Community Engagement

Changemaking at MacEwan is built upon a strong history of community engagement, where efforts to teach, learn and serve are aligned with the interests and needs of the broader community. 

Learn more about community engaged initiatives supported by the Social Innovation Institute.


Affordable Housing Solutions Lab

The goal of the Affordable Housing Solutions Lab (AHSL) is to be a catalyst for expanding the supply, diversity and accessibility of safe, affordable and adequate1 housing choices in Edmonton, Alberta and beyond. We work to raise awareness of the right to housing and research affordable housing innovations and design.

The lab is a space (not always physical) for people with varied experience and backgrounds to come together and work on complex social challenges and come up with innovative solutions. Problems are reviewed through a systems lens to try to identify and address root causes.

As a "civic social innovation lab," our work is focused locally and relies on citizen participation that reflects truly diverse understandings of housing affordability and adequacy in Edmonton. The activities of our research groups and the broader work of the lab over the next two years are articulated by The Pivot, a 2-year research program.

AHSL is a partnership between the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, the City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Community Development Company. Our team includes:

  • Leo Wong, research lead, MacEwan University

  • Rhea Kachroo, solutions lab strategist, MacEwan University

  • Joshua Evans, research lead, University of Alberta

  • Laura Murphy, research coordinator, University of Alberta

For more information and to learn more about AHSL and The Pivot, please contact Rhea Kachroo at

1UN Human Rights Council, Adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, 13 August 2008, A/63/275

B Corp engagement

Imagine a community of Alberta changemakers dedicated to social responsibility and using businesses to create positive, lasting impact. That’s what the B Economy ecosystem is all about. B Corps are a part of this ecosystem. They are social-good enterprises that have gone through a rigorous assessment and certification process. The B Economy includes not only certified B Corps, but also mission-driven businesses, non-profits, fund managers, foundations and universities.

The Social Innovation Institute engages with the B Corp community in Edmonton, fostering meaningful collaborations and building capacity within a growing community of socially conscious organizations.

Contact us to learn more and get involved with B Corp events and training, networking opportunities, consulting services and research. For more information about B Corps and B Corp certification, check out B Lab Canada.

Contact us

Community engaged learning

Community service learning courses, opportunities for students to learn from and contribute to community organizations, work placements, such as co-ops and practicums—at MacEwan, students are introduced to a variety of community-engaged learning opportunities.

The Social Innovation Institute coordinates a Community Engaged Learning Committee, made up of MacEwan faculty, staff, students, and community members from diverse sectors. This committees hosts relationship-building events and initiatives that build capacity for community engaged learning within MacEwan and the broader community.

Learn more at Career Services

RECOVER urban wellness initiative

RECOVER is the City of Edmonton’s urban wellness initiative. Centered around six Edmonton neighbourhoods (Boyle Street, Central McDougall, Downtown, McCauley, Strathcona and Queen Mary Park), RECOVER uses a social innovation approach that engages diverse stakeholders—residents, business owners, community groups, social agencies and others—to build a better understanding of community perspectives on wellness in each neighbourhood.

The Social Innovation Institute is a partner and collaborator with RECOVER, providing strategic leadership and supporting a team of social innovation coaches.


Scholarly activity in the community

When our faculty members undertake research activities in collaboration with community organizations, we all benefit. Research Services supports this type of community engaged scholarship for faculty and students, enriching the social and cultural fabric of our city.

The Social Innovation Institute coordinates a Community Engaged Scholarship Committee, made up of MacEwan faculty, staff, students and community members from diverse sectors. This committee hosts relationship-building events and initiatives that encourage community-engaged scholarship within MacEwan and the broader community.

Learn more at Research Services



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