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$6,000 for your next great social innovation

On May 12 and 13, a local competition aims to kickstart new ideas into action
May 3, 2016
By Tom Peacock


Do you have an idea for a project that could have a positive impact on your community — or even the world?

The Social Innovation Challenge, a two-day competition taking place in Montreal on May 12 and 13, is your chance to turn it into a reality.

This is the first time the event — created and fostered by the United Church of Canada’s EDGE: A Network for Ministry Development — is being held in Montreal.

Put together by local experts in collaborative methodology, Percolab, Concordia’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE), and CHNGR, a social innovation startup, the competition invites teams to pitch their ideas and develop them with support from fellow participants and mentors.

The winning idea will walk away with a grand prize pack worth more than $6,000, which includes business coaching and a new website. A total of $4,000 in cash and professional business coaching packages will be awarded to the second- and third-place teams, the People's Choice winner and the project that lands the Quadruple Bottom Line Prize. 

Susan Edey, community relations coordinator at the OCE, says the organizers were aware of Concordia’s strength and interest in social innovation and saw the university as a natural fit for this event.

“Partnering with the community on projects like this is a key part of Concordia’s Embrace the city strategy,” she says.

“Through the contest, participants will be able to showcase their initiatives and receive critical feedback from experts, while connecting to a wider community of social-innovation practitioners.”

Three Concordians — Satoshi Ikeda, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and AnthropologyEva Pomeroy, lecturer in the Department of Applied Human Sciences; and Alex Megelas, programs and communications coordinator in the Office of Community Engagenent — will provide mentorship and coaching during the competition. 

Meanwhile, CHNGR — Concordia’s RECODE-funded initiative that aims to raise awareness and orient students towards projects, employment, and entrepreneurship with positive social impact — has been helping a lot leading up to this event.

“The project manager of CHNGR, Nicolas Nadeau, has been providing input on design and the recruitment of some of the mentors, coaches and judges,” Edey says, adding that CHNGR will be hosting an information session at District 3 on May 4 to answer any questions potential participants might have about the challenge.

Register for the Social Innovation Challenge, which takes place on Thursday, May 12, and Friday, May 13, at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.

Find out more about Concordia’s Office of Community Engagement.



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