Reflecting Back and Looking Forward to 2019 - Five Key Highlights


(Tracey Robertson) #1

Looking Back… A year in review

Thanks for sharing your insights, resources and research on the prosperous people knowledge hub! I wanted to share 5 key highlights from the featured posts in 2018. Please continue to comment and share with others.

1.Future of Work

Several articles were posted on the changing landscape of work. As technology changes the employment landscape, what are the skills that will be required to succeed in the future? What intrinsically human expertise will be required to support and augment these technological advances? How can we create a society where everyone benefits?

Some of the resources featured in the Hub are;

Brookfield Institute report states that “Canada’s youth will require a diverse set of technical and soft skills, including creativity, problem solving, social intelligence as well as entrepreneurial abilities, such as managing uncertainty and taking risks to compete in the workplaces of the future.”

The RBC Future Launch Report states there will be “increasing demand for foundational skills such as critical thinking, co-ordination, social perceptiveness, active listening and complex problem solving.”

An interesting report from the World Economic Forum stated that work by humans and those performed by machines and algorithms are likely to undergo major transformations. These transformations, if managed wisely, could lead to a new age of good work, good jobs and improved quality of life for all, but if managed poorly, pose the risk of widening skills gaps, greater inequality and broader polarization. You can read the full report here.

2. Social Finance and Social Enterprise

For the month of October, we were honored to have Adam Spense (Social Venture Exchange, MARS) and Andre Vashist (Verge Capital, PILLAR) volunteer to be co-hosts of the KC and feature work on social finance and social innovation. VERGE Capital is a social finance intermediary for the Southwestern Ontario region and Social Venture Exchange is an impact investing platform for ventures, funds and investors seeking social and /or environmental impact.

The Federal Government launched the first Social Finance and Social Innovation Strategy for Canada. This is from a community committee that was formed to support a Pan-Canadian ecosystem supporting social innovation and social finance and social enterprise.

You will find a podcast on what social finance is and information on VERGE Capital, a localized, place-based social finance intermediary for engaging community stakeholders. A webinar highlighting key case studies on social finance in Ontario was held as part of social innovation month. Here is the post showing the month in review.

3. Financial Literacy Month

While having more income certainly helps us achieve financial well-being, income alone is not the only driver of financial health. We need to be balancing our income with expenses, setting money aside for savings and emergencies, minimizing how much money we borrow, and investing for the future in things like education and housing. For National Financial Literacy Month, Woodgreen Community Services and Prosper Canada posted critical events, tools and discussions on the KC.

To mark the launch of Financial Literacy Month, Prosper Canada and the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) released the Neighbourhood Financial Health Index (NFHI), a powerful new tool for measuring, visualizing and exploring the distribution and underlying drivers of financial health and vulnerability in local communities. You can find it here. From November 26-27,National Finance Research Conference hosted by Behavioral Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) in partnership with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).

At the end of the month, WoodGreen hosted a panel at OTF called The Way Forward: Innovative Solutions to Build a Prosperous Ontario. Over 65 people attended ( in person and on-line). The panel was comprised of Rina DeGrazia, Vice President of Financial Education at TD Canada Trust, Elizabeth Mulholland, CEO at Prosper Canada,Steve Vanderherberg, Director, WoodGreen Community Services and Jane Rooney, Financial Literacy Leader, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

  1. Homelessness. We featured many articles from the Homeless Hub highlighting international examples of the impact of shifting resources to homelessness prevention rather than focusing solely on emergency shelter. Homelessness prevention is about finding ways to provide individuals at risk of homelessness with resources and supports to stabilize their housing and facilitate re-engagement with school and work. A particular focus in the research is on prevention, especially with respect to youth. A good example of a system change initiative is Making the Shift (MtS). MtS is a multi-year, multi-phase project, with many moving parts. But it is more than that; Making the Shift is a re-imagining of our response to youth homelessness through social innovation in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people. Making the Shift is a partnership between A Way Home Canada (AWHC) and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) withthe support of MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (MaRS). Check out this blog post on the impact of homelessness by my colleague Trudi Collins.

  2. We launched Shift Disruptors , a series of featured podcasts that showcase individuals who are innovating and catalyzing change for good. Keita Demming, an entrepreneur, and others, interviewed individuals who are thinking about social change differently. You will hear how failure is a part of success, how the charity mindset needs to be reframed, how change labs are transforming how we work, and how business can be a force for good. The intent is to feature existing podcasts that would be interest to the broader voluntary sector.

Looking Forward…

  • Launch of the New Economy Community of Practice (COP) hosted by Derek Cook from The Canadian Poverty Institute. Check it out here.

  • A series on Inclusive entrepreneurship with a focus on Feminist, Rural and Indigenous entrepreneurship

  • Stay tuned for case studies, courses, webinars on how to build a social procurement strategy for your organization that supports social enterprises.

  • We will also continue to feature podcasts on various innovators disrupting the system. Please reach out if you have a podcast you would like featured. *

  • Case studies and learnings about poverty reduction. Please keep posting your examples of what is working in your community so we can build an evidence base for everyone to use.*