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Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Posted by Liz Weaver in February 2019

In this paper, Liz Weaver describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges - a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in each of the five interconnected practice areas.

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Living SJ Announces Eight Social Innovation Projects

Posted by Living SJ on July 16, 2018

In May 2017, Living SJ and the Province of New Brunswick announced a funding agreement of $10M over five years for Greater Saint John to test and implement innovative ways to end generational poverty. Saint John has a child poverty rate of 30%, the 2nd highest amongst urban centres in Canada. With a Collective Impact initiative involving more than 100 local partners, their goal is to identify successful strategies that can be scaled and replicated in an effort to put an end to children being born into poverty across New Brunswick.

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Stop Wasting Time on Social Impact Measurement

Posted by Jonathan Coburn on June 6, 2018

So, let’s start with something we can all agree on.

All social enterprises exist for the simple and overriding purpose of creating a positive social impact (to change society for the better).

If this is what drives us, then surely, it’s important that we are able to describe, measure and communicate this impact. At least, that’s how the argument goes. Not least to help figure out if our work is well targeted, if we are helping beneficiaries in the best way possible and, ultimately, if we are making good progress in achieving our intended impact.

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Social Innovation and Poverty Reduction in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Posted by Kiri Bird on May 28, 2018

This year’s Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty Western Regional Poverty Reduction Summit will feature a workshop panel moderated by Kiri Bird, founder and Manager of the Local Economic Development Lab (LEDlab), and process designer and facilitator of Vancouver’s Community Economic Development (CED) strategy co-creation. The panel will bring together community leaders from the City of Vancouver, Exchange Inner City, EMBERS Eastside Works, and the Binners' Project.

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Weaving Together Accountability and Learning in Complex Situations

Posted by Mark Cabaj on February 14, 2018

Michael Quinn Patton, evaluation expert, has argued that even the best intentioned, well-resourced evaluation processes can become, “the enemy of social innovation” if change-makers, evaluators and funders employ a traditional – rather than developmental – approach to assessment.  

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Defying ‘Generational’ Gravity

Posted by David Alston on January 29, 2018

In one of my volunteer roles, I co-chair LivingSJ—a collective impact movement in Saint John with a goal to end generational poverty. What many may not realize is that generational poverty is a much more stubborn and complex problem to solve than situational or temporary poverty. When a person or family with a job/house/car/etc… gets into dire straits after suffering a catastrophic financial event, they are often privileged to have friends and family with assets to lean on temporarily, with their gravity typically pulling them upward towards recovering to their norm. However, with generational poverty, the gravitational pull is often reversed, continually holding people down, generation after generation, because in many respects the knowledge of what heights can be reached gets lost to the collective conscience.

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Why don’t we benefit from Societal Innovations as Readily as Technological Innovations?

Posted by Denis Pageau on January 22, 2018

Since 1785 there have been 5 waves with respect to our technological knowledge. Each wave doubled the knowledge we had previously accumulated. We are now in the 6th wave. This technological knowledge produced technological innovations such as steam engines, light bulbs, cars, planes, computers, smartphones, etc. We can safely conclude that we have been very successful in using our technological knowledge to create technological innovations. 

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