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Social Innovation at Ryerson University


Ryerson University is a global leader in social innovation. As Canada’s first Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, Ryerson has embedded social innovation into its culture.

As Canada’s comprehensive innovation university, Ryerson is creating new opportunities for faculty and students to apply their research to solve real-world problems. With our newly established Ryerson Ashoka Change Team, we are working closely with companies, community organizations, and governments to promote social change, create jobs, and develop the next generation of committed changemakers.


Ryerson's unique six-stage process provides the social innovation community with the experience and knowledge they need to become successful changemakers. We are heightening awareness of initiatives on and off campus, increasing engagement through workshops and events, and helping students and community members develop essential skills in social innovation. We also provide hands-on institutional support to social entrepreneurs, enabling them to apply their knowledge, execute their ideas, and accelerate new social start-ups.

Ryerson's six-stage process includes awareness, engagement, skills development, application, execution, and acceleration.

Inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, each Ryerson project or initiative addresses challenges in the following themes:

Poverty Alleviation  and Development

Ryerson uses non-traditional approaches to enhance the capacity of individuals and communities to create enterprises and participate in economic prosperity.



We are developing new learning opportunities for real-world engagement through collaboration with various stakeholders to build tools that extend beyond traditional classroom models.



Ryerson is enhancing the physical, psychological and social well-being of individuals and communities through health promotion, preventative medication, and the innovation of dated health systems and devices.


Human Rights, Diversity and Inclusion

Respect for human rights and diverse representation form the foundation for projects that seek to remove organizational barriers to participation and drive positive institutional change.


Violence Prevention and Peace Building

We are working to strengthen national and local capacities for conflict management, laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development by breaking cycles of violence and forming holistic partnerships.



We are helping Canada meet its climate change goals by reducing energy costs for industries, promoting new ways of interacting with green technologies and growing sustainable companies that are globally competitive.


Capacity Building and Engagement

Through dynamic media and communications platforms, Ryerson is creating new opportunities for connecting individuals, organizations, and community partners in a rapidly changing world.