Incubating Peace: A New Face in K-W’s Innovation Ecosystem

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Waterloo is a thriving hotbed of innovation. With tech start-ups emerging daily, there is much focus on business, technology, and entrepreneurship. Adding to this concentration of ideas and change, the MSCU Center for Peace Advancement (CPA) is joining Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem with the launch of the Frank and Helen Epp Peace Incubator.

Incubating Peace Event Poster.The Incubator is an open and collaborative space that acts as a home-base for peace-related initiatives at varying stages of development. It's designed to be a validated learning community, and a beehive of entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary activity around peace advancement. Members have access to collaborative workspace, but more than that, the program offers mentorship and funding opportunities, as well as social innovation workshops.

Officially launching a week from today on Tuesday, September 22 at 4:30pm, the Epp Peace Incubator is welcoming the community to visit and learn more about this new face in Kitchener-Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem. Attendees will get a glimpse into the exciting new peace-related initiatives taking root, and have the chance to interact with other agents of change in Waterloo Region. Community members interested in peace-related initiatives are especially encouraged to attend this event where support, resources, and connections will be discovered.

The Epp Peace Incubator Program launch is happening as the CPA steps boldly into its second year of operation and as the 2015 Waterloo Innovation Summit wraps up. “Many people credit the collaborative, barn-raising spirit of this community for the vibrancy of its innovation ecosystem,” explained CPA Director Paul Heidebrecht. “We want to build on another important dimension of this tradition, focusing our creativity and energy on efforts to advance peace.”

The Peace Incubator is named for Frank Epp, who was the second president of Conrad Grebel, and his wife Helen who was involved as a staff member and a volunteer in many local social service agencies.  While president in the mid-70’s, Epp initiated the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Conrad Grebel and was instrumental in the creation of Project Ploughshares.

The MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement is located at Conrad Grebel University College on the University of Waterloo campus. The Centre recognizes the value of collaborative, inter-disciplinary, and multi-sector approaches to the advancement of peace. For this reason, the Centre is home to a variety of participants involved in the work of advancing peace. Our 6,000 square feet of space is occupied by a range of peace scholars from the University of Waterloo, as well as practitioners from local peace building organizations. Through forging opportunities for collaboration in the form of research, training and/or community engagement, the Centre works to advance peace along with academics and practitioners from the University of Waterloo and beyond.

This event is part of larger Peace Week events happening at Conrad Grebel University College.