Social Innovation Hub - Allard Hall

Innovation Institute

Fellowship Application Deadline : September 16, 2019   |   Details

Faculty & staff newsletter

Learn about social innovation initiatives at MacEwan, opportunities for your students and much more.

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.


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.


Ways to participate

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 Fellowship

The Social Innovation Fellowship connects Edmonton-based businesses and non-profit organizations that need applied research support for a social innovation, social entrepreneurship or social change initiative with a research Fellow and a Junior Fellow. Research projects, which are identified by a partner organization, can relate to any sector and field, including health, social services, business, fine arts, community development, sciences and engineering.


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.

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Support social innovation 

Support social innovation, sustainability and community engagement by donating to the Social Innovation Fund. Choose "Other" from the Select Fund list and type “Social Innovation Fund” in the comment box.

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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.

Changemaker Week returning in September

Changemakeer Week returns September 23 to 27, 2019 with events showcasing resources and services on campus and in the community, all related to putting ideas into action. Read about what we did in 2018.



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