Michael McNamara

Michael McNamara


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


Mike is Professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking with the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Sheridan College.  Mike is a veteran of using participatory design and creative problem-solving to improve decision-making, relationships, and performances for industry, community organizations, and individuals.  Mike teaches, advises, facilitates workshops, and has authored reports and articles on how to use methods and techniques of participation and creative exploration to deliver greater value.  Prior to joining Sheridan in August 2013, Mike served as the Dean, Applied Research and Innovation at Seneca College.  He has also held the position of Director, Applied Research at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Alberta, as well as term professorships at Cape Breton University and Brock University.  Mike received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.

Teaching Interests

  • Creativity, Innovation

Research Interests

  • Creativity, Social Innovation, Community Economic Development

Book Chapters

  • McNamara, M., Barr, N. (2023). <span style="font-size:11pt;">Creative Cognition: From Ideation to Innovation</span><span style="font-size:medium;"></span>. In International Handbook of Creative Cognition.

  • McNamara, M., Barr, N., McFarlane, B., Lopata, J. (2022). <span style="font-size:11pt;">Learning in an Uncertain World: Adapting Higher Education for the Anthropocene</span><span style="font-size:medium;"></span>. In Uncertainty: A catalyst for creativity, learning and development(pp. 337-357). Springer Cham.

Journal Articles

  • McNamara, M., Pulis, J., Cumming, S. (2018). <span style="font-size:11pt;">Negotiating Bottom-up Participation in the Complex Game of Philanthropy: Insights from the Community Ideas Factory</span><span style="font-size:medium;"></span>.Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, Vol. 9 (2), 41-61.

  • McNamara, M. (2010). <span style="font-size:11pt;">Parental Participation and School Based Management in Nicaragua: An Analysis of Differentiated Parental Participation in School Councils by Income, Education, and Community Crime Rate</span><span style="font-size:medium;"></span>.International Journal of Educational Policy and Leadership, 5(7), 1-17.


  • "Encouraging Vaccine Confidence in Canada". NSERC. Promoscience. $50,000. 2021.
    Michael McNamara (Co-Principle Investigator), Nathanial Barr.

  • "Optimizing Interventions to Combat COVID-19 Misinformation Online". NSERC. COVID Rapid Relief. $75,000. 2020.
    Michael McNamara (Principle Investigator), Michael J. McNamara, Nathanial Barr.

  • "Community Ideas Factory: Behavioural Insights Unit". NSERC. College Community Social Innovation Fund. $360,000. 2020.
    Michael McNamara (Principle Investigator), Michael J. McNamara, Nathanial Barr.

  • "Mobilizing Social Innovation for Theatre Entrepreneurship ". NSERC. College Community Social Innovation Fund. $360,000. 2018.
    Michael McNamara (Collaborator), Brandon McFarlane, Glen Clifton, Jennifer Phenix and Michael J. McNamara, .

  • "Community Ideas Factory". NSERC. College Community Social Innovation Fund. $174,000. 2016.
    Michael McNamara (Principle Investigator), Michael J. McNamara, Sara Cumming.

  • "Does Creativity Training Make A Difference? An Analysis of Torrance Test Scores amongst College Students taking part in Creative Problem-Solving Courses ". Sheridan College. SRCA. $10,000. 2015.
    Michael McNamara (Principle Investigator), Michael J. McNamara, Patrice Esson, Nathanial Barr.

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