Social Innovation Hub - Allard Hall

Innovation Institute

Community and campus, stakeholders and students—together we can change the world. If you are an individual, organization, government department or business with an idea you’d like to explore or a challenge you’d like to address, talk to us.

At the MacEwan University Social Innovation Institute, we connect you with experts and innovators who support your commitment to positive change. We convene events that encourage social innovation, social entrepreneurship and collaboration, bring together community partners for learning and research and host social labs where prototype solutions are developed and pilots are incubated. Let us introduce you to the students, faculty and other changemakers who have the expertise and creativity to move your ideas forward.

Workshop Icon - People Sitting Around Table

Mindful mentorship

Meet Kori Chilibeck and Matt Moreau, social entrepreneurs in residence at the Social Innovation Institute. They look forward to sharing advice, encouragement and stories of lessons learned with you.

Better together

Social innovation, social labs, social entrepreneurs—these are exciting times for people who want to influence the world in positive ways. Here are a few examples of the types of projects we support:

  • A new university graduate has the seed of an idea for a tech start-up, but wants to make sure it is a sustainable, socially responsible enterprise.

  • A group of neighbours who sponsored a refugee family wants to support these new Canadians in getting a business idea off the ground.

  • An arts organization wants to showcase the creativity of youth in the community while raising funds to support their operations.

Contact us with your idea today. Tell us what you're thinking. Discover what we can do together.

Design Jams and Social Labs

Design Jams are fun, fast and socially innovative events that inspire new collaborations and exciting ideas that address real social or environmental challenges. Working in teams with a social innovation coach, participants are led through a design process to explore problems, generate potential solutions (known as prototypes) and pitch their ideas to get feedback and support for taking their ideas to the next stage.

Social Labs involve a series of events and meetings (including but not limited to Design Jams) to encourage extensive community engagement, facilitate the development of prototypes and incubate a sample of prototypes to scale into viable pilots. Whereas Design Jams spark new ideas and foster trust and collaboration, Social Labs take that energy and channel it into impactful action.

The Social Innovation Institute partners with various groups to co-host Design Jams and Social Labs.

Social Entrepreneur in Residence

Each year, the program will feature a new Social Entrepreneur in Residence (SER) that will fulfill the roles of educator, mentor and collaborator through engagement on campus. The SER will be an innovative entrepreneur, with significant proven impact in the community, who can be seen as a role model and support for campus leaders, aspiring social entrepreneurs and our community of changemakers.

During their year-long tenure, the SER will develop a collaborative project that leverages the resources and expertise at MacEwan University, by convening faculty and students.


Social Innovation Fellowships

A Social Innovation Fellow is an emerging leader in a social change initiative, using research, innovation and entrepreneurial approaches to address social or environmental challenges. This fellowship program is designed for individuals working on initiatives who would benefit from an interdisciplinary collaboration with other changemakers. Initiatives, as a theme, should foster vibrant urban wellness and can be based in domains including health, business, fine arts, humanities, science or engineering. Fellows will collaborate with other fellows to explore support and learn from each other.


Changemaker Week

Changemaker Week engages MacEwan’s campus and the Edmonton community alike, in changemaking opportunities.  We believe that anyone can be a changemaker and we are dedicating a week each Fall to spark ideas and empower action through a variety of events and activities. You can stay up-to-date on Changemaker Week events on


Teaching and Learning

The Social Innovation Institute focuses on community engaged learning by bringing together multiple disciplines into collaborative initiatives. One of those initiatives is Experience MacEwan, a campus-wide program that connects organizations and businesses with faculty who embed service-learning projects in their courses, while also strengthening inter-faculty collaborations. Another initiative involves developing a pilot inter-faculty studio course addressing real world social challenges using a social innovation approach.

Supporting students with opportunities to learn and apply social innovation skills is also featured in the School of Continuing Education’s Social Innovation Professional Development Certificate.

Finally, we provide education to the broader community around changemaking, social innovation and social enterprise, including a series called Economics for Social Change.

Research and Scholarship

The Social Innovation Institute explores new approaches to strengthen community engaged scholarship through developing innovative pilot initiatives.

Examples that are being explored include developing a campus-wide map of community engaged scholars and their projects as well as fostering new research clusters on innovations in a variety of social and environmental challenges.


Funds available

The Institute administers some funds to support changemakers on campus to develop their work and join a community of people changing the world with good ideas at Roundhouse.

Space Use Fund

Students, faculty and staff looking to use meeting and event space in Roundhouse can apply to this fund.

Apply to the space use fund

Takeover Fund

A Takeover is where a faculty or staff group (e.g., departments, discipline group, administrative unit, etc.) occupy a significant number of spaces within Roundhouse for the day. Some examples of a Takeover are to host a strategic planning retreat, an innovation day to redesign curriculum/programs, or a team-building day.

Groups are encouraged to engage members of Roundhouse while they are in the space to share what activities each are working on.

Apply to the takeover fund

Project Fund

Students, faculty, staff and alumni engaged in interdisciplinary courses and research projects that involve community partnerships working on changemaking, social innovation and social enterprise initiatives may access Roundhouse space for the duration of their project.

Apply to the project fund

Enterprise Fund

Supporting student- and alumni-based enterprises that are exploring a social mission.

Apply to the enterprise fund

Roundhouse SAMU Grant

The Roundhouse SAMU Grant supports students interested in joining a community of changemakers with a 3-month Community Membership at Roundhouse.

Apply to the Roundhouse SAMU Grant

Contact Us

Social Innovation Institute


11-167A (Roundhouse), Allard Hall
11110 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Leo Wong, Founding Director

Founding Director, Social Innovation Institute
Assistant Professor, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration
International Business, Marketing and Strategy

PhD (Alberta); B.Com. (Alberta)

11-167A, Allard Hall
11110 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

5-256F, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Leo is the founding director of the Social Innovation Institute and an assistant professor in the School of Business. He graduated with a PhD in Marketing from the University of Alberta. He teaches and researches new business concepts that are aligned with socially responsible thinking and ethical decision-making, working with a generation of students who will shape our sustainable world. He has done applied research with social enterprises, taught undergraduate and graduate business courses related to sustainability and designed courses focused on corporate social responsibility.

Alexis Lockwood, Academic Lead

Academic Lead, Social Innovation Institute

11-169E, Allard Hall
11110 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Alexis brings a diverse professional background to the Social Innovation Institute. As a social worker and adult educator, her interests include evaluation, program development, facilitation and experiential learning. Alexis's graduate research focused on innovation among front-line employees in the public sector, and she continues to be curious about how different contexts, worldviews and values impact social innovation work.

Triple bottom line

More companies are donating portions of their profits to social causes, choosing to place equal value on profits, people and the planet. Dr. Etayankara (Murli) Muralidharan is curious about what motivates these social entrepreneurs to look beyond the traditional bottom line.

Etayankara (Murli) Muralidharan

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Changemakers meet here

Meeting rooms, co-working offices and conference space. A marketplace, break-out rooms and team-building zones. Social innovators from around the province gather at Roundhouse, sharing ideas and expertise that move their vision forward.


An academic perspective—whether it’s from statistics, nursing, computer science, design or any other area of the university—adds value for both the organizations we are serving and our students.
— Leo Wong, founding director, Social Innovation Institute