Social Innovation

Ten Actions to Accelerate University Social Impact

Canadian university presidents collaborated for five years from 2017 – 2022 to accelerate their universities as a greater force for good. Supported by the McConnell Foundation, a group of 30 presidents (the Canadian University Presidents Social Impact Collaboration) created several tools, resources, and connections to scale their social impact and put Canada on a more […]

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Impact Investing Report 2021

Our third annual Impact Investing Report provides an update on our 2021 allocation of our impact investing portfolio and shares some portfolio level data. It highlights the diversity of approaches with which impact investing managers are using capital to make extraordinary contributions to social and environmental transformation. There is a growing movement of investors seeking to […]

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Social innovation in Canada: Reflections on past, present and future directions

In September 2020, The Philanthropist and the McConnell Foundation co-published a new book called Social Innovation in Canada: Reflections on Past, Present and Future Directions. It explores the possibilities, opportunities and challenges that the social innovation movement has faced and will continue to face in support of transformative systems change in Canada. The book includes insights from 2017 […]

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Network of Regulatory Experimentation

Meet-up 2: Reflections from a Toronto Horizon April 2-3, 2019 These turbulent times require that we rethink our assumptions – about our economies, our relationships with large corporations, public institutions, governments, nature, and with each other as citizens, as people, building society together. It requires the best in us, individually and collectively. During the coming […]

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Legitimacities: Notes on innovating our cities from the sidewalk up

Could a network of regulatory experimentation labs in cities build legitimacy and shape inclusive innovation toward a great transition? The societal crises of ecological collapse and inequality require bold collective action. Yet the foundations of collective action are shaking; trust in government and institutions has eroded. It is at the scale of cities and communities […]

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Catalyst: Pond Deshpande Centre

Helping create the next generation of changemakers Globalization, technological progress, and demographic shifts are drastically transforming traditional economies. These shifts risk creating a scenario that leaves people without jobs while creating jobs without people. Canadian universities and colleges can positively influence the current economic transition by providing opportunities for experiential learning, by supporting innovation and […]

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What is Social Innovation?

How do we make the social innovation field more than the sum of its parts? What are our systems change goals for the next 10 years?

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Social entrepreneurship and systems change leadership workshop

Did you miss Re-Code’s workshop with Daniela Papi-Thorton, author of Heropreneurship and former deputy director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship? You can now watch it on our site! The workshops featured a public talk about systems change leadership, followed by a workshop for social impact educators teaching system change principles through their classes, […]

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Inspiring R&D practices in Canada’s social impact sector

Canada spends over $300 billion annually on social outcomes, according to the OECD. Our fast-evolving societal challenges -- ranging from mental health, Indigenous communitiescategory 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.

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Scaling Out, Scaling Up, Scaling Deep: Scaling Innovation

A key question on the minds of many social change practitioners and funders is how do we scale up our impact? Many feel overwhelmed by the fact that they have invested resources for decades into numerous local projects, which may have great results, but fail to collectively change the overall state of the system. Scaling Out, Scaling Up, Scaling Deep, by Darcy Riddell and Michele-Lee Moore, addresses how to solve this problem. The findings in this study reveal specific strategies for achieving scale, depending on whether the target is spreading an innovation, changing laws in the wider system, or shifting the cultural context within which a problem exists in the first place.

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