October 24, 2016

By Mike Wilson, Executive Director


Today we turn over a new leaf. Or rather I should say a new maple key.

After 8 years of operating under the name Sustainable Prosperity I’m excited to announce that, effective today, Canada’s leading source of research and insights for a stronger, cleaner economy has changed its name to: Smart Prosperity Institute.

And as you may have seen, our new logo features five maple keys fanning out from a common centre. This logo carries some important visual significance.

But first, what’s in the new name?

Since 2008, we have evolved from a think tank that investigates pricing and other market-based solutions for the environment into a broad-based national research network and policy think tank that examines the full suite of economic tools for building a stronger, cleaner Canadian economy. Our new name – Smart Prosperity Institute – better captures this expanded mandate. It also helps reflect the core qualities that define our work under this mandate: national, independent, evidence-based, and authoritative.

When I refer to a “full suite of economic tools for building a stronger cleaner economy”, I am referring to five tools in particular. They are: (1) Accelerating clean innovation, (2) boosting energy and resource efficiency, (3) pricing pollution and waste, (4) investing in advanced infrastructure and skills, and (5) conserving and valuing nature.

These five tools are Smart Prosperity Institute’s five key focus areas. And they, naturally, are what are represented by the five maple keys in our new logo.

You might better know “maple keys” by their other common names – maybe “helicopters” or “whirlybirds”. We found it impossible to think of a better image than the maple key to represent Smart Prosperity Institute’s vision and focus areas going forward. The maple key comes from the maple tree, one of our national symbols, which signifies that the environment-economy solution in Canada needs to be distinctly “made in Canada”. Also, the maple key carries the maple tree’s seed, which reflects the potency of these 5 guiding ideas and how they themselves need to grow. And finally, the maple key has been incredibly shaped by nature to fall far from where it came from. One of our core functions at Smart Prosperity Institute is knowledge translation and knowledge dissemination. In this way we aim to draw inspiration from the maple key by successfully broadcasting our five focus areas to new audiences.

So when you see our latest policy briefs on “Accelerating Clean Innovation Across the Economy” in November; or when you are viewing this year’s Green Bonds “State of the Market in Canada” report; or when you are participating in one of our municipal-targeted workshops on better financing stormwater management, happening across Canada this fall; or any other of our upcoming research and policy activities: please keep in mind that it is these five big ideas that define Smart Prosperity Institute and that, if we are successful, will come to define the Canadian economy.

For those who have followed Sustainable Prosperity over recent years, thank you for continuing on this evolution with us. For those who may not yet be familiar with our work and our purpose, I believe our new name and brand and website will make it easier and more compelling than ever for you to get engaged.