New Conversations

New Conversations is a series of community dialogues during the academic year that involves citizens, leaders, innovators, students, and story tellers to discover, dream and design a prosperous community for all. It is a chance to surface or connect disparate topics which may be under-profiled, or around which there is an urgent craving for conversation.

Previous Conversations 2017 - 2018:

The purpose of these roundtables is to convene decision-makers to learn about the Common Good initiative, as well as discuss and solicit feedback on the proposed plan. We are also looking for employers who would be interested in offering the Common Good plan to their employees if the plan were made available. A decision about whether to move forward with the plan will be made in Fall 2018, based on the level of interest from the sector.

Members of the disability community will share their first-hand experiences. They will discuss challenges, successes, facts and myths about disability and employment.

(May 2, 2018)
This breakfast and keynote with JUMP Math founder and Ashoka Fellow John Mighton was an opportunity to explore how this internationally-recognized Canadian innovation and social enterprise is t r a n s f o r m i n g a c a d e m i c a n d l i f e opportunities for children in Canada and around the world.

This was the Institute’s inaugural ‘film night’, featuring a Canadian documentary film on the history and recent resurgence of co-
operatives as a more democratic, equitable and empowering means of addressing economic vulnerability of people and communities.

This conversation, featuring the Honorable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, engaged students and recent alumni from MRU and other post-secondary institutions in Calgary in a roundtable-style discussion about Alberta’s economic transition to a lower carbon, more diversified economy. The conversation focused on how to create a public policy framework supportive of green business opportunities, social entrepreneurship, community reinvestment, and community-based energy, among other topics.

EMPATHY TOY (November 14, 2017)
Presentation and mini-demo with founder of Twenty One Toys and award-winning social entrepreneur Ilana Ben-Ari. Twenty One Toys is an award-winning social enterprise that uses toys to teach empathy, failure and other key 21st century skills.

World class business leaders understand that a diverse and inclusive workplace
shapes a strong employee focused workplace culture, allows for recruitment from a diverse pool of candidates, reduces turnover and fosters a creative and innovative workplace. This event, part of Disability Employment Awareness Week, involved Michael Bach (CEO, CCDI), Andrea Van Vugt (Disability Self-Advocate), Stuart Young (New Grad Recruiter, Shell), and Nikki King (Plant Manager, Iron Mountain Secure Shred) as panel speakers.

This event, the first to be held in the rooftop events area of C-Space arts hub, was co- hosted by RECODE. Featuring renowned social innovation educator Daniela Papi-Thornton, former Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at
Oxford University, and founder of the Map the System Challenge, the event involved educators from numerous post-secondaries and training institutes throughout Alberta.

MIND THE GAP (September 27, 2017)
This Glencoe Club breakfast event,co-hosted with MRU's Institute for Environmental Sustainability and the
Pembina Institute, focused on how to overcome our divisions and create a balanced energy-climate narrative in Alberta. The event was facilitated by UK-based climate change communicator George Marshall, with an address from Glen Murray. The event featured guests from many walks of life, including business leaders, Indigenous leaders, newcomer organizations, clergy, farmers, ranchers, law enforcement, environmentalists and two former mayors.


Previous Conversations 2016 - 2017

  • Calgary 2.0: Building Bridges for a Collective Future (July , 2016)
  • Part 2: Vivacity: A Conversation about life, diversity and prosperity in the downtown core (March, 2017)
  • Part 1: Vivacity: A Conversation about life, diversity and prosperity in the downtown core (January, 2017)
  • Colouring it Forward: A Gathering of Art, Community and Enterprise (December, 2016)
  • Inclusive Community: Visible & Invisible Disability (October 20, 2016)
  • The Millennial Dream: New Conversations 2016-2017 Kickoff (September 29, 2016)

Previous Conversations 2015 - 2016:

  • Nonprofits Offside: The Tense Pursuit of Community Prosperity This capstone event will explore the tension between sector interests and the common good (May 6, 2016)
  • From Disaster to Design: Age Friendly Cities Moving away from “social crisis management” towards more proactive approaches (March 18, 2016)
  • Strange Bedfellows: Imperatives for Deep Collaboration Why our biggest challenges require new ways of working (February 26, 2016)
  • Art as an Instrument for Social Justice Exploring where, why, when and how are and social justice meet (January 22, 2016)
  • Emerging Medias: New Channels for Social Change How citizen journalism is transforming the social change landscape (November 20, 2015)
  • Policies for Social Enterprise Development and Promotion Fostering a robust social enterprise sector in Alberta (October 23, 2015)
  • Mobilizing Before Crisis: Social Movements Citizenship beyond marking a ballot (September 18, 2015)