“Let Your Systems Set You Free”

Mention ‘process,’ and most of us feel constrained or restricted—even stagnant. This seems odd, given the word itself derives from the Latin ‘processus’, meaning “advancing or proceeding” and “a going forward.” So why do we feel stifled when faced with process in our daily work? The problem is not that we prefer to live in chaos! Or to make things …

Impact Storytelling: Clarity, Outcomes, and Connection

Over the last year, Junxion interviewed about two dozen Presidents, VPs, faculty, students, and Elders at colleges and universities across Canada who are applying their work, and the assets of their institutions, to address pressing needs in their local communities. They’re focused on poverty, unemployment, access to healthcare, reconciliation, local food, social purpose real estate, local economic development… a diverse …

Reflections of Our CEO: On Certainty and Self-Doubt

My nerdiest t-shirt riffs on Plato—specifically on the Allegory of the Cave, one of western philosophy’s most important arguments for reflective understanding. ‘Plato’s Cave Search & Rescue Team,’ says the shirt. My kids shake their heads every time I wear it, but it always reminds me of how rarely any of us sees the whole picture. The Cave Allegory explains …

When the Going Gets Tough, Invest in Evaluation

As winter turns to spring, the charitable sector in Ontario is grappling with a new provincial budget that puts funding pressure on a range of public services and deepens the social deficit—the gap between what people need, and what charities and government services can provide. Many charities are already searching the landscape for new funding options, worried they will otherwise …

Turning Entrepreneurship Inside Out

For the last four years, I’ve had the pleasure of serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence at RADIUS, a social innovation lab and venture accelerator at Simon Fraser University. Like all entrepreneurs, RADIUS program participants face myriad challenges, but there’s one problem in particular that always piques my interest. In the first accelerator cohort, there was a young woman who …

Sharing Joy in a Time of Anxiety

The Monday morning of my birthday week I was feeling really gloomy. Downright down, in fact. The tricky tendrils of existential anxiety were taking hold. The previous evening, I had been to see a documentary called The Ponds. It’s an utterly charming film about the men and women who swim year-round in the ponds on Hampstead Heath near where I …

Purpose and Accountability: The Carrot and Stick of Social Impact

Social entrepreneurs are about more than making money. We have loftier goals than mainstream, profit-maximizing business organizations—and that sense of purpose is powerful. New hires are attracted by purpose. Leading investors demand purpose. Purpose brings teams of diverse people together. It’s an essential part of leadership, culture, and storytelling, especially in times of crisis. Purpose sits at the heart of …

Turning Yourself Inside Out?

A few years ago, Randi Zuckerberg issued a provocative Tweet: “Maintaining friendships. Building a great company. Spending time w/family. Staying fit. Getting sleep. Pick 3.” She called this ‘The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma.’ Quickly, thousands were commenting. Many chimed in to agree. “If you’re planning to build a startup, it’s going to take all you’ve got,” they said. “There’s no time for …