Changemaker Week is about taking ideas and making them happen

September 24, 2018 | Society, Campus Life
MacEwan’s Social Innovation Institute and Roundhouse are teaming up to host the university's first annual Changemaker Week from Sept. 24 to 29. What’s a changemaker, you might ask?

“A changemaker is someone who feels compelled to make a positive impact – big or small – in their community, or even the world, and then acts on it,” says Heather Braid, academic lead with the Social Innovation Institute.

Sound daunting? Heather says that’s exactly why Changemaker Week came to be.

“We know there are so many people on campus – students, faculty and staff – who have ideas, but don’t quite know how to take the next step. This week is all about giving them, and other people in our community, the resources and tools to put those ideas into action.”

However, if you don’t already have an idea in mind, that shouldn’t stop you – Changemaker Week is also about sparking new ideas and connecting people.

The Community Innovation Challenge happening on Thursday, Sept. 27 matches people who have ideas about solving issues of poverty and quality employment with people who want to support them and community mentors who can help develop those ideas.

“At the end of the evening, teams can pitch what they come up with and one team will receive $2,500 to put their idea into action,” says Heather.

It’s just one of many events happening throughout the week that showcase resources and services on campus and in the community. Some events offer practical tips on business models and project management. Others look at the big picture, tackling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

And one is all about the community spaces we share. On Saturday, Sept. 29, a pop up event on 105 Avenue (also known as Columbia Avenue) will transform the parking lot beside MacEwan Residence into a temporary gathering place for local community members, businesses and students, complete with food trucks, music, dance workshops, interactive art and much more.

“Inviting our neighbours and community members along 105 Avenue onto our campus is not only a great way to celebrate and elevate the spaces we share, it’s also an opportunity to start conversations about making positive changes and building a future together,” says university president Deborah Saucier.

Check out the full schedule of Changemaker Week activities

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