#yycSocEnt in the News – Nov 2012

Tammy Maloney:

Social entrepreneurship is really starting to roll in Calgary!

Originally posted on SEA Change Calgary: A Social Entrepreneurship Advocate:

Entrepreneurs Helping Put Haiti Back on Coffee Map

BY AMANDA STEPHENSON

CALGARY HERALD

NOVEMBER 21, 2012

Student Energy aims to inspire next generation

BY AMANDA STEPHENSON

CALGARY HERALD

NOVEMBER 19, 2012

View original

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SEA Change Nation

This is the SEA Change Nation!

After years of pouring our souls into researching how we could best use our passion and strengths to serve a higher common good, we are pleased to announce SEA Change Nation Inc.

We are a Social Entrepreneurship (1) Academy, (2) Accelerator and (3) Alliance uniquely designed to transform youth into social entrepreneurs.

The future stability of our world is dependent on the growth of social entrepreneurship. Unlike the current evolution of our economy, social entrepreneurship has a balanced value system that equally respects (1) ALL People, (2) OUR Planet and (3) Financial Profit (commonly referred to as a triple bottom line).

The essence of social entrepreneurship is a deep understanding of who you are as an individual and how you are connected to the world as a whole. We define this relationship between self and a higher common good as passion. Passion is unique to each of us. There are over 7 billion (and counting!) different passions in the world. Our lifelong purpose is to discover our own unique passion and channel it into making the world a better place. Passion fuels social entrepreneurship.

At SEA Change Nation Inc. we believe YOUTH are the key to discovering the solutions to the complex societal challenges we currently face. We have therefore reached a point in history where we can no longer afford to leave their naturally inherent compassion and creativity untapped.

With this in mind, we have developed our innovative 3-SEA Change Model. It’s unique design creates opportunities for YOUTH to explore, experiment and discover their passion. Through the interconnected actions of (1) Learning, (2) Launching and (3) Sharing, we have engineered a catalyst for the organic evolution of a balanced, diversified, compassionate, respectful and creative economy.

The 3 SEAs of our 3-SEA Change Model:

(1) LEARN at The Social Entrepreneurship Academy - An innovative, full-time social entrepreneurship training program where youth learn to become social entrepreneurs during their employment in a social enterprise within our SEA Change Alliance(Imagine a world with no student loans!)

(2) LAUNCH in The Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator -  A social enterprise incubator that accelerates the launch of youth-powered social enterprises after the social entrepreneur’s graduation from our SEA Change Academy.

(3) SHARE inside The Social Entrepreneurship Alliance - An alliance of social enterprises launched by our SEA Change Accelerator and powered by our 3-SEA Change model.

We dream of an economy that creates opportunities for ALL people to earn a living doing what they love. We believe doing what you love is the key to creating a poverty-free society of wealth, health, and happiness for ALL people.

To achieve this epic vision of our future, it will take an army of youth discovering their passions and souls and pouring them into businesses aiming to make the world a better place.

BE Change. SEA Change. This is the SEA Change Nation.

Learn more: http://seachangenation.com/

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The Missing Piece to Our Social Policy Puzzle

Written for the Government of Alberta’s Social Policy Framework

by Tammy Maloney

In a province as abundant and innovative as Alberta, we are perplexed by our inability to find solutions for our most complex social challenges. The reason for this is simple. Our society is bifurcated. We are either for-profit or not-for-profit. We live in the midst of a seemingly never ending public vs. private debate and we ALL suffer as a consequence. Our health care system is overburdened. Over 500,000 Albertans access mental health services every yearSuicide is a leading cause of death73,000 of our children live in poverty and we spend over $7 billion a year maintaining Albertans living in poverty. The list goes on and on. If the sectors continue to operate in silos, strong relationships, joy, security, good health, love and all other elements of true wealth will remain an unattainable dream for both the rich and poor in our province.

Social entrepreneurship can reconcile the paradoxical nature of our values. Adding it to the Alberta equation will allow us to remain fiscally conservative AND care for our people. It doesn’t have to be about either/or anymore. It can be about BOTH. If we leverage the principles of social entrepreneurship to unite the sectors we can save taxpayer dollars AND help more people.

I had a quick grasp of the secret to sanity, it had become the ability to hold the maximum of impossible combinations in one’s mind. ~Norman Mailer

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

As per the Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation, a social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to directly address a social issue (a social enterprise).

