The Natural Step Sustainability Conference and Transition Lab
June 10-11, 2013 in Guelph, Ontario
as an opportunity to learn from and with prominent colleagues in the field and to experience collaboration by playing creatively with your ideas and interest.
Click here to find out more about the conference and the Call for Expressions of Interest for their Sustainability Transition Lab.
Tamarack's 2013 Communities Collaborating Institute
is open for registration!
This premier week-long learning event provides an opportunity to join a community of practitioners engaged in new ways of leading community transformation.
Food, Farms, Fish and Finance
A forum for
exploring the delicious, diverse, and delicate potential for social finance and impact investing in our food system will be taking place on
Saturday May 25 and
Sunday May 26 at the
Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.
For more info visit
In this issue of the Foundation's e-newsletter, we highlight the University of Waterloo's Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation 2013-2014; introduce the Foundation's new Energy and the Economy initiative; share two new Sustainable Food resources; and spotlight upcoming Innoweave workshops.
Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation
Innovating for a Resilient Canada
The University of Waterloo's Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation is a partnership between leading academics, experts from the public, private, and community sectors from across the country, and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Nominations are now being accepted for participation in the program’s 2013-2014 offering, whose theme is Young Canadians Innovating for a Resilient Canada. It will be focused on, but not limited to, individuals aged 22-35 with experience as change-makers, and who want to learn to work for broad system change (political, economic, legal, education, environmental, social, etc). Together, this cohort will collaborate to more deeply understand our national systems, to identify key challenges, and to develop social innovation strategies that can move social and environmental systems in positive directions.
Nominees may come from the private, public, or community sectors, and must have a clear passion for change, a tolerance for risk, a deep appreciation for collaboration, a high interest in learning, and a strong desire for action. If you know someone who fits this profile, please consider nominating them for a spot in this sought after program.
Energy and the Economy Initiative
Recognizing that an economy geared for perpetual growth cannot be contained on a finite planet, the Foundation supports work aimed at creating an economy where markets work for the environment rather than against it. Past and current grantees include Pembina, Sustainable Prosperity and The Natural Step Canada.
The Foundation will be prioritizing ‘energy and the economy’ in its granting and program-related investing in this field. In keeping with this focus, the Foundation recently approved a grant to Clean Energy Canada, which works with clean energy companies, provincial governments and environmental organizations to accelerate the transition to a prosperous low carbon economy.
New Sustainable Food Reports
The Regional Value Chain program, part of the Foundation’s Sustainable Food Systems initiative, is supporting work to strengthen regional food systems in communities across Canada. Two new reports funded under this program have been published that reflect the diversity of approaches being taken:
Feeding Diversity: Community Access and Commercialization of World Crops: so called ‘world crops’—grains, pulses and vegetables that reflect the cultural origins of immigrant communities—play an important role in the diets of newcomers to Canada, as well as presenting niche market opportunities for farmers and grocers. Recently Toronto Public Health and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre published a report that assesses market opportunities for local world crop producers.
A common challenge facing regional food systems is that the means of efficiently distributing locally grown foods to institutional buyers no longer exist, having been displaced by systems that favour an import/export economy. The Perth County Regional Food Hub Feasibility Study examines the potential to invest in local infrastructure to restore vitality to a regional market. Coordinating the work, Foundation partner Food Secure Canada convenes a Local and Sustainable Food Systems network that provides members with ongoing opportunities for learning and collaboration.
McGill Launches New Initiative
The Social Economy Initiative (SEI) at the Desautels Faculty of Management integrates social entrepreneurship and social innovation into its teaching, research, and outreach activities.
Over 600 people attended the inaugural event on April 16th in Montreal, where a panel comprised of the Right Honourable Paul Martin, the Chantier de l'économie sociale's Nancy Neamtan, Prof. Henry Mintzberg and the Foundation's President Stephen Huddart discussed new approaches to creating social and economic value.
For all the latest news and information about the Foundation, please visit
Click below to visit the Foundation on