2016

Kids and Place Lab

There is an emerging movement connecting childrencategorys 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.

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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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Advancing school wellbeing as a priority.

In its first year in BC, WellAhead worked with six pilot school districts to see if a set of core values, a participatory change process and a focus on everyday practices could deepen schoolscategory commitment to wellbeing. After reflecting on their learnings, WellAhead has made some significant shifts in its strategy towards the integration of wellbeing in Canadian schools. One key lesson? WellAhead may be able to achieve more impact by working at a network level, instead of directly with school districts.

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Impact Investing Due Diligence Guide, Part 1

This guide is based on the Foundationcategorys internal due-diligence process and it offers a framework to assess impact and financial risk and return of potential investment opportunities. The expected added value is in how to incorporate impact and strategic fit dimensions when assessing investment opportunities with an impact investor lens. It should be noted that the shared list of questions is not exhaustive and readers should refer to other manuals for more comprehensive financial due-diligence and analysis of different asset classes. It can be considered a work in progress as the market continues to evolve and we continue to learn about new developments in impact investing

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Beyond Impact Investing, Towards Solutions Finance

Successful systems innovation requires adequate resourcing and calls for new forms of capital allocation across the multiple stages of design and implementation. In many cases, systems innovation models mature from needing philanthropic dollars to developing solid business models that would allow them to partner with large mainstream investors. However, as we know, market and social system inefficiencies continue to prevent taking innovative models to scale to fulfill their full potential. This is why the Foundation is shifting its focus to Solutions Finance, an integrated approach to deploying financial capital and adapting financial models to catalyze, sustain and scale systems transformation.

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Sustainable Food Systems: Assessment For Canadian Philanthropy

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.

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Cities for People Experimental Phase Report

In this discovery phase of Cities for People, the Foundation and its partners sought to identify new ideas and promising approaches to city-building. A group of curators identified projects to support and frame the initiative’s four themes, built innovation networks, connected the themes with each other and explored approaches to accelerating innovation within the urban […]

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Indigenous Innovation Summit Report 2015

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

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Evidence of Change: The sustainable livelihoods framework

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.

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