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Forging new partnerships. Building capacity for social innovation.

Universities play a crucial role in resilient communities. The/La Collaborative’s pan-Canadian cross-sectoral network leverages experiential learning activities around collaborations that build capacity for innovation in the social sector.

Innovation for Social Impact brings social sciences, humanities and arts knowledge and talent where it is needed to shape the future of social sector organisations. Our experts create a co-learning space that brings together students and practitioners around projects aimed at innovation.

Community partner organisations increase their own capacity and intellectual capital and benefit from the research expertise they need through collaborative processes that put them at the focus. Reciprocal interactions between campus and community partners are supported by bespoke “collaboration protocols”. Partners access know-how and knowledge while focusing on building a meaningful exchanges and cross-sectoral collaborations.

“The Innovation for Social Impact course really enabled me to connect in a meaningful way with what other non-profit organizations were doing around social innovation. That networking was invaluable to me and our organization, particularly as we sought to conceptualize how to approach our mission following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

— Milja Minic, Manager, Community Programs & Services Boys and Girls Club Hamilton-Halton

“The course really accelerated getting a new project started because the students created excellent starting draft documentation for stakeholder maps and a theory of change and brought new thinking for our project team members. I used my weekly engagement with the class to structure work and thought on the project.”

— Marika Mennaman, Manager Group Programming Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton & Hamilton

“The Innovation for Social Impact course pushed our team to think differently about social innovation. While we had strong knowledge on social innovation going into the course, we were able to both deepen and broaden our knowledge on social innovation in a way that is helping us conceptualize new ideas for our organization.”

— Kim Gibson-Chalmers, Manager of Youth Services, John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington & Area

Resources

Future Skills Centre

Learn more about the Future Skills Centre, and about the project that led by Dr Sandra Lapointe and Dr Brent McKnight of McMaster University that underpins Innovation for Social Impact.

Canadian Forum on Innovation and Societal Impact

A joint-venture of the Canadian Science Policy Centre and The/La Collaborative, the Forum will convene social research and innovation stakeholders across sectors with the purpose of exploring alignment on policies and practices that leverage impact-first training and knowledge mobilisation in the Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA) to foster innovation and build capacity in the social and municipal sectors.