Greetings from Alberta Social Innovation Connect (ABSI Connect)!

Summer is here! As many organizations start to slow down for the summer months, we hope each of you will find opportunities to pause, recharge, and reflect on what you're learning through your changemaking efforts. Below, you'll find the latest stories and reflections from Albertan changemakers on our blog and podcast. We also share upcoming opportunities to connect with others in this network, and a listing of resources and events shared by fellow changemakers. 

Wishing you a relaxing and reflective summer--in your work and your play. 

Naomi Mahaffy & Elise Martinoski

ABSI Connect
New on ABSI Connect's Website
Blog Post: A Critical Look at Diversity and Inclusion in Alberta's Social Innovation Efforts (Part 1)
How does our understanding of Alberta’s history influence our efforts to foster diversity and inclusion in our social innovation work? In the first installment of a three-part series she's writing for Alberta's social innovation community, Soni Dasmohapatra reflects on the historical realities that shape the our societal structures today.

Blog Post: How do we Change Systems?

Social innovators love to talk about “systems change.” But what does systems change really look like? How do we know if we’re achieving it? What conditions make it possible, and what actions or actors are most likely to have an impact? Read some of the reflections shared by members of ABSI Connect’s network weaver community in a recent online conversation.
Upcoming Webinar: Social Innovation in Professionalized Settings

We need social innovation in our health care, education, and social services sectors. However, these sectors do not typically experience the same degree of turmoil that presents opportunities for social innovation in other settings. As well, these sectors tend to be highly professionalized, meaning that professions (and professionals) that work within these sectors have firmly established ways of defining and solving important social problems. 

Join us on Monday, August 12 at 1 pm for an online presentation and conversation with Jo-Louise Huq. Founder of CCIG Solutions and adjunct professor at the Haskyne School of Business, Jo-Louise works in (and researches how to) encourage and support collaborative change and innovation in sectors and organizations where ways of working are firmly established and often professionalized.  In this webinar, she will:

  1. Examine why and how professionalism can limit opportunities for social innovation.
  2. Examine two pathways through which social innovation might be introduced when sectors are professionalized.
  3. Look at disrupting action and how it can contribute to conditioning professionalized sectors for social innovation.
Find more information here. Register here.
Social Innovation Drinks (Today!)

Calgarians: Interested in changemaking, social innovation, and/or craft beer? Join us today (June 27) for ABSI Connect / YYC Social Innovation Drinks - an informal meet-up at Last Best from 4:30 - 6 pm. RSVP here

New Podcast Series

In our new podcast series, Albertan changemakers pause to reflect on the work they’re doing together to address the root causes of messy problems in their communities. In our pilot episode, Jodi, Ben, and Ashley from Edmonton Shift Lab reflect on their journey to weave together systems thinking, human-centred design, and Cree perspectives.

Subscribe today on your favourite listening platform to make sure you don't miss Episode 2 (coming next week!). 

Resources & Opportunities You've Shared
Resources and opportunities recommended and shared by members of the ABSI Connect community this month:
  • Could your organization host a social innovation fellow? MacEwan's Social Innovation Fellowship Program connects Edmonton businesses and non-profit organizations with graduate students to work on applied research projects related to social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and social change initiatives. Partner Expressions of Interest are due by Friday, July 19. Learn more here.
  • Join the Alex Community Health Centre's screening of inspiring digital stories of resilience in Calgary (July 3).
  • If you have a social purpose business idea you'd like to expand on, you can register to join the Edmonton Community Development Company (EDCD) Social Enterprise Bootcamp this fall.
  • Looking for ways to improve your virtual meetings? Register for this free webinar from the Tamarack institute on July 9.
  • Hoping to bring more strategic learning into your department or organization? This organizational learning self-assessment tool can help you get started.

  • Alberta Nonprofit Network (ABNN) gathering event recap: Find out what happened on June 10, when 155 people from across Alberta's nonprofit sector came together in Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, and Calgary to discuss and take action on strategic issues impacting the sector.  
  • This recent article in the Philanthropist explores how the philanthropic landscape is changing in rural Canada--including an interesting example from Alberta's Medicine Hat region. 
  • These articles from the Evaluation Capacity Network describe why evaluation capacity is a critical tool for social innovation, and provide several relevant reports and resources.
  • Check out the SDX learning blog to see what members of Edmonton's Systemic Design Exchange community of practice (SDX) are learning.
  • Explore the world of social innovation with this new video from Volunteer Alberta (featuring ABSI Connect Advisor Annand Ollivierre!). While you're there, you can also explore the templates and resources in Volunteer Alberta's new social innovation toolkit (note that some content is for VA members only). 

Is there something you'd like us to include in our next newsletter? Let us know:
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ABSI Connect, c/o Institute for Community Prosperity
Mount Royal University: 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3E 6K6

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ABSI Connect · 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW · c/o Mount Royal University Institute for Community Prosperity · Calgary, Alberta T3E 6K6 · Canada

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