Social Innovators in Residence

The CIP neighbourhoods are so motivated, they are pushing us to experiment with new practices to better support them as they implement their action plans.

This is why the CIP asked the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) to pilot a one-year social innovator in residence (SIR) program.

Read below to learn more about this exciting program.

From idea to impact. The Maison de l’innovation sociale helps eliminate barriers between an idea with positive social impact and its implementation.

Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS)

The Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS) is a Quebec-wide project that aims to eliminate barriers between an idea with positive social impact and its implementation. The MIS approach supports the creation, design and implementation of social innovation projects and connects these projects to community, collaboration and support spaces meant for companies, institutions and citizens who are working on a promising initiative. In addition to supporting their projects from idea to deployment, the MIS can also activate social innovation and develop the innovation capacity of different environments. It acts as an intermediary and facilitator between ecosystem stakeholders.

Social innovators in residence

The MIS social innovators in residence (SIR) are experts in three key areas, which are collaboration, open innovation, and design. The residency concept refers to a number of unique features of their work: taking an active role in a local community that needs SIR expertise; a mission to observe, design/create and experiment with a focus on the users of the services they are designing or improving; freedom to act independently from any political or organizational agenda; a fresh look at the community; an original and innovative take; a collaborative approach based on co-design; complementarity with other relevant stakeholders; a community connection to other MIS initiatives; and a medium- to long-term horizon that may include phases of different intensities.

The program

Through the SIR program, the MIS can provide neighbourhoods with resources who can accelerate their activities in three areas:

  • Organizational (governance, managerial capacity and organizational processes).
  • Projects (listening, ethnographic research, idea creation, experimentation, user-focused design, and business models for social enterprises).
  • Community and/or specific community groups (strategic design, learning, and collaborative practices).

How to bring a social innovator to ans organization, neighbourhood or community

For a social innovator to join an organization, neighbourhood or community, the community/environment must express a need for this expertise. The community must be ready for innovation and change and be ready to transform their practices.

An SIR is an opportunity for a project, organization or community to:

  • Align with other MIS projects and receive support from other MIS services, such as the Tangram resource referral platform, civic incubator, pre-incubation support and expertise, and the Ville d’Avenir studios.
  • Receive guidance that combines design, open innovation tools, and expertise in collaborative practices.
  • Focus on entrepreneurial potential and the required support to deploy initiatives (to make them last and maximize their social impact).
  • Adopt user-led approaches to reinforce community capacity through direct action and active participation from users to translate an idea into impact.
  • Develop global or holistic initiatives.

The results for you and your communities

  • Many diverse and innovative ideas, concepts and prototypes with well-defined potential, feasibility and scope.
  • Defined deployment strategies for innovations with a high potential for impact. Partners in the community are identified, engaged, trained and equipped.
  • New social enterprises are created.
  • Projects are deployed within existing businesses.
  • Local and regional organizations adapt to support these innovations.