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Building Social Infrastructure Retreat Report


This report recaps a July 2017 that brought together representatives from multiple postsecondary institutions and supporting organizations from higher education across Canada. The activities and discussions addressed how to better leverage post-secondary “social infrastructure” assets (financial, research, educational, relational, physical and social) in service of Canadian communities.


May 2017

Maximizing the Capacities of Advanced Education Institutions to Build Social Infrastructure for Canadian Communities

by Coro Strandberg, Commissioned by RECODE and Simon Fraser University

Building Social Infrastructure: How can we increase the impact of our institutions to better strengthen our communities?


March 2017

Boston Study Tour (Cities for People)

by Cities for People

Boston is home to cutting-edge initiatives in social entrepreneurship (EforAll, the MassChallenge); neighbourhood revitalization and civic innovation (The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Roxbury Innovation Center); and youth engagement and social innovation (YouthBuild, DesignX-MIT and Mission Hill School). The city also inspires practitioners who have done extensive research in sustainability, smart cities and inclusion. Boston is not only an innovation hub, it is also one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the United States. From the historic streets of nearby Cambridge to the artistic Victorian town houses of Black Bay, the city suits a variety of lifestyles.

Tags: Cities for People

March 2017

PURCHASING POWER: 10 Lessons on Getting More Local, Sustainable and Delicious Food in Schools, Hospitals and Campuses

by Food Secure Canada and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

This report presents ten lessons learned about changing institutional food (purchasing and food services) and identifies barriers as well as levers for change in the larger systems of which these institutions are a part. We hope the report will inform and inspire institutions, organizations, funders and policy makers to leverage local, sustainable food purchasing by institutions and bring about significant social, economic, health and environmental impacts.

Tags: Sustainable Food Systems

January 2017

Advancing wellbeing in schools

by WellAhead

In 2015, WellAhead began working in British Columbia to experiment with ways to better integrate wellbeing into K-12 education. In Advancing Wellbeing in Schools, WellAhead shares 15 lessons about education, philanthropy & systems change learned through this process.

Tags: Child and Youth Wellbeing

December 2016

Kids and Place Lab

by Samantha Slade, percolab and André Fortin

There is an emerging movement connecting children’s well-being with city well-being and rethinking urban design from child-centered design. In line with this movement, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation opened space to explore the potential of a Kids and Place Lab in Canada.

Tags: Cities for People

November 2016

Getting to Moonshot

by Vinod Rajasekaran

Canada spends over $300 billion annually on social outcomes, according to the OECD. Our fast-evolving societal challenges -- ranging from mental health, Indigenous communities’ access to quality education, and a lack of affordable housing -- demand equally fast-paced and nimble research, learning, experimental and replicating approaches so people can access the best possible services, supports and solutions, no matter where they live in Canada. This is where R&D comes in.

Tags: Social Innovation Generation

May 2016


by Canadian Food Funders Collaborative

This report explores the current Canadian food system and highlights key opportunities for funders to support work to drive significant and systemic impact in this field. There are three sections: an overview of the Canadian food system based on the perspective of select stakeholders, an assessment of the current national funding landscape through analysis of survey data, and detailed profiles of participating Canadian funding organizations.

Tags: Sustainable Food Systems

March 2015

Indigenous Innovation Summit Report 2015

by The National Association of Friendship Centres

The Indigenous Innovation Summit Report 2015 is a detailed overview of everything that the NAFC and its partners accomplished with the inaugural edition of the Summit. It provides a detailed list of all Summit themes, goals and panels. It also includes some preliminary information regarding the 2016 Summit, which will be hosted in Edmonton, Alberta

Tags: Indigenous-Focused Philanthropy

January 2016

Evidence of Change: The sustainable livelihoods framework

by Ricardo Ramirez

A new guide to help with the assessment of changes in the physical, natural, financial and human dimensions of a project, using the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. Based on a theory often used in international development projects, it was developed by Ricardo Ramirez with input from several partners. It was tested by two projects in Saskatoon and Nova Scotia, and while it was developed to support projects funded under the Regional Value Chain program, we hope that it proves useful to a wider audience.

Tags: Sustainable Food Systems

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