Neil Seeman

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Neil Seeman
Neil Seeman.png
Born (1970-11-14) November 14, 1970 (age 44)[1]
Toronto, Ontario[1]
Nationality Canadian
Education BA, JD, and MPH
Alma mater Upper Canada College, Queen's University, University of Toronto, and Harvard University
Occupation businessperson, author and healthcare policy authority
Known for Founder and CEO of The RIWI Corporation
Title Past CEO of the University of Toronto’s Health Strategy Innovation Cell
Spouse(s) Sarit Goldman (2003 - )[1]
Awards Shortlisted for 2012 Donner Prize Winner (RIWI), 2013 IIeX North America Insights Innovation Exchange, 2014 NGMR Disruptive Innovation Award

Neil Seeman is a Canadian businessperson, author and healthcare policy authority.


Seeman is a 1988 graduate of the high-school Upper Canada College and currently serves as a member of the Upper Canada College Association Council.[2][3] Seeman has a BA in English and Political Science from Queen's University in 1992[3] and a JD in 1995 from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.[3] Following his legal education, Seeman received a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Harvard University.[4]

Research career[edit]

At the end of the 1990s Seeman began working on the editorial staff of the American magazine the National Review.[5] His research work in the United States also extended into the field of youth violence.[6] He also served as in-house counsel for the National Citizens' Coalition under the leadership of Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada.[7] Seeman was a Research Fellow at the Fraser Institute, and founding director of the Institute's CANSTATS Project.[8][9] Seeman was also a founding member of the editorial board at the National Post in 1998[8] and a contributor to the Financial Post.[10] In 2001 he became a member of the editorial board of the National Review Online.[11]

Prior to the new healthcare laws in the United States, Seeman was quoted discussing the need for disruptive innovation, more attention to financial variables, and other new ideas in the healthcare industry.[12][13] In 1998, Seeman was a pre-IPO investor in the successful NASDAQ-listed Internet (JCOM) software and technology company, J2 Global, specializing in cloud services for businesses and multi-messaging.[14] In the late 2000s, following research positions at the Hospital Report Research Collaborative at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto,[15] and at IBM,[16] Seeman founded and became the CEO of the University of Toronto’s Health Strategy Innovation Cell, focusing on low-cost Internet-based solutions in healthcare.[3] Seeman has published in academic journals including Healthcare Quarterly, Health Care Management Review, Healthcare Policy, Electronic Healthcare, Journal of Participatory Medicine, Synapse, Journal of Affective Disorders, Psychiatric Times, Canadian Medical Association Journal, and Journal of Psychiatric Practice. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto in the Institute for Health Policy, Management & Evaluation and at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Policy and Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto,[17] as well as an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University.[18] In 2008 he published an article in HealthcarePapers, where he coined the term post-partisanship.[19] In 2014, he was voted one of “20 Global Researchers to Watch” by Survey Magazine.[20]

In 2013, at the Open Government Partnership 2013[21] Seeman was a part of the largest perception survey ever conducted on the topic of open government.[22] In October, 2014, Neil Seeman won in the individual category of the NGMR Disruptive Innovation Awards for "outspoken advocates for innovation and disruption".[23][24]

Business career[edit]

Seeman is the founder and CEO of The RIWI Corporation,[10] a company used for an all-country and all-device online and randomized non-panel survey technology platform Seeman invented in 2007 and patented in 2011.[25] RIWI offers a patented random domain intercept technology (RDIT) that is a new approach to capturing a non-incented global stream of respondents and data.[26] On June 18, 2013, The RIWI Corporation won the Insight Innovation Competition (IIeX) at the annual Insight Innovation exchange North America for its disruptive online data capture methodology.[27] In the 2012 Crédit Agricole Securities Report, RIWI published its 2012 Egypt elections data, and has since been credited as being "the only research firm to predict the Egypt election" in 2012.[28]


Book chapters[edit]

In 2002 Seeman published the chapter "Low-Tech, Low-Brow" in the book Better Medicine: Reforming Canadian Health Care.[29] In 2004 Seeman published the chapter "Psychopharmacology and Motherhood" in the book Parental Psychiatric Disorder: Distressed Parents and their Families with his mother Mary Violette Seeman.[30]

Collaborations with family[edit]

In 2006 Seeman published the book Psyche in the Lab: Celebrating Brain Science in Canada with his wife.[31] In 2009, with his father, University of Toronto Professor Emeritus and neuroscientist Philip Seeman, he co-authored Psychosis: Discovery of the Antipsychotic Receptor,[32] which described the dopamine hypothesis of psychosis invented by his father.

XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame[edit]

In 2011 Seeman published the book XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame with co-author Patrick Luciani.[33] Seeman highlighted that about a third of healthcare spending in Canada was directly linked to obesity. He himself lost nearly eighty pounds while writing the book.[3] Drawing on global RIWI data, the book also discusses the correlation between countries that have the highest level of obesity and the countries most willing to shame its obese citizens.[34] Seeman claims that despite its use in prior health crises, shaming is not a solution for obesity.[35] The Wall Street Journal wrote that Seeman claims the most effective healthcare solutions would "annoy both the left and the right", and have to be apolitical in nature.[36] The book was short-listed for the Donner Prize in 2012.[37] Terrence Sullivan stated the authors' idea for "healthy living vouchers" to curb obesity was "empowering the citizen as consumer and he or she will choose wisely and buy lifestyle, diet and exercise experiences tailored to his or her needs to lose weight...The voucher solution may be a touch too close to a one-trick pony in a world where many taxpayers might want their government to spend the money elsewhere. Nevertheless they have provided us with a clear summary of our current obesity challenges alongside the range of possible avenues to take on this "wicked problem,"[38] Seeman and Luciani's public policy book received an "Outstanding" rating from the 2012 University Press Books committee.[39]


