Catherine Pearl

Catherine Pearl

Department Chair: International Business, Supply Chain Management & Aviation (2024- interim)
Department Chair: Entrepreneurship, Marketing & Social Innovation (2023-2024)
Associate Professor, Social Innovation}
Adjunct Professor, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary

Office: EB 2035
Phone: 403.440.5508
Email: cpearl@mtroyal.ca

PhD, (Social Enterprise) University of Calgary, AB
MBA, (Management), Concordia University, PQ
BBA, (Marketing), Bishop's University, PQ

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0615-2059

Google Scholarhttps://scholar.google.com/citations?user=lsKSnmoAAAAJ&hl=en


Prior to joining academia, Dr. Pearl spent almost twenty years in the private sector working for national and multinational firms in corporate planning, finance and marketing. As well, Catherine spent considerable time in the not for profit sector as a volunteer, consultant and President and CEO of a registered charity, which operated as a social enterprise.

Active in the Mount Royal community, Dr. Pearl has served as a member of the Professional Development, and Library Selections committees, in addition to the Business and Communication Studies’ Research Committee. She has participated in numerous part time and full time hiring and search committees in addition to acting as Career Services Liaison for Co-operative student placement.

Dr. Pearl was a founding board member of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO), and served as a Board Governor for a number of community organizations including Propellus, YWCA Calgary, Lycée Louis Pasteur, Developmental Disabilities Resource Centre, and Lunchbox Theatre.  Catherine currently serves as President and Board Governor for the Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER) Association de recherche sur les organismes sans but lucratif et de l'économie sociale (ARES).

Catherine is passionate about her students, teaching, curriculum design, experiential learning and the case method. Over the past eight years, she has been involved in designing many of Mount Royal’s Social Innovation courses and most recently, preparing students for the Alberta Nonprofit Case Competition (ANPA).


Because of her diverse training and experience, Dr. Pearl is able to integrate real life experience across disciplines and sectors into course design and pedagogy. Through experiential learning and community engagement, Dr. Pearl's courses are community focused in that they support building a change-making culture in the classroom while at the same time creating meaningful social impact in the community.

Professional and Community Service

  • President, Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER/ARES), (2024-ongoing)
  • Organizing Committee, International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC-2022)
  • Keynote Speaker, Social Enterprise World Forum Academic Symposium (2021)
  • Social Enterprise Journal Reviewer (2021-present)
  • Social Finance Fund: Investment Readiness Program Reviewer (2020-2022)
  • Mitacs Reviewer (2020-present) 
  • Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (Philab), Alberta Lead (2019-present)
  • Government of Canada, Social Development Partnership Program, Evaluator (2018).
  • Association of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research Conference, Reviewer (2019-present)
  • International Social Innovation Research Conference, Reviewer (2017- present)
  • Organizing Committee, Social Entrepreneurship South East Asia Conference, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2016-2017)

Teaching experience & curriculum design*

Facilitating Social Innovation*
Civic Innovation*
Social Enterprise*
Introduction to Social Innovation
Professional Brand Studio
Introduction to Marketing
Introduction to Management
Society, Enterprise and Innovation
Research Methods
Practicum Instructor


Research interests include social innovation and social entrepreneurship, social finance, philanthropic engagement, scholarship of teaching and learning, transformative and transdisciplinary learning, stigma and the helping professions.

Current Projects

  • Exploring intersections: social innovation labs, wicked questions, and the SDGs. (Pearl, C.M.L., Oliver, B., Hervieux, C., & Berezowski, K.), in progress.
  • Cultivating a garden for social innovation through design thinking. (Pearl, C.M.L., Harmer, K., Owens, G., & Aderounmu, A.), in progress.
  • Integral Org Case Study: Building Capacity across the Nonprofit Sector, in progress.
  • Centre for Newcomers Case Study: Building a diverse and united community, in progress.
  • Centre for Sexuality Case Study: Teaching, training & advocating for change, in progress.

Sample Publications and Major Contributions

Asraf, D. Chowdhury, R., Pearl, C.M.L. & Yazici, A. (2024). Catalyzing Social Entrepreneurship through Islamic Finance: A sustainable pathway for social-economic impact. Islamic Development Bank Institute. https://isdbinstitute.org/product/catalyzing-social-entrepreneurship-through-islamic-finance/

Pearl, C.M.L., Jay, L. Magennis, S. & Brown, C (2024). Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations- Empowering Nonprofits Case Study. Richard Ivey School of Business. London, Ontario: Ivey Publishing. Case and Teaching Note #W33542 https://www.iveypublishing.ca/s/product/calgary-chamber-of-voluntary-organizations-empowering-nonprofits/01tOF000002WninYAC  Student Spreadsheet #W36948 https://www.iveypublishing.ca/s/product/calgary-chamber-of-voluntary-organizations-empowering-nonprofits-student-spreadsheet/01tOF000002gSGTYA2

Oliver, B., Pearl, C.M.L., Felix – John, E. S., Norris, D., Elizabeth Olaniyan, F. J., Samson, K., de la Cruz, A., Aseselin, G., Berezowski, K., Hayward, C., Vam Tassel, B., & Visser, F. (2023). Understanding Lived Experiences of Stigma for People Living with HIV: A Community Based Participatory Research Study. The Qualitative Report28(2), 623-643 https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol28/iss2/16/

