May News
World Wide Hearing and partners to take on hearing loss in northern communities
It is estimated that hearing loss among Inuit children is as high as 30%, compared to the 2.63% of children in the general population, according to a study published by Collections Canada (2006).
This month’s feature takes a close look at the Northern Hearing Initiative, led by Montreal-based World Wide Hearing Foundation International. This unique initiative is modeled on work conducted in Jordan, Guatemala and Vietnam. An example of “reverse innovation,” this is a new approach that’s being tried out in Canada for the first time to provide screening for hearing loss and to fit low-cost hearing aids in Canada’s North, where there are very few audiologists.
When seven-year-old Mahmoud in Jordan was fitted with hearing aids for the first time, he started to giggle. “He could hear and this was really exciting,” says Audra Renyi, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the World Wide Hearing Foundation (WWH), the Canadian non-profit that provides accessible services for the hearing impaired in the developing world. WWH is gearing up to expand its community-led work into Canada.
“It’s about connecting children to their worlds and giving them the chance of a better life, better opportunities, education-wise but also eventually work-wise,” says Renyi.
Read the article (5 min. read)
Introducing Solutions Finance: A New Vision for Our Work
In the coming weeks, the Foundation is rolling out several new resources on Solutions Finance: a series of white papers and related case studies, illustrating some of what we’ve learned over the last decade from our successes — and failures — in deploying capital for systems change. The first white paper is available today. We hope these resources will be useful to a growing community interested in financial innovation for positive social and environmental impact.
Learn more about Solutions Finance
Environment organizations collaborate for greater impact
Three grantees with similar goals for the environment — Sustainability Colab, The Natural Step and Climate Smart — started working together in 2015. Collaborating has taken time, “but along the way we've learned about each other: about how each organization functions, about our working styles, and even about our business models. And as a result it's positioned us to be ready to ride the wave of a change in government, we’re integrating aspects of our programming and accelerating our work together rather than working in silos.”
Learn more about their story
Spotlight on impact investing
The Foundation has made a $1 million investment in the Fonds d’aide à la rénovation de l’habitation communautaire (FondsARHC). The goal of the $32.5-million patient capital investment fund is to enable housing coops and housing nonprofits carry out major renovations without raising rents. The fund is a collaboration between the Chantier de l’économie sociale, the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, SSQ Financial Group, and the Foundation.
Learn more
Wilfrid Laurier University embraces social innovation
RECODE grantee Wilfrid Laurier University changed the name of its entrepreneurship centre from the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship to the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation. They made the change because it is “a combination that highlights the value of applying business strategy and entrepreneurial spirit to solving urgent social challenges”. The university credits Foundation initiative RECODE as well as  Ashoka for helping catalyze the change.
Learn more
Here are some of our favourite blogs from the past month.
Social Innovation and Cities: Les Jardins Gamelin
The builders of the city are not just the people who envision it; they are also the ones who pass through it and who live in it. To make the transformation movement a success, we must join forces. A vibrant example of this is the development of Jardins Gamelin in Montreal.
Technology takes us back to the future of fish
Eric Enno Tamm, General Manager of This Fish, envisions a world where information technology can empower producers and consumers to create a more socially responsible and sustainable seafood industry.  
Reading the Future in a Glass of Milk
Isabelle Mailhot-Leduc of Concordia University sees the future of food being deeply shaped by two opposing movements: open markets and deregulation versus the pursuit of the ideal of food sovereignty.  
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New Opportunities
Prosper Canada seeks collaborators for Financial Empowerment Champions project 

Prosper Canada
is seeking applications from non-profit/charitable organizations to be part of a new project, Financial Empowerment Champions. For the project, they will collaborate with five organizations across the country to improve the financial well-being of over one million Canadians living on low incomes. Project funding of up to $150,000 annually will be distributed over four-and-a-half years to organizations working in urban settings to help them deliver and expand a set of five proven financial empowerment interventions. 

  Learn more and apply.
Culture Days seeking social labs proposals
 Culture Days is seeking groups to lead Public Engagement Innovation Labs in local communities from June 2016 to October 2017. The Labs will test collaborative partnerships and creative solutions to the challenges of engaging existing Culture Days audiences more deeply, or reaching new populations such as youth, families, business, minority language or ethnocultural communities. 
Community News 
SFU offers new certificate program for social innovators
The new Social Innovation Certificate is a part-time program for professionals in the public, private and non-profit sectors. The program is taught by leading practitioners in social innovation and is designed to help students navigate through complex social, political, cultural and economic systems. Students will also cultivate new leadership skills and learn about new approaches ​to developing the creative, transformative solutions that society needs.
Vital Signs report: using sport to increase sense of belonging

"Sport has a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. By its very nature, sport is about participation. It is about inclusion and citizenship," says the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace in a new report from Community Foundations of Canada and the True Sport Foundation. The report explores how sport can be used to strengthen our sense of belong to each other and to our communities. It also tackles the issues of declining participation and a growing gender gap in sport across Canada, and shares a game plan for how to make sport more inclusive, affordable and fun.