Social Innovation Awards: Four students in the School of Public Policy and Administration undertake creative projects for social good.

Through all its programs, SPPA helps students advance innovation for public benefit. Through the donor-supported Graduate Awards in Social Innovation, selected students receive funding to research and implement creative, high impact projects that can assist nonprofits, charities and social enterprises in addressing major social and environmental issues.

Applicants propose a brief description and rationale for an original project in social innovation, which are adjudicated by a committee.  The successful students work closely with a faculty member, Carleton’s Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) and with partner nonprofits.

The recipients of the Graduate Awards in Social Innovation for 2017-18 are:

Meghan Lindsay is a second-year student in the Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program, a professional opera singer and in 2017 explored arts organizations in Europe with an exchange study term in Berlin.

Arts for social change: As arts nonprofits become increasingly reliant on private sources of income, they must rationalize their public benefit to stakeholders such as attendees, donors, corporations and foundations. By bridging the semantic gaps between the third sector research and arts nonprofits, Carleton University is in a position to empower arts organizations and support an autonomous and prosperous arts culture in Canada. Working under the guidance of Professor Susan Phillips, Meghan seeks to answer critical questions such as: how can Canadian arts nonprofits better obtain access to organizational resources? What communicative tools are needed to engage research with arts leaders? What are the cultural differences between arts nonprofits and the sector as a whole, and how do these differences influence the way in which we mobilize research?

Meagan Wiersema is a second-year student in the Master of Public Policy and Administration program. Last year, Meagan represented SPPA in the Institute of Public Administration’s national case competition and won first place with the team’s proposal to reform Canada’s defence procurement process. Meagan has also worked as a research assistant evaluating environmental assessment policies for a project on mining in Australia. She currently works at the Department of National Defence as a policy analyst and has previously worked at Natural Resources Canada on the federal government’s largest Indigenous consultation for the Energy East Project.

Innovations in Social Procurement: Using her knowledge of procurement policies and her experience working in the public service, Meagan will assess the federal government’s ability to use public procurement to create social value. Working with Dr. Tessa Hebb, she plans to contribute to the research surrounding social procurement and improve the ability of social enterprises to scale up their business ventures through the federal procurement process.

Michael Cameron is a second year student in the Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA), with an interest in Open Government policies and public engagement. Michael has been working for over 10 years engaging and mobilizing stakeholders from communities, public, private, and non-profit sectors to produce meaningful and impactful projects and programs.  These projects include working with an indigenous women’s co-op, developing an entrepreneurship program for vulnerable youth, and institutionalizing an international development program between a Canadian INGO and a leading Canadian business school. His experience in international and community development has exposed him to some of today’s most critical social, economic, and environmental challenges.

International NGOs and Community Engagement: Building on his interest in public engagement as an important process for empowering citizens and civil society to become more involved in shaping policy decisions, Michael will work with Professor Paloma Raggo on research for developing a better understanding of the complex landscape of opportunities and challenges in Canadian international NGOs, and their roles in social innovation and policy change.

Grace Martin entered the MPPA in 2016 to further her understanding of systemic social and environmental issues and her capacity to address them. Growing up on Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario she has a deep investment and connection to the natural world. Grace studied Environmental Biology at Queen’s University, followed by a graduate degree in the same subject at the University of Waterloo. She has since worked in charities, industry and the public sector in the United Kingdom and Canada. In addition to her interests in ecology and natural resources, she is passionate about gender equality and the promotion of women to leadership positions.

Gender and Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector: Grace is working with Professor Nathan Grasse to undertake a gender-based analysis of leadership and compensation in the nonprofit sector. The nonprofit sector has long been, and continues to be ‘feminized’ with women assuming a larger proportion of paid positions, but unevenly and often with less compensation. Her research aims to uncover key trends related to gender and compensation in nonprofit executives in Canada.