Strategy conference investigates inclusive innovation
This article was originally published on the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement's website.
Is innovation inclusive? Cassie Myers would say Ontario still has work to do.
On June 14, Cassie joined other entrepreneurs and innovation ecosystem leaders in Ottawa for the Ontario Inclusive Innovation (i2) Action Strategy Conference. The recently released Ontario Inclusive Innovation (i2) Action Strategy “seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem for and innovative capabilities of diverse women entrepreneurs in Ontario”. The conference was a space to learn from this comprehensive gender-based assessment of Ontario small business, innovation and social enterprise organizations and to build capacity to support women-identified entrepreneurs.
After attending the discussion Cassie shares, “The conference was an opportunity to get one of the first looks at some ground breaking research. Diversity and inclusion is dynamic, multifaceted and can mean very different things depending on a person or company's experiences. I think navigating these nuances and parsing next steps is always challenging. The conference opened up doors and got wheels turning.”
The wheels are also turning in the University of Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem. On June 25, Entrepreneurship @ Environment hosted Equal Entrepreneurs: women's voices on ideation, inspiration, and navigating entrepreneurship featuring a panel that included Cassie Myers, Lauren Smith - Founder of PolyGone Technologies, and Roopa Reddy - Lecturer at the University of Waterloo, Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business.
The panelists shared their experiences navigating Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem, exploring barriers that may restrict women-identified entrepreneurs and opportunities that already exist to support diversity and inclusion in innovation. Lauren Smith identified that understandings of diversity and inclusion is important for all entrepreneurs since all emerging ventures will be hiring and supporting employees. Roopa Reddy used her experience to emphasize the value of interdisciplinary teams, challenging the notion that entrepreneurs need a 'tech' background.
Cassie shared that the major challenges to inclusive innovation in Ontario are: (1) women-owned enterprises transitioning from the startup to scale-up phase, (2) accessibility of funding for women-owned enterprises, (3) challenging the definition of ‘entrepreneur’ and (4) expanding the narrow definition of ‘innovation’. She shares, “I think inclusive innovation is about creating space for different people to innovate but also understanding that innovation can come in many forms depending on your context. These forms can stray from our traditional application - software or hardware - into policies and programs that are very much innovation.”
Interested in learning more? Read the Ontario Inclusive Innovation (i2) Action Strategy to learn about strengthening ecosystem supports for women-identified entrepreneurs.
Developing the next generation of environmental leaders
The first event for the Waterloo chapter of the Youth Action on Climate Change (YACC) will take place in EV3 this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The YACC is a community incubator that began at the University of Guelph and is dedicated to building the next generation of environmental leaders. Their workshops help young people develop the critical leadership skills required to become effective change-makers. Saturday’s Waterloo Youth Climate Leadership Workshop is open to those under 25 who are passionate about the environment and ready to take the next step in making their climate solution dreams a reality. The event is free, however if you are interested in attending, please register. Parents are welcome to attend and observe the workshop.
Waste management lunch and learn and other digestibles
“Come out on July 23rd from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to hear from Plant Operations and Waste Connections regarding the changes being made to waste management on campus, information will include organics collection, receptacle standardization, and information related to how waste is being handled on campus," says a note from Plant Operations. Register for free at https://bit.ly/2YEGsUY. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
The Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE) is currently recruiting weekly, biweekly and monthly contact lens wearers to participate in an exciting new daily disposable contact lens research study here at the University of Waterloo. Receive up to $110 for 3 visits over two weeks. All study materials are provided. For more information visit the CORE website and to be the first to know about new CORE studies make a participant profile at corestudies.ca.
And we'd like to post a correction: in yesterday's Daily Bulletin we posted that the Sustainability Action Fund was taking applications for projects that will work towards the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy. In fact, applications closed back on Friday, June 21. Our apologies for the error. Successful applicants will be contacted shortly, and stay tuned in a future Daily Bulletin for announcements about the Sustainability Action Fund winning projects as they are announced.
And another correction: also in yesterday's Daily Bulletin, we listed the new HeForShe Faculty Advocates, and mistakenly referred to Conrad Grebel University College's representative, Paul Heidebrecht, as Pail Heidebrecht. Sorry about that, Paul.