Social Entrepreneurs are often associated with a “triple-bottom line” business model that values a blend of social, economic and ecological outcomes (people, profit and the planet).

As you can see from the Return on Investment Continuum below, social entrepreneurship (as represented by the pink boxes) bridges the existing divide between the public sector (including charities and not-for-profits) and the private sector.

used with permission from the Trico Charitable Foundation (slightly modified)

Social entrepreneurship is the missing piece to the Alberta social policy puzzle. Without it, social policy at its best can only maintain the status quo. With its addition, we can build a bridge between the public and private sectors, provide a viable exit strategy for people overly dependent on government social services/charities, end our bifurcation and become the first place in the world that creates wealth, health, happiness and meaningful employment for ALL of our people.

“Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.”  ~ Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation

Finding a Specific Gap for Social Entrepreneurship to Fill in Alberta

In 2006, I left a 10-year career in Alberta’s oil and gas industry in order to determine how to use business to end poverty. I obtained a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a focus in Social Entrepreneurship from the IESE Business School in Spain. Upon graduation, I joined the William J. Clinton Foundation in Nigeria as Chief Operating Officer.

In 2009, I returned to Calgary determined to find a gap that social entrepreneurship could fill. To familiarize myself with the social justice landscape, I volunteered for 5 different programs at The Mustard Seed and was hired as a youthworker at a Boys and Girls Clubs homeless shelter for teens. In 2010, I launched The Social Entrepreneurship Academy for Change Ltd. (SEA Change) and spearheaded several social enterprise pilot projects with youth I met at the shelter.

Through these experiences I came to intimately understand that just because the “market” doesn’t value Albertans facing challenges such as homelessness, mental health, disabilities, addictions, English as a second language, legal issues etc., doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. Everyone is born with gifts and everyone deserves a chance to find meaning and self-worth through employment.

Social Entrepreneurship is a Solution, Not a Band-Aid

The number of people dependent mainly on government social services/charities to meet their basic needs could be lessened if we leverage the principles of social entrepreneurship to build an economic bridge between the public and private sectors. In essence, this bridge would serve as a compassionate economy that values inclusiveness as well as profit. It would consist of social enterprises that believe disabilities and life’s other challenges are gifts, not “severe handicaps” or disorders.

I think it’s fair to say Albertans believe people should earn their way, but the barriers to employment some people face are real and cannot be overcome by trying harder or increasing their desire to work. Job training seminars, resume writing support, and job search assistance can only go so far. Business owners in the mainstream economy do not have the training (or the profit margins) required to accommodate people with higher needs. I’ve witnessed people lose hope and resign themselves to surviving on public assistance after failing several times to live up to the expectations of their employers.

To restore their hope, people facing barriers to employment need hands-on, paid work experience in a caring, understanding and continuous learning environment. This will help them gain the confidence required to ease into independence. Success can be increased if wages are paid in trust to the social enterprise and coupled with a structured goal setting and budget process. This approach will equip people with both the long-term planning skills and financial discipline needed to maintain self-reliance.

Building a compassionate economic bridge that employs people dependent on social services/charities to meet their basic needs is a solution. It provides people with a viable exit strategy from their dependence. For people with disabilities, employment in a social enterprise can add meaning to their lives. For people facing other challenges, employment in a social enterprise can end the vicious cycle of living in and out of poverty and/or homelessness.

The building of this bridge has already begun in Alberta. Examples include: (1) Alberta Job Corps, a government led, on-the-job training program, (2) Vecova Bottle Depot, a non-profit social enterprise that employs persons with disabilities and (3) Autism Calgary and Specialisterne (a Danish IT Company), a non-profit/private sector partnership creating IT employment for persons with autism. (Click here to see more examples)

To scale these efforts we need a cross-sectoral collaboration united towards a shared vision of creating meaningful employment opportunities for ALL Albertans.

Imagine adding a social entrepreneurship led “Jobs Next” strategy to complement the existing  “Housing First” philosophy of Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. In this case, if the compassionate economy helped 150 street youth enter the job market instead of the adult homeless shelter system it would save Albertans approximately $20 million/year. (Based on estimates provided by Tim Richter, Former Calgary Homeless Foundation CEO)

This is the power of social entrepreneurship! It saves money and helps people at the same time.

