ONN Conference Sessions 2015

For Wednesday, October 21, conference sessions are based on three streams to help you get the most out of your day:  Horizons, Strategies & Tactics. Find the conversations you’re looking for. Check out the sessions schedule below.

Registrants will choose four (4) sessions when they register.

*Please note: sessions and agenda subject to change.

Conferencelegend (2)

Image of ONN 2015 Conference Agenda


Opening Keynote

Policy, Leadership, Action: Nonprofits Driving Change with Rick Cohen, national correspondent of Nonprofit Quarterly.

Closing Keynote

Rebalancing Society: The Sector’s Role with Henry Mintzberg, author of Rebalancing Society, and Professor of Management Studies at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management

Horizons header
These sessions are focused on the big picture, the deep questions, that affect the future of our sector. To lead effectively, sometimes we need to be thinking 5, 10, 20 years out: Why are we engaged in an area of work? What change do we want to see? What proactive approaches do we need to take to make change happen? What analysis is key?

Creating a Vision to Inform our Sector's Legal Structures

How can our legislative framework and institutional structures serve our vision for the nonprofit sector? Different kinds of smaller legal changes can add up to a big shift in nonprofit work. Sometimes we get focused on specific legislative gains, but they should be informed by a broader vision about the laws that govern our sector. These laws should be guided by the nonprofit sector’s approach to serving communities- not the other way around. Hear about some ways to overhaul the system- including our corporate legislation, the role of the Canada Revenue Agency- and join a conversation that could set the stage for a new approach to strengthening Ontario’s nonprofit sector.

Speakers to include: Adam Aptowitzer, Lawyer at Drache Aptowitzer LLP, Lynn Eakin, ONN, Deborah Grant, Children, Families & Social Enterprise, Learning Enrichment Foundation

The Next 10 Years: A Labour Force Vision for the Nonprofit Sector

We’ve got a sector-wide strategy for Ontario’s 55,000 nonprofits and our 1 million workers! The wheels are in motion now, and we need to make sure we keep an eye on the horizon as we move. Using data and pilot projects that support leadership, diversity and inclusion, labour market information and more for the nonprofit labour force, we’re connecting to broader movements about decent work for all Ontarians. Hear the plan, get in conversation and share your perspective on what we can accomplish together in the next 10 years.

Speakers to include: Mike Coxon, Mills Community Support, Rob Howarth, Toronto Neighbourhood Centres. Deena Ladd, Workers Action Centre. Jamie Van Ymeren, Mowat NFPGina Uppal & Scott Zoltok, Connect the Sector Fellows.

Giving & Getting: The Role of Foundations in Shaping Our Sector

Consider key trends in the changing role of foundations and what they mean for our sector and our communities in the years ahead. Excited that foundations are more engaged than ever with nonprofits and communities they serve? Curious about the impact of more recent trends such as requirements for matching funds, foundations funding foundations, and funders participating in direct delivery? How will the rise of mega-donors affect our sector? In this session we’ll explore the role nonprofits play in working with funder colleagues to respond to, and shape, these trends over the long term.

Speakers to include: Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterly. Susan Phillips, Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Carleton University. Stephen Huddart, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Hilary Pearson, Philanthropic Foundations Canada.

Creating a Vibrant Democracy: How Nonprofits Can Step Up in the Next 5 Years

As key players in democracy, how can nonprofits work with grassroots movements and people to support thriving communities? It’s not only for this election and the new political landscape that nonprofits need to get engaged. We have collective skills, data, stories and networks to influence public policy for our communities. Join the session to talk about how we can work together to get community voices heard on public policy, programs and directions for the future.

Moderator: Jane Hilderman, Executive Director, Samara Canada

Speakers to include: Jessica Bolduc, 4Rs Youth Movement. Ratna Omidvar, Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson University. Andy Benson, National Coalition for Independent Action (NCIA).

Strategies header
These sessions are focused on strategies for the sector that are playing out right now. In some cases, we’re mid-game. What action is underway this year? What can we do to set up the next phase of strategy effectively, and see what’s coming down the field in the months ahead? What collective action might we need to take in the near future?

The Shared Platforms Paradox: Relationships & Control

Are you an association or organization supporting unincorporated local resident groups or projects in their community building work? Or are you a grassroots group looking to get connected? Shared platforms can help structure your relationships. Explore ONN’s new guidebook on the minimum legal, administrative and fiduciary requirements for shared platforms. Share your perspectives on this body of knowledge and hear from others. Together we will discuss key ways the sector can work together and support each other in developing an enabling environment for shared platforms work in the coming year.

