Community | SEWF Events

What to expect in Alberta, Canada Community Hubs at SEWF23

by Kasia Kotlarska / July 2023

From meaningful connections to inspiring chats featuring big ideas and unheard stories, in this interview, we learn more about the SEWF23 Community Hubs in Canada with the returning host AB Seed partnering with Innovate Calgary in Calgary and MacEwan University’s Social Innovation Institute in Edmonton. SEWF Community Hubs allow communities to come together to view SEWF content (live or on-demand) and have local conversations while connecting globally. The team speaks about their lessons from hosting a Community Hub in 2022 and what they’re offering participants in 2023. 

What did you learn from hosting a Community Hub in 2022? What would you do differently this year?

Our team learned that it’s important to be responsive! We had some ambitious air conditioning last year (which made it feel like a true Canadian winter), so we made a last-minute run to the store to purchase blankets for attendees. I think it helped people feel cared for and comfortable and added to the experience overall. This year we’ll make sure there’s appropriate temperature control from the start. 

It seems you’ve made some exciting plans for your 2023 Community Hub, what can we expect? 

We’re excited to announce that this year we’re hosting two Community Hubs in Alberta. And we’re offering a lively collision space for social entrepreneurs, enablers and social purpose organisations who are creating an impact for their communities and challenging our systems to work better for everyone. Attendees can expect incredible content from SEWF, expert facilitation and the opportunity to connect in the community with like-minded changemakers. We’re thrilled to do a social enterprise showcase, chat with community members and of course eat some yummy food. 

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What are some of the biggest challenges facing social entrepreneurs today in Alberta? 

The Social Enterprise sector in Alberta is growing in size and recognition but there are still traditional mindsets that can make it feel like swimming upstream for social entrepreneurs who are trying to create impact. Access to grant funding, established examples, success stories and finding the right networks of support also represent very real challenges. We are trying to understand how to offer the best support to social entrepreneurs and how to create a collaborative ecosystem. 

What do you hope that participants take home from attending your Community Hubs in Calgary and Edmonton? 

Participants in the Alberta Community Hubs will have the opportunity to better understand the Alberta social entrepreneurial ecosystem while creating new connections with like-minded people. We hope the Hub fuels the desire to change purchase decisions to impact the community and create knowledge that can be transferred to others. And oh! We also will have local goodie bags and food. 

Are there any other projects you’re working on that you’d need support on? 

This year we are lucky to have two organizations hosting our hubs! MacEwan University’s Social Innovation Institute is always looking for community partners to work with their faculty and students. The Social Innovation Hub is thrilled to be able to offer membership to social entrepreneurs looking to scale their impact! For more, you can also get in touch with The Social Innovation Hub via email socialinnovationhub@innovatecalgary.com. 

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If you’re unable to attend SEWF23 in-person or online, you can find a Community Hub closest to you and join the local conversations with inspiring changemakers and social entrepreneurs.