Social Innovation Institute

We believe that everyone can be part of the solution.

So, you want to change the world? Us too!

We’re helping Canadians get at the root causes of systems-level problems.

Develop new skills and ideas, make stronger connections, gain pathways to resources, access affordable co-working spaces.

Building the Field of Social Innovation

After almost two decades of bottom-up development, social innovation has rooted and spread across Canada. This field influences a growing social mission sector that employs millions of people working to make the world a better place.

Social innovation is about getting better at putting people and planet first.
At their best, social innovations address the root causes of problems that have resisted traditional methods and institutions.


Social Innovation Education

We meet people wherever they’re at in their learning journey. Building on core competencies central to doing this work, we focus on culture building, understanding systems, collaboration and storytelling.

We’ve been hard at work crowdsourcing from the field to curate a National SI Curriculum. More than 275 practitioners have spoken and over 225 best practice resources and toolkits have been identified. We hear the call for practical resources that reflect diverse voices, that are open sourced and decentralized.

Coming winter 2020: Canada’s first ever Social Innovation Catalogue! 

Learn about essential concepts of Social Innovation through conversation, activities, games, and methods. Each of these key instruments help change makers and practitioners create impact in their communities, organizations, and with multi-stakeholder groups.

Launching winter 2020: Introduction to Social Innovation module

Social Research & Development informs and drives social innovation using tools and methods such as social enterprise incubation, policy innovation, and service design. These tools help generate new ideas, novel institutional arrangements, and offer testable hypotheses for improving outcomes. 

If you’re looking for new ways of approaching your work to get better at addressing systemic challenges, the Social R&D Initiative is here to help. We’re especially focussed on supporting social purpose organizations to become investment ready. In partnership with the McConnell Foundation and Innoweave the Social R&D Initiative will: 

  • Connect practitioners: We will help social purpose organizations involved in Social R&D connect to each other, share what they’re learning, and identify opportunities to create greater positive impact.
  • Map demonstration projects: Innoweave will guide the Expressions of interest process for Social R&D demonstration projects of varying sizes (up to $25,000, or up to $100,000), including considerations of valuation, best practices in development and analysis, and key performance indicators.
  • Coach for demonstration projects: Successful applicants to the Demonstration Fund will also receive support with coaches or experts in different aspects of Social R&D. 
  • Create Social R&D knowledge products: From toolkits, train-the-trainer workshops, case studies and research, we round out your knowledge base to help you get to where you need to go.

The Social R&D Initiative is part of Employment and Social Development Canada’s Investment Readiness Program (IRP), a partnership with The McConnell Foundation and Innoweave.

Social Innovation Canada Image


Connecting social innovators with the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to solve real and complex problems.

SI Canada is informed, designed, and governed by practitioners, who emerge from a wide range of backgrounds: grassroots, corporate, and front-line workers or facilitators. SI Canada is building an open ecosystem for people and planet first by leveraging and connecting existing assets. 

Visit SI Canada’s Website

An interactive online space for innovators to collaborate, find resources, share their ideas, and connect to better align for impact.

Coming soon!

About once a month social innovators from across the GTA come together for an evening of conversations and connections exploring the future of learning. Join us and share your educational approaches and innovative perspectives. All are welcome! 

Sign up for our newsletter for more info

Friends and Supporters

Thank you. We couldn’t do it without you.

Updated December 1, 2019.

Benefactor ($500,000+)
  • McConnell Foundation
Visionary ($50,000+)
  • Peter Gilgan Foundation
  • Suncor Energy Foundation
  • Suncor Inc.
Sustainer ($1,000 - $4,999)
  • Brian Iler
  • Denny Manchee
  • Eric Meerkamper
  • Helen Yung
  • Marie Moliner
  • Natalie E Telfer
  • Tonya Surman
  • TD Bank
Supporter ($500 - $999)
  • Anonymous (1)
  • David Gotlib
  • Ecotone Software
  • Raissa Espiritu
  • Rosemary Frei
  • Seana Irvine
Friend ($25 - $499)
  • Adam Jamkhou
  • Allyson Hewitt
  • Amy Furness
  • Anahita Belanger
  • Angela Bischoff
  • Anna Liu
  • Ann Armstrong
  • Annelies Tjebbes
  • Anne Simpson-Porco
  • Anonymous (4)
  • Brian & Carolyn
  • Hoessler
  • Brittany Twiss
  • Cheryl May
  • Common Thread
  • Collective
  • Darryl Moore
  • Debra Lary
  • Denise Thomson
  • Eli Levin
  • Elisa Smith
  • Geoffrey Singer
  • George Dark
  • Ivan Bilicki
  • Jane Zhang
  • Jason Dojc
  • Jennifer Zelmer
  • Joanna Reynolds
  • John Napoleone
  • Katie Perconti
  • Kelly Hawke Baxter
  • Khondkar Rabbani
  • Louanne Chan
  • Matthew Price
  • Paul Antze
  • Pluck Tea Inc.
  • Ratna Omidvar
  • Rick Findlay
  • Ron Koperdraad
  • Ronny Yaron
  • Ryan Knight
  • Saira Ansari
  • Sharon Lovett
  • Smooth River
  • Consulting
  • Solange Belluz
  • Stanislav Zlobinski
  • Steven Dolman
  • Tanya Cothran
  • Urbane Cyclist Worker Co-op
  • Valerie Adriaanse
  • Valerie Fox
  • Wayne Miranda

Get Involved

Find out more about how SII can help you connect, learn, and grow your ideas.