University of Waterloo: WISIR Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience

Background of the Organization:

Housed at the University of Waterloo, the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) is committed to generating inter-disciplinary knowledge about social innovations and the social innovation process in Canada and internationally – particularly the dynamics of learning, adaptation and innovation in the arena of sustainable development and in the mental health domain (identified as one of the most pressing challenges of engaging vulnerable populations).



Grant description:

In partnership with WISIR, the rare Charitable Research Reserve, and the Musagetes Foundation, funds from this grant will be used to help expand key partnerships that will enable a successful launch of the Turtle Island Institute. The grant will also  be used to create a version of the Labwise guide for Indigenous users.


WISIR will act as the social innovation, research and teaching partner, rare will host the Institute and ensure that it is land-based and experiential, and Musagetes will ensure that arts are integral to the project. Through this work, the Turtle Island Institute expects to serve a number of clients, with the ultimate goal of building the capacity in Indigenous communities to implement community-driven solutions.


In addition to providing financial support, the Foundation would also be an active participant on the advisory committee and in the learning circle on Indigenous knowledge.


  • 2017-2018
  • $ 185,000
  • Funding Type: Past Initiatives
  • Initiatives: McConnell Reconciliation Initiative