Speakers to include: Jillian Witt and Leslie Wright, Novita Interpares. Bill Sinclair, St-Stephen’s Community House. Duane Hall, Spoke N’ Heard. Jehad Aliweiwi, Laidlaw Foundation.

Data = Knowledge = Power: A Data Strategy for Ontario's Nonprofit Sector

We know that data is key to the nonprofit sector and the communities we serve. It helps to connect the dots across different sources of information about how communities and people are doing- whether it’s jobs, economies, service use, available space and much more. And it helps us anticipate future trends. The possibilities opened up by technology in the last 10 years are groundbreaking: we can use data differently now, sharing and mixing it to get deeper insights. Get the scoop on key elements of a data strategy for Ontario’s nonprofit sector, what different regions and subsectors are already working on, and tell us what’s important to you as we shape the next phase.

Speakers to include: Michael Lenczner, CEO/founder of Ajah and PoweredbyData. Bianca Wylie, head, Toronto Open Data Institute. Amanda King and Carolyn Stewart, Ontario Association of Food Banks. Demond Drummer, CoderSpace

A Nonprofit Sector Pension Plan for Ontario: A Model to Consider

The Ontario Registered Pension Plan (ORPP) discussion has raised important questions about pensions in the nonprofit sector. How can we ensure workers do not retire into poverty? How can we improve the ability of nonprofit employers to attract and retain qualified workers? The Quebec community nonprofit sector has created a flexible, affordable plan for their employers and workers- with significant surpluses. Come and learn how they did it and why a multi-employer nonprofit pension plan could be a key piece of the puzzle for our sector’s “decent work” movement.

Speakers to include: Michel Lizée, Régime de retraite des groupes communautaires et de femmes, Margaret Hancock, Family Service Toronto

1,076,395 km²: An Ecosystem Approach to Rural Social Enterprise Development

In a large and regionally diverse province, ONN has worked with partners over the past four years to test approaches for enabling social enterprise across Ontario. Learn more about what we’ve discovered, including policy recommendations based on work with over 200 rural nonprofits, regional partners and in-depth case studies. Consider the nuances of rural perspectives on nonprofit earned income, and the implications for provincial policy and program work in the next few years. Nonprofits and governments alike have roles to play in enabling this ecosystem.

Speakers to include: Cathy Lang, C. Lang Consulting. Mary Ferguson, Eko Nomos. Heather Reid, Abbey Gardens. Jennifer Springett, Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op.

Creating a Plan for Sector-Driven Evidence and Evaluation

As a sector, we know that evidence can help make our work better. We know that nonprofits need to engage many stakeholders, including funders, to create a plan for evaluation that meets everyone’s needs. Too often though, we end up in “reactive” mode. In this session, we’ll share ONN’s work on a sector-driven evaluation strategy. How can nonprofits learn with, and be accountable to, our communities and funders? How can we reduce the administrative burden related to evaluation so nonprofits can focus more on their missions? We’ll share ideas we’re using to develop the strategy, and are looking for your feedback as we shape a sector-driven approach in the coming year, to make sure it responds to the realities of sub-sectors and regions throughout Ontario.

Speakers to include: Ben Liadsky, ONN, Andrew Taylor, Taylor Newberry

Federal Election 2015: The Political Landscape for Nonprofits in Ontario

Just one day out from a federal election, get fresh perspectives on the new political forces affecting the national scene and especially the Ontario heartland. Understand not just how people voted but why they did—and what the context is for the new government and its priorities. This session give crucial out-of-the-gate perspectives for nonprofit sector leadership in what could follow in the days and months ahead.

Speakers to include: John Wright, Ipsos. Ilona Dougherty, Youth & Civic Engagement Expert.

Community Hubs in Ontario: What's Next?

The Government of Ontario is developing a strategic framework and action plan for community hubs. Come join us to hear the Premier’s Special Advisor speak about how this work has developed to date and what comes next. Get in conversation about what this initiative might mean for Ontario communities, and share your perspective about key strategic decisions as implementation gets underway.

Speakers to include: Karen Pitre, Special Advisor to the Premier on Community Hubs. Michelle Baldwin, Pillar Nonprofit Network.

Tactics header
These sessions are focused on the tactics- the skills and tools for our individual organizations and sub-sectors. While policy and systems play out, we have work to do and decisions to make every day. How can we incorporate these trends and issues into the practical work we do with our colleagues and boards?

