Catching a Runaway Train—Harnessing the Value of Vancouver’s Real Estate Development Boom

I’m getting priced out of living in Vancouver, along with most of my peers, and so naturally I’m interested in how the City redistributes the economic benefits of property development so that all citizens, and not just the owners and developers, share in the benefits. Vancouver is first among municipal governments in North America for the level of effort and …

Why didn’t Franklin just call an Uber?

In 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin set out from England with 129 men in two ships to traverse the Northwest Passage. Both ships got stuck in the ice and every single expedition member eventually died of scurvy, lead poisoning, starvation, or hypothermia. Over the last 40 years or so, a fairly comprehensive understanding of the expedition’s demise has emerged, and …

Make the space for your consultants to shine

Organizations need consultants. Whether for specific expertise, extra capacity, or both, adding consultants to your team is nearly inevitable. Do you know how to hire them? We recently made a pitch for a piece of consulting business that was a perfect fit for our team—a combination of data analysis, narrative development, and public outreach, all in service of their important …

Is social entrepreneurship cannibalizing civic engagement?

Without making a deliberate effort to see beyond the role of “entrepreneur” and “enterprise,” do we lose sight of incredible opportunities to build strong communities, engaged constituencies, and networks of change makers that don’t have a profit motive or a revenue objective? This Fall I will be teaching a cohort of undergraduate and MBA students about social enterprises and social entrepreneurship. …

Customers Come First! (Or do they?)

Recently I was at an event where a panelist declared the age of the customer to be “over,” favouring an employee-centric culture, because, “if your employees are happy, your customers will be happy.” It felt like a classic chicken and egg scenario: what comes first, your employees or your customers? Sure, people work with people, and if customers are interacting …

Elements of Strategy: Measuring Success

When you measure your business’s success, do you look beyond the bottom line? With 88% of consumers seeking brands that respect people and planet, social impact and sustainability are real imperatives in any measure of success. This is the final post in a four-part series about the elements of strategy. In the first, we talked about a clear, compelling, actionable and …

Finding Meaning: Eight Reasons to Work for a Responsible Business

I was born in 1991, so I am what most people call a millennial. I grew up knowing the world faces profound social and environmental challenges. This is not breaking news. However, as a millennial, I also grew up with the important sentiment that I, just one person, can ‘change the world.’ I studied at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada and …

United We Stand: A New Era of Consolidation in the Social Sector?

Two major announcements recently echoed across the social sector landscape. Grameen Foundation and Freedom From Hunger have united, and in Canada, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) has merged with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). Does this indicate the beginning of an era of consolidation in the social sector? And what does that mean for social impact? Mergers and acquisitions are common in business. Each passing …

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Meghan French Dunbar

Meghan French Dunbar’s mission in life is to inspire and educate people on how business can be used as a force for good. Her ultimate goal? In 20 years, nobody will say “purpose-driven work” or “conscious business” or “sustainable business,” because doing good business will be the new ‘business as usual.’ As Co founder and Editor in Chieftess of Conscious …