Mission Statement:

Through research, education and program management, to investigate, strengthen and disseminate innovation in non profit and philanthropic management, social finance, responsible investment, community-based economic development, and local governance, on the part of geographic communities and communities of interest, in Canada and around the world. Acting as a catalyst and convener, and linking research to practice and policy, the Centre seeks to enhance understanding and knowledge of the distinctive contributions of the non-profit, voluntary, and philanthropic sectors and local institutions to the quality of life of citizens and community vitality. We invite community leaders, policymakers, business executives, trade unionists, non-profit managers and engaged scholars to join us in producing action-oriented knowledge that will empower communities to build better lives for their citizens

About us:

The Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) is a university research centre based at the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Through research, education and program management, 3ci investigates, strengthens and disseminates innovation in community-based economic development, and local governance, responsible investment, philanthropic and non profit leadership, social finance, and community/university engagement.

Acting as a catalyst and convener, and linking research to practice and policy, the Centre seeks to enhance understanding and knowledge of the distinctive contributions of the non-profit, voluntary, and philanthropic sectors and local institutions to the quality of life of citizens and community vitality on the part of geographic communities and communities of interest, in Canada and around the world.

Established in 1997, recent initiatives of 3ci include: the Responsible Investing Initiative CURA and KIS program lead by 3ci Managing Director Dr. Tessa Hebb, and the Community First Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) grant lead by 3ci Senior Research Fellow Dr. Edward Jackson. Both multi-year SSHRC projects have the potential for large impacts within Canada and abroad which engage the majority of 3ci researchers. Dr. Jackson also conducted a study with Evren Tok regarding the Role of Universities in Regional Economic Development and received a SSHRC- CURA Sub-Grant to perform a Longitudinal Study of Microloan Borrowers with Alterna Savings and Credit Union as part of his work with 3ci.

Academic director Dr. Frances Abele leads a research program in northern political economy, with funding from three SSHRC grants (focussed on the social economy, sustainable economic development and economic innovation) as well as a multiyear study funded by ArcticNet Centres of Excellence on post-secondary education in the north. Smaller grants enabled initial research on northern health (funding from Nasivvik) and the European Union’s arctic policy (funded by the European Union Centre of Excellence at Carleton University).  She maintains working relationships with many northern organizations. During 2012, Dr. Abele and several of her doctoral students participated in a partnership with Isuma Productions called Digital Indigenous Democracy; their role involved research and support for a community radio network which aimed to provide a means for residents in Nunavut communities to learn about and discuss the Mary River Iron Ore project on Baffin Island.

In addition to grant-funded research 3ci takes on a number of contracted research projects  for government and non-governmental organizations. In 2010, Dr. Abele and Professor Katherine Graham provided research and analysis to the National Committee on Inuit Education.  Dr. Abele led a Canada-wide study in 2005, working with the National Centre for First Nations Governance on governance in First Nations communities. In the spring of 2012, Dr. Phillips and Dr. Hebb undertook a commissioned research study for United Way Toronto.  3ci has undertaken multi-year projects for Canada Revenue Agency, and Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (HRSDC), Gov. of Canada.

3ci Directors and Research Fellows are recognized for their expertise and are frequent guest speakers with leading organizations both in Canada and around the world. They are involved with a number of national and global networks, and are frequent conference key note speakers. They produce research papers, peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and books on an annual basis through their work at 3ci that can be found on the 3ci web page.

3ci plays an active role in encouraging student participation in research at Carleton University.  3ci co-ordinates a number of on-going student and faculty exchange programs funded by HRSDC. Dr. Phillips is instrumental in developing a new Master’s program in Philanthropic and Nonprofit Leadership that has been offered at Carleton University since 2013. 3ci will play an active role in the new Masters both in providing research opportunities to students and faculty and in offering professional development opportunities to the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. In addition Dr. Hebb acts as the supervisor for the Social Innovation Fellowships offered annually to outstanding SPPA students. In addition 3ci annually hosts visiting students and visiting scholars from around the world.