Skip to main content

Stephen Huddart: How can universities help build thriving, innovative cities?

Speaker Series - The Future of the University and the Future of Learning

More about Stephen Huddart

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation funds and catalyzes work aimed at creating a more just, sustainable, and beautiful world, and it sees universities as key partners. Huddart says where you see cities thriving, it is more than likely that universities are playing an active role in making this happen. As president of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Stephen Huddart oversees a wide gamut of initiatives that includes RECODE, which aims to fuel social innovation and social entrepreneurship in higher education. The goal? Nothing short of rewiring our culture’s operating systems.

Stephen Huddart is president and CEO of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, a national private foundation whose head office is in Montreal. The Foundation has played a leading role in developing and supporting social innovation and impact investing in Canada as a founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG). McConnell's newest initiatives include Innoweave, The McConnell Reconciliation Initiative, Cities for People, and RECODE. 

Huddart’s career spans several fields and includes leadership positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked with children’s singer Raffi as executive director of Troubadour Music Inc. and the non-profit Troubadour Institute.

He co-founded and operated the Alma Street Café, a community-based business that for several years was Vancouver’s jazz café of record and where the local chamber of commerce named him Business Person of the Year in recognition of his active support for a wide range of community groups.

Huddart subsequently held several executive positions with the B.C. SPCA where he introduced innovations in humane food labelling, animal-assisted therapy and humane education. He has also been a documentary filmmaker, a geophysical observer, museum curator and natural food store manager.

His community service commitments include advisory roles with Philanthropic Foundations Canada, and Evergreen CityWorks. He has a Master’s of Management degree from McGill University. 

Back to top

© Concordia University