Champions for a New Economy

What Ontario’s nonprofit sector is already doing and how we can build momentum together

The world seems to be sliding towards a “new normal” of precarious work, stagnant wages, and a growing gap between the rich and poor. Climate change and its negative impact is taking a foothold in urban and rural communities, and the necessities of life, such as energy, food and land, are increasingly falling into the hands of large corporate interests.

However, there are growing examples of different ways of doing things and building upon these foundations. In Canada and globally, innovations and new economic models are taking a foothold, moving from experimentation into practice to challenge the mainstream narrative. Uniting civil society in a vision of an economy that includes everyone will enable us to work collectively on root causes and create viable alternatives.

In Ontario, the nonprofit sector is already helping to fuel this movement.

Be part of the action for change! Find out how your work contributes to economies, practices and policies that put people and communities first.

Join us for an interactive day

A day of reflection, learning and action as we explore these themes and uncover exciting examples of what organizations and groups are doing now and how we can work together to build up a new economy in Ontario.

The event is hosted by the Learning Enrichment Foundation, in partnership with the Ontario Nonprofit Network and Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects (ONESTEP).

Champions for a New Economy
Friday, May 26, 2017
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Learning Enrichment Foundation, 116 Industry Street, Toronto
Fee: $95 (includes breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks)

Please RSVP by May 12, as spots are limited.

Speakers and panelists

Mike is well known in Canada and internationally as a practitioner, author, educator, and leader in the field of Canadian economic development (CED) and the social economy. His experience cuts across the full range of functions connected to community renewal and development. He has built and advised a wide range of businesses, organizations and governments all over Canada and internationally as well. An innovator, activist and thinker with a penchant for linking practice with policy and the micro and macro, Mike’s leadership in Canadian Centre for Community Renewal and elsewhere continues to help us connect the dots and stay ahead of the curve.

Nancy is the former President and Executive Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale, a non-profit organisation representing networks of social enterprises (cooperatives and non-profits), local development organisations and social movements. Ms Neamtan was the founder (1997) and President of RISQ (Réseau d’investissement social du Québec), an investment fund dedicated to the non-profit and cooperative sector. Since November 2006, she has been President of the Fiducie du Chantier de l’économie sociale, an investment fund for collective enterprises. Nancy is recognised internationally as an expert on the social solidarity economy, working in collaboration with international organisations such as the International Labour Organisation.

Victor has worked for the past 25 years in a number of community agencies. Since 1999, he has served as the Executive Director of Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre (PARC). PARC is a valuable community resource whose purpose is reflected in its mission: “A community where people rebuild their lives.” During his tenure as the Executive Director of PARC, he has lead significant growth at this organization including the development of an innovative new supportive housing facility.

Sabina is the chair and one of the founding members of Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee. She is engaged in empowering and building the capacity of residents, especially women and connecting the community with the rest of Toronto. She works to strengthen women’s economic prosperity by providing them with the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial and business skills in a nurturing, engaging and caring environment. In 2014, the Globe and Mail named her one of “Ten Torontonians Who Got Things Done in 2014.” She has received the Jane Jacobs Prize, which is awarded to Torontonians who embody a passion for city building. She is a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council.


8:30am – Registration, breakfast
8:45am – Introductions
8:55am – Mike Lewis: keynote address followed by Q&A
10:30am – Break
10:45am – Discussion
12:00pm – Lunch
12:45pm – Nancy Neamtan: presentation
1:15pm – Panel and Q&A with Victor Willis, Sabina Ali
2:15pm – Break
2:30pm – Activity and discussion
3:45pm – Closing remarks & call to action
4:00pm – End

Optional reads

For background and to set the stage for inspired discussion:
Navigating System Transition in a Volatile Century by Mike Lewis
What Quebec Can Teach Us About Creating a More Equitable Economy by Jay Walljasper