Leveraging experiences from the present, past and future to incite innovation
Friday December 2, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
Guest speakers at the Non-Profit Partnerships Summit hosted by the B.C. government on Nov. 25 called upon attendees to look at the world around them, their history and into their futures to identify injustice and develop social innovations.
Manager of technology, design and user experience for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) Lisa Trick says the speakers shared insightful and inspiring perspectives.
Past-president of the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation Tim Brodhead’s impassioned call to action to battle the growing gap between the rich and the poor made an impression on Lisa.
“We talked about things like the gap between the rich and the poor, and how growing inequality creates an unstable society,” she says.
“There’s a real business case to be made about a more sustainable society – it will last longer, people will be happier, and it’s more appreciated, in his perspective,” she says.
Executive director of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres Paul Lacerte argued that spirituality, ceremonies and traditions are examples of how aboriginal ancestors were innovative and maintained their society in times of oppression.
“I thought that perspective of reaching back and anchoring ourselves in our tradition is something we never hear at a conversation about innovation – I appreciated that new perspective,” says Lisa.
While looking into the past as a source of innovation, president and CEO of the United Way of the Lower Mainland Michael McKnight said B.C. should look into its future for innovation.
Lisa says Michael’s message was that innovation sometimes requires desperation.
“We have a really good life (in B.C.) – we have a beautiful place to live and a lot of services that meet our needs,” she says.
If B.C. wants to become a hub for social innovation, Michael argued innovators should imagine what the future could be like and figure out where social innovation will be required.
“We have to let our minds take us there to start to solve those problems, even though they’re not immediate,” says Lisa.
She says the entire summit and speakers were inspirational and B.C. is well positioned to become a hub for social innovation.
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