In December 2012, with co-author and RIWI President Eric Meerkamper, Seeman published the e-book Smarter Data: Eliciting Insights from the Cloud.[40] In October, 2013, he co-authored the e-book GRIT Consumer Participation in Research (CPR) Report: A Study of Survey-Takers in 200+ Countries and Regions around the World with Alton Ing.[41]


  1. ^ a b c "Neil Seeman". Canadian Who's Who. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ "AGM provides updates on UCC’s progress". Upper Canada College. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Neil Seeman (2012). "Reflecting on merit and my changing understanding of the UCC motto". Upper Canada College. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Author: Neil Seeman". Journal of Participatory Medicine. 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ Florian Sauvageau, David Schneiderman, and David Taras (2006). The Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada. UBC Press. p. 51. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  6. ^ Judith Anderson (2006). Dealing With Crime. Black Rabbit Books. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  7. ^ Rachel Giese (November 8, 2001). "A flawed welfare system is on trial". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Neil Seeman". Fraser Institute. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ A. Alexander Moens and Martin Collacott (2009). Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat in Canada and the United States. The Fraser Institute. p. 145. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Neil Seeman (October 17, 2011). "Handbacks, not handouts". Financial Post. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ David Gratzer (2002). Better Medicine: Reforming Canadian Health Care. ECW Press. p. 313. Retrieved February 8, 2013. .
  12. ^ "Health 2.0". The Economist. April 16, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ Rick Wartzman (May 15, 2009). "Solving the Health-Care Conundrum". Businessweek. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ "S-1/A". US Securities and Exchange Commission. July 14, 1999. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  15. ^ Neil Seeman, G. Ross Baker and Adalsteinn D. Brown (November 2008). "Emergency Planning in Ontario's Acute Care Hospitals: A Survey of Board Chairs". Healthcare Policy. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ Neil Seeman (November 1, 2008). "Web 2.0 and Chronic Illness: New Horizons, New Opportunities" (PDF). Electronic Healthcare and IBM. Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Neil Seeman". University of Toronto. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Neil Seeman". Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  19. ^ Neil Seeman (2008). "The prevention moment: a post-partisan approach to obesity policy". HealthcarePapers. Retrieved February 11, 2013. .
  20. ^ Survey Magazine. "20 Researchers you Need to Know". "Survey Magazine". Retrieved Dec 28, 2014. 
  21. ^ Tamsin Rutter. "Open Government Partnership summit concludes with competition". "The Guardian". Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  22. ^ RIWI, World Bank. "The Global Opening Government Survey". "". Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  23. ^ OdinText. "Congratulations 2014 NGMR Award Winners!". "OdinText". Retrieved Oct 22, 2014. 
  24. ^ Decrypt Research. "Winners for Disruptive Innovation Award Announced at IIR’s The Market Research Event". "Decrypt Research". Retrieved Oct 22, 2014. 
  25. ^ Neil Seeman (November 29, 2011). "US Patent #8,069,078". USPTO Patent Database. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  26. ^ Eric Meerkamper. "Smarter Data: Challenges and Opportunities". Alert! Magazine. Retrieved February 11, 2013. 
  27. ^ Katrina Noelle Tuesday, June 19, 2013 11:44 (June 19, 2012). "Insight Innovation Exchange #IIeX 2013: Day 2". Greenbook. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  28. ^ Jeffrey Henning. "Always on, Always Watching". "". Retrieved June 19, 2013. 
  29. ^ Neil Seeman (2002). David Gratzer, ed. "Low-Tech, Low-Brow" in Better Medicine: Reforming Canadian Health Care. ECW Press. p. 313. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  30. ^ Mary Violette Seeman and Neil Seeman (2004). Michael Göpfert, Jeni Webster, and Mary V. Seeman, ed. "Psychopharmacology and Motherhood" in Parental Psychiatric Disorder: Distressed Parents and their Families. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  31. ^ Mary Violette Seeman and Neil Seeman (2006). Psyche in the Lab: Celebrating Brain Science in Canada. Hogrefe. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  32. ^ Neil Seeman and Philip Seeman (2009). Psychosis: Discovery of the Antipsychotic Receptor. SZ Publications. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  33. ^ Neil Seeman and Patrick Luciani (2011). XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame. University of Toronto Press. 
  34. ^ Sarah Boesveld (January 14, 2012). "Fat, obese and other dirty words for weight problems". National Post. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  35. ^ Kate Fillon (April 7, 2011). "On why shaming won’t stop obesity, why vouchers might, and losing 80 pounds". Maclean's. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Free-Market Solutions for Overweight Americans". Wall Street Journal. April 2, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  37. ^ The Canadian Press (April 3, 2012). "Books about obesity, museums in the running for Donner Prize". Globe and Mail. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  38. ^ "A Wicked Problem" (PDF). Canadian Medical Association Journal. Aug 6, 2013. Retrieved Aug 2, 2013. 
  39. ^ Christina Beaird (January 14, 2012). 2012 University Press Books Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries. Association of American University Presses. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  40. ^ Neil Seeman and Eric Meerkamper (2012). Smarter Data: Eliciting Insights from the Cloud (PDF). Crédit Agricole Securities. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  41. ^ Neil Seeman, Alton Ing, Lenny Murphy (2013). 2013 GRIT Consumer Participation in Research Report: A Study of Survey-Takers in 200+ Countries and Regions around the World. New York AMA Communication Services and Greenbook. Retrieved October 20, 2013.