Archive for the ‘The Nabou Chronicles’ Category

Celebrating 5 years of SSE-O

Friday, August 4th, 2017

The School for Social Entrepreneurs – Ontario (SSE-O) recently celebrated 5 years of activity by organizing a retreat to reflect about achievements and challenges of the past five years and think about what’s next the next five years. As usual, SSE-O assembled a highly diverse and inspiring group of people and with support from the BMW Foundation was able to hold the retreat on Wasan Island in Muskoka’s Lake Joseph. Two years ago a similar retreat also organized by SSE-O on Wasan Island resulted in founding the League of Intrapreneurs Canada.

Wasan-2

SSE-O Retreat Wasan 2017

Wasan is a wonderful place where nature’s beauty and superb place-making, reflected as much in the design of the common spaces as in the quality and talents of the Island’s staff, creates ideal conditions to detach from daily tasks and engage in deep reflection and meaningful conversations. During the retreat SSE-O also tested new tools including a practice of Unlearning and the CPS method to explore if these could be used more broadly in the future. But the most valuable outcomes (aside from the action plan) were in the new friendships made and the inspiration gained.

Happy 5th Anniversary SSE-O. We are looking forward to your next achievements.

The Clean50 Awards

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Canada’s Clean50 Awards offer annually recognition to Canada’s leaders in sustainability for their contributions over the prior two years. Nominations are collected year round until Canada Day each year, reviewed, and then honourees for three different types of awards are announced each September: Clean50 Individuals, Clean50 Emerging Leaders, and Clean50 Top 15 Projects.

The Clean50 Individual awards – or just the Clean50 are selected from 16 diverse categories that transcend numerous industries, academia, different levels of government, thought leaders, and advocates, and are based on accomplishments delivered over the prior two years.   The leader in each of the 16 categories is also declared to be part of the Clean16, depicting those 16 Honourees as the top contributor in their respective categories.

It gives us great pleasure and pride that our own Nabil Harfoush has been nominated to the Clean50 of 2017 and is now on a shortlist of 72 names out of over 500 nominated.

League of Canadian Intrapreneurs – An Update

Monday, February 20th, 2017

In September of 2015 we reported on our participation in founding the League of Intrapreneurs Canada (LOI). It’s time to report on the progress since then. One of the observations was that intrapreneurs were feeling isolated and frustrated. As a first measure to address this issue founding members of the LOI (such as the School of Social Entrepreneurs-Ontario and OCAD’s Resilience Design Lab) hosted gatherings of intrapreneurs. The purpose was to strengthen network links and show intrapreneurs that they were not alone and that many are facing similar challenges.

The next step was to start thinking about supporting intrapreneurs, particularly in the public sector, by providing adequate training and tools. While the School of Entrepreneurs (SSE-O)  is focusing on the training aspect, we are collaborating with the Resilience Design Lab (R-Lab) on developing and testing tools, including processes for visualizing complex data for decision support, and methods for influencing organizational behaviour. We’ll be reporting in future blogs on some of those tools and methods.

Intrapreneurship – Big Initiative from a Small Island

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Wasan Island is a small island in lake Rosseau in the heart of Muskoka. It is privately owned by the Breuniger Stiftung, a German non-profit organization. It offers leaders in civil society, politics, culture and business the opportunity to retreat to a peaceful and beautiful environment in order to develop their thinking, networks, and initiatives. Access is by invitation only. (more…)

Counting Down to the Business Innovation Summit

Friday, March 6th, 2015

In partnership with the Conference Board of Canada, Manara would like to invite you to attend the Business Innovation Summit 2015 on April 28-29, 2015 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As a valued member, we are happy to extend a reduced rate of $795—that’s $500 in savings—for you to attend.

The speakers will be asking tough questions and push you to innovate like a champion! The event will feature speed networking with mentors, interactive learning sessions, and plenary sessions, all accounting for opportunity to dialogue and collaborate with the key players.

Business Innovation Summit 2015 features some of North America’s leading innovators to share their candid advice and insight. The Conference Board has secured a number of highly profiled leaders in innovation, including:

  • Allen Lau, CEO and Co-founder of Wattpad, and Craig Hunter, CEO of Bitmaker Labs to share their successes as serial entrepreneurs;
  • Dan Waldschmidt, Author of Edgy Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success to tell you how to innovate like a champion;
  • Ashley Good, CEO and Founder of Fail Forward will explore how to fail intelligently in practice; and
  • Sir Terry Matthews, Founder, Wesley Clover Corporation, and Chairman, March Networks will explore how Canada needs to seize today’s opportunities in the digital world to create more global success stories.

