Revitalizing the Social Sector

Revitalizing the Social Sector looks at critical developments in the non-profit sector serving communities across Canada. Non-profit organizations are a vital part of every Canadian community. They provide a wide range of essential services and programs that touch virtually all aspects of our society: social justice, safety, human rights, environment, health, sports, faith, arts and culture. Taken together, nonprofits and charities generate upwards of $176 billion in income, employ two million people and accounts for more than 8% of Canada’s GDP.

At the same time, the sector continues to fly under the radar. The public continues to highly value charities and nonprofits, but remain unaware of the profound challenges undermining the capacity of non-profits to serve their communities.

Revitalizing the Social Sector brings together sector leaders to tackle four critical questions:

  1. The State of the Art: Where have we come from and where are we headed as a sector? (completed)
  2. The Future of Work: Where do our leaders come from today (completed)
  3. Social Innovation: What do we need for scaling out and up? (completed)
  4. Not for Profits in the 21st Century: What do we need for revitalization?(completed)

This conversation series will be led by:

Professor Ann Dale, Moderator, holds a Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development (2004-2014) at Royal Roads University, School of Environment and Sustainability. A former Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), she is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science, chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research (CCSDR), a Board Member of the World Fisheries Trust. and the founder of the National Environmental Treasure (the NET). Current research interests include governance, social capital and agency, biodiversity conservation, place-based and virtual sustainable communities. She is a recipient of the 2001 Policy Research Initiative Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Policy for her book, At the edge: sustainable development in the 21st century. Professor Dale is actively experimenting with research dissemination and social media, and has launched HEADTalks.

Peggy Taillon leads the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD), Canada’s longest serving social policy and research organization (1920). A passionate advocate for equality and social justice, Peggy and her team have navigated the changing landscape of the third sector since 2008, culminating in the recent launch of a new strategic mission and approach: nation building through evidence, collaboration and design. Prior to the CCSD, Peggy served as Senior Vice-President at The Ottawa Hospital, and previously led Ontario's Mental Health Implementation Task Force. She served as an Advisor to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and to the Premier on the implementation of Ontario’s Regional Health Authorities, Local Health Information Networks (LHINs), and other major health reform processes.

Katherine Scott has worked in the social development field as a researcher, writer and advocate over the past 20 years. Her on-going work focuses on issues of social and economic inclusion as they affect children, families and communities. She currently serves as Vice President of Research at the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD), managing the research and publication activities of the CCSD, as well as producing research for the CCSD and other organizations. Her work includes Families Count: Profiling Canada's Families IV (2010), a databook that documents the character and circumstances of Canadian families over time; Poverty Reduction Policies and Programs, an edited collection of 14 reports in the CCSD's Social Development Report Series; and Community Vitality, a Concept Paper for the Canadian Index of Well-being (2009). Her influential book, Funding Matters: The Impact of Canada's New Funding Regime on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations, published in June 2003, documented for the first time the profound funding challenges that nonprofits face.

Mary Herbert-Copley is leading the knowledge curation of this site. Committed to building more sustainable communities in Canada, she has been engaged in both teaching and applying a strategic deliberative design approach to problem solving in our public and social spaces for the last several years. Previously she was the Executive Director of 1125 @ Carleton University and before that, was Vice President, Special Initiatives and Engagement, for Canadian Council on Social Development, a Visiting Executive at the Institute on Governance where she taught design thinking and created a design approach to address problems in the public sphere. Her last two positions in the federal government were in Infrastructure and Communities as Director General of Strategic Initiatives and Director General, Economic Analysis and Research.

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