PLAN Institute

Social Innovation Generation SIG

SiG aims to address Canada’s social and ecological challenges by creating a culture of continuous social innovation.

A collaborative partnership – between The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the University of Waterloo, the MaRS Discovery District, and Plan Institute – it focuses on social innovations with impact, durability, and scale. Examples include:

A living laboratory, SiG strives to engage the vulnerable and excluded. It nurtures the health, resilience, and vibrancy of our linked social, economic, and ecological systems. It provides social entrepreneurs with the resources they need to accelerate their impact. It draws from the abundant natural, social, and cultural diversity of Canada.

Visit SiG

  SiG’s national partners


SiG @ McConnell

Innovation means doing things better, smarter, more efficiently. Business invests in innovation but the non-profit sector sees no such support. The J.W. McConnell Foundation invested 10 million to kick-start SiG, stimulate learning about social innovation, and develop user-focused approaches to project evaluation.

SiG @ Waterloo

Sustainable development and mental health are key focus areas for SIG@Waterloo, housed in the new Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience. SIG@Waterloo generates and disseminates new knowledge about social innovation through publications, workshops, and lecture series’ within and outside the university.

SiG  @ MaRS

 MaRS is where science, technology, and social entrepreneurs get the help they need to innovate. SiG@MaRS builds new linkages between social innovators and venture philanthropists and offers practical support. Educational programs, advisory services, events, and networking opportunities arm social entrepreneurs with the skills and know-how to set up sustainable social enterprises.

SiG @ PLAN Institute

Engaging the contributions of Canadians who have been labelled, excluded, or marginalized is the mission of SiG@PLANInstitute. We are interested in the convergence of social justice and sustainable development. Our current focus is generating new social, legal, and financial resources for people with disabilities and family caregivers. We also contribute to social enterprise, social financing, public policy, and Web 2.0 strategies and resources.

SiG Resources

Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future
Peter Senge, Joseph Jaworski, C. Otto Scharmer and Betty Sue Flowers

Getting To Maybe: How the World is Changed
Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman and Michael Patton

Reinventing Accountabiltity for the 21st Century

Simon Zadek

Ford Foundation


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