United Way and York University launch Change Inc. to address complex social issues in York Region

ResearchImpact-York is pleased to be part of Change Inc., a social innovation incubator. Change Inc. is a partnership between the United Way of York Region and York University that will build capacity for social innovators, remove policy barriers, incubate new ideas and mentor new social entrepreneurs so that the best and new ideas in York Region are supported to a point where investments can be bought to bear to support scale up of the innovations. York’s knowledge mobilization unit will connect these new ideas to research, expertise and graduate students to support and sustain these new approaches to complex social issues.

Thanks to YorkU Research for posting this release.

Collaboration to incubate new ideas and support social entrepreneurs

United Way of York Region and York University have launched Change Inc., a collaboration that will incubate and invest in promising innovations to tackle complex social issues and build capacity in York Region.

Daniele Zanotti, CEO of United Way, and Stan Shapson, vice-president research & innovation at York University, made the announcement at Deloitte’s head offices in Vaughan as part of United Way Week (Oct. 4 to 8).

“We are proud to announce Change Inc. − a critical strategy in United Way’s impact agenda − in collaboration with York University and our advisory group of business leaders,” said Zanotti. “For our region to be great for all residents, we need a new infrastructure to incubate ideas and shift the way we solve social problems.”

“Change Inc. is transformative for York University, for United Way and for capacity building in our community,” said Shapson. “Change Inc. will provide seed funding, space and support services to social innovators and entrepreneurs. It will provide better access to York University’s research, graduate students and the programs − such as knowledge mobilization − that support their work with the region. It will match social innovators with business-leader mentors. This approach advances and broadens York University’s innovation agenda, builds on our strong partnership with United Way, and engages York Region’s corporate leaders in social innovation, which is a persistent gap in Canada’s innovation agenda.”

Change Inc. will work with its Innovation Advisory Board, established in June, to actively develop a sustainable strategy. Co-chaired by Zanotti and Shapson, its current members include:

  • Charles Beer, board chair, United Way of York Region.
  • Anthony Gallo, vice-president, Social Media, OpenText
  • Pat Horgan, vice-president, Manufacturing, Development and Operations, IBM
  • Debora Kelly, editor-in-chief, York Region Media Group
  • Young Park, sector vice-president, CGI
  • Avi Pollock, head, Applied Innovation and Strategic Planning, RBC

“Change Inc. builds on the United Way’s Strength Investments announced earlier this week,” said Zanotti. “Together with our current program funding, Strength Investments and Change Inc. provide a continuum of support for people, groups and agencies doing good work across York Region.” Information about the Strength Investments is available on the United Way’s Web site.

“Congratulations to United Way, York University and the business advisory board for disrupting the status quo with the announcement of Change Inc. − an opportunity to research, try and scale new ideas to address social challenges,” said Lorrie King, partner, Deloitte, and member of the 2010 United Way Campaign Cabinet. “Deloitte is a champion of United Way and a champion of innovation. At Deloitte, innovation is at the very cornerstone of our corporate strategic directions, and our own leading-edge research, across all sectors, clearly identifies innovation as the driver of long-term success and sustainability.”

Over the coming months, Change Inc. will announce its office location and release information about a community innovation summit, pilot projects and funding opportunities.

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin

2 Responses to “United Way and York University launch Change Inc. to address complex social issues in York Region”

written by Peter Levesque On 10 October 2010 Reply

Congratulations. This is an important initiative. Once again, York University works with great partners to create another great example of community and research leadership. Hope this leads to similar efforts across Canada and broader.

[…] community agencies. David spoke about Change Inc., which we have previously written about in Mobilize This!. Change Inc. is a social innovation incubator led by York U and UWYR to seed and foster new social […]

Leave a Comment