The core goal of the institute is to generate new inter-disciplinary knowledge about social innovations and the social innovation process (the dynamics of learning, adaptation and resilience) in Canada and internationally. 

The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation (WISIR) researchers are focused on three related research areas, cross-scale transformations in complex systems, indigenous innovations, and new theories and methods in social innovations in pursuing this goal: 




Research from all streams was showcased at a National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Conference on Social Innovation, Social Frontiers, which took place in London, England from November 14-15, 2013.

WISIR logo


WISIR paper series a compilation of the research carried out by SiG@Waterloo / WISIR researchers from 2008 to May 2014, with abstracts that highlight implications for practitioners - particularly foundations.