Innovations Required for “Social Impact-Maximization”

Here is a sampling of innovations that could take social entrepreneurship in Alberta to the next level and maximize its positive social impact:

(1) Neutral Organizations to Steward Cross-Sectoral Collaborations - As outlined by Mark Kramer and John Kania in their Collective Impact article, “large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if non-profits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact.”

In Alberta, the positive social impact generated by the “isolated intervention of individual organizations” isn’t maximized because they compete with each other for scarce funds. To maximize our social impact we need organizations that neutrally steward the shared vision of all stakeholders. As per Kramer and Kania, we require the establishment of a “new set of organizations that have the skills and resources to assemble and coordinate the specific elements necessary for collective action to succeed.”

(2) Impact Investment Fund – According to the report Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good published by the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance, social entrepreneurs aiming to maximize positive social impact could benefit from a lower cost of capital in the form of low interest loans with longer payback terms. (NOTE: In the case of early stage social enterprise startups or social enterprises employing people with extremely high needs, grants may still be required.)

(3) Infrastructure for Individual Social Entrepreneurs – In Alberta, according to research performed by Mount Royal University, non-profit organizations have launched social enterprises for more than 20 years. Therefore, they have an established support infrastructure of consultants, funding, capacity building, mentors and training. On the other hand, the support infrastructure for budding individual social entrepreneurs is in its very early stages. In my opinion, supporting social entrepreneurs desiring to transition away from the private sector could accelerate the speed with which social enterprises launch because they do need to transform a risk averse, non-profit organizational culture prior to launching.

Conclusion

Similar to Albertans, social entrepreneurship values both social and fiscal responsibility. It’s a healthy marriage of the heart and mind. It isn’t for profit or against profit. It aims to strike a balance between profit and the needs of people in order to create prosperity for ALL.

It’s time to rethink our social policy framework with social entrepreneurship as part of the equation.

First step: Look at the needs of Albertans and determine if they are best met by (1) a not-for-profit model, (2) a for-profit model or (3) the blended model of social entrepreneurship that values profits and people equally.

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Coming Soon: A Calgary Innovation Hub

From Metro News: http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/6388/group-hopes-to-connect-for-community-change/

March 23, 2012

Group hopes to connect for community change

By Katie Turner

Metro Calgary

Putting the right people in the right place at the right time has the potential to create social change with economic benefits.

That is the concept behind Social Innovation Calgary’s Community Innovation Hub, which city council recently endowed $75,000 to get the project moving.

One of the co-ordinators of the project, Gena Rotstein, said they are hoping to create a space that would facilitate for-profit and non-profit groups, coming together to share ideas.

“It’s anything that’s going to drive social change in Calgary and have an economic benefit,” she said.

With the seed money from city council, the group is working to build a model and test it to see if a Community Innovation Hub is viable for Calgary.

Ald. Gael MacLeod, who presented the idea to council, said the potential benefits are endless.

“I’m very interested in the whole notion of social enterprise, in the sense that it creates social outcomes; doing well by doing good,” she said.

 

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Social Entrepreneurship: The Great Equalizer

Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.

 Canadian Social Entrepreneurship Foundation

Does anyone really feel free?

Think about how your basic needs are met.

Are you reliant on yourself and/or your family to meet your basic needs? Are you working hard to make ends meet? Do you feel trapped … like there is no escape from your INDEPENDENCE? Do you sometimes, but not as often as you think you’ve earned, experience joy?

or

Are you reliant on government and/or charity to meet your basic needs? Are you working hard to make ends meet? Do you feel trapped … like there is no escape from your DEPENDENCE? Do you sometimes, but not as often as you think you’ve earned, experience joy?

We are the same, you and me.

Sure 10% of us are probably content. Another 10% of us probably never will be. But for the rest of us … the 80% of us … the majority, whether we are rich or poor, we work hard at being happy. But in this land of plenty, land of the free, we can’t quite grasp why striving to be happy is so damn exhausting.

We are the same, you and me.

We live under the illusion that we are different because the poor are DEPENDENT and the rich are INDEPENDENT and our systems currently value independence higher than dependence. But believe you me, whether you are rich or poor, you are working your ass off to survive.

We are the same, you and me.

Yet, we are at war with each other … a war between the dependent and the independent … a war between the rich and the poor.

Those who are independent loathe welfare, scream “entitlement” at every turn and think people should have to earn their way, exactly as they have done.

