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What is social innovation?

The IDEA: The cultural, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges including climate change and sustainability, housing, and food security imprint on our lives every day disrupting our understanding of social cohesion. As arbiters of social innovation, awareness, and change; institutions of higher learning are well positioned to develop and advance solutions to promote a better quality of living for all.

The ACTION: Social innovation permeates the for-profit, not-for-profit, and public sectors. Social innovators develop and implement new ideas, systems, businesses, ventures, or programs that alleviate economic and societal defects. Social innovators are adaptive entrepreneurial thinkers who take risks and are attuned to relations among individuals and groups; they also help others become the leaders of tomorrow.

Infographic: 2017 at a glance.

  • Five unique co-curricular programs created.
  • Thirty five external program partnerships (public and private).
  • Six hundred and twenty students equipped with the skills to create a social impact.
  • Twelve paid positions created for students and recent graduates.
Infographic. 2017 at a glance. Long description below.

Social Innovation at Ryerson

Canada’s First AshokaU Changemaker Campus

Ryerson believes that social innovation transcends the boundaries of our institution, permitting us to mobilize community and industry partners to achieve transformative social action. Innovation and entrepreneurship is embedded across the university’s curriculum, co-curricular opportunities, and infrastructure. This internal apparatus includes the Office of Social Innovation; the John C Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; a network of 10 incubators (referred to as “zones”); and a curricular focus on innovation and entrepreneurship across every Faculty. Ryerson’s leadership and devotion to social impact was recognized when it was named AshokaU’s, external link first Canadian “Changemaker Campus” in 2013.

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