Unveiling of the 2023 Civic Incubator cohort of the MIS
The Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) has unveiled the 20 innovative winning projects in its Civic Incubator program, which supports initiatives with social and environmental impact in their pre-start-up phase.
Since its launch four years ago, the Civic Incubator has supported some 60 initiatives. Today, the Maison de l’innovation sociale is pleased to welcome a new cohort of 20 teams.
Guided by leaders determined to contribute to solutions to complex systemic challenges in their communities, the new cohort’s initiatives demonstrate a desire to strengthen our collective resilience, foster social inclusion, and accelerate the ecological transition.
Each of these innovative projects is designed to address blind spots, or underexplored areas, of social and environmental challenges involving diverse clienteles. Together, they strive to bring about a paradigm shift in our relationships with nature, the built environment, and humans, all in the context of the issues confronting us today.
Selected winners include:
- a project that approaches the fight against poverty through the lens of energy insecurity and builds the capacity of organizations to overcome it;
- a project that focuses on the creation of a film festival that intentionally seeks to bring together people living with and without disabilities;
- projects that use innovative levers to strengthen the resilience of their target clienteles, who include (among others) caregivers, Indigenous youth, immigrants, and young people suffering from eco-anxiety.
“The upheavals of the past two years have revealed the urgency of taking action—of overcoming our aversion both to risk-taking and to changing our societal habits. In quantity and quality, the promising initiatives submitted each year to the Civic Incubator’s Call for Projects reaffirm the growing need for citizen leadership in addressing complex challenges.
The Civic Incubator’s strength lies in revealing, capturing, and mobilizing our communities’ capacity to act and to innovate. This commitment requires the same support and guidance as projects in the for-profit sector do. We are privileged to be able to respond to important challenges through the support of our financial partners!”
Hugo Steben, Director of Social Entrepreneurship
“We have noticed that the program’s annual recurrence creates a positive ripple effect in terms of leadership and taking action! The visibility of the Civic Incubator’s alumni, and their projects’ influence over time, have a snowball effect, inspiring many candidates who might otherwise hesitate to take action.
The diversity of projects that emerges from the program encourages citizens, collectives, and intrapreneurship and social-entrepreneurship groups to test their own models, as well as to revisit themes addressed by previous cohorts—all of which helps sustain ongoing positive transformation. Given the critical importance of accelerating the pace of the socio-ecological transition, society can’t afford to ignore innovative ideas. By joining the Civic Incubator, our laureates demonstrate their determination to play a key role!”
Sarah Abarro, Incubation Programs Coordinator
A free program funded by key partners
MIS would like to thank the City of Montreal, the Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, and BMO, all of whom are renewing their funding this year to offer the laureates free access to all programming. In supporting emerging innovations, this collaboration among the philanthropic, public and private sectors multiplies their potential impact.
A partnership has also been established with LOJIQ (Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec) to provide a lump-sum stipend to participants who meet the criteria of their program.
**Members of the jury – 2023 cohort
- Joseph El-Khoury, Project manager – Impact entrepreneurship at Pôle IDEOS-HEC Montréal
- Marie-Lyne Brunet, Vice-President – Social Development of Centraide of Greater Montreal Centraide du Grand Montréal
- John Cawley, Vice President and retired senior executive in philanthropy (McConnell Foundation), social innovation and international, economic and community development
- Cécile Vergier, Advisor for Social Economy in the Department of Economic Development of the City of Montreal
- Jean-François Sabourin, Advisor at Union des municipalités du Québec
- Tayssa Waldron, founder of the Déclic du Fric and Civic Incubator’ alumni
- Bram Freedman, President and CEO of the Jewish General Hospital Foundation and Vice Chair of the MIS Board of Directors