• For 2023-2024, registration for Economics of Social Change is paused while we work to rebrand and update course content. Please add your name to our waitlist form to be notified when registration opens for the 2024-2025 series.


  • Program Logo - Economics of Social Change

Economics of Social Change is a 5-part workshop series designed for people who are curious about how to apply an economic lens to social issues. Participants come from many vocations and backgrounds, and learn to develop an understanding of the connections between the local economy, community development and social change. In this workshop series, participants will explore alternative economic models, norms and systems that build community wealth instead of shareholder wealth, that value human dignity over exploitation and that support a flourishing web of life through a variety of local, regional, and Canadian case studies.



Today’s economy is divisive and degenerative by default. Tomorrow’s economy must be distributive and regenerative by design.” 


~ Kate Raworth, Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist



The 2023 Economics of Social Change 5-part workshop series took place every other week starting on January 26th. Workshops were held in person in the Ideas Lounge at the Riddell Library and Learning Centre at Mount Royal University. Individuals interested in participating virtually from within Alberta were invited to reach out via email to to inquire about one of our virtual seats.


Participants were required to watch a pre-recorded video (approximately 30-40 minutes in duration) alongside pre-readings in advance of each session. A certificate of completion was be awarded to participants who completed all 5 sessions.


The cost to register for the 5-sessions series is $200 plus tax. Bursaries are available for anyone in need of financial assistance. Please contact Cordelia Snowdon-Lawley via email at csnowdon@mtroyal.ca with 'Bursary - Economics of Social Change' in the subject line for details.


For MRU students interested in the workshop series, please refer to the connectFirst Student Social Entrepreneurs page for details and to apply.


See the description below for detailed session information on the Economics of Social Change series or download the program [pdf].





The global pandemic, climate crisis, and rising inequality have shone a light on the cracks, inadequacies and injustices within our current systems, impacting both people and planet. Communities around the world are looking to the local economy as a means of addressing growing social and environmental issues. This workshop will explore the history of how the economy has evolved and the growing imperative to build a new economy focused on local solutions to create social change.


Changing-Nature-of-Business-Icon.png   THE CHANGING NATURE OF BUSINESS

There is a growing responsibility worldwide for businesses to go beyond financial return to shareholders to seek a greater community benefit that prioritizes people and place. As a result, new ways of doing business are emerging. This workshop will explore the changing nature of business and the role of social enterprise and cooperatives in addressing issues impacting our local community including income inequality, food insecurity, economic inclusion and more.



Systems-Change-for-Community-Economies-Icon.png   SYSTEMS CHANGE FOR COMMUNITY ECONOMIES

Building inclusive community economies often requires systems change to enable more community-based economic development. This workshop will explore the current opportunities to affect policy change towards a more just and equitable society for all. Learn how localizing spending and fostering community ownership build inclusive community economies.


Economic-Reconciliation-Icon.png   ECONOMIC RECONCILIATION

Faced with growing income inequality and stubbornly high levels of poverty in communities across Canada, Reconciliation offers a path forward to build a local economy that works better for more people. In this workshop, learn about the historical context affecting Indigenous peoples' inclusion in the economy, how Indigenous worldviews intersect with community-based economic development and the opportunities to build a shared understanding that creates jobs and builds communities.


Financial-Social-Change-Icon.png FINANCING SOCIAL CHANGE

The field of social finance is rapidly expanding with new ways to use money to generate social good. This workshop will explore what financing tools exist that can help to diversify your organization's revenue and scale its impact. We will also explore how you can invest your own money for good. Learn how community organizations and individuals are using social finance to prioritize people and the planet.





Program Lead: Cordelia

Cordelia Snowdon-Lawley is a previous Economics of Social Change participant and current lead for the program. Her work as Changemaking and Community Research Strategist at the Institute spans multiple projects including strategic program design and delivery, social marketing and public communications, and mentorship and supervision of students to support their development as changemakers.


Contact: csnowdon@mtroyal.ca



Participant Testimonials

"Interested in making the world a better place? Think your community has the potential to be more inclusive? Economics of Social Change is for you. I was lucky to have participated in this course and the interactive sessions not only provided me with a strong knowledge base for how our economy operates, but led to an explosion of ideas and collaboration with new networks of world changers." 

~ Past participant, Contract & Procurement Specialist, Government of Alberta


"As a growing entrepreneur, the five course program highlighted how easy it can be to shift my thinking on how to do business differently. The principles I learned from the various experts were vast, the value of sustainable partnerships, various business models and the connections I made with other like-minded Calgarians was awesome!"

~ Past Participant, Community Developer & Youth Advocate


“Taking Economics of Social Change as a student was a great experience, not just because of the opportunity to meet community members off-campus interested in the economics of social change, but also as a way of being introduced to the idea of economics. I was captivated by the way the instructors covered history, theory, and practice through a social lens.”

~ Past Participant, BCMM Info Design


"Economics of Social Change is a must-take course for anyone who is passionate about inclusion, diversity, and systems change. Not only will you learn about yourself, but you’ll find yourself surrounded by other community leaders who share a similar vision for an economic future that is rooted in equity and community."

~ Past Participant, City Councillor