News from the Board of Directors of the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS)

These appointments were made during its annual general meeting on May 5 and are part of an extensive governance restructuring process launched by the MIS team in 2021. The restructuring will help support the MIS’s development, make its activities more relevant, and extend the scope of social innovation practice across a greater diversity of change makers from different backgrounds and networks.

An expanded Board of Directors

Last February, the MIS launched a call for applications for new board members with the goal of building a governance that reflects the inherently diverse viewpoints, experiences, and cultural richness of our society and the multiple stakeholders we work with. The MIS was humbled, surprised, and deeply grateful to receive nearly twenty applications from equally qualified and experienced individuals, from which five new members were selected in a process led by a sub-committee of the Board. Given the level of talent and skill of the candidates, it was a difficult choice. Today, the entire MIS team would like to welcome the following directors:

These new members will join our already thriving Board of Directors, whose following members have renewed their mandates:

From left to right and from top to bottom: Isabelle Ouellet, Bram Freedman, Luciano Barin Cruz, Ed D. Vertus, Erica Barbosa Vargas, Selma Idjeraoui, Gerardo Almaguer, Josée Duplessis et Stéphane Guidoin.

To learn more about the profiles of the Board members, visit the Board of Directors’ page.

Visit the Board of Directors’ page

A new Board president

Since its foundation, the MIS has been fortunate to work with a deeply committed, voluntary Board of Directors and President.

In 2021, the MIS said farewell to a great visionary and benefactor, Claude Pinard, President of the Board of Directors at the MIS since its inception. After accepting a new position as President and Executive Director at Centraide of Greater Montreal, Mr Pinard gave his seat to Lyse Brunet, acting as Interim President, in order to fully devote himself to his new professional duties. Both Ms Brunet and our Executive Director Patrick Dubé shared their thoughts about him: “For all of us, one of Claude Pinard’s legacies is his promotion of social innovation as a means to find solutions to social and environmental issues. We are deeply grateful for his commitment, his leadership, and his invaluable contribution in helping the MIS evolve, from its first steps to where it is today.

Former Interim President Lyse Brunet also thanked the MIS’s newly elected Board President Luciano Barin-Cruz. A Board Member since the MIS’s beginnings, Mr Barin-Cruz is also a Professor in the Department of Management at HEC Montréal, Director of the Pôle Ideos at HEC Montréal, Director of Yunus Social Business Center, HEC Montréal, and Director of the Module Sustainability Challenge, EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal. “Luciano Barin-Cruz has the right profile to guide the MIS in its role as a mediator for a wide range of organizations that need help in facing the challenges of socio-ecological transition,” Ms Brunet stated. He will be assisted by Board Vice-President Bram Freedman, who takes over from Erica Barbosa Vargas.

“Since its foundation, the MIS has strived to support and promote social innovators from the local population, public institutions, non-profits, and private businesses. I support this openness, because innovation can’t happen within just one sector, one discipline, or a single category of stakeholders. To cultivate this openness and to rally more people around collective transformation, we needed to update the MIS’s governance to make it more open, more permeable to ideas coming from sometimes lesser-known or neglected networks, and more reflective of the diversity of our social fabric. I’m happy to have worked on this restructuring process with such a motivated and impact-oriented team. While I’ll be moving on to other projects, I’m passing the baton to Luciano Barin-Cruz who, along with other Board members, will lead this new governance over the coming months with his usual dynamism. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Patrick Dubé and his entire team. Their remarkable collaboration with the Board is a key factor in the development of the MIS.” — Lyse Brunet

A governance of influence and a decision-making governance

As part of its governance restructuring, and in addition to expanding its Board of Directors and welcoming new skill sets to support its development, the MIS will create two new areas of contribution to set up a governance of influence and a decision-making governance in favour of its social mission. For example, in addition to opening up its organizational membership, the MIS will create a strategy and programmes committee that will involve various external stakeholders.

This governance vision grew out of numerous consultations with ecosystem stakeholders, whom the MIS would sincerely like to thank for their input on good governance practices, all in the interest of creating social and environmental impact. While it can only hope to meet everyone’s expectations, the MIS is committed to doing its best to ensure that the most promising innovation ideas for socio-ecological transition are brought together and put into practice.

As Luciano Barin-Cruz stated, “I’m thrilled to embark on this new mandate! Especially because this is a key moment for the MIS, which is entering a new stage in its development. Every winning condition is in place to help us recruit the necessary audiences that are essential to socio-ecological transition. I’d like to thank the members of the Board of Directors for their faith, and I sincerely thank Lyse Brunet for all of the work she has accomplished. It makes my job a little easier!”

And finally, MIS’s Executive Director Patrick Dubé also thanked Lyse Brunet “for her unfailing devotion since she took over as Interim President, and for her vast experience and rigour. The whole process of restructuring our governance could not have happened without her unifying leadership!” He also warmly thanked each member of the Board of Directors, past and present, who consider the MIS an “ally of socio-ecological transition, where not only their commitment and motivation but also their expertise and leadership, will help make social innovation an enviable lever in the emergence of truly game-changing sustainable solutions!” Mr Dubé added: “We are really privileged to be able to rely on the generosity of individuals who want to help augment the organization’s capacity and increase its impact.”

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