National Dialogues

Final Report of the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 (All day)

For more information, please visit the Social Finance website.

The findings of the Task Force on Social Finance were communicated with the public on November 30, 2010. The report is just the beginning of a new stage for social finance in Canada. It is anticipated that following the release of the report, there will be a number of informational and strategic workshops and working groups formed to facilitate cross-sectoral discussion and implementation of the recommendations.

At the November 30th launch event, Task Force members outlined the opportunities where financial institutions, foundations and government can participate in building a market for impact investing in Canada. Attendees were introduced to current examples of social finance at work from the perspective of Canadian social entrepreneurs and the Rockefeller Foundation's initiative on Impact Investing.

To download the full report, please visit the Social Finance website.

National Film Board Tour Project

Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 17:00 - 19:00
Hub Theatre and Tannery Event Centre in the Tannery District (151 Charles St. W., Unit Number 20, Kitchener)

The NFB came to Kitchener-Waterloo to connect with you and your community

Tom Perlmutter, Head of the National Film Board (NFB), is traveling across the country to hear and share the diverse stories of Canadians. Join Tom for an intimate evening of exchange and storytelling, and discover how the NFB can be part of your community. In addition, Tom spent time with individual members of the KW community, including Dr. Frances Westley, J.W. McConnell Chair in Social Innovation, for a one-on-one discussion about our community and the NFB.

Visit for more information. Watch the NFB's films online at the NFB Screening Room, then tell them what you think!

Net Change Week Live Webcast June 10th in Waterloo

Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 12:00 - 15:00

Net Change Week is a week dedicated to exploring the intersection between social technology and social change. Hosted at the MaRS Discovery Centre in downtown Toronto, Net Change Week hosted some of the most renowned thought leaders in the field of social technology and social change that challenged, inspired and informed participants from diverse areas such as education, popular culture, childhood development and philanthropy.
In an effort to spread the ideas generated at this event in Toronto, the Net Change organizers set up a live webcast of the event that was broadcasted across Canada. As part of the event at MaRS, questions and comments were sent from the satellite locations to MaRS to generate a cross-Canada discussion on issues relating to social technology and social change.
Social Innovation Generation (SiG) at the University of Waterloo hosted a live webcast of the event in the Waterloo Region. With the various synergies occurring in the region between academia, the technology sector, and social change enterprises, Net Change Week provided an opportunity to discuss how we can harness the energy of technology for the greatest impact.

SiG broadcasted The Future Panel and Cybersecurity Panel from the events occurring for Net Change Week at MaRS.

The Future Panel

The Future Panel was compromised of world-renowned web strategists, futurists, and culturists discussing the future of the web and the world.


Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director, Masters of Digital Media Program at Vancouver’s Centre for Digital Media, Great Northern Way Campus

John Thackara, Author of In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Director and Founder of Doors of Perception

Dr. Lucy Bernholz, Founder and President of Blueprint Research & Design, Inc and author of the blog, Philanthropy2173

This panel was moderated by Jesse Brown, a humorist working in print, radio, television and film.

The Cybersecurity Panel focused on concepts such as Internet filtering, censorship of web content, and online surveillance that are all increasing in scale, scope, and sophistication around the world. Current tools for Internet control go beyond mere denial of information.


Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

Ronald Deibert, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto

Moderated by Jesse Hirsh, internet strategist, researcher, and broadcaster

Knowledge Commons Summit | A National Conversation

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 09:00 - 16:30

SiG @Waterloo has been pleased to be part of a national collaboration with Community-Based Research Canada, the Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning, and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health over the last year to convene the Canadian Knowledge Commons Initiative. We are interested and supportive of emerging efforts to address such challenges and hosting spaces to have these important conversations

Visit the Knowledge Commons Networking Website

A knowledge commons refers to conceptual spaces where the boundaries between diverse locations of knowledge creation, forms of knowledge and uses of knowledge are diminished. In such a commons, we are better able to address complex economic, social and environmental issues that confront us locally, nationally and around the world. Our proposition is that lowering the barriers that separate knowledge is desirable and necessary.

