The Social Innovation Institute

Heather + Leo

The Institute

The Social Innovation Institute at MacEwan University connects and convenes changemakers, social innovators and social entrepreneurs across campus, with the broader Edmonton community. We are now located in our new office in Roundhouse. 


The Institute team, pictured to the left, Dr. Leo Wong (Founding Director) and Heather Braid (Academic Lead), are looking forward to meeting you!



What is social innovation anyways? 

Mostly simply put it is applying new ways of thinking to better the world. Social innovation typically involves digging deep to learn about the root causes of a challenge. Working together with the people experiencing the challenge is very important. As an example, instead of donating food to the food bank, social innovators would work with the people that access the food bank and together test out different ideas to increase their income or make food more affordable.

The Institute was created because people at MacEwan want to be active changemakers. Edmonton, like many communities, faces a variety of social and environmental challenges that are often addressed by small groups of individuals. Social issues such as poverty, mental health, and affordable housing are represented by non-profit organizations, championed by socially-responsible businesses, and are supported by government programs and initiatives.  

Everyone strives to do as much as they can with their limited resources, many of whom approach the university with the challenges they face, hoping to collaborate with students and faculty. Before now, there was no identified entry point for the community to engage with MacEwan as a whole. With the Social Innovation Institute and Roundhouse, we intend to be the ‘welcome mat’ for those pursuing social change and social innovation.


SIIGet Involved

The Institute is excited to pilot some initiatives over the next year including a fellowship, interdisciplinary and community engaged learning activities, and targeted grants. We will welcome participants into Roundhouse where they will be among like-minded people and can make use of the many resources available. 


Stay tuned into the Roundhouse newsletter for updates and information on how to get involved and visit our new website,!