Archive for the ‘Foundation Updates’ Category

New Report: Building Sustainable Food Systems in Canada

On the occasion of World Food Day, a new report is drawing attention to the social and environmental challenges facing global food systems and the implications for Canadian investors of unsustainable practices by food companies.

The report, Building Sustainable Food Systems in Canada: A Role for Investors, was released by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE), a leading Canadian responsible investment organization. The report was funded by Canadian philanthropic foundations including the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.

Read the report.

Launch of Cities for People website

Cities for People, a new Foundation initiative has recently launched their website. It aims to explore the question: How can we enhance social, ecological and economic well-being and help civic cultures thrive?

Cities For People sees every city as an invitation. An invitation for interaction, innovation, change, inclusion, learning, love and growth. An invitation to think beyond the way things are and have always been, and come up with new ways to make where we live, support how we would like to live.

The goal is to empower change and help foster the sort of multi-level transformation and ideological shift that is required to help cities embrace the needs of their populations and come up with ways to meet them.

Visit the website here.

Cross-Canada Tour
 with April Rinne of Collaborative Lab on “The Sharing Economy”

April Rinne, Chief Strategy Officer of Collaborative Lab, will be touring Canada for a series of presentations on how the collaborative or “sharing economy” has the potential to transform the way we design products and services, create sustainable and “shareable cities”, re-imagine public services, reduce waste and connect communities.

The Sharing Economy Tour is part of the launch of Cities for People, a collaborative experiment initiated by the Foundation that brings multiple stakeholders together to take action in creating resilient and livable communities. The tour is co-sponsored by Social Innovation Generation (SiG) with local partners in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Collaborative Consumption and The Sharing Economy: Opportunities for Cities, Organizations, and Well-Being will be presented on the following dates:

Montreal: Monday, February 10th, 11am-12:00pm, Concordia University, David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise

Toronto: Tuesday, February 11th, 5:30pm-7:00pm, MaRS Centre

Vancouver: Thursday, February 13th, 5:20pm-7:30pm, The HiVE

Click here for more information.

On-Ramping to the Next Economy: Financing Innovation, Sustainability, and Resilience

Stephen Huddart’s recent contribution to the Open Source Business Resource speaks about creating resilient local economies and the possibility of networking these nodes to “reshape markets in the public interest, rather than to a race to protect and monopolize benefits for a select few.”

An excerpt:

According to one feisty audience member at a conference I spoke at in Phoenix recently, growing US indebtedness and a weakening dollar will result in the US dollar losing its role as the world’s reserve currency. As other countries elect to price their transactions in Euros, gold, or something else, they will dump their unwanted dollars, driving the greenback even lower. Consequently, he insisted, it’s time to think about creating local and regional currencies, along with the militia we’ll need in order to protect ourselves when the US government goes bankrupt… Without subscribing to the alarmist and defeatist rhetoric of our commentator, we can agree that resilient local economies are an important element in any innovation ecosystem.

Read the blog post in its entirety here.

The Social Side of Co-Creation

In Stephen Huddart’s most recent contribution to the Open Source Business Resource, he writes about Changemakers‘ method of collaboration as a promising practice to create a wider “ecology of change.” An excerpt:

As articles in this issue of OSBR attest, co-creation is how a lot of business innovation is getting done these days. This is significant in its own right, but what happens when co-creation involves collaboration across whole sectors?


Sustainable Food Systems: Our newest granting initiative

The Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of our new initiative: Sustainable Food Systems.

Sustainable Food SystemsCanadians increasingly understand that a resilient and sustainable food system must address not only the economic wellbeing of producers and consumers, but also environmental impacts and human health outcomes. Local, diverse, and ecologically sustainable food initiatives are multiplying across the country, including eco-certification, regionally focussed restaurants and food markets, and healthy supply chain strategies that link informed consumers to local producers.

In order to assist this work, the Foundation’s Sustainable Food Systems initiative aims to strengthen regional food economies in Canada. We envision a food system that links growers and consumers in supply chains that incorporate shared values around sustainability, health, and resilience.

The Foundation is issuing a Request for Proposals for our Sustainable Food Systems initiative. The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2011. Learn more.

Board appoints Stephen Huddart as next President and CEO of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

Ms. Lyn Baptist, Chair of the Board of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, announced that the Board has appointed Stephen Huddart as the Foundation’s next President and CEO. Stephen, who is currently the Vice-President and COO, joined the Foundation in 2003.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Stephen worked with children’s singer Raffi as Executive Director of Troubadour Music Inc. and the non-profit Troubadour Institute.

As well, he co-founded and operated the Alma Street Café, a community-oriented business that for a number of years was Vancouver’s jazz café of record. He also held several executive positions with the BC SPCA, where he introduced innovations in humane education, animal-assisted therapy, and food labeling.

His community service commitments include advisory roles with Philanthropic Foundations Canada, the McGill Faculty of Religious Studies, ArtsSmarts, and the Canada Council. He has a Masters of Management degree from McGill.

The appointment will take effect during the summer of 2011 when the current President, Tim Brodhead, retires. Ms. Baptist expressed the Board’s thanks to Tim Brodhead and welcomed Mr. Huddart’s appointment.

The Foundation is currently accepting grant proposals

The Foundation will be making a limited number of responsive grants in line with our mission and program priorities. Applicants are asked to apply via our new online application process.

Please continue checking the website for all granting updates.

Tim Brodhead interviewed by the Policy Research Initiative

Tim Brodhead was recently interviewed by the Policy Research Initiative for Horizons, their online magazine. In the article An Innovation Agenda for Canada’s Community Sector?: A conversation with Tim Brodhead, Tim argues that Canada’s community sector needs to think through what its innovation agenda ought to be in light of a fast-evolving environment.

“We need a society that is both caring, that is, nurturing, generous, and inclusive, and also creative, that is, enterprising, innovative, and focused on solutions.”

Tim’s interview was posted as a preview of the January 2011 issue of Horizons, entitled Innovative Communities: Agents of Change. Read the interview in The President’s Corner or on the Policy Research Initiative website.

Under the Volcano: Social Actions and Canada’s Digital Future

From Stephen Huddart’s latest OSBR column:

Last April, on his way back to Canada from the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford, Peter Deitz ran into a roadblock in the form of Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano that halted flights over Europe. As a result, he spent a few days cooling his heels in London. He wasn’t going anywhere and neither, he realized, was his plan to turn Social Actions into an independent and sustainable social enterprise.

Read the entire post here.