View the full agenda on the Conference Board’s website.

Register to reserve your seat at the leading innovation event in Canada. Quote your rebate code PRM10 when registering to take advantage of your special rate of $795. Please note that this rate is available for non-registered delegates only.

If you have any questions about the program or need help with registration, please contact Emily Hayward at hayward@conferenceboard.ca or 613-526-3090 ext. 393.

We hope to see you at this important event!

 

Business Innovation Summit 2015 – Special Rate for Manara friends!

Monday, January 26th, 2015

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with The Conference Board of Canada on the Business Innovation Summit 2015: Connect, Collaborate, and Innovate Together taking place on April 28-29, 2015 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Business Innovation Summit (BIS) 2015 is the premier event to connect, network, and learn from Canada’s top innovators! (more…)

Celebrating 3 years of Strongly Sustainable Business Model Research

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

On Tuesday January 13th, 2015 the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group (SSBMG) held it’s first monthly meeting of 2015. This marked the beginning of the group’s fourth year and called for a brief celebratory exchange about the achievements of the group in the past three years:

The SSBMG LinkedIn group counts now almost 330 members including key researchers and practitioners of sustainable business modeling from around the world.

A new sophisticated and intriguing tool has been developed based on the remarkable work of Antony Upward, one of the group’s co-founders. This new tool, the Flourishing Business Canvas (FBC) allows business model analysis and innovation while encompassing critical elements and relationships that main stream tools such as Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas could not capture, so for example business risks from social and environmental causes that usually do not appear on the balance sheet. The FBC is being currently tested with  organizations of various type and size. It has been presented in a number of international conferences and workshops in the US and Europe.

SSBMG long-time member Bob Willard has been contributing significantly to the global effort of developing a reliable benchmark to identify the performance indicators and corresponding values that must be achieved to become a strongly sustainable enterprises. His and his colleagues hard work came finally to fruition with the publication late in 2014 of Public Draft 1.0 of the Future Fit Business Benchmark, which is available now for comment and feedback.

In the area of impact measurement and social asset valuation and tracking, SSBMG member Anshula Chowdhury, CEO of Toronto-based Social Asset Measurements Inc., brought the annual conference of Social Impact Analysts Association (SIAA) usually held in Europe to convene in Toronto for the first time. The conference titled “Talking Data: Measurement with a Message” took place November 3 and 4, 2014. It was an excellent and rich event that included City Impact Tours for delegates to visit various organizations in the City of Toronto. SSBMG was one of the select City Impact Tours destinations and welcomed about 15 delegates for an afternoon to introduce them to its work.

In the past 2 years we also started our new research stream within SSBMG exploring the decision-making processes of SME leaders and their mental models while making these decisions. Two Major Research Projects (MRP) were completed. One investigated a sample of progressive SME leaders when making business decisions involving social and/or environmental aspects. The second used a similar methodology to investigate a sample of main stream SME leaders. This research stream produced a number of insights that will contribute to the design brief of the tools and methods being developed for SME leaders. It also posed new critical questions about the position of business modeling in the strategy formulation processes of SMEs.

The past year saw a steady flow of monthly meeting presentations by members of SSBMG about their work: Natalie Robinson, Marion Real, Alexandre Joyce from Montreal, Cilia Holmes Indahl from HEC Paris, Lindsay Clinton from SustainAbility (US), Marie-Claude Lacerte from HEC Montreal, Merlina Missimer from Sweden, Randy Saad from the Harbour Front Centre, Nancy Bocken from TU Delft in the UK.

More importantly many relationships and collaborations started emerging. One example is the workshop organized by the Canvas team in February 2014, which attracted members from other locations (Montreal to Hamburg). The interaction between members and the cross pollination of ideas is an essential component of SSBMG’s value proposition. Another example is the blog started by Group member Florian Lüdeke-Freund of the University of Hamburg in Germany. In a recent post on the LinkedIn group Florian wrote: “2014 was the second year for our platform, and it was a very good year: 13 active bloggers, 130 entries in our open publication list, a total of 49 posts since the blog’s start in February 2013 and our new “Papers in Brief” series have attracted 7,900 page views in 2014, and 10,200 page views in total!”

So there is much to celebrate but also much work still to be done. In 2015 SSBMG will continue developing the major streams, paying attention to synchronization and alignment between the different streams. An important area of exploration will be how the Group measures its own progress towards achieving its objective of “accelerating the transition of SMEs to sustainability“. It will be an interesting journey again and we look forward to continuing participating and contributing.

