Learning Communities

With all kinds of amazing social innovation tools, processes, and resources out there, it can be hard to know if and how to get started to get better at your practice.

In our first year, Social Innovation Canada is home to a small number of learning communities. These are opportunities for helping innovators to connect and learn from others, to deepen our innovation practices, and to learn about projects and initiatives that are working well and what’s challenging us.

We co-host these communities with some of Canada’s leaders in social innovation. Here is information about who is leading each community, a sense of who it is designed for, how they meet, and how to participate:

Social Innovation Lab Practitioners

Convenor: Claire Buré, MaRS Solutions Lab

Who is it for? Open for social innovation lab practitioners, researchers, and funders as well as the ‘lab curious’.

What happens? Two Zoom calls per month in three different formats: Peer Input Processes, Share and Tell, and Brave Conversations on various topics. We had an in-person national convening in June 2018 called CONVERGE. In 2020 we’re planning multiple regional convenings.

How to join? Subscribe to our mailing list here.

Labs Evaluation

Convenor: Mark Cabaj, Here 2 There Solutions

Who is it for? Lab convenors interested in developing evaluation methods to demonstrate the impact of social innovation labs.

What happens? Mark is developing a framework with two small working groups (advisory and practitioners) will be shared out to broader group for testing in the fall of 2019.

How to join? Contact hello@sicanada.org if you have experience using developmental evaluation for your labs practice to join the practitioners group.

Transformational Leadership

Convenor: Cheryl Rose, Banff Centre + RADIUS SFU

Who? Facilitators and trainers to explore what it takes to do systems change work and both withstand and thrive through the personal challenges and tests. Explores techniques for doing inner work and building resilience building with systems change and social innovation practitioners.

What? Cohort of 20 facilitators and coaches with monthly calls, designing towards an online workshop in the fall from which they will share learnings.

How to join? This is currently a closed group of ~20 facilitators and trainers. They hosted a public webinar in November 2019 to share first findings and explore ways to open up this community in a useful way. In Spring 2020, they will open up a new cohort.

Corporate Engagement

Convenor: Allyson Hewitt, MaRS

Who is it for? If we believe we need to work across sectors to achieve real systems level change we need to engage corporates, not just non-profits and governments and academia.

What happens? We have begun to map who some of the players are in this space, for example, Impact 2030 who are trying to engage corporates in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals; or Canopy which is a cross sectoral collaborative of intermediaries working to engage corporates in social change efforts, these members include Volunteer Canada; Imagine Canada; SiMPACT and Realized Worth to name a few. Right now we are working to understand the space and accelerate the efforts of existing efforts. We will share insights in a blog series starting late 2019.

How to join? If you are working in the space of “corporate social innovation” or you want to be engaged in this work please reach out to the Corporate Community of Practice lead, Allyson Hewitt ahewitt@marsdd.com

Annelies Tjebbes
Social Research & Development (R&D)

Convenor: Annelies Tjebbes

The Social R&D Community is a network of practitioners dedicated to growing the craft of research and development, on the frontline, to generate new knowledge and innovations that transform lives.The practice of Social R&D involves planned creative work aimed at discovering new knowledge or developing significantly improved programs, processes, goods and services.The community seeks to lower the barrier to social purpose organizations entering this practice.

How to join? If you are interested in getting involved and want to know more, email annelies@socialinnovation.ca

Learning Communities in development

Indigenous Innovation

Convenor: Partnership between Winnipeg Boldness Project, Turtle Island Institute, 4Rs Youth Movement.

Who is it for? Indigenous social innovators from around Canada.

What happens? A national gathering took place at The Banff Centre July 2019. 

How to join? Closed for the time being. See this related article in The Philanthropist.

Do you know of a social innovation learning community that we should be aware of or needs our support?