Those on welfare want their independence, loathe “the man”, spew out liberal bullshit at every turn because in spite of their best efforts to earn it, self-reliance is an unattainable dream.

So the war between us continues. We rage on about socialism and the free market and morality and job creation and work ethic and a higher minimum wage and the left and the right. But this is a divisive battle that can’t be won (no matter who we elect) because they’re both wrong AND they’re both right.

It’s a paradox.

Our societal purpose is to strike a balance between dependence and independence, between community and the individual. Opposite values exist on a continuum and aiming for the centre is the path to restoring balance (and health) in our society.

DEPENDENCE |———————————–AND————————————| INDEPENDENCE

COMMUNITY |————————————AND———————————–| THE INDIVIDUAL

Aim for the Centre. It’s the Balanced Approach.

We tried building a society tipped towards independence and the individual, but it isn’t working. The rich, independent souls are crying out for community. The poor, dependent souls are crying out for independence. Our healthcare system is overburdened, our mental health is in crisis and we are scratching our heads and wondering why.

It’s because OUR survival, each one of us as individuals and therefore as a whole, requires a balance between dependence and independence. We are ALL feeling the ill effects of our separation from our communities. We ALL need help every once in awhile. It doesn’t matter how much money we have or don’t have, we will always need people, relationships and community in our lives. Like it or not, we are in this together. The saying is true. No man is an island. Nor (if we look deep into our hearts) do we want to be.

“By bridging the divide, social entrepreneurship reconciles the paradoxical nature of our human values of dependence AND independence, community AND the individual.”

As you can see from the Return on Investment continuum below, social entrepreneurship (as represented by the pink boxes) bridges the divide between the DEPENDENCE-fuelled not-for-profit sector and the INDEPENDENCE-fuelled private sector.

Return on Investment Continuum

used with permission from the Trico Charitable Foundation

Our societal instability and suffering currently stems from the fact that the public and private sectors operate in isolation of one another. If the sectors continue on their separate paths, deeply-felt and faithfully-trusted relationships, stability, joy, safety, security, comfort, love and all other elements of true wealth will remain an unattainable dream for both the rich and poor.

We are the same, you and me.

Who is it that suffers the most in a separate and divisive world? It’s PEOPLE. What the public and private sectors have in common are PEOPLE.

It’s we who suffer … we the people … the individual citizens, rich or poor, that feel powerless in the face of an overwhelming systemic oppression caused by our great divide.

It’s we who suffer … we the people … the individual citizens either trapped in poverty or working tirelessly to bridge the divide between the haves and the have nots with donation dollars and volunteer time and relentless efforts in our communities.

And for what?

Sure we’re doing ok. But is anything getting better? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel? We’re ALL working our asses off here! We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and all we ask in return is for the government to save for our children’s futures and the private sector to not exploit away our children’s futures.

All we want is a fair shot.

Is that too much to ask?

Social entrepreneurship is a humane and just exit strategy for big, inefficient government bureaucracies, a financially-unsustainable not-for-profit sector and a socially/environmentally-unsustainable private sector.

Our three sectors (public, private and not-for-profit) as they currently exist, separate and divisive, are in need of unification and healing.

Our three sectors (public, private and not-for-profit) as they currently exist, separate and divisive, create a power imbalance that reinforces the inequality between the rich and the poor.

It’s not about public vs private anymore. There is a third way. We can leverage the principles of social entrepreneurship to build a bridge that unites all of the sectors, a bridge that allows us to move away from the divisive and dualistic thinking that pervades our society towards a unified and holistic approach.

Social entrepreneurship is the path to our freedom, the path to our Society 2.0 … a society where it’s not who you know or what family you were born into, but rather how hard you work … a society where our efforts convert fairly into our rewards.

Social entrepreneurship is the great equalizer.

We are the same, you and me.

The only question we must ask ourselves is,

“Do we, in fact, want to be equal?”

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Developing a Social Policy Framework for Alberta: Discussion Guide

Please see below for a copy of “Developing a Social Policy Framework for Alberta” Discussion Guide

It was released by the Government of Alberta – Human Services Department on January 18, 2012

Mandate

Premier Redford has ushered in a new approach to thinking about and addressing social policy in Alberta.  The Premier mandated the Minister of Human Services to lead the development of a social policy framework for Alberta to guide the alignment and potential redesign of social policy and programs in order to achieve better outcomes for children, families, individuals, and communities.  A social policy framework for Alberta will be comprehensive, reflect our shared societal values, and guide our collective efforts to support all Albertans to attain a high quality of life.  The framework will communicate Alberta’s social policy direction to the public, both within and beyond our borders.

