Q&A Interview with Robin Shaban, Deetken Associate Partner

March 25, 2024

Robin Shaban (they/them) recently joined Deetken as an Associate Partner, based in Ontario where they will help grow Deetken’s presence in the Ontario market. A well-known economist and policy analyst, Robin will also be a valuable addition to Deetken’s Economic Insights practice, which provides financial and economic analysis and modelling services to public and private sector clients. [Read the press release about Robin’s appointment.]

We talked to Robin about their background, what drew them to Deetken and what they are looking to accomplish for clients in the Ontario market. Read our Q&A interview with Robin to learn more.

Robin Shaban, Associate Partner Deetken Insight
Robin Shaban, Deetken Associate Partner
Q: Tell us about your background and what drew you to Deetken.

A: Deetken’s values as an organization and their culture was a huge draw. I love our focus on creative problem solving, building trusting relationships with clients, and doing high impact work that brings value to both clients and our society overall.

Deetken’s focus on making a positive and sustainable impact through our work was a natural alignment with my experience prior to joining the company. Before Deetken, my co-founder and I spent two and half years building Vivic Research, an economic consulting firm focused on empowering advocates working towards positive change. During that time, some colleagues and I also launched the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project, a think tank that produces research and advocates for policy proposals to enhance Canada’s competition law and make Canada’s economy more fair, free, and democratic.

Q: What is the nature of your interest in competition law and policy and social justice issues and what role do you think economic research can play in resolving these pressing challenges?

A: I’ve always cared about making the world a better place in concrete, tangible ways. For me, my academic studies in economics and public policy has been a way to pursue that interest.

Economics gives us a powerful set of tools and conceptual frameworks for creating positive and far-reaching change, and that power is supercharged when we are able to combine economic analysis with approaches and insights from other disciplines. The Deetken team has a strong foundation in economics, and we combine this skillset with capabilities in change management and business analytics, as well as social work and qualitative research methods. I’m very much looking forward to finding new ways to bring these skills together to help our clients make a big impact.

Q: You will be heading up Deetken’s operations in Ontario. What are the opportunities for growth in the Ontario market?

A: Through my past work, I’ve seen first-hand that if leaders want to drive substantial change in public policy and public services, they need a solid evidence base to support their vision. I’m very excited to bring Deetken’s rigorous and uniquely down-to-earth approach to clients in Ontario, whether they be in government or leading policy and government relations teams outside of government.

Deetken has robust practice areas in economic impact and policy options analysis. With our advanced backgrounds in economics and policy, we work with clients to explore and develop policy options, especially in the highly complex areas of industrial and social policy. We then estimate the socio-economic impacts of these options, with tools like Deetken’s proprietary Deetken Dynamic All-Economy Model, so that decision-makers have a comprehensive understanding of the impact of their decisions.

Over nearly two decades, the Deetken team has earned the role of trusted partner to clients in British Columbia, including key decision-makers within the B.C. government. I feel very fortunate to be able to build on this strong reputation and bring Deetken to Ontario and offer a fresh, relationship-driven approach.

Q: If you could have your choice of project assignment right now, what would it be?

A: There are so many! But one vision I have is to work with a government client to develop and implement a large-scale, transformational program. With our economic modeling and policy expertise, Deetken could collaborate with a client to design the program. Then, through Deetken’s Implementation Success and Procurement & Deal Strategy practice areas, we could work with the client to make that policy vision a reality. Having all these capabilities under one roof means that together with our client we could take a policy vision from conception to completion, which I find exhilarating.

As a public policy nerd, I love the idea of collaborating to design and implement a truly innovative government program. To me, an innovative program would be one that is uniquely Canadian, world-leading, and based on a fundamental rethink of how we understand our economy and society.

Q: How can clients reach you in case they are interested in the work you are doing in Ontario?

A: Please don’t hesitate to reach me at my email: rshaban@deetken.com. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.

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