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Dr. Alex Ryan is CEO of Synthetikos Inc, a social enterprise focused on depolarizing place-based transitions. Synthetikos works across the public, private and civic sectors in Canada, Australia, the US and the UK. Previously, Dr. Ryan was an executive at North America’s largest urban innovation hub, MaRS Discovery District. At MaRS, Dr. Ryan helped government and corporate partners accelerate the adoption of innovation in their organizations, markets and cities. 

He led teams to decarbonize electricity grids, design inclusive smart cities, improve community health and well-being, employ thousands of NEET youth, strengthen the impact investing market, and grow Canada’s innovation economy. His writing on smart cities, data governance, policy innovation, social innovation, systemic design, and complex systems science has been published by the World Economic Forum, Fast Company, Axios, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Complexity.

Alex is also co-founder of Alberta CoLab, the first provincial government innovation lab in Canada. He is an executive-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. And as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Alex previously helped introduce operational and strategic design into the U.S. Army, and established strategic design capabilities for U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and U.S. Cyber Command. He serves on several advisory boards, including Participatory City, Waterfront Toronto’s Quayside Stakeholder Advisory Committee, and Innovate Cities CityShield. His PhD thesis advanced a multidisciplinary approach to complex systems design.