Monday, December 14, 2015

Incubator participants

On December 10, 2015, the members of the Epp Peace Incubator program gathered to decide how they could best make use of the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement’s Peace Fund. Supported by the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union, money from the fund is distributed once each semester.

The discussion was facilitated by Benjamin Janzen, MSCU’s Stewardship in Action Advisor, and was open to the eight peace-related start-ups currently making use of the Incubator’s six hot desks. At the end of the morning, it was agreed that $2,000 would be shared by Food Not Waste, Intercultural Dialogue Institute K-W, Pastors in Exile, and Peaceworks Productions.

Janzen affirmed the diversity of initiatives currently taking shape in the incubator: “It’s exciting to think of the potential impact of so many concrete and credible efforts to advance peace.”

In addition to seed funding, the Epp Peace Incubator program provides a shared workspace, mentorship, and training workshops. This Fall’s workshop provided an introduction to the social impact business model canvas, and was led by Tania Del Matto and Brendan Wylie-Toal from St. Paul University College’s GreenHouse.

Reflecting on the level of activity he has seen among incubator members since the program’s launch in September, CPA Director Paul Heidebrecht hopes that their hard work and collaborative spirit will also provide insight and inspiration far beyond the walls of the CPA. “I am convinced that initiatives like these, with their intentional effort to engage people ranging from high school students to interfaith leaders to restaurant owners, can breathe life into the future of peacebuilding.”

Heidebrecht and CPA Coordinator Michelle Jackett welcome questions about, and expressions of interest in, the Epp Peace Incubator program at any time.