Discuss: New Conversations Series

If this is our community, where are our stories?

Fresh ideas, challenging topics and interactive dialogue.

The New Conversations Series is a monthly gathering for citizens, leaders, innovators, students, and story tellers and provides a rich atmosphere for diverse and powerful discussion. They are designed to challenge ideas and provoke dialogue around important and emergent community topics.

Visit our Eventbrite page for more information about each event and to register.

Upcoming Conversations:

  • Save the Date: “Re-Imagining our City” December 8th 4:00-7:00pm - Stay tuned for more information!

Previous Conversations 2016-2017:

Inclusive Community: Visible & Invisible Disability (October 20, 2016)

October was Depression Awareness Month, as well as Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM), and so a dialogue on ‘Inclusive Community’ was both fitting and powerful.The event consisted of a Pecha-Kucha-style presentation that provided a series of storytellers with 7 minutes to speak to their personal experience or story that relates to the topic of disability within an inclusive community. The evening was hosted by Sean McEwan, Director of Calgary Alternative Employment Services. We were delighted to have the following presenters:

  • Joy Hewitt, Chief Employment Coach , Meticulon
  • Andrea Van Vugt, MRU BBA Student & Founder of ARTful Me
  • Alexi Davis, Senior Manager, Prospect Human Services
  • Jon Bateman, Communications Consultant, Vibrant Communities Calgary
  • Cindy McCaffrey, Dementia Network Calgary
  • Susan Coombes, Alberta Human Rights Commission
  • Matt Nomura, Director of Employment and Enterprise,Vecova

The Millennial Dream: New Conversations 2016-2017 Kickoff (September 29, 2016) 

“The Millennial Dream” film screening and panel discussion acted as the New Conversations kickoff event for the 2016-2017 academic year. Through exploring the relationship and contrast between the millennial generation and the traditional narrative of ‘the American dream’, the documentary provided a platform to challenge audience members to think critically about the upcoming school year. The film screening was followed by a panel discussion that included Greg Hemmings, Director & Founder of Hemmings House, Lousia Ferrel, Co-Founder of True Buch Kombucha, Jonathan Veale, Innovation Strategist of Civic Innovation YYC Lab, and Joel DeWiel, Mount Royal University Student. The panel was moderated by Neetu Sidhu, Senior Manager of Alberta BoostR ATB.

Previous Conversations 2015-2016:

Meet Up: Social Impact YYC

A Meetup for Calgarians interested in nonprofits, social enterprises, social innovation, impact investing, and social finance. The Institute is partnering with Givoco, Epic YYC / Pivotville and the Banff Centre to host this Meetup. We invite anyone interested to come join us!

Learn More!

The Institute also sponsors or co-organizes other Meet-ups from time to time, such as Calgary Sustainability for Breakfast, a partnership with REAP Calgary and the Institute for Environmental Sustainability at MRU.

Recode: MRU as a Social Innovation Campus

Building on the emerging MRU Strategic Plan's focus on citizenship and community engagement, and on MRU's recent selection as a partner in the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation's RECODE program, we want to help catalyze a conversation with a small number of invited and interested students, faculty and other institutes. RECODE aims to challenge universities "to disrupt business as usual; to found and grow new social enterprises; to create partnerships across institutional and sectoral boundaries - in short, to ‘RECODE’ our culture’s operating systems in order to achieve a more just, sustainable, and beautiful world."

Learn More!

Collaborate: Social Innovation Hub

In development, and building on the success of Slate, this initiative - currently in development - will provide a space where Calgary’s social innovators can co-locate with MRU student entrepreneurs. This is a shared space for student innovators, and community organizations with a social mission.

Learn More!

Design: Design Fellowships

Watch for the launch of a new residency program for community change-makers at the Institute for Community Prosperity. Coming soon!


Hubs, Platforms, Incubators and Accelerators: Is together better? Exploring how social-purpose groups, start-up enterprises, makers and artists are co-locating and co-creating (May 22, 2015)

The Market for Good: Fair trade, cause marketing, ecotourism, ethical shopping… Is pro-social consumerism replacing charity? (March 20, 2015)

Civic Repression or Renaissance? Could the recent questioning of the role of charities in policy advocacy lead to a more emboldened and politically savvy community sector? (November 28, 2014)

Identity Crisis: Will we talk of a “nonprofit sector” in 10 years? (September 19, 2014)

Nonprofit Leadership: Bridging education, research and reality (May 23, 2014)

Too Little Too Late? HR issues in the Nonprofit Sector (March 21, 2014)

Telling a Good Story (January 17, 2014)

Social Enterprises: Past, present and future (November, 22, 2013) 

After the Flood: Nonprofits in times of crisis (September 20, 2013)


Other Events  

Storytelling for Social Good YYC: A Meet-up at MRU (April 25)

Indigenomics: A workshop, co-hosted by Thrive Calgary, MRU and SFU (April 24/25)