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.

Upcoming SII Programs

Social Innovation

Social Innovation Fellowship

A Fellowship program for faculty members who want to focus on their activities that address complex social problems. 

Program available November, 2021.

Working group

Interdisciplinary Working Groups Award

A program for two or more faculty members from different disciplines to explore collaborative opportunities and build community around the social issue that the working group is trying to solve.

Program available December, 2021.


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. 


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

TENET i2c competition brings urgently needed service for hospitals a step closer

Eight teams of UCalgary researchers pitch their startups, vying for $100K grand prize toward commercialization...

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How social innovation and sustainability can kickstart a personal transformation for UCalgary students

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UCalgary and United Way social impact seed funding partnership aims to create jobs and support economy

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Water is a human right: Water Movement dives into water crises affecting Indigenous populations

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