The MIS unveils the second cohort of its Civic Incubator
Montréal, October 1, 2019 – The Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) unveiled today the ten projects with social and environmental impact that were selected as part of a call for projects to be integrated into the second cohort of its Civic Incubator. The winning teams, composed of two leaders per project, will benefit from a stimulating and rigorous accompaniment program lasting almost four months, about seven hours per week, to develop their project from an early stage of development to a level of maturity that will allow them to progress to the deployment stage. In addition to enjoying a free accompaniment program, valued at $10,000, each of the 20 participants will receive a $1,000 bursary to foster their access to and participation in the program.
The selection process for this cohort consisted of three key phases, including a selection by a panel of representatives from the public, academic, entrepreneurial, community and philanthropic sectors. Ten projects were selected from an initial pool of 54 projects led by more than 100 agents of change. “The choice was not easy! I am still amazed by the many quality projects proposed by citizens, collectives or representatives of NPOs who really want to invest in developing and bringing to maturity their ideas through their strength of conviction and civic engagement. So many innovative ideas, so much will and determination – it confirms that this program responds to a strong demand in Montréal,” said Nadine Raymond, senior director of innovation and development at YMCA Québec, and member of the jury for the 2019–2020 cohort selection.
The winning projects of this brand new cohort focus on different issues inherent to the transformation of urban living environments. Some are part of a desire to facilitate and maintain access to affordable housing, some champion greater sustainable mobility in isolated neighbourhoods. Still others focus on the inclusion of artists with disabilities within the cultural industry or on municipal regulatory innovation to foster citizen initiatives in sustainable development. There are also projects that address the socioecological transition on the outskirts of Montréal; on the conversion of a multi-storey car park into a public space; on a labelling aimed at enhancing the development of healthy urban spaces for the health and well-being of users; on reducing the single use of plastic in the food service industry; or the creation of a series of podcasts to foster dialogue between communities experiencing gentrification and those contributing to it.
These are all projects that offer innovative and intelligent solutions to address systemic problems experienced in urban environments and that deserve our attention, according to Patrick Dubé, co-director general of the MIS. “The quantity and diversity of proposals received as part of this second edition of the Civic Incubator reflect the relevance of providing a space for citizens in order to support their ideas and projects in their seed phase, and the merit of this program as the right vehicle to actively support social R&D at the civic level,” he says. By intervening early in the development of a project with social and environmental impact and in the journeys of the agents of change who lead them, the MIS is part of a new niche that promotes the emergence of social innovations and fosters their resilience.
Violaine Des Rosiers, co-director general of the MIS adds, “We want to help these project leaders cross the first fragile bridges along their paths so that their projects can come to fruition and access acceleration and scaling services offered by other actors in the Québec ecosystem. The Civic Incubator represents a kind of advantage for foundations, impact investors and other support partners, who see this program as a way to reduce the inherent risks in the projects that are of interest to them.”
Like the first edition of the Civic Incubator, which contributed to the emergence of various projects and initiatives, this second edition benefits from a financial contribution from the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) and from the expertise of many MIS partners, including Innoweave, Studio Wé et ENAP.
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