The Wellesley Institute’s Rick Blickstead and Michael Shapcott joined about 200 other leaders from the non-profit, private and academic sectors for the Ontario Social Innovation Summit at the MaRS Centre on May 16. Three provincial cabinet ministers – Glen Murray, Eric Hoskins and Laurel Broten – also attended the event, which included the public launch of the Social Innovation Wiki. The wiki is an on-line space where individuals and groups can collaborate to develop a policy framework for social innovation in Ontario. The summit grows out of the province’s Partnership Project – which seeks a stronger relationship between government and Ontario’s vital non-profit sector.
Research from the Wellesley Institute and others shows that a strong and effective non-profit sector is critical to the health of individuals and the entire community. Some of our key research in recent years has documented a growing administrative burden that is hindering the non-profit sector, and many non-profits are struggling in a financial and regulatory maze. Our research and policy work has identified a vision for a new collaboration framework that would allow non-profits to partner more effectively, and we’ve also identified challenges as the non-profit sector seeks a stronger relationship with government.