Pilot project opens doors to social entrepreneurs
This is the latest in a series of #UWStratPlan stories that profile some of the initiatives that are part of the robust efforts to implement the Strategic Plan.
Twelve weeks, three companies, and a lot of different jobs to do. Such is life for students in the St. Paul’s GreenHouse Co-op pilot project.
“I gained many connections and learned a wide variety of lessons from these work experiences,” says Connor Bradey, who had work terms at Happenate, TreeHaus Collaborative Workspace, and REEP Green Solutions in the winter of 2014.
The pilot project began several months after GreenHouse formed as a social impact incubator in 2013 at St. Paul’s University College to help students launch projects and companies that make a social impact. Social entrepreneurs provide products or services that address communal problems, or seize upon opportunities that deliver a wider community benefit, such as diverting good food from the waste stream, providing coping mechanisms for stressed-out students, neutralizing land mines abroad so that innocent people are not harmed by them, and so much more.
With fewer resources than their commercial or industrial cousins, social impact companies and startups in particular have been smaller players in co-operative education. First work-term opportunities for students interested in the sector tend to be few and far between.
GreenHouse, with the Waterloo Centre for the Advancement of Co-operative Education (WatCACE), set out to improve the situation. GreenHouse recruited social impact companies and chose 18, most of them startups, for the pilot project. Twelve students made up the first cohort. They worked in pairs and spent four weeks at each of three companies on the list.
"We wanted them to come away with three unique experiences they could place on their resumés," said Tania Del Matto, GreenHouse director. "The social ventures, meanwhile, had no resources, yet they had certain pain points on their to-do list they needed to address, like cold calling, updating client management systems and surveys."
As it returned for the winter of 2016, the project again underscores Waterloo’s commitment to experiential education, one of the eight themes in its Strategic Plan.
Read the rest of the article on the Strategic Plan website.
Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
by Eugenia Xenos Anderson
Ever since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 94 Calls to Action last June, many communities and individuals started exploring and implementing ways to respond to the Report’s recommendations - and the Waterloo creative and academic community is one of them.
To consolidate and communicate outreach, collaboration opportunities, and developing research practices, the Faculty of Arts and the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre at St. Paul’s University College are maintaining a website that will function as a hub for initiatives from across campus and partners throughout Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Response Projects (TRRP) website will evolve and grow as projects, events, and other initiatives in response to the TRC Calls to Action develop. Specific goals for the site are outlined on the About page.
Major upcoming TRRP events include:
- Mush Hole Project: September 16 to 18
The Mush Hole Project is an immersive, site-specific art and performance installation event taking place at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, the site of Canada’s oldest residential school.
- Integrating Knowledges Summit: October 14 to 16
This on-campus summit promises an intercultural gathering including scholars, social justice advocates, elders, artists, cultural and multidisciplinary practitioners, healers, intergenerational survivors, and students, to expand perspectives and decolonize as a step toward (re)conciliation.
Both events are currently accepting creative or academic submissions from members of the Waterloo community and beyond. Mush Hole Project submissions are due June 19; Integrating Knowledges submissions are due June 30. Submission information is on the TRRP website.
Canada Day Celebration seeks volunteers
The University of Waterloo Canada Day Celebration is looking for volunteers for the annual July 1 festivities.
There are a number of positions available, including spirit squad members, artistic face painters, customer services representatives, stage hands and more. All positions offer the opportunity for hands-on participation in Waterloo's Canada Day Celebration. All volunteers will receive a t-shirt to wear during the event and a meal will be provided.
Please sign up online to apply to both Executive Level and Member Level volunteer roles. Log in with your CAS credentials, clicking on "Jobs" and then scrolling down to Community Events and clicking on the various Canada Day Celebration volunteer opportunities. Applications close at 11:59 p.m. on May 18, 2016.