New community collaboration to set standards for changemaking education in Canada

New community collaboration to set standards for changemaking education in Canada

Georgian College, Ashoka Canada and the Simcoe County District School Board are embarking on a one-of-a-kind partnership to create a Region of Changemakers. Together, they’re developing innovative ideas on how to integrate changemaking into the mindset, ecosystem and culture of our communities.

There are six Changemaker Campus institutions in Canada. Ashoka hopes this partnership can be used as a model to inspire others to create changemaker regions of their own.

What would a Region of Changemakers look like?

  • people of any age are motivated and supported to create positive social change
  • students, from senior kindergarten to postsecondary, are engaged in changemaking projects and initiatives
  • changemaking is embedded into curriculum and learning at all levels
  • partner expertise is shared

To kick start the collaboration, 70 Georgian faculty, teachers at the elementary and high school level, and representatives from two organizations came together on Sept. 28 to learn what it means to be a changemaker.

Over the course of the day, participants discovered how to self-identify as a changemaker. They also explored how to talk about and embed changemaking into their lives and classrooms.

Ashoka Fellow Michelle Lem gave an informative and touching presentation on a veterinary clinic she started to provide care for pets of the homeless. Michelle’s vision is to improve the health and welfare of both pets and people. Her clinic is bridging the gap between marginalized populations and critical support services in the community.

“People like Michelle don’t necessarily set out to change the world, but they end up changing it anyway by using their talents for good,” says Suzie Addison-Toor, director of the Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation at Georgian. “Her presentation reminded us that anyone can be a changemaker. And we need changemakers now more than ever to find solutions to the challenges our communities and world faces. That’s what our new partnership is all about — providing the tools and resources to empower people to make change happen.”