Social innovator in residence
With a ready and radiant smile, Marie-Hélène’s enthusiasm is contagious; she sees the positive in every situation, an essential quality in her work. With sharpened political instincts, she is not afraid to tackle complex issues. She knows how to navigate troubled waters to bring teams and their social innovation projects to fruition. (No wonder she is an accomplished athlete in swimming!) For almost 15 years, she has been connecting, inspiring and stimulating collaboration between a variety of socio-economic actors. Her training as a political scientist and her work experience, particularly within a regional development organization, make her an indispensable ally for any organization or community that wants to strengthen its ability to adapt to ever-changing social and political conditions. She is called upon for her expertise in design, open innovation and participatory research, must-have skills for project design and the implementation of solutions.
A challenge? « TO GENERATE CREATIVE, PRODUCTIVE AND EVOLVING COLLABORATIONS, WHERE EACH PERSON STRENGTHENS THEIR CAPACITY TO REINVENT AND FINDS NEW SOLUTIONS TO THEIR CHALLENGES, ACCORDING TO THEIR RESPECTIVE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS. »
Program support agent
Driven by the ideals of social and environmental justice, Benjamin favours approaches that engage disciplines, cultures and stakeholders. His training in international studies, project evaluation and audiovisual production has led him on a journey rich in professional experiences focused on the production and dissemination of knowledge, in Québec and abroad. For a number of years, he has been involved in evaluation, video production and training at Dynamo, an organization dedicated to stimulating learning and collaboration within organizations and collectives. In France, he designed and ran face-to-face, remote and multimodal training for an organization that supports training professionals in their digital transition. Benjamin joined the MIS in 2019, bringing his boundless curiosity and his passion to support the emergence of projects with positive social and environmental impact in a world that, according to him, “needs it.”
A challenge? « To HIGHLIGHT THE RICHNESS OF TALENTS, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCES OF all individuals TO MEET THE COLLECTIVE CHALLENGES we face today. »
Senior advisor - Skills transfer, design and innovation
Virginie has always been touched by the vulnerability and resilience of living beings and she has been working for more than twenty years in her search to find a positive balance between human beings and nature. Specializing in environment and sustainable development, then in territorial planning and socio-economic development, she experimented with regional approaches to consultation in the public sector and explored how education, technologies, design and the animation of collective intelligence could be used as levers to solve contemporary societal problems. She then decided to make the leap into the entrepreneurial world to support the innovation of organizations and communities, cofounding a living laboratory for the rehabilitation of agroecosystems in Montérégie. It became a reference in the implementation of complex projects, linking research, actors in the field and citizens. At the MIS, she guides and equips the team and partners in their reflections, designs, adaptations and in the management collective projects.
A challenge? « To STIMULATE THE ADAPTATION OF INDIVIDUAL PRACTICES AND MODELS OF COLLECTIVE PROJECTS TO STRENGTHEN THEIR CAPABILITIES IN ACCELERATING THE ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION SPECIFIC TO THE REALITY OF EACH COMMUNITY. »
Director of operations and administration
An economist by training, Ghyslain began his career in the cultural sector before moving to the private sector in the entertainment industry. He has held several positions in project management, as general manager and as a strategic consultant, in Paris and Montréal. He then joined the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) in the administrative department and as co-director general. After 12 years at the SAT, he is now enthusiastically committed to the MIS project, passionate about contributing to the deployment of this young NPO. Eager to align the team’s ambitions with the human and financial resources available to the organization, his colleagues recognize him as “the man who says no before saying maybe!” Nevertheless, his ability to mobilize private and public stakeholders around exciting projects is undeniable and his agility to do much with little contributes to the vitality of the MIS.
A challenge? « To Identify the most cost-effective human and financial resources to support the development of social innovation actors throughout the Québec region. »
After completing a master’s degree in anthropology and doctoral studies on the theory of complexity, Patrick began a career in innovation in the medical sector, then with a variety of organizations. He co-directed the research department at the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) for six years and founded Umvelt Service Design, an open innovation consulting firm behind several collaborative projects involving SMEs, community organizations and territories. His experience has made him a key player in the emergence of a community of living laboratories and the development of communities in social innovation in Québec. Co-director general of the MIS since its beginnings in 2017, his ability to “go from an altitude of ten thousand feet to twenty thousand leagues under the sea” in a fraction of a second, according to the team, represents an essential strength in the design projects supported by the MIS and allows for a rapid understanding of their key issues, from both a conceptual and a practical point of view.
