About the Series
Conceived and created by SiG, Inspiring Action for Social Impact is a national speakers’ series comprised of a mix of in-person and online public talks by international thought leaders, applied learning workshops and dialogue on practical strategies for social innovation in Canada. Led by the world’s leading social innovation thinkers and practitioners, the Inspiring Action for Social Impact Series will guide us through proven collaboration and co-creation approaches and strategies that are capable of generating practical solutions to Canada’s most pressing and complex social problems.
Click here for our SiG Social Impact Webinar Series.
Learn more about our 2012 speakers here!
Social Innovation Labs: Creating the conditions for disruptive change
In recent years, great interest has grown about a variety of processes referred to as “labs.”
Simply put, labs are rigorous meetings of diverse groups of people who seek breakthrough solutions to serious problems. SiG is working on cultivating lab processes, recognizing their potential to affect positive social change.
A Social Innovation Lab methodology is in development, merging existing lab elements with new ones specific to social innovation. The proposed SI Lab will focus on broad system change to address the root causes of complex social and ecological problems.
Come and hear Frances Westley, best-selling co-author of Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed, share her insights on this emerging field of work. This presentation is prudly presented in partnership with the MaRS Global Leadership Series.
Frances Westley is one of the world’s leading experts on social innovation. As the Director of the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) at the University of Waterloo, she leads an active research team that is exploring the dynamics of how change happens in complex, linked social and ecological systems. The WISIR staff and faculty team has launched the Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation and is educating and networking professionals from all sectors across Canada, to work together for significant innovation on our shared, systemic challenges.
February 21, 2013 at MaRS in Toronto, 5.30pm. Register Today!
Bryan Boyer presents Recipes for Systemic Change
At Sitra Bryan Boyer focuses on building the Helsinki Design Lab initiative in Finland while sharing their ideas around the world. This includes their Studio Model, as well as the HDL Global event and website.
Before joining HDL, Bryan Boyer worked as an independent architect, software programmer, and technology entrepreneur. He received his BFA with Honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is co-author of the HDL book In Studio: Recipes for Systemic Change.
Watch Bryan's presentation at MaRS recorded for their Global Leadership Series
Cameron Norman on Designing for Change: Complexity, Creativity and Scale in Social Innovation
How can the science of behaviour and systems and the methods of design inform the way change is manifest in the complex systems that humans operate? This presentation will bring together behaviour change, systems and design thinking to suggest ways in which we can better understand the mechanisms that drive change, prevent it, and help determine the appropriate scale for directing our energies. The aim is to foster discussion on ways to bring together theory with evidence from research and practice to design effective social innovations.
Alastair Wilson on Meritocracy: Education, Technology, and Our Democratic Ideals
The School for Social Entrepreneurs - Ontario teamed up with Net Change Week and SiG's Social Impact Series to bring in Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) in the UK, for a provocative talk on June 28!
"Down with Meritocracy! Education, Technology, and Our Democratic Ideals” explored the extraordinary life of the British sociologist Michael Young. Deemed by the Guardian as a "towering figure in postwar social policymaking”, Michael founded or shaped about 60 social ventures in Britain. Among these were the SSE and Open University, the world’s first distance learning university.
Watch what Wilson thinks Michael Young would have said about the self-proclaimed meritocracy of the tech world, our educational system, and the role of social entrepreneurs in achieving the vision of democratic equality that Michael cherished.
Geoff Mulgan is recognized internationally as a leading speaker on social innovation and its successful realization. Very familiar with the pinch of austere budgets in the UK, Geoff will discuss the opportunities society has to overcome the barriers that fiscal challenges present to innovation.
While in Canada, Geoff presented on several topics, among them, Innovation and Austerity, Public Strategy, Resilient Neighborhoods and Social Entrepreneurship. You can view the public presentations here.
Following the 2008 global financial crisis Geoff laid out the challenges ahead during his 2009 TED Talk: “I think what connects the challenge for business, the challenge for government and the challenge for communities now, is both simple and difficult. We know our societies have to radically change. We know we can’t go back to where we were before. We know it’s only through experiment that we’ll discover exactly how to run a low carbon city, how to care for a much older population, how to deal with drug addiction – and so on.”
Innovation and Austerity is presented in partnership with:
For details on how you can be a partner in our Series, email Geraldine
For more than two decades Ezio has been working in the field of design for sustainability. Most recently, his interests have focussed on social innovation, considered as a major driver of sustainable changes, and on what design can do to support it. In this perspective he started and currently coordinates, DESIS: an international network of schools of design and other design-related organisations specifically active in the field of design for social innovation and sustainability.
Throughout his professional life he has taught and carried out research in several design schools, parallel to this, he has also been director and vice-president of Domus Academy (in the 90s) and Chair Professor of Design under the Distinguished Scholars Scheme at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (in 2000).Currently, he is visiting lecturer at the Tohoku University (Japan), the Jiangnan University (China), the COPPE-UFRJ (Brazil). Currently he is Distinguished Visiting Professor, at Parsons, the New School for Design (USA).
Inspiring Action for Social Impact is presented by:
and proudly supported by: