• Social Innovation

    (Many) Big Updates on Social Innovation Canada

    Hey Social Innovators! We’ve been busy!! And though you haven’t heard from us, it’s only because we have been so focused on getting it all done and lining up the ducks to respond to the amazing and exciting changes that are afoot in our communities and our country. You may have noticed the federal government’s announcements of an $805M investment into social innovation and social finance? Amazing to even have the words ‘social innovation’ show up in an economic statement, never mind actually making such a significant investment. And as you will see below, we have also been working with our amazing partners at the regional and local level to…

  • Social Innovation

    Getting Past “What?”: A Journey Into Social Innovation (Part One)

    Back in 2012 I was trying to find workspace for a small non-profit, social finance organization I had founded. After searching all over the city for affordable commercial space, one of my board members had an idea: “There’s a coworking space on the floor above us that’s just for nonprofits.” he said, “They keep destroying my keyboards.” He was wrong about Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation being just for nonprofits (they curate an intentional mix of organization types), but he was right about all of those dead keyboards. Apparently, this coworking space kept glass bottles of milk, designated for member’s coffee, in a bar fridge on the floor. People there…

  • Social Innovation

    A February Social Inspiration Roundup

    Do you to want to know what good ideas are solving problems around the world? Audra Williams curates some inspiring news from February! Peace by Chocolate pledges to hire 50 refugees, mentor 10 refugee startups A chocolate company founded by a family who fled violence in Syria is now pledging to work with 50 refugees and mentor 10 Canadian startups run by refugees over the next few years. Tareq Hadhad, who works as CEO of his family’s business Peace by Chocolate, said he wants to share with newcomers what he’s learned about the logistics of getting a business off the ground — from registration and marketing to sales and distribution.…

  • Social Innovation

    The Jargon of Social Innovation Could be Worse, But Should be Better

    There is an ongoing debate in the medical community surrounding the use of eponyms, greek, latin, and general language usage in reference to medical conditions. Some industry professionals appreciate the connection to history that eponyms provide, some others want to see more scientific precision in medical language. Patient advocates want to see more plain language and think indecipherable jargon separates sick people from their own bodies and prevents them from participating in their own care. Encephalopathy doesn’t mean anything more specific than brain disease, so why not just call it what it is in plain language? Specialized Language is Inevitable, But Clear and Universal Language is Key for Collaboration Anne…

  • Reading List,  Social Innovation,  Tonya Surman

    What Tonya’s Reading: Power and Love by Adam Kahane

    These thoughts were originally published in July 2018 by Centre for Social Innovation: Power and Love by Adam Kahane. “Adam is a facilitator of change labs and a principle at Reos Partners – global leaders in transformational processes. It was amazing to read about Adam’s insights about group processes. I really appreciated his vulnerability and felt a lot of comfort knowing that I wasn’t the only one that had dealt with failures and challenges in handling these types of complexities. I was left with a lovely group of change lab stories on which to draw, some amazing leads to further explore other thinkers and doers and a sense that I wasn’t…

  • Social Innovation

    The January Newsletter

    Subscribe Past Issues RSS Translate What a whirlwind. Canadian social innovators, you really are doing incredible work across this whole country. I am now a few weeks into this role, and I am blown away everyday when I hear from our regional partners about all of the local efforts making meaningful change in Canada and the world. As we set out to build and strengthen this new network of SI practitioners, it’s inspiring to see the tremendous commitment to learning, to having the tough conversations, and to experimenting to discover how we can be even better. One of my commitments this year is to keep making sure that people feel incredible…

  • Alberta,  British Columbia,  Social Innovation

    Maybe is a Podcast About the Messy Reality of Social Innovation

    Maybe is a podcast series inspired by individuals who are tackling critical issues and challenges in communities across Canada. Specifically, it’s about people who have participated in a very special program called Getting to Maybe: A Social Innovation Residency, inspired by the Canadian book and social innovation phenomenon of the same name. SI Canada spoke to Host and Producer Cheryl Rose about her work in social innovation, the podcast, and where its going in 2019. What is the Maybe podcast? “This podcast is about what it’s really like to work for social innovation in very complex contexts; the messiness and uncertainty that is often part of this work. These stories…

  • Social Innovation

    Building Trust And Avoiding Pitfalls With Digital Communication

    Sometimes science proves something that we already know. Like that the earth is round. Or that innovation and human emotion are intertwined. Human nature, with its innate prejudices, biases, and hard-wired survival mechanisms, creates enormous social transaction costs. This problem is examined in greater detail in one of our favourite innovation ecosystem studies: The Rainforest by Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt. According to their study, one of the rules for creating ecosystems where innovation thrives is that participants must “trust and be trusted”. But in today’s digitally connected world, building trust is uniquely difficult. Building Trust Through Digital Communications Email, text and other digital messages are becoming more common…

  • Reading List,  Social Innovation,  Tonya Surman

    What Tonya’s Reading: Impact: Six Patterns To Spread Your Social Innovation

    These thoughts were originally published in June 2018 by Centre for Social Innovation: “Yesterday, on my reading marathon, I finished Impact: Six Patterns To Spread Your Social Innovation by my dear friend and mentor Al Etmanski. There is so much to love in this beautiful book, but the parts that sung for me were about the power of ‘passionate amateur’ and the great great material around moving policy forward. Truthfully, Al’s pure existence makes me so happy and the fact that occasionally I get a prod from him in the form of a poem or nudge, simply makes me sparkle. He truly embodies the balance of Power and Love referenced…

  • Alberta,  Atlantic Canada,  British Columbia,  Indigenous,  Manitoba,  Ontario,  Quebec,  Social Innovation,  Social R&D

    Important Moments for Canadian Social Innovation in 2018

    This was a important year for social innovation in Canada. The biggest news is probably that the federal government announced an $805M investment in social innovation, the importance of which can not be overstated. But that funding exists because Canada has already become a global leader in social innovation, thanks to work being done from coast to coast by social innovators and organizations everywhere. As we begin this new year, we’re looking back on some of the important moments and learnings from 2018 that will help shape the year ahead.   The Social Innovation and Social Finance Committee Releases Their Policy Report A 17-person committee appointed by ESDC from government…

  • Atlantic Canada,  Social Innovation

    2018 Highlights from Inspiring Communities in Atlantic Canada

    In October, on the edge of the CCEDNet national Conference, EconoUs2018, 40+ community development organizations, innovators, entrepreneurs and academics gathered to learn more about the Social Innovation Canada project and its impact in Atlantic Canada. They came with questions about timelines, resources and governance and all those in the room reinforced the importance for work in this region to be led with intentional collaboration. To that end, our team has had the privilege of travelling across the region this fall to connect, deepen relationships, and better understand the supports that would be useful for contributors to this field. In New Brunswick we gathered stories to share about the supports that the…