Archive for December, 2011

Introducing Innoweave — Tools & Networks for Social Innovation

The Foundation is excited to announce the launch of Innoweave, an initiative that provides community sector leaders with new tools and processes to effect large-scale change.

In collaboration with Social Innovation Generation (SiG), thought leaders, academics, and prospective partners from the private and public sectors, Innoweave will address critical operational and strategic needs within the community sector.

Innoweave will consist of several complementary products and services, including workshops, support networks and a website.

The first Innoweave workshop: Platformation, held on November 22 and 23 in Toronto, was produced with Framework. Anil Patel, Co-founder and Executive Director of Framework, introduced cloud computing and new information and communications technology (ICT) strategies to more than ninety participants.

A Platformation Support Fund is now available to help organizations implement ICT strategies that include the use of cloud computing tools. Eligible organizations may apply for up to $7,500 and networks for up to $25,000. To learn more about this fund, click here.

To learn more about Innoweave and Platformation, visit

Private Capital for Public Good

The one year anniversary of the release of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance‘s landmark report, Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good, was celebrated at the official launch of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the 2011 Social Finance Forum: Investing in Good Deals on December 13 and 14 in Toronto.

Nearly four hundred people attended the evening reception celebrating the official launch of the Centre, which is jointly funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the McConnell Foundation and TMX Group Inc. At the reception, guest speaker Antony Bugg-Levine, formerly of the Rockefeller Foundation and now head of Nonprofit Finance Fund, launched his new book, Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference.

Following the reception, the Centre hosted the Social Finance Forum, an annual forum supporting the growth of social finance and impact investing in Canada. The Forum brought social ventures, impact investors and mainstream finance practitioners together with the aim of providing practical education and support to mobilize the exchange of capital and inspire new ideas.

The forum presented leading social finance experts, including Amit Bouri, Director of Strategy and Development at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), who highlighted the importance of measuring social and environmental impact.

The forum also coincided with the Task Force’s release of Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good – Measuring Progress During Year One, a progress report highlighting some of the developments relevant to the recommendations of the Task Force over the past year.

A video highlighting many of the forum’s key events and presentations can be viewed here.

Official Launch of the Diploma in Social Innovation

On November 25, faculty, students, and collaborators gathered for the official launch of the University of Waterloo‘s Diploma in Social Innovation. Created by the University in partnership with the Foundation, the diploma’s goal is to respond to Canada’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

“To successfully address the complex problems we face as a society, it is essential that we learn to work collaboratively among the private, public and community sectors,” said the Foundation’s Stephen Huddart. “The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation is pleased to support the Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and looks forward to the new partnerships, fresh thinking and actionable solutions that emerge from this talented group of faculty and students.”

Thirty-three participants from across Canada are enrolled, with a first year focus on three key issues: aging, newcomers to Canada and mental health. Led by Frances Westley—the J. W. McConnell Chair in Social Innovation and Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience—the program draws on the expertise of world-renowned academics and expert practitioners and thought leaders from across the country.

Click here to learn more about the Diploma in Social Innovation.

Learning Network Launched!

Foundation grantee The Stop Community Food Centre recently launched an online Learning Network to share resources and foster dialogue about community food centre programming.

The Stop is an innovative community food centre where people come together to grow, cook and eat food, as well as to advocate for measures that can increase food security in the community.

Visit the new Learning Network to learn more.

Canada’s Boreal Forest Agreement

The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement—a landmark agreement bringing together leading environmental organizations and major forest companies in an effort to conserve the biodiversity of Canada’s Boreal Forest—was featured in the November issue of Business 2020, a magazine on business and biodiversity.

The article, Canada in forefront of conserving biodiversity of Boreal Forest, highlights the six goals of the agreement.

A Foundation grant to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, one of the agreement’s signatories, supports environmental organization participation in negotiations and implementation of the agreement.