Schwartz Reisman Institute
for Technology and Society

Exploring and addressing the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies

Established through a generous gift from Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman in 2019, the University of Toronto’s Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society draws on world-class research expertise across multiple academic divisions; regional, national, and international academic partners; and government, industry, and community organizations.

We see that the world is in the midst of a massive technological revolution. Artificial intelligence, biotech and other emerging technologies are remaking entire industries and rewiring the way we live, work and organize society. Technology is even challenging our conception of what it means to be human. And it’s all happening at breakneck speed.

How do we make sense of this new world? How will our institutions metabolize this change? What’s in store for ordinary citizens? Are we racing toward utopia or massive upheaval?

At the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, we believe that decoding the present age requires new modes of thinking that dissolve the boundaries between disciplines. Only by bringing together top minds and diverse perspectives from the sciences, humanities, and social sciences can we begin to ask the right questions, challenge our assumptions, and develop practical solutions.

Technology should always serve the common good, and we think humanity still has the power to shape the technological revolution in positive ways. But we can’t just rely on the norms, rules, and theories of the past. We have to reinvent our laws and institutions, and reconsider how we understand and implement fundamental social values to ensure technology improves lives and delivers a more just and inclusive society.


Gillian Hadfield
Gillian Hadfield
Schwartz Reisman Chair in Technology and Society

Gillian Hadfield is Professor of Law and Professor of Strategic Management, and a faculty member at the Vector Institute. Her research is focused on innovative design for legal and dispute resolution systems in advanced and developing market economies; governance for artificial intelligence (AI); the markets for law, lawyers, and dispute resolution; and contract law and theory. She teaches Contracts; Problems in Legal Design; Legal Design Lab, and Responsible AI.

Prior to rejoining the University of Toronto in 2018, Professor Hadfield was the Richard L. and Antoinette Schamoi Kirtland Professor of Law and Professor of Economics at the University of Southern California (USC) from 2001 to 2018. She began her teaching career at the University of California Berkeley and was previously on the University of Toronto Faculty of Law from 1995-2000. Her book Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Professor Hadfield served as clerk to Chief Judge Patricia Wald on the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. She was the Daniel R. Fischel and Sylvia M. Neil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago (Fall 2016), the Eli Goldston Visiting Professor (Spring 2012) and the Sidley Austin Visiting Professor (Winter 2010) at Harvard Law School, and the Justin W. D’Atri Visiting Professor of Law, Business and Society at Columbia Law School (Fall 2008). She was a 2006–07 and 2010–11 fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution in 1993. She has also held Olin Fellowships at Columbia Law School, Cornell Law School and USC and is a member of the Comparative Law and Economics Forum. She is past president of the Canadian Law and Economics Association, a former director of the American Law and Economics Association and the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics and a member of the American Law Institute. She is on the editorial committee for the Annual Review of Law and Social Science and previously served on the editorial boards for Law and Social Inquiry and the University of Toronto Law Journal.

Professor Hadfield is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council for Agile Governance and co-curates their Transformation Map for Justice and Legal Infrastructure; she previously served on the Forum’s Future Council for Technology, Values and Policy and Global Agenda Council for Justice. She is currently a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on the Future of Legal Education, and the Dubai Courts of the Future Forum. She is a Senior Policy Advisor for OpenAI in San Francisco, and an advisor to courts and several organizations and technology companies engaged in innovating new ways to make law and policy smarter, more accessible, and more responsive to technology and AI, including the Hague Institute for the Innovation of Law, the National Center for State Courts, LegalZoom, Responsive Law, Sagewise (building a digital jurisdiction for blockchain technology and smart contracts) and RhubarbFund (developing a blockchain-based system for online dispute resolution).


Jackelyn Ho, Executive Assistant and Event Coordinator: