Council for Responsible Innovation and Technology

 Artificial intelligence robot

Ethical and responsible approaches to innovation are becoming increasingly common in industry, government, and academia and are driven by a collective need to engage in the impacts of technological innovation. This stewardship belongs to more than any single domain or discipline and, as a collective, the University of Waterloo is ideally suited to take up this challenge. We thrive on our ability to cultivate interdisciplinary research, especially in a time of rapid societal, technological and environmental changes.  

To ensure that we continue to innovate responsibly, The Council for Responsible Innovation and Technology (CRIT) affirms the University’s broader commitment to develop ethical and responsible researchers for a complex future, and to tackle important global challenges related to the impacts of tech innovation. 

As an interdisciplinary group of students, faculty, and staff, CRIT works collaboratively across disciplines to advance understanding, education and policy in areas related to ethics, technology and societal impact. CRIT seeks to leverage, support, and innovate Waterloo’s expertise and interests to ensure that Waterloo is a leader in the ethical development of technology through its research and teaching.  


To meet the rapidly evolving and ubiquitous challenges posed by technological innovation, CRIT will support the development of Waterloo as a premier institution in Canada for research and education about responsible innovation and technology.


We aim to transform culture at Waterloo, in Canada, and internationally by connecting and advancing efforts that focus on four key areas: research, education, policy, and outreach and connection. 

  1. Educating and empowering faculty, staff, and students to be ethically responsible researchers.

  1. Promoting active engagement with issues in research, design, and development that is socially responsible. 

  1. Fostering interdisciplinary connections within the Waterloo community and beyond. 

  1. Developing policies that ensure and support responsible innovation.


We aim to advance education and governance around socially responsible innovation and technology. 

Closely aligned with the values espoused in Waterloo’s Strategic Plan, we are committed to inspire inquiry and empower responsible risk-taking that engages with emerging challenges, in an equitable and inclusive environment.  

Issues related to responsible innovation are challenging and complex problems, and we know there is no one right way to solve them, so we must engage widely, be inclusive at every stage, and leverage skills across disciplines, departments, and levels. There is no better time to have the difficult conversations, with a diversity of voices and experiences, in ways that will lead to positive systemic change. We aim to lead by example by ensuring that our council is comprised of members that include people historically excluded from these conversations. 

We are deliberative and long-term oriented, but we also believe we can do things today to take care of the future.