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Innovation North is a a community of researchers co-creating solutions to business challenges with business, non-profit, and government partners. We are fuelled by the belief that we can create a future where businesses and society thrive together.

Innovation North has co-created an approach called the Compass to helps tackle complex problems by generating novel, actionable ideas. The Compass differs from other approaches to innovation because it is guided by a North and Near Star, is highly iterative, and it is rooted in systems thinking. Discover how you and your organization can use The Compass by downloading this set of worksheets.


The Lab

Innovation North started as a Lab in 2019, and has been hosting quarterly sessions which will conclude in October 2024. We have invited world leaders in systems thinking, including Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Melanie Goodchild, Terry Irwin, Banny Banerjee, and Adam Kahane. These sessions have helped to shape and evolve The Compass. 



Innovation North regularly partners with business, non-profit, and government partners to tackle complex challenges using the Compass. Some recent projects include:

The Studio

Launched in 2024, Innovation North’s Studio is developing the capacity of future leaders to tackle complex problems using systems thinking.

More than 185 students across Ontario participated in the inaugural Systems Innovation Challenge powered by Walmart Canada, where they tackled challenges such as the increasing amount of product returns and envisioning the future of retail spaces that meaningfully support community needs. $15,000 in cash prizes were awarded to teams with the most effective, most feasible, and most scalable ideas.

Plans are underway for a 2025 edition of the Challenge, which will be open to university students across Canada.

Connect with Innovation North

To learn more about Innovation North or to explore partnership opportunities, contact Hannah Hill at

Connect with Ivey Business School