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Monday, January 24, 2011

Social Innovation and Social Finance Tour 2011: Reflection

Top Five Highlights of the Tour
(Part 1 of a 2-part series) 

While it came and went quicker than I could imagine, the Social Innovation and Finance Tour brought about visionary conversations, outcomes, and networks.  Here are my top five highlights from the tour...

1. Ashoka Fellow, David Green, blowing away our 200 guests at the public event last Monday night. He presented his numerous yet distinct businesses that use groundbreaking technology to provide cost-effective solutions to sight- and hearing-loss for those suffering from poverty in the developing world. 

Celia Cruz, Director of Ashoka Canada
2. Nicole Rycroft (also an Ashoka Fellow!) presenting her organization, Canopy, which is responsible for the international “greening” of the Harry Potter books. Canopy is up to some fantastic new innovations, but you’ll have to wait and see Nicole’s next plan to change the paper industry in Canada... 

3. Bill Young explaining the convoluted path he had to take to build Social Capital Partners while confined by CRA and other legal constraints. Down-right hilarious. 

4. Derek Gent and the Vancity team proving that investing in social innovation can be both impactful and profitable as we sat in Vancity's beautiful boardroom, over-looking the ocean and the mountains.

5. All tour participants declaring personal action-statements as to how they will apply social finance to their organizations and help progress the movement in Canada. What a great way to end the Tour! 

Thank you to all those who made Ashoka's Social Innovation and Social Finance Tour a resounding success.  It was truly a pivotal three days for the movement's advancement in Canada.  

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