Ontario's vibrant social innovation community is coalescing around some major initiatives.  

First they held a Social Innovation Summit on May 16th.  Noteworthy was the participation of three Ontario Cabinet Ministers representing the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. The Summit web pages are worth a look particularly the Resources Section.  A great summary of key readings and web resources.

Now they are hosting a Social Innovation Wiki, "An on-line space where citizens, non-profit organizations, businesses and public agencies are collaborating to develop a policy framework for social innovation in Ontario.  Their ultimate goal is to identify near-term and long-term actions that government agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses can take to help make Ontario an international leader in social innovation.  The Wiki is thorough, informative and inviting, both a primer on social innovation and an opportunity to adapt and refine for Ontario's big challenges.

The accumulated responses will lead to a series of recommendations to the Ontario government which is expected to lead to an Ontario Social Innovation Roundtable.

Congratulations Ontario for launching such an important conversation.  I have no doubt you will inspire the rest of us to engage our respective constituencies in a similar manner.

NOTE:

Much of the energy and thoughtfulness imbued in Ontario's strategy stems from Allyson Hewitt's leadership.  Here is her open invitation to participate in the social innovation wiki which Allyson emphasizes is open to comments from across the country and around the world.

Are you passionate about a social innovation initiative in Ontario or beyond? Do you know of a novel approach for addressing social and environmental challenges? Would your idea benefit from exposure to a broad audience of social innovators and policy makers?

We’d like you to share your insights with us on Ontario’s Social Innovation Wiki.

With your help, we can build a valuable database of powerful social innovations. At the same time, we hope you’ll pitch in to help identify valuable implementation lessons and principles to guide practitioners and policy makers in Ontario.

For more information on how you can get involved, please visit the wiki at: http://ontariosiwiki.marsdd.com. You can also catch the conversation on Twitter by following the hashag: #SiOnt

Thank you in advance for your contributions.

Allyson Hewitt
Director, Social Entrepreneurship, SiG@MaRS

Related Links

Allyson Hewitt: Becoming Visible 2011 – Blending Social and Economic Outcomes

Quebec's Declaration on Social Innovation

"Passionate Amateurs" – A Primary Source of Innovation

Two Views of Social Innovation

Social Innovation – Doing More With More

Neglected Sources of Innovation: Individuals and Families

Ten Innovations That Have Shaped the World of Disability

Ten Environmental Innovations

Who Invented the Blue Box?

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