Social Innovation

Social Innovation at UCalgary

An initiative that engages faculties and community to create social good through research, entrepreneurship, and collaboration.

What is the Social Innovation Initiative (SII)?

The SII is supported through the Office of the Vice-President (Research) to enable faculties to engage in social innovation and helping to scale existing academic experience, disciplines, and expertise to advance these efforts.

We define social innovation as an idea generated through collaboration that renews existing structures and processes and has the potential to improve the quality of life.

SII's goal is to build capacity for academic social innovators.

Bridging SI-based activity

The SII helps identify projects and research across multiple disciplines that have the potential to create social impact. The SII helps build capacity among social innovators through community engagement, developing evidence and proof of concept, and providing access to programs that advance SI-based activities. 

Disrupting for social good

The social innovation initiative embraces a culture of giving people the permission to engage in social innovation. It helps create valuable linkages that embeds SI as part of UCalgary’s culture, fosters awareness, activates engagement, removes barriers, and activates resources to foster social innovation from learning to implementation.

Community of collaborators

Connecting social innovators in concert with a community of collaborators to scale social enterprise and innovation in a sustainable way that creates resilient communities.


UCalgary’s innovation ecosystem

The SII intersects with Innovation@UCalgary linking SI-based activity with program leads, support services, resources and funding providers, including the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, Innovate Calgary, UCalgary Knowledge Engagement, the Office of Sustainability, Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre, W21C, and the broader UCalgary community.

Learn more

Featured Resources

Social innovation focused resources, events, and funding opportunities.

Pivot on Purpose Conference

Reimagining business models to solve social problems. This celebration and conference offers opportunities for transformation, connection, learning and celebration.

Learn more.

Innovate Calgary Social Enterprise Webinar Series

An eight part series for social entrepreneurs. Topics include social impact business models, pitch development, legal structures, and impact measurement. 

Explore the series.

UCeed Social Impact Fund

A unique partnership in social finance that supports social purpose organizations focused on making positive changes in our communities.


Learn more.

Hunter Hub Programs

The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking hosts an ongoing series of unique and experiential workshops, seminars, and programs for students and faculty. 

Map the System 2022
Join a global movement committed to systems change. Learn more.

Explore the programs.

e2i: Evolve to Innovate

A program for postdocs or researchers to translate successful research outcomes into practical solutions. e2i fellows participate in an eight-month experiential innovation curriculum, including mentorship, workshops, and cash allowance.

Learn more.

Knowledge Engagement

Connecting researchers and community to build collaborative partnerships that create knowledge with impact. Key areas of service include partnership matchmaking, research collaboration support, knowledge mobilization planning, and capacity building.

Learn more.

Social Innovation Stories

Research aims to improve housing options for older adults

In collaboration with United Way, UCalgary researchers and donors make a difference in the lives of many experiencing housing insecurity...

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UCalgary research team poised to develop large-scale marine carbon dioxide removal technology

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UCeed Social Impact Fund receives $2M support from Government of Alberta

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From waste to treasure, UCalgary GreenSTEM’s first cohort of startups is changing the sustainability game

Read more


Igniting the spark within researchers to share their discoveries and connect with experts who can help them innovate, implement, and have an impact. 

Hear from our Social Innovators


Trusting Your Support System with Dr. Joel Reardon



Strengthening Community Bonds with Dr. Karen Benzies



Innovation Done Differently with Dr. Shelly Russell-Mayhew



Stewarding Common Purpose with Dr. Aleem Bharwani


The Social Innovation Initiative is supported by the Government of Canada Incremental Project Grants. Learn how UCalgary uses the Incremental Project Grants.