Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Written by Hannah Hill, former Incubator Fellow at the Centre for Peace Advancement
I first stepped foot into the University of Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem on my first co-op term as Marketing Assistant at Velocity. Afterwards, I found other meaningful ways to learn more about entrepreneurship and even test-out my ideas through student pitch competitions. However, as a Peace and Conflict Studies minor, I was itching to learn how peacebuilding intersects with the field of social innovation. My role as the Incubator Fellow at the Centre for Peace Advancement was a great opportunity to explore this!
What is a fellowship? There are many different types of fellowships in many different contexts. This role is twofold: I was supporting the Epp Peace Incubator program and gaining meaningful experience in the fields of social innovation and peacebuilding.
This past year, I was focused on providing outreach support, community animation, and administrative support to the Incubator program and its participants. Let me breakdown what a day in the life of an Incubator Fellow can look like...
9:30AM: Arrive at the Centre for Peace Advancement and greet participants.
This helps me to keep a thumb on what’s coming up, any potential news stories, and connect participants who may be facing similar challenges with each other.
10:00AM: Get ready for an upcoming event!
I spread the word about the Incubator program at on-campus and community events through boothing and networking. Early on in the role, I created a boothing board that I have been able to take with me to events such as the Entrepreneurship Society’s Startup Showcase.
10:30AM: Coffee break with other members in the Centre for Peace Advancement.
Each week, a participant from the Centre for Peace Advancement community will highlight a recent success or share information about a project they are working on. It’s exciting for me when an Incubator participant is the speaker!
11:00AM: Work with an Incubator participant on a project.
Part of my role is dedicated to applying my own skills on projects that participants ask for support with. Some examples of projects I’ve worked on this year include:
- Reaching out to bloggers and influencers to feature a participant’s product
- Writing content for a participant's upcoming crowdfunding campaign
- Designing promotional materials for a participant to share with potential customers
That being said, every day is different! This role has challenged me to work collaboratively, think creativity, and act interpersonally. I will take my learnings from this fellowship into my future career and continue to follow the progress of Incubator participants!
The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement is pleased to announce that we will have two Incubator Fellows joining our team this September!
Anna Kuepfer is a Health Studies student and co-founder of SheCycle, a startup centred on reusable, antimicrobial sanitary pads designed to improve the lives of girls and women in Uganda.
Rebecca Cheskes is a student in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program. Rebecca's interest in social innovation was strengthened during her internship with The Working Centre's hospitality-focused Community Tools projects.