Non-profit leaders play a crucial role in our society. They catalyze and accelerate change within organizations and nurture spaces for people to connect, communicate, and engage on a range of pressing social and cultural issues. Through our new Leading and Learning Program, Metcalf aims to build the capacity of non-profit professionals and their organizations. In this newsletter, you will also read about how workforce development leaders from the Toronto Sector Skills Academy are connecting with business and government, and a report by Dr. Sarah Schulman documenting her efforts to embed innovative practices within the social services. I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter, and invite your feedback.
Sandy Houston, President and CEO
Metcalf is pleased to announce the launch of a new program. The Leading and Learning Program will support the professional development of non-profit leaders and create vital opportunities for collaborative learning between organizations. Applications are now being accepted from non-profit