Innovation & Social Enterprise Learning Event

What about some innovative paths to a more cooperative, sustainable, economically healthy, and resilient Pender community?  This is what our February 9, 2013 learning event was all about!  We encouraged community members to drop by for 3 exciting “innovation experts”, and to share their own exciting ideas after that, at…

exploring innovation & social enterprise on Pender

Saturday, February 9, 2013, between 10 am & 3 pm, Community Hall – free, please register, or come when you can!


This gathering involved an invitation to all Pender people, families, existing businesses, community groups, and government representatives (including Coast Salish peoples and guests from away).

The goal of this Innovation Event was to help us respond to key challenges for Pender and many communities, such as: supporting all residents (especially younger ones), as well as struggling local businesses and under-resourced community groups; responding to worldwide impacts; and creating more local resources and jobs, to meet our needs into the future.

Starting at 10 am, the three guest “innovation experts” who spoke were:

  • Colleen McCormick, a dynamic Director of Innovative Partnerships for the provincial government, speaking about collaborative forms of innovation to benefit people, communities, businesses, and our Earth;
  • Adam Olsen, Tsartlip First Nation, Saanich Councillor, and an innovative entrepreneur who recently appeared on Dragon’s Den (Q. How does a Coast Salish knitter make a decent living?); and
  • Rupert Downing, Executive Director of Victoria’s Community Social Planning Council, speaking about their Young Entrepreneur and Resilient Neighbouroods programs, and their new Community Economic Development Investment Fund.

Then after lunch ( see below), starting at about 12:30 we had 3 rounds of dynamic, fun, and effective community conversations (based on the Art of Hosting and World Cafe models – see below).  This was to work together on specific key questions:

* What new ways of connecting and cooperating do we need?

* What innovations could benefit our community and our Earth?

* What new social enterprises could also help us?

Social enterprise means a community organization, co-operative, and/or “hybrid” company (like BC’s new Community Interest Companies) that creates profits and jobs for social and community purposes in the broadest sense.

Our non-profit society hosted this Innovation & Social Enterprise event, with the support of  Vancity, the CRD and its Southern Gulf Islands Economic Development Commission, the Islands Trust (Pender Local Trust Committees), and Greenangels.

Thank you to the above, and to the 60 Penderites and guests from Mayne, Galiano, Victoria, and Saanich (including Tsawout and Tsartlip First Nations), who came out on February 9 to help create innovative and sustainable paths to a brighter future!