Benefits and Challenges of Innovating in Partnerships

In practice, many Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) fail to achieve anticipated innovation outcomes, due in part to weaknesses in social and inter-organizational relationships. PPPs typically include members separated by organizational, occupational, cultural and geographic boundaries, which can create fragmentation, disconnection and misunderstanding.

Developing sufficient trust with partners, which has been shown to affect the success of PPPs, remains a difficult issue. Different norms, values, metrics and decision-making processes can impede the flow of knowledge that is necessary for problem solving and innovation.

Innovation in partnerships in the context of parks


  • Better connect Canadians with nature; Clarify role of parks in health promotion

  • Leverage expertise and proven practices; Develop complementary capabilities

  • Involve local people in conservation

  • Invest in Indigenous relationships and foster reconciliation

  • Build new relationships with academics, not-for-profit organizations, businesses and different levels of government

  • Establish a collective approach to fundraising

  • Share knowledge across networks


  • Potential for innovation not always optimized when there is lack of in-depth collaboration and teamwork

  • How can private actions be mediated toward common good?

  • How can we turn research into actions with measurable improvements?

  • How can we coordinate around a shared vision?

  • How can we prevent clashes of different cultures?

“The ability to handle partnerships is a challenge looking forward”
Ann Craig
Ontario Parks
“We have the same problems, we just call them different things”