The Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing (Sauder S3i) is focused on leveraging business tools to advance social innovation and sustainability, through research, incubation, and application. Sauder S3i defines social innovation as a new approach which fosters initiatives that contribute to solving existing social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental challenges. This encompasses concepts such as social enterprise, social finance, and strategic corporate social responsibility. What it does not involve is simply throwing money at a problem. Rather, Sauder S3i aims to build institutions designed to create value rather than dependency.
The core research themes at Sauder S3i are building the low carbon economy, social innovation, and economic development with First Nations. Our goal is to build intellectual and human capacity by linking knowledge with action to further the field of sustainability and social innovation. We are just as passionate about student development and action oriented research, as we are about creating useful resources, plans and capacity for our partner communities and organizations.
A Bit of History
The concept for Sauder S3i was first conceived in late 2007 through a private donation from the Swift family to establish an organization that would realize Canadian leadership in social innovation. Sauder S3i was officially launched in the Spring of 2009 with the generous support of two founding families: The Swift Family and the Lalji Family. The original vision was that business and business education have significant roles in driving social innovation and active change in a complex global climate characterized by financial, economic, political and environmental instability. Coupled to this was the insight that change could not and will not happen through the actions of an individual but will, in fact, take the collaborative effort of a network of stakeholders, including society at large. Business and the business community are uniquely positioned to implement change since they are core to so many essential parts of everyday life in communities around the world.
Each semester we welcome new fellows, interns and partners to a solutions-oriented environment where our work is driven by the following core values:
Stewardship and Responsibility: We consider social, environmental and economic impacts, and are optimistic about creating opportunities for change.
Innovation: We are creative, cutting-edge and dynamic.
Relevance: We address timely challenges, with solutions that have real world impact.
Integrity and Quality: We have pride in our work, are critical thinkers, and evidence-based researchers.
Value People: We value people through mentorship, and a healthy work/life balance.
Finish what we start: We plan thoroughly, and deliver on schedule.
Self Improvement: We value reflection, proactive learning, personal and team development.
Respect and Diversity: We embrace new ideas, are patient, open-minded, and foster honest dialogue.
Collaboration: We share our ideas, create synergies, and are direct and clear in our communication.