Archive for February, 2012

Diploma in Social Innovation: 2012-2013 Program Themes Announced

The University of Waterloo‘s Diploma in Social Innovation—created by the University in partnership with the Foundation, with the goal of responding to Canada’s most pressing social and environmental challenges—recently announced its 2012-2013 program focus: Food Systems, Green Technologies and Urban Sustainability.

Led by Frances Westley—the J. W. McConnell Chair in Social Innovation and Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience—participants will explore economic and political barriers to systemic change, emerging green technologies, and innovative approaches to building a resilient and sustainable future.

Free information webinars on the 2012-2013 program will take place March 8th and March 21st. Click here to register.

To learn more about the Diploma in Social Innovation or to apply for the 2012-2013 program, visit www.gradsi.ca.

Innoweave Video Series

A new video series is now available through Innoweave—a Foundation initiative that provides community sector leaders with new tools and processes to effect change.

The series highlights emerging technologies and presentations showcased at the November 2011 Innoweave workshop: Platformation. Produced in collaboration with Anil Patel, Co-founder and Executive Director of Framework, the workshop introduced cloud computing and new information and communications technology (ICT) strategies to more than ninety participants from the community, corporate and public sectors.

Videos include an Introduction of Innoweave and Platformation, and feature presenters from: Mozilla Foundation, Framework, Girls Action Foundation, Meal Exchange, Schools Without Borders, CanadaHelps, Techsoup Canada, Skills for Change, and the Centre for Impact Investing.

Innoweave is a collaboration with Social Innovation Generation (SiG), and will serve as a platform for ongoing collaboration among practitioners in the community sector, thought leaders, academics, and partners from the private and public sectors. At a time when there is growing demand for new ways to address persistent social and environmental challenges, and increasing restraints on public sector funding, Innoweave will serve as a means of addressing critical operational and strategic needs within the community sector.

To learn more about Innoweave and Platformation, visit www.innoweave.ca.

Aboriginal-Focused Philanthropy

The Foundation is pleased to highlight the 266 entries received for the Inspiring Approaches to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning Changemakers Competition—an initiative of Ashoka Canada and several foundation partners, including the McConnell Family Foundation, to solicit innovative projects and ideas to improve First Nations, Métis and Inuit Learning.

Community Awards finalists will be chosen by a panel of First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders in education and announced (online) on March 7th. Winners will be chosen by the public, so visit the competition website to vote for your favourite idea or project! Voting ends on March 21st and winners will be announced March 26th.

Regional Awards within Canada and awards for specific areas of learning will also be given—click here for a full list of awards. Winners will be celebrated at a national summit to be held in Gatineau April 16-18.

The Public Policy Forum recently released the Aboriginal Youth Collaborative Feasibility Study, which confirms broad based support for developing a multi-sector approach to fostering new ways to empower and enable Aboriginal youth to fulfill their goals.

The study summarizes interviews and roundtables with over 75 participants, including Aboriginal youth leaders and senior representatives from Aboriginal organizations, businesses, foundations, governments, and NGOs. Providing a basis for further action, the study also outlines a potential collaborative model and proposes next steps.

Learn more about the study here.

CTV Shines a Spotlight on Desta

CTV News Montreal recently highlighted the work of Foundation grantee, Desta Black Youth Network—an organization offering housing, counseling and educational resources to Montreal’s Little Burgundy community.

Click here for CTV’s full report.

New Report from Sustainable Prosperity

Building Canada’s Green Economy: The Municipal Role, a new report from Foundation grantee Sustainable Prosperity, was recently released.

The report presents recommendations for municipal and federal governments to work together to position Canada as a global green economy leader, and to realize national economic and environmental goals.

To learn more, download the report here.

Stanford Social Innovation Review Highlights Vibrant Communities

The work of Vibrant Communities—a national poverty reduction initiative led by the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement in partnership with the Foundation—was highlighted in the December issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The article, Collective Impact Update: Channeling Change can be viewed here.

Sustainable Food Systems Update

This past January, the Foundation brought together grantees from our Sustainable Food Systems initiative and several leading food systems thinkers for a three-day workshop in Caledon, Ontario.

Frances Westley, the J.W. McConnell Chair in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo and Arlin Wasserman of Changing Tastes gave the opening address. A dynamic group of participants shared their expertise and also heard from speakers including Herb Barbolet, Liz Weaver, Michael Rozyne, Ken Meter, Russ Christianson, Lori Stahlbrand, James Barham, Marie-Paule Robichaud, and Alison Blay-Palmer.

Stay tuned for more updates!