Nathon Gunn

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Nathon Gunn
Nathon Gunn at University of Toronto.png
Known forInnovation, Politics, Technology

Nathon Gunn (born November 4, 1973) is a Toronto-based Canadian serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Bitcasters Inc., Social Game Universe, and most recently x-Pollinate. His work includes writing, speaking, advising in the support of democratic development, civic engagement, democratization of technology and entrepreneurship at conferences such as Personal Democracy Forum [1] and Politics Online,[2] part of OpenCongress and Sunlight Foundation and in books[3] such as "Searching for the New Liberalism" [4] His most recent contribution to the Canadian political landscape was in the form of senior advisor[5] to Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains.

In 2009, his philanthropic game History Game Canada,[6] won a MacArthur Foundation award for Innovation in Participatory Learning.[7] It was inspired by and created in partnership with Tom Axworthy. Gunn was a founding Director of the Board for Serious Games Canada.[8]

Gunn is a film and TV director, producer and editor, and has won awards for various commercial and artistic endeavours such as short films and major-label music videos, including PromaxBDA Awards for Games and On Air Promotions for his work with the Family Channel and MuchMusic Video Awards for videos like Our Lady Peace's "In Repair" (Spiritual Machines).[9]

Gunn served as CEO of Lightning Platform, which developed software for entrepreneurs. Lightning derived from Social Game Universe, for which Gunn was credited as lead game designer.[10] The company was a pioneer in cross application interaction and created an ad banner system, IGAPI,[11] that leverages social media and game mechanics for product discovery.[12]


Gunn served three terms as a Director of the Board of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (now Ontario Creates) under Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Ontario) and on the Audit Committee.[13]

In 1996, Gunn founded Bitcasters,[14] an early multimedia production studio that had offices in Toronto and New York.

Bitcasters created one of the first tools for uploading and editing video to the web and was a pioneer in the user generated content space.[15]

From 2001 to 2004 Gunn also spearheaded the Internet and Digital campaign initiatives for Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal Party leadership bid and subsequently acted as head of digital during Martin's successful election as Prime Minister. This was followed by innovative technology work for the PMO.[16]

In 2009, Gunn founded Social Game Universe in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with the stated goal of creating a network of interconnected small casual games such as Hollywood Tycoon[17] that in aggregate would form a digital universe of players interacting while playing diverse games.[18][19]

From 2014 to 2016 Gunn mentored dozens of startups in Silicon Valley and Canada through Singularity University,[20] C100, BlackBox/Google and Viatec.

In 2016, Liberal cabinet Minister Navdeep Bains appointed Gunn as his top innovation advisor[21] to help the minister's office create a broad strategy[22] to help industries confront rapid technological change,[23] which resulted in the National Innovation Agenda for Canada and lead to Canada's federal 2017 budget being called the Innovation Budget.[24]

Gunn went on to create x-Pollinate a Canada-based think tank with a mandate to seek out and advise on innovative projects that promote global connectivity and positive progress. The firm touts collaborations with the ExO Foundation, Open Source Pharma, USAID Jordan's "Our City" game (in partnership with Social Game Universe),[25]


  1. ^ Lessons from the International Stage: England, Canada, Iran and the Middle East
  2. ^ Politics Online, part of OpenCongress and Sunlight Foundation
  3. ^ Searching for the New Liberalism
  4. ^ Whither Liberalism? Globe and Mail, Peter McKenna
  5. ^ "Liberals hire tech entrepreneur for senior role shaping policy". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  6. ^ August 2007
  7. ^ Ars Technica June 2007
  8. ^ Globe and Mail June 01 2007
  9. ^ MuchMusic Video Nominees
  10. ^ TechVibes January 2010
  11. ^ VentureBeat November 2010
  12. ^ VentureBeat November 2010
  13. ^ OMDC Board of Directors Website
  14. ^ Globe and Mail Young Leaders
  15. ^ "Liberals hire tech entrepreneur for senior role shaping policy". Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  16. ^ "Liberals hire tech entrepreneur for senior role shaping policy". Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  17. ^ Ars Technica July 2011
  18. ^ Interconnected Games at December 2009
  19. ^ Playback Magazine August 2009
  20. ^ "Liberals hire tech entrepreneur for senior role shaping policy". Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  21. ^ "Liberals hire tech entrepreneur for senior role shaping policy". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  22. ^ "Let's Innovate The Sh*t Out Of The Liberals' Innovation Budget". HuffPost Canada. 2016-06-22. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  23. ^ "Unleashing an Inclusive Innovation Agenda: SiG speaks with Nathon Gunn, Innovation Advisor to Federal Minister Navdeep Bains - Social Innovation Generation". Social Innovation Generation. 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  24. ^ "Liberals' Innovation budget gets seal of approval from the tech industry". IT World Canada. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  25. ^ "IYCE project overview_short". Retrieved 2018-10-24.