A challenge? « TO HELP AGENTS OF CHANGE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COMPLEXITY AND DISCOVER THE IMPACT MECHANISMS OF THEIR SOCIAL INNOVATION PROJECTS. »
Director of communications and marketing
Élisabeth has 20 years of experience in strategic communications, media relations and marketing, in both the public and private sectors. She draws her idealism from her studies at the Sorbonne and McGill, and her entrepreneurial spirit and her confidence from an organization she founded to support artistic creation. Democratizing art outside of galleries and museums instills in her a passion for societal communication. She is now embarking on a communications and marketing career in the public sector, where public finances, the environment, states of civil emergency and housing offer her unique insights into the challenges of living together as a society. In 2018, she brought her realism, warmth and commitment to the table with the goal of going further in the resolution of societal issues. She joined the formidable MIS team to democratize, this time, social innovation.
A challenge? « TO DEMYSTIFY SOCIAL INNOVATION TO MAKE IT MORE ACCESSIBLE AND THUS ACCELERATE CHANGE. »
Coordinator - administration and logistics
Even when she was young, Stéphanie loved numbers, columns and calculations, but also saw order as the proper state of affairs. With her Cartesian nature, she pursued studies in administration and accounting, and began a career that led to the Autorité des marchés financiers (the French Financial Markets Authority). For more than fifteen years, she navigated between accounts payable/receivable, billing, collections, and the management of disputes with client and supplier accounts. Bank reconciliation, a real headache for some, is child’s play for her (even if we do not tell her that!). The MIS’s mission and its human scale were like love-at-first-sight for Stéphanie, convincing her to revolutionize her long-standing career to join the team as coordinator in administration and logistics. Since then, she has pivoted between numbers and logistics, calculation and action, accounting and coordination, and represents a true pillar on which the team relies with confidence and affection.
A challenge? « To PROVIDE AGILITY TO SUPPORT THE MULTITUDE OF MIS PROJECTS, WHICH CONTINUally helps me to become more open and gives meaning to everything I DO. »
A graduate in history, Marc-André quickly developed the taste for field work. First a museum guide, he quickly transformed into a social entrepreneur by setting up an NPO that collects and recognizes the value of life stories. His initiation to the social approach in museology kicked off a career dedicated to shaping, in his own way, a better world. Project management studies at HEC Montréal allowed him to hone his skills and more effectively support the projects he leads. As head of funding and public partnerships at the TOHU, then as an advisor on partnerships and innovation strategies at the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation’s Avenir d’enfant project, he acquired solid experience in managing stakeholders from national partner organizations in institutional and community settings. His tact, diplomacy and playful spirit make him one of the key mobilizers at the MIS.
A challenge? « To REMAIN SENSITIVE TO THE COMPLEXITY OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS TO BETTER ACCOMPANY THEM IN THEIR QUESTs AND to HELP THEM REVEAL THEIR FULL POTENTIAL FOR building A BETTER WORLD. »
Coordinator, relations with the social innovation ecosystem
All paths that lead to social innovation are inevitably unconventional. Melanie’s path was rooted in one of the life sciences: biology. This is probably where she developed her ability to keep both the immensely large and the infinitely small – the systemic and the local – in perspective. Her studies in biology, her career in the socio-environmental milieu and her involvement in social innovation have led her into a variety of situations where she has developed her ability to act and interact with people with different intentions and languages. Naturally empathetic, she has the ability to listen, which is essential for building positive human relationships and generating change. Since 2013, she has been involved in the Québec and Canadian social innovation ecosystems and she understands their various languages and perspectives. In this diversity of visions, she finds a wealth of ideas necessary to resolve our most glaring issues.
A challenge ? « TO HELP STAKEHOLDERS IN THE SOCIAL INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM, WHATEVER THEIR VISION OR APPROACH, FORGE TIES AND STRENGTHEN THEIR CAPACITY TO COLLECTIVELY RESOLVE COMPLEX CHALLENGES. »
Justine Leggett Dubé
Coordinator-creator of the LANVA project
Justine is a jack-of-all-trades who deeply loves to understand people. That’s why she studied design, a discipline that addresses complex issues in various sectors. During her master’s studies in design and complexity, she sought to seize all the potential that the designer has to transform society and then gradually moved towards social innovation projects. In 2018, she felt she found her calling when she joined the MIS and met a team that she considers to be exceptional and committed. She immediately felt at home; everyone within the organization is encouraged to be an agent of change in their own way. Her time is primarily devoted to the LANVA living laboratory, where she invites aging people to question the role that digital technologies can play in their lives, and to design solutions together so that they can live independently as long as possible, in health and safety, in their own homes.
