Communities.  ‘First the community, then the country’, is the motto that i-CANADA uses to visualize the evolution of Canada into one of the world’s Intelligent Nations.  For more information visit:  www.icanada.nu


The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the Canadian federal agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs, SSHRC works to develop talented leaders for all sectors of society, helps generate insights about people, ideas and behaviour and builds connections within and beyond academia that will build a better future for Canada and the world and help build understanding and knowledge to better equip Canadians make informed decisions about their future and long-term prosperity. For more information, visit www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/