On November 10, I had the pleasure of attending a one-day conference hosted by the Public Policy Forum on Social Innovation. MaRS, Social Innovation Generation, Imagine Canada and HRSDC also provided support to the conference. With 100 attendees representing policy, public service, research and the private sectors and with representation from across Canada (I had the pleasure of sitting with Eastern Canadians).
The event provided a forum for open dialogue, and with 100 people present, that was an impressive feat. The Public Policy Forum encouraged participants to share information throughout the day, and I was one of many who were ‘tweeting’ interesting nuggets on good practices on social innovation.
In addition to panels of practitioners who shared their experiences and examples of social innovation, highlighted speakers were Janice Charette, HRSDC Deputy Minster and SSHRC President Dr. Chad Gaffield. Dr. Gaffield shared the leadership role that SSHRC has played in supporting research to enable social innovation. He gave a shout out to ResearchImapct, led by York University, as an example of Canadian university leadership in enabling social innovation. Dr. Gaffield stated a new integrated model of collaboration calls on university researchers to play a part. ResearchImpact is honoured to be playing a role to facilitate this new model of collaboration.
There is strong leadership in Canada to move forward with an agenda of social innovation. Entrepreneurs, researchers, educators, policy makers, youth and even knowledge brokers have a place to help shape a social innovation agenda for the betterment of Canadians. Most important for me was the opportunity to witness that Social Innovation, like Knowledge Mobilization, is easiest understood from a practical place. I was honoured to be with so many leaders who make a positive contribution to Canadian society through their work.
For more information on the Public Policy Forum, click here.