The #WeAreYQQ Project hosts Joel Solomon Sept. 28 and 29 for two events called Localizing Prosperity. Solomon is recognized as a North American leader in the social enterprise field that is revamping how we buy and how we invest as part of a community economic development shift.
“We all want to see our tax dollars working smarter. We all want our business, government and NGO sectors working together. We all want our communities getting more benefit from how we buy and how we invest,” says event organizer Hans Peter Meyer (HPM). “Joel is a leader in making this happen. Our local panelists show that there are people exploring some of the tools he and others are developing.”
Solomon is president of Renewal Partners and chairman of Renewal Funds in Vancouver. He serves as a senior advisor with RSF Social Finance and speaks frequently throughout North America, including a 2012 TEDxVancouver talk. A founding member of Social Venture Network, Business for Social Responsibility and the Tides Canada Foundation, Solomon is also board chair of Hollyhock. In a recent interview in Forbes business magazine he is quoted as saying, “We need to enable and encourage private enterprise to build the new businesses, technologies and industries that will replace our current methods — many of which are unsustainable at best and wantonly destructive at worst.”
Social enterprise offers a number of ways for communities large and small to start making that shift happen.
Who needs to attend?
“People who are working with financial tools — investors, bankers, Credit Union CEOs and staff,” says HPM. “Social enterprise is also about engaging local NGOs and local governments to create win-win relationships that also win for community.”
He hopes Valley mayors and councils, and non-profits, will attend.
“If you’re working on affordable housing, seniors’ issues, environmental issues — you’re part of the mix that’s making shift happen.”
While the events – and evening panel and a daytime Design Lab – focus on the Comox Valley, HPM is inviting neighbouring communities to participate.
“Having Joel visit our region is a tremendous opportunity,” says Sandra Hamilton, one of the Localizing Prosperity panelists and architect of several recent social enterprise solutions. “Joel – along with former prime minister Paul Martin – is one of Canada’s top two people when it comes to social finance.”
Localizing Prosperity with Joel Solomon: New Tools for Local Economic Development takes place over two days, and includes an evening panel at the art gallery on Sept 28, and a daytime workshop on Sept 29.
Panelists will add their own experiences in the social enterprise field. They include Michael Colclough with Wachiay Friendship Centre (food and affordable housing), Megan Halstead with Comox Valley Co-op (fuel, and related products and services), Meaghan Cursons (Cumberland Forest) and Hamilton.
For more information and to register, see LocalizingProsperity.ca.
For more information about the #WeAreYQQ Project, visit makingshifthappencomoxvalley.ca.