- Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience home
- About WISIR
The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR), is 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.
WISIR seeks to mobilize this knowledge through a range of new curriculum offerings and training opportunities - both within and outside of a university setting.
Increasingly, earning a PHD does not assure success in securing an university/academic job. But the skills and expertise learned in the process of securing an advanced degree are also in demand in the private sector, the government and of course in consulting. However, technical and substantive knowledge in most cases must be married to the capacity to “think about thinking” and to process skills which allow an academic to facilitate complex problem analysis and solving for groups of academics and non-academics alike.
For the fifth year, WISIR Director Dr. Dan McCarthy is spending his November on Haida Gwaii, an island archipelago off the north coast of British Columbia. He is teaching a 3-week undergraduate course, Systems Thinking for Resource Management for the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society (HGHES). Working on the unceded, ancestral territory of the Haida Nation, HGHES provides students immersive, experiential learning opportunities and embraces a place-based approach.
You are somewhere. As much as a university can feel like a bubble – your corner of it even more so – you are part of a bigger world. You are also in a place where the most cutting edge ideas in that world are being developed, though it often feels like those ideas rarely move outside Ring Road.
SiG@Waterloo was the foundational project of WISIR. Learn more about this project here
Frances Westley: Social Innovation and Resilience