Governing Change: What “Innovation” Means for Boards

Each nonprofit board has a unique role to play in changing times. Hear analysis of top trends ONN sees affecting board governance- including demographic changes and shifts in movement building. Get examples of how boards across the country are approaching “innovation” and discuss what this could mean for your own boards. Share your perspectives and get ideas for how your board can best act in the interests of community stakeholders in 2016 and beyond.

Speakers to include: Robin Cardozo, SickKids Foundation, Lynn Eakin, ONN, Karen Farbridge, Karen Farbridge & Associates, Jason Marin, CatalystsX

Government Relations: Nuances for Nonprofits

Get perspective on what government relations can look like for nonprofits big and small. We’ll talk about where to start, who to connect to, key timelines that drive government decision making, and other nuances in language and approaches to keep in mind for nonprofits already engaged in the public policy process.

Speakers to include: Annie Bérubé, Green Budget Coalition. Chris Holz and Natalie Dash, Campbell Strategies. Noel Dhingra, The Local Community Food Centre. Chad Rogers, Crestview Strategy.

Leading a Culture of Accessibility

How do we, as a sector, create an ongoing culture of accessibility in our organizations and beyond to our subsectors, networks and communities? Many nonprofit organizations serve and engage with vulnerable populations, so it’s no surprise that accessibility – in all its definitions – is of high importance. Together we can find ways to approach accessibility that helps meet missions and integrates with existing work.

Our sector is uniquely positioned to get this right and identify barriers and address accessibility with courage and compassion. Learn what can be done and find out the latest resources from across the sector.

Introduction by: Alfred Spencer, Accessibility Directorate of Ontario 

Moderated by: Constance Exley, Accessibility Ontario 

Speakers to include: Kathy Lazslo, DANI (Developing & Nurturing Independence). Liviya Mendelsohn, Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. Jini Stolk, Creative Trust. Rose Jacobson, Picasso PRO.

Modernizing the Nuts and Bolts: Our Funding Relationships with the Ontario Government

ONN has a vision for transforming the sector-government funding relationship so that both government and nonprofits spend less time on administration and more time on program delivery and improving results. First up: taking concrete steps toward reducing the administration burden. Learn how your own funding relationships might be improved through practices being developed across the provincial government. This year’s the Transfer Payment Administration Modernization Office has been asked through Ontario’s 2015 Budget to introduce a common registration process for transfer payment recipients and to continue to address funding reforms. Learn more about ONN’s work with this office to develop and test improved admin processes and tell us what you think of their progress to date.

Speakers to include: Rose Langhout, Transfer Payment Administrative Modernization Office in Ontario’s Treasury Board. Maureen Fair, West Neighbourhood House.

True Engagement? Principles and Practices for Sector-Government Consultation

With 11 bills passed this spring, many consultations taking place and more sets of regulations set for an update, the sector can expect many opportunities to engage with the provincial government in the year ahead. Join us to discuss a set of best practices and founding principles that ONN has developed to help both government and sector colleagues get the most out of consultations and ensure they result in the healthy democratic engagement they are designed for. And learn which consultations are key for you, and what you might want to share with your members and communities.

Speakers to include: Theresa McClenaghan, Canadian Environmental Law Association. Ginelle Augustin-Lesmond, Ministry of Education. Debbie Douglas, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. Brian Fior, Open Government Office at Treasury Board Secretariat.

Evidence for Everyone: Ways to Make Evaluation Work For Your Nonprofit

Collecting evidence and understanding the work of our nonprofits better can have big implications for everyday work. When staff and volunteers already have full plates, how can nonprofits integrate data collection as a natural part of an organization’s work, or make time to think about evidence and impact in regular meetings? This is about  changing the way we approach our activities. Hear from creative nonprofit umbrella groups that have made practical changes in the way they collect and use evidence. Whether you’re a big or small organization, get a sense of how to use data to inform your evaluation, create a learning culture to help use it and work with other organizations to get the evidence you need to drive your work forward. Meet and share ideas with others working on this sector challenge.

Speakers to include: Tanya Darisi and Geetha Van den Daele, Capacity Canada. Andrew Taylor, Taylor Newberry Consulting. Matthew Stern, Centre for Social Innovation.

Nonprofit Data Jam! ONE and TWO

Want to put data to use but don’t know where or how to start? Try out some of the innovative ways nonprofits can create visualizations and analysis of data to support their work. See how this can be done on the cheap and in just hours with the help of data “techies”. Experience the process of connecting your work to open data and the open data community. No tech skills required! Bring a thorny challenge your organization is facing and learn how it could be addressed using data. This is a one-of-a-kind practical workshop that will help you organize your challenge into a product brief to kick start your very own open data project.

Bianca Wylie, head, Toronto Open Data Institute