By February 2012, an outline of the purpose and core elements of a social policy framework – along with an approach to its development – will be prepared.  A developed framework is anticipated by fall 2012. 

Purpose

Alberta has a comprehensive system of supports for Albertans in need.  Over time, this system has developed a wide variety of programs for individuals and families.  This system is not always easy to access or understand.  As well, some practices and structures have not adapted with Alberta’s changing demographic make-up.  As our population ages and becomes more diverse, its needs and priorities are shifting.  A current social policy framework is required to address this reality, and will consider:

  • The vision and values that guide social policy in Alberta: key concepts may include self-reliance, dignity, equal opportunity, shared responsibility, and community cohesion.
  • Roles and responsibilities: of governments, communities, private and non-profit sectors, families, and individuals.
  • Context: population diversity, the needs and aspirations of Albertans, and the factors that impact Albertans’ ability to achieve their desired quality of life. 
  • Potential solutions and new directions: innovations that will empower and enable Albertans to participate fully in their communities.
  • Desired social outcomes: these could include improved income security, increased social inclusion (e.g. participation in community life), improved health outcomes, and stronger families. 

A social policy framework will guide the development of services that respond to the evolving needs of Albertans throughout their lives.  A clearly articulated framework will also help align actions across sectors, both within and outside of government.  If we want to do better for Albertans, we need to consider how existing policies and programs serve the whole person.

 

Key Questions:

  • What do you see as the purpose of a social policy framework for Alberta?
  • What are the respective roles of government(s), communities, individuals, and business in achieving a quality of life to which Albertans aspire?
  • What kind of society do you want for yourself, your family and community?

 

Scope

The social policy framework will span Ministries and policy domains beyond the mandate of Human Services.  It will support more integrated and coordinated services that address the continuum of needs of vulnerable Albertans across the range of income levels.  Relevant policy domains could include employment and income security, housing, protection of vulnerable people, supporting children and families, Aboriginal Albertans, seniors, Albertans with disabilities and newcomers to the province.

 

Key Question:

  • What social and economic issues should be included in the framework?

 

Proposed Approach

Developing a social policy framework for Alberta will be an inclusive process that addresses the perspectives of Albertans, community leaders, service delivery partners, and other government departments.  The resulting framework must have broad community ownership.  Meaningful public dialogue that balances a diverse range of viewpoints will be integral to developing a meaningful, framework. 

 

Key Questions:

  • Social programs are delivered by government, communities, and non-for-profit organizations across the province. How would you like to be engaged during this process?

 

Achieving Success

A successful framework will provide tools to make decisions around the system that service Alberta’s disadvantaged.  The framework will be the start of a dialogue between, individuals, agencies, and community organizations to ensure that those Albertans who need help are able to access it.  In addition, the social policy framework will enable a common foundation for government and its partners to evaluate, measure, and report progress in achieving the desired outcomes for families, and communities, in particular those Albertans facing hardships. 

 

Key Questions:

  • How would you define success?
  • How should we measure success?

 

 

 

 

Comments can be forward to the following contact persons:

Shannon Marchand

Assistant Deputy Minister

Social Policy Framework

Phone: 780-422-0194

Email: Shannon.Marchand@gov.ab.ca

 

Lora Pillipow

Executive Director

Social Policy Framework

Phone: 780-422-2816

Email: Lora.Pillipow@gov.ab.ca

 

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Job Creation vs. Meaningful Work Creation

Our current systems are structured on this basic principle:

Design systems around the goal of maximizing competitive achievements (profits, grades etc.)  —> Competitive achievements are the key to personal fulfillment.

This led to job creation for the majority. Well done!

The question is what happens if we reverse this logic:

Design systems around the goal of maximizing personal (employee, student etc.) fulfillment —> Personal fulfillment is the key to creating wealth beyond dollars and cents.

Can this lead to an inclusive economy that creates opportunities for wealth (in all its wonderful forms) and meaningful work for ALL? Are the majority of business owners, parents, educators etc. ready to embrace this reversed logic?

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