Ten projects to transform Montréal

Ten projects led by citizens seeking to transform Montréal

After launching, in July, a call for citizen projects for its Civic Incubator program, the MIS welcomes its first cohort of social innovators, Montrealers mobilized by a willingness to test sustainable and innovative solutions to problems experienced in their urban environments. They will have the chance to benefit from the expertise of the MIS and its partners from the academic, entrepreneurial, community, philanthropic, private and public sectors to refine their concepts in order to maximize their social and environmental impact.

Over almost four months, with approximately 15 hours invested each week, innovators will participate in training sessions, practical workshops, as well as individual and group mentoring and coaching to clarify their concepts, define the social impact strategy of their projects, test their ideas in real life situations, and prepare the deployment of their projects in the territory of Montréal. Visibility for projects and access to microfinancing will also be offered.

The MIS received more than 85 applications, clearly showing that its Civic Incubator program is very popular. Moreover, the selected projects cover a variety of themes, including citizen participation, cultural mediation, the circular economy, socio-ecological transition, tactical urban planning and food security.

“The MIS is delighted with the success of this first call for applications for its Civic Incubator program. It highlights the full potential of citizens’ initiatives with a strong positive social and environmental impact which, due to lack of support and adequate expert advice, are not being realized or remain unfulfilled,” says Patrick Dubé, co-director general of the MIS. This type of program embodies the true mission of the MIS, which aims to find concrete means to remove obstacles that are hindering the successful deployment of these projects in urban areas. “Through the program at the MIS, participants will have the opportunity to identify and counter the inherent risks of their projects in order to eventually reach the stage of deploying a viable strategy for their concept, while focusing on maximum positive impact,” says Dubé. It’s important to remember that this first phase of development is positioned earlier on in the process than the interventions of other actors supporting the deployment of social innovations, such as business incubator-accelerators and economic, social and territorial development organizations.

The innovators selected for this first cohort have passed through the three qualification phases of a rigorous selection process. The final selection was made by a jury of experts in social innovation from the business, philanthropic, academic and community sectors. The innovators’ journey through the MIS Civic Incubator program will begin on September 28, 2018.

The MIS would like to thank its content and support partners: Cities for People, ExekoCharpentier D.O.InnoweaveEnapQuartier de l’innovationMedinaworksLa RucheStudio Wé, Sandra Dunsmore, Coach IPEC, Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins  as well as the Gouvernement du Québec through the Fonds d’initiative et de rayonnement de la métropole (FIRM), a program of the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine du ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire.

Ten projects selected for the first cohort of the Civic Incubator

JoatU, Jamie Klinger

A community currency generator and an online exchange platform that seeks to reward community projects, increase citizen participation and encourage the reappropriation of public spaces by citizens.

Un petit bal de ruelle, Orange Mist, Balfolk Montréal

A project to design and animate little wild balls that are open to all, free, held recurrently from laneway to laneway, with musicians, dance teachers, and eventually, the sharing food and drink. It aims to invest the urban space in a communal and artistic way to promote inclusion and cultural diversity by proposing dances from various cultures and to reconnect citizens with their traditions and cultures, while giving them the desire to share them and pass them along.

Q. Wow, Marie-Philip Roy-Lasselle (ConstructLab), Emilie Gagnon (Le Comité)

A mobile construction unit that promotes meetings and exchanges, generating dialogues between citizens who wish to participate actively in structuring collaborative construction projects, strengthening the power of economic, cultural and tourist attractiveness.

Demain Verdun, Emmanuelle Falaise

A citizen movement project that aims to build bridges between the various actors already in place in order to fight against the general cynicism and the feeling of helplessness in the face of climate change. The project is positioned as an apolitical movement that is inclusive and depersonalized, which mobilizes citizens by proposing realistic and achievable projects, sometimes simple, sometimes ambitious, that are both environmental and social.

L’Oasis, Marie-Ève Julien-Denis, Laurence Sauvageau-Fresco et Joëlle Boily

A project whose main mission is to raise awareness and educate citizens about the importance of promoting urban biodiversity, while considering the social need to reconnect with living things, nature and all their benefits.

Bapupa, Alexia Bhéreur-Lagounaris

A project for the gamification of the public space by fostering dialogues between strangers around artistic texts from local communities in order to create connections between citizens and open them up to the richness of the other cultures.

Stationnement communautaire, Zvi Leve

A project for the reappropriation of public space as a common good, oriented around the use of parking spaces as a lever for changing our lifestyles and our perceptions about our mobility options.

Conserves soutenues communauté, Ariane Gagnon-Légaré

A project to create a network of short canning production circuits, which aims to reduce our ecological footprint, boost urban agriculture, facilitate healthy eating and increase our food self-sufficiency, while building the social fabric.

Tuiles tactiles, Ana Fernandez de la Reguera, Jennifer Ma-O, Kenechukwu Nnodu, Kimberly Salt

A project for the creation and prototyping of signage for people with visual and auditory disabilities in Montréal’s metro stations and, more broadly, in urban areas.

Manœuvres, Pauline Butiaux, Pierre-Luc Fillion et Samuel Guimond

An interdisciplinary research-action laboratory that develops new ideas for thinking and doing things ‘out of the box’ in the public space. It has an ambitious intention: to change the culture of how we make urban life.

About the MIS

A non-profit organization, the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) is a vital force and a key lever in the emergence and development of projects with a strong positive social impact in urban areas among citizen collectives, government organizations, universities and the entrepreneurial community. Working on a province-wide scale across Québec, the MIS supports leaders of social projects in terms of social and environmental development. It intervenes mainly in the initial phase of their development, using an approach to evaluate and reduce risks and maximize impact. The MIS acts in complementarity with the other actors in the social innovation ecosystem.

Funded mainly by the Mirella & Lino Saputo Foundation and the McConnell Foundation, it relies on the support of its founding partners such as EsplanadeHEC MontréalConcordia University and CIRODD (Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en opérationnalisation du développement durable), as well as many business partners. 

Three alumni of the program look back

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The potential realization of a positive-impact project idea—one that has long been brewing in the back of their minds—has motivated over one hundred change-makers to join the MIS Civic Incubator.

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