Our goal is to develop a greater understanding of instruments upon which advanced education institutions can draw individually and collectively to improve society’s prospects.
The meeting, and this paper, constitute a call to action for post-secondary institutions to accelerate and scale their beneficial social impact, at a time when it is critical to do so.
Society faces challenges and uncertainties that threaten social cohesion and community well-being in Canada and around the world. Advanced education institutions are uniquely positioned to invent and scale the solutions needed to enable a better quality of life for all of society within planetary thresholds. Many of these solutions can be found in their existing assets and capacities, which, when directed at building social infrastructure, can reveal the pathway for citizens and their institutions to thrive.
This paper sets out the social imperative and the business case for accelerated social innovation, and introduces a typology of assets that advanced education institutions can harness. Further, it defines a social infrastructure architecture to facilitate this essential transition. It concludes with a set of collaborative actions that advanced education organizations can pursue together to foster breakthrough ideas, and poses questions for further research and investigation.
May 3, 2017 – Presidents’ Roundtable
Building on the paper, the roundtable provided an opportunity for discussion among presidents of Canadian post‐secondary institutions, together with a small group of foundation representatives and thinkers. To learn more, read SFU and McConnell’s join Aide-Mémoire highlighting the themes that emerged from the discussion.
Building Social Infrastructure Retreat Report
In July, we hosted a retreat with higher education representatives to discuss how to better leverage post-secondary social infrastructure assets in service of Canadian communities. Read our retreat report to learn how discussions unfolded and where we’re headed.