Copenhagen Studio Summit 2014

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Leveraging the 7th Art of Management & Organization Conference 2014 at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Stefan Meisiek from the CBS and Moura Quwayle from the Sauder Business School at University of British Columbia organized a “Studio Summit” with a limited number of participants (25-30) to explore the state of the art in using the studio method for education and how the envelope could be further pushed.

The 3-day conference was very rich in exchanges and learning so no blog can really do it justice. However, it might be useful to inform about some of the insights gained through the perspective of this one participant.

The first insight was that the studio method is being used in a very broad spectrum of variations and interpretations. There were examples of almost every medium from performing arts to film making to creation of art objects and strong interaction between learners and learning facilitators. What surprised many participants is the discovery that the use of the studio method is more widely spread in business and engineering education than previously expected. This included for example several programs at Harvard’s School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS), a film making approach to teaching leadership theories and emotional intelligence from Sacramento State University and an interesting use of art object creation for business students from ESCP Europe (École Supérieure de Commerce à Paris) France.

Second, there are may emerging developments and a strong appetite for developing the method further, which may indicate the increasing need that educational institutions face to “scale up” their programs that use the studio method. This need is also observed in corporations, governments and NGOs mostly stemming from the drive to innovate in order to maintain competitiveness. One of the outcomes of the Studio Summit is the creation of a LinkedIn group to host the network connections resulting from the summit.

Several interesting models for the studio model were developed during the summit and will be highlighted in a number of places. We’ll only mention here the so-called “Chair” model (later also dubbed the “divan” model), which was the result of a break-out group led by Richard Blythe, Dean of the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT with Daved Barry (Copenhagen Business School), Hakan Ozcelik (Sacremento State), Sylvain Bureau (ESCP Europe), Jaclyn Wilson (ESADE Business School) and Nabil Harfoush (OCAD University). A special blog will be dedicated to that model soon.

 

International Certificate Course: Urban Food Challenge

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Citizen Centred Innovation: International Certificate Course
Toronto – Barcelona
September 14 – 26, 2014


Complex social, environmental and business challenges need new thinking and new connections to come up with new solutions. Our rapidly urbanizing world faces evolving demands and threats. How can we prepare for a changed future?

We have partnered with Strategic Innovation Lab at OCAD U (Toronto) and Bau Design College (Barcelona) to deliver an exciting learning opportunity. Join other decision makers, influencers and passionate implementers who are building their skills to take on some of the biggest issues their cities are facing. This unique program brings international participants together for deep exploration in a two week immersion experience. The creative hubs of Toronto and Barcelona are emerging as global leaders in urban innovation and serve as the perfect backdrop for experimentation. One week in each city brings a diverse perspective to the challenges at hand.

You will receive intensive training in a range of disciplines including human factors, design thinking, system mapping, sustainable business models, and co-creation techniques and methods.

More importantly, you will apply your learning to find creative solutions to a complex problem: this time we will be focused on food waste in urban centres. In addition to lectures and hands-on practice, the program includes daily field explorations of food-related aspects in each city, including visits to innovative social food enterprises such as Not Far From The Tree, The Stop Community Food Centre, and a private Jane’s Walk in Toronto; participating in a Tapas Lab; going on a Hidden City Tour of Barcelona (unique guided tour through the old town led by homeless guides); and engaging with organic farmers to understand the inter-dependencies and trade-offs in the complex urban food system.

Download the course brochure with detailed program information by clicking here.

To register in the course:
https://citizen-centric.eventbrite.ca

For further inquiries:
T: +1 905 707 8956
F: +1 416 703 3885

Toronto’s Lab Movement – An Opportunity for Collective Impact

Friday, November 1st, 2013

On November 6th OCAD University’s Strategic Innovation Lab (sLab) will be hosting the next meeting of Lab Practitioners in the series organized by MaRS SiG. The speaker for this meeting is Hal Hamilton, who will be sharing lessons learned from his decade of work with the Sustainable Food Lab.

The series has been successful in achieving a number of important objectives: It raised awareness about individual labs and their work; it highlighted lessons learned from the various practices in labs, and last but not least, it continued strengthening the links between the various members thus helping the emergence of stronger and more resilient community.

As the community matures, there is a sense emerging that the community is seeking something beyond the networking and learning about other labs. In conversations with a few of the regular participants, I sensed that a new need is emerging, a need to tackle something bigger, beyond the capabilities of the single labs. This reminded me of the collective impact approach described in a paper of Stanford Social Innovation Review. Could we find together one big challenge that we all apply our experimentation and our multidisciplinary collaboration capabilities to address? Or has the movement not matured that far yet and needs more time to get to that point? It’s definitely worth a deep conversation at the next gathering.