Stakeholders across the life sciences sector have publicly committed to embedding IDEA within their organizations. While progress has been made, initiatives are often fragmented, limited in scope and inconsistently applied across the sector. There is a need for coordinated, sector-wide, action-oriented strategies and approaches critical to embedding IDEA within organizational practices, cultures, and research and innovation systems. A commitment to embedding IDEA within the ecosystem today will enable a stronger and more competitive Ontario in the future.

Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) and Shift Health are pleased to present ‘Building an Inclusive Life Sciences Future’, a series of workshops aimed at developing a vision and action plan for IDEA within Ontario’s life sciences ecosystem.

The first workshop, to be held in the fall of 2021, will focus on bringing stakeholders together to:

·        Learn about IDEA best practices;

·        Share perspectives and perceptions of IDEA in our sector; and,

·        Align on a shared understandingof opportunities, gaps and priorities for IDEA in Ontario’s life sciences ecosystem.

The workshop will enable our community to reach a deeper understanding of the current state of IDEA in Ontario’s life sciences ecosystem to set the foundation for a second workshop focused on defining a shared, community-wide vision and action plan for IDEA.

Meet The Steering Committee 

Dr. Imogen Coe, Professor and Founding Dean (Faculty of Science), Ryerson University 

Shiva Darvishi, COO, Micellae Delivery Systems 

Wanda Deschamps, Founder and Principal, Liberty Co

Dr. Eugenia Addy, CEO, Visions of Science 

Rob Henderson, CEO, BioTalent Canada

Heather Lau, Student Lead, Biochemistry Wellness, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (WIDE), University of Toronto 

Dr. Jackie Ottmann, Vice Provost Indigenous Engagement, University of Saskatchewan 

Dr. Brett Shannon, Medical Scientist (HIV), Gilead Sciences

Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai, Director of Research and Chief Inclusion and Accessibility Officer, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB); Assistant Professor (Adjunct), Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University

About LSO 

Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) is a not-for-profit organization that represents and promotes Ontario’s vibrant and diverse life sciences sector. Members of LSO include life sciences companies, entrepreneurs, members of academia, and service providers from many different areas of the life sciences ecosystem, including biopharmaceuticals, agriculture, agri-food, the bioeconomy, medical devices, animal health, environmental technologies, and more. Ultimately, LSO’s mission is to encourage commercial success throughout this diverse sector by collaborating with governments, academia, industry and other life sciences organizations in Ontario and across Canada. For more information, visit

About Shift Health 

Shift Health brings a science mindset to strategy consulting for the health research and innovation ecosystem. Working with governments, academia, industry, not-for-profits, healthcare providers and patient partners across Canada and around the world, Shift Health is helping to create the future of healthcare. For more information, visit: 

Co-sponsored by LSO and Shift Health, Building an Inclusive Life Sciences Future has also received generous support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.