Pearl, C.M.L., Chowdhury, R., Hussain, T, & Symmes, L. (2022). Philanthropy of Newcomers – Remittance, Diaspora Philanthropy, and Diaspora Development Aid. Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network. https://philab.uqam.ca/en/home-blog/philanthropy-of-newcomers-remittance-diaspora-philanthropy-and-diaspora-development-aid/

Pearl, C.M.L., Chowdhury, R., Hussain, T, & Symmes, L. (2022). What are the antecedent factors that influence immigrant and newcomer philanthropic practices and understandings in Canada? Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network. https://philab.uqam.ca/en/publication/what-are-the-antecedent-factors-that-influence-immigrant-and-newcomer-philanthropic-practices-and-understandings-in-canada/

Pearl, C.M.L. & Oliver, B. (2020). World’s Greatest Challenges: Building Interdisciplinary Understanding and Collaboration among business and social work students. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2020.1.10804

Pearl, C.M.L., Roberts, M. & Brown, C. (2020). Windmill Microlending: Converting Potential to Prosperity. Richard Ivey School of Business. London, Ontario: Ivey Publishing. Case and Teaching Note    #9B20M084. https://www.iveycases.com/ProductView.aspx?id=109359

Yeo, M., Haggarty, L., Snow, T., Ayoungman, K., Pearl, C.M.L., Stogre, T. & Waldie, A. (2019). Unsettling Faculty Minds: A Faculty Learning Community on Indigenization. New Directions for Teaching and Learning219(157), 27-41. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.20328

Pearl, C.M.L., Saunders, C., & Dorion, N. (2017). Women In Need Society (WINS) Social Enterprise Case Study. Trico Foundation. https://tricofoundation.ca/women-in-need-society-wins-social-enterprize-case-study/

Elson, P., Hall, P., Pearl, C.M.L., & Wasmucci, P. (2015). Alberta Social Enterprise Sector Survey Report. Trico Foundation. https://ccednet-rcdec.ca/sites/ccednet-rcdec.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/ab_sess_report_final_0.pdf

Pearl, C.M.L. (2013). A Blurring of Boundaries: An Exploration of Social Enterprise in Alberta's Social Service Agencies, PhD Dissertation, University of Calgary.

Lai, D., Dewald, J., Hayes, L., & Pearl, C.M.L. (2012). Perspectives of the Business Sector on Social Enterprise. A presentation at Engaging Community Leaders: Social Enterprise World Forum. Calgary, Canada.

Books and Book Chapters

Pearl, C.M.L. & Finch, D. (2018). Social Innovation You: A Guide to a Career in Social Innovation. Calgary, Alberta: FDR Publishers.

Pearl, C.M.L. & Matheson, J. (2018). Wood's Homes: Changes over Time in a Canadian NGO. In Mirabella, R., Kinnel, A.M., & Dolch, N. Nongovernmental Organization Case Studies in Leadership from around the World, (2nd edition), United States: Kendall Hunt.

Research Grants

Primary Investigator (2022). SSHRC Partnership Grant - Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network. Immigrant and newcomer philanthropic practices and understandings in Canada. ($5,000.00)

Co-Investigator (2019). Canadian Institute of Health Research. Alberta Stigma Index CBR Project: Examining the Social and Structural Drivers of Stigma. Alberta portion ($43,000.00) of national study ($450,000.00).

Primary Investigator (2018). Intersections: Cooperatives and credit unions and Millennial/Generation Z engagement. Calgary Foundation, ($5,000.00).

Primary Investigator (2018). Social Development Partnership Program Review, Government of Canada ($1,500.00).

Co-Investigator (2017). Women in Need Society (WINS), Social Enterprise Case Study: Trico Foundation. ($7,000.00 of $21,000.00 grant).

Operating Grants

Civic Innovation "Vivacity" (2019). Alberta Real Estate Foundation, core funding ($5,000.00).

Civic Innovation "Vivacity" (2019). Calgary Arts Development, artist engagement & student intern position ($2,150.00).

Media Relations and Podcasts

“The Shifting Faces of Philanthropy” PhiLab Podcasts (November 8, 2023). https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/en-the-shifting-faces-of-philanthropy-catherine-pearl/id1575142393?i=1000634115896

“Calgary newcomers and the challenges and barriers faced”. Global News. (March 28, 2023).

“Vivacity and Calgary’s newcomers”. Live Wire Calgary. (March 23, 2023).

"Mount Royal University course explores the economic and social value of art in Calgary". Live Wire Calgary. (March 27, 2019).

"Student Collaboration Vivacity focuses on city's arts community". 660 News. (March 27, 2019).

Teaching Strides Podcast: A cross-institutional community engaged civic innovation course. (March 28, 2018).

"Vivacity and 11,000,000 square feet of vacant office space". Metro News. (April 12, 2017).

"CRA and funding charities". At Night on News Talk 770 (QR77). (November 1, 2016).


Updated as of July 1, 2024.