A challenge? « TO DISCOVER THE SINGULAR REALITIES OF AGING PEOPLE in order TO DESIGN, WITH THEM, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO LOOK TO THE FUTURE WIth optimism and counter AGEISM. »
Passionate about history, literature and sports, it was through her studies in political science and literature that Elena discovered her fascination for those who write history, even more than the events of history themselves. Before joining the MIS, she spent several years in an organization that uses innovative technologies to make television content accessible to the hearing-impaired. When she wasn’t doing live captioning of a hockey game or a parliamentary session, she was responsible for recruitment, training, and even organizing all special events. This gave her the opportunity to refine a wide range of skills which, according to the team, is an important quality that she adds to her expertise in multitasking. In 2019, Elena joined the MIS team with a sincere desire to form closer ties with agents of change who are “writing history every day in their own way.”
A challenge? « To FIND available SPACE IN THE CODIRECToRS’ calendars! OTHERWISE, to CONTRIBUTE TO THE RELEVANCE AND ADDED VALUE OF MIS PROJECTS BY SUPPORTING THE TEAM MEMBERS EVERY DAY. »
Director of programs, generation of social innovations
Driven by her curiosity and the discovery of new disciplines, Nathalie is constantly expanding the field of vision of the kaleidoscope of her professional life. A lawyer by training, she began her career in the cabinet of a minister of a French city before coordinating projects to build shelters. Upon her arrival in Montréal, she held the position of Head of Administration and Finance at an NGO in crime prevention and a non-profit organization. Fascinated by the innovative potential of the Agile philosophy applied to social impact projects, she is now completing a master’s degree in project management, in parallel with her professional mandate to improve the management of an international human rights education program. Joining the MIS is Nathalie’s was the next logical step in her professional career, offering the opportunity to consolidate her interests in and passions for social innovation, continuous process improvement and management of collaborative projects.
A CHALLENGE? « TO CONNECT THE DIFFERENT HUMAN AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY perspectives AND MOBILIZE THE FULL POTENTIAL OF STAKEHOLDERS TO SUPPORT THE EMERGENCE OF INNOVATIONS WITH HIGH SOCIAL IMPACT. »
Timothée likes to juggle with digital tools and put them at the service of inspiring projects. After ten years in IT support in France and in Québec, and a stint organizing musical events, a desire to write resurfaced one fine morning. Creating a positive impact from the local café – isn’t that the mission of a modern “geek”, with one hand on the keyboard and a latté in the other? Always seeking to understand deeper social issues, themes such as fair trade, the circular economy and social initiatives resonate most with her reflections on social challenges and current environments.
A CHALLENGE? « TO AWAKEN THE AGENT OF CHANGE THAT LAYS DORMANT IN US ALL. »
Director of social entrepreneurship
As long as he remembers, Hugo has always been drawn to riddles, puzzles and other thinking games. This fascination for solving complex problems first attracted him to the field of science, then to the field of management, where he worked for ten years as a consultant in strategy and innovation. This experience allowed him to discover within himself the joy of helping people to learn and excel, something he achieves through teaching at university and coaching project leaders. At the MIS since its foundation, his role as director of social entrepreneurship lets him combine his two main motivations – problem-solving and coaching – in the service of positive impact.
A challenge? « To MOBILIZE THE APPROACHES AND TOOLS OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL sector AND DEMOCRATIZE THEM within THE SOCIAL INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM TO INCREASE THE IMPACT OF PROJECTS. »
Evaluation and learning coordinator
Since he started his degree in sociology at UQAM, Jérôme has been constantly seeking the means to foster a more just society in harmony with its environment. He has worked for more than 15 years in the NGO community in Québec and Africa. Since then, he has combined his passion for creation and his sense of organization with his analytical skills to realize his ideals. He believes that the human being can go beyond perceived limitations and create great things by working together, rather than hurting each other. He dreams of a diminution of the human ego so that it becomes aware and respectful of everything surrounding it, and of what composes our planet, in order to lay the foundations for a balanced world that is no longer based on destruction. He is a firm believer in the transformational potential of social innovation, which is why he shares his social development experience, as well as his evaluation expertise, with the MIS team.
A CHALLENGE? « TO MAKE ALL OUR WORK PARTNERS REALIZE THAT EVALUATION IS AN ESSENTIAL PRACTICE TO ADVANCE more effectively AND TRULY ACCOMPLISH SOCIAL CHANGE. »