Main Content

Alex Ryan


Alex Ryan

Executive-in-Residence, Rotman School of Management


PhD, University of Adelaide
BSc (Honours), University of Adelaide
BSc, Curtin University


(780) 903-5460


Alex Ryan is currently an Executive-in-Residence at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.

Alex Ryan is VP Systems Innovation and Program Director of MaRS Solutions Lab. As VP Systems Innovation, he helps to remove systemic barriers for Canada’s entrepreneurs and corporate innovators in highly regulated industries. As Program Director of Solutions Lab, he leads a team that convenes diverse groups across sectors to jointly innovate on society’s most complex and important challenges. Alex Ryan is also Co-Founder of Synthetikos Inc. ( Synthetikos is a boutique global innovation and collaboration agency dedicated to helping large organizations and collectives to navigate complexity with agility.

Alex Ryan previously Co-Founded Alberta CoLab, the first Canadian provincial government innovation lab. As a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Alex Ryan previously taught operational and strategic design at the U.S. School of Advanced Military Studies, and helped to institutionalize design within Western militaries, working with clients such as U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Australian Special Operations Command, and the Canadian Forces College. He is Co-Founder of the Systemic Design Research Network and Co-Chair of the Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium ( His dissertation in applied mathematics advanced a multidisciplinary approach to complex systems design. 

Featured Work

Research and Teaching Interests

Alex Ryan's teaching and research focuses on integrating systems thinking and design thinking to make headway on our most complex societal and environmental challenges.