Things are moving faster in British Columbia on the social innovation, social finance and social enterprise front. Gordon Hogg, BC's and Canada's first Parliamentary Secretary for Social Entrepreneurship, announced today (January 12, 2011) the creation of an Advisory Council on Social Entrepreneurship.

The mandate of the Council is to make recommendations which maximize social innovation in British Columbia with a particular emphasis on social enterprise and social finance.  Here is the introduction to the Terms of Reference:

The British Columbia government is seeking new and innovative ways to help B.C. communities tackle the most pervasive social challenges of the day.  The Advisory Council on Social Entrepreneurship (The Council) is established to ensure direct consultation, advice and feedback on proposals to support social innovation in B.C.

Also announced today was a companion internal cross government Assistant Deputy Minister's (ADM) Committee on Social EntrepreneurshipTheir mandate is to maximize social innovation within government including acting on the recommendations of the new Council and the suite of recommendations from the Government Caucus Committee on Social Innovation and Volunteerism.  This includes: a hybrid business/social corporate model and Social innovation Bonds.

Both committees will report to Gordon Hogg Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, for Social Entrepreneurship.  Co-chairs will come from business, government and the community, so a multi-sector approach to addressing our social problems is built into the 'DNA' of the Advisory Council.  I admit great enthusiasm for the new Council since I will be one of the co-chairs.

Members of the new Council are drawn from social entrepreneurs, credit unions, business, investors, foundations, academics, local and provincial government, non profits and social innovators. Members include:

Gordon Hogg (Parliamentary Secretary / MLA Surrey-White Rock)

Al Etmanski, co-chair (President, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network- PLAN)

Jim Fletcher, co-chair, (Managing Director, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital)

Government, co-chair, (to be determined from among membership of the ADM committee)

Janice Abbott, (Executive Director, Atira Women's Resource Society)

Janet Austin, (CEO YWCA)                  

David Berge, (Senior VP, Community Investment, Vancity)

Dr. Bill Glackman, (Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University)

Ida Goodreau, (Board of Directors, Vancouver Foundation)

Paul Lacerte, (ED, B.C. Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres)

Alison Lawton, (Executive Director, Mindset Foundation)

David LePage, (Program Manager, Enterprising Non-Profits)

Margaret Mason, (Partner, Bull, Housser & Tupper)

John Restakis, (Executive Director, BC Co-operative Association)

Mary Sjostrom, (Mayor, Quesnel)

Dr. James Tansey, (Associate Professor, University of British Columbia)

Randy Wiwchar, (Director of Community Services, City of Courtenay)

Faye Wightman, (CEO, Vancouver Foundation)

NOTE: I will write more on this new development in the days ahead. Combined with Prime Minister Harper's recent announcements citing social innovation, this could be the year our collective creativity, ingenuity and innovation is accelerated!

4 Comments

  1. Jay

    When I read the headline I thought ‘you should be on this council’. Happy to see that you are.

  2. Tina Crouse

    Conratulations Al! SO glad to read this. Excellent news for everyone in the sector.

  3. lindaperry@microboard.org

    This is very exciting news. I look forward to watching it unfold and to the engagement with community!

  4. Donnathomson

    Great news! How can we get other provinces to follow suit?

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