This interview is part one of a series of interviews with L3 Community members in the Activation stream. The L3 Community is a fast-evolving group of stakeholders that are involved in designing, delivering, or supporting products, services, and initiatives that will enable social acquisitions in their own communities and contexts. Members in the Community’s Activation stream aim raise interest around Canada in building systemic support for social acquisitions and social purpose conversions. We spoke with Daphne March, the founder of a wellness center called Shamasha in St. John’s, Newfoundland, which aims to provide a space for mental well-being for people with addictions. Daphne also works at the cultural center, First Light, in St. Johns, which aims to preserve the culture of indigenous Mi'kmaq traditions. Daphne is a wellness coach and trainer.
What aspect of social acquisition interests you the most? How do you work with that in your role as an Activator?
I resonate most with the community-centered approach of social acquisition. Though in different meetings the meaning of social acquisition varies, it gives us all a community of people who care about moving forward while learning from the past. I learn a lot about mental health and addictions, and I find that there is a link between learning from the past to move forward which is what I apply to my work as well. It is important to ask the questions: Where did it begin? Where did we go wrong? Where can we be able to take it in a different direction?
How has your role as an activator benefitted your community/business?
I do a lot of volunteer work in my community. At the indigenous cultural centre here in St John’s, I am a community advocate for mental health and housing under the program called First Light. I have learned a lot from the folks at L3 through the community events and workshops. As I realized the importance of community engagement, I planned and organize partnerships here. It was really reassuring to find other people doing similar work and it really built me and my business.
What is something you picked up during the quarantine of 2020? How does that reflect your values or your personality?
I got my certificate for yoga training! I travelled to receive this certificate and became part of another global community. Yoga is a study of the self, and by training in it I became more connected to Mother Earth. There were over 50 people in the training from across the world. Even though we were on Zoom, we could still feel each other’s energies.
About Legacy Leadership Lab (L3)
L3 is an 18-month initiative by the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience, funded by the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness program. We are leading online workshops and events to help build expert-driven solutions for Canada’s transitioning small business community. The L3 Community is developing and activating market interventions and prototypes that allow conventional and social finance players, business service providers, and community leaders to facilitate social acquisitions of existing businesses in their own towns and contexts.
WISIR is a research institute at the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development committed to generating trans- and inter-disciplinary knowledge about social innovations and the social innovation process (the dynamics of learning, adaptation and resilience). Our approach is to pursue collaborative research and projects that bridge University of Waterloo departments, involve researchers from around the world, and engage those beyond academia. We seek to mobilize this knowledge through a range of new curriculum offerings and training opportunities - both within and outside of a university setting.