There is a growing recognition that knowledge is not a monopoly of academics. It is created, co‐created and shared in:

  • Community classrooms where First Nations’ indigenous languages and cultures are being sustained and revitalized;
  • Businesses working on green economic alternatives;
  • University engineering departments working on adaptive technologies for children with special needs;
  • Financial institutions’ exploring innovative new ways to create affordable housing;
  • And so much more, including collaborative partnerships between academics and their colleagues in private, public and community sectors.

However, the fact remains that there are many long-standing challenges to thinking about and acting on knowledge in ways that are broad, inclusive, integrated and applied.

What has happened:

The Canadian Knowledge Commons Summit held on June 2, 2010 at the L'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) brought together a diverse group of participants who share a deep interest in the creation and uses of knowledge for accelerating the pace of positive change in our communities. Summit organizers share an interest in breaking down barriers between communities and universities, breaking down disciplinary knowledge silos within academia and supporting knowledge partnerships between community, policy makers, the private sector and academics. The program for the day included a panel address moderated by Chad Gaffield(President of SSHRC), presentations by Nancy Neamtan(Executive Director of Quebec's Chantier de l'economie sociale )and Lorna Williams, Chair of the First Peoples Heritage Language and Cultural Council) ; two outstanding examples of high-impact initiatives, themed round-table discussions on potential areas for action, and opportunities to contribute to a strategic document. SiG has played a key leadership role as chief coordinator for this particular day.

What Now:

The creation of a Canadian Knowledge Commons is an ongoing conversation that needs continuous and diverse dialogue. Our staff have created a Ning site( online social networking site) developed as a place to share ideas, connect with others, and peruse the videos, documents and presentation materials from the summit on June 2.

We are also collecting information on an ongoing basis about innovative ways that knowledge is being created, shared or applied. You have the opportunity to submit examples. To do so, you can either join the Knowledge Commons Ning or complete an anonymous survey.

The Knowledge Commons Initiative will next convene during May 2011 in Waterloo.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to participate whether in person on at future events and on an on-going basis via the website.

National Summit on a People-Centred Economy

Sunday, May 30, 2010 (All day) - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 (All day)

National Summit on a People-Centred Economy

Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
May 30 - June 1, 2010

From May 30 to June 1, 2010, the National Summit on a People-Centred Economy will be an unprecedented gathering of leaders and representatives of the community economic development, cooperative and social economy sectors to build a common agenda and mobilize action for a secure, sustainable economy that puts people and the planet first. The Summit seeks to mobilize networks and organizations by building on the best research, agreeing on a common action plan, and increasing awareness of this sector among politicians, policy makers, non-governmental sector leaders and the mainstream media.

As part of the preparatory process for the Summit, six issue papers have been drafted on themes which outline the key strengths, challenges and proposals for action to further reinforce this movement. These issue papers will be subject to an engagement and outreach process for feedback and revisions by Summit participants and other stakeholders between March 1 and May 15. The revised papers will be presented at the Summit from which a common declaration and action plan will be developed.

It is important that Summit participants review and provide feedback on the draft issue papers before arriving at the Summit. A 1-hour teleconference and discussion on each of the issue papers will be offered, and the papers will be posted on an online wiki for ongoing comments and contributions. The first drafts of these papers are available here for your initial reading.

  1. Finance and Investment
  2. Enterprise Development
  3. Local Revitalization
  4. Organizing the Social Economy Marketplace
  5. Strengthening the Movement
  6. International

Please share these papers with your colleagues and peers and return to this page frequently to learn about upcoming opportunities to participate in ongoing activities leading up to the summit.

For full event listings and access to the calendar, please visit

**Register Now!**

Join the hundreds of participants expected at the Summit and help build the movement for economic alternatives. Download the full Summit Brochure, then register online through our secure, on-line Summit registration site.

(If you can't register online, you can download, print, complete by hand and fax back the PDF registration form.)

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