Social Innovation and Social Finance
We live in a prosperous country, yet too many people still face challenges that can be solved neither with traditional approaches nor by any single organization or level of government. More and more, we are finding that it is community organizations who are developing innovative solutions that better serve those in need while also responding to limited resources.
Whether it is a not-for-profit organization testing new interventions or an entrepreneur forging new partnerships to unlock untapped sources of capital, social innovation takes many forms. As diverse as initiatives are, they all aim to find innovative local solutions to deep-rooted social and economic challenges.
The Government of Canada is inspired by these collaborative endeavours, which is why it has committed itself to harnessing this energy through a social innovation and social finance strategy. In support of this commitment, this past June the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, and I, announced the creation of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group.
The Steering Group brings together leaders from diverse fields. I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with these innovative thinkers and doers. With their broad range of experiences, knowledge, and ideas, I have no doubt that this group will help shape meaningful discussions and develop policy that allows us to collectively move forward on social innovation, social finance, and supporting the social enterprise sector and social economy in Canada.
You can help this process too! The Steering Group has launched online consultations that will allow community leaders to share their views and ideas. Through a discussion forum, online polls, and by sharing their stories, the Government of Canada will tap into innovative thinking that is working for the benefit of all Canadians.
The Big Picture
The Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy is built around the idea of co-creation – the concept that collaboration is a key principle of social innovation. That is why our consultations are taking a horizontal approach: by involving all levels of government, we can better align with what is happening in communities. Working with community innovators will help us create strategies and solutions that work on the local level. We hope the Strategy’s will serve as a call to action and a road map, not only for the federal government, but for all sectors.
As Minister, it has always been my goal to bring a new spirit of innovation to developing social policy and making sure our investments have the greatest impact on Canadians’ lives. Establishing this Social Innovation and Social Finance Steering Group is a critical step toward achieving this goal. By innovating together, we are going to find new solutions that make real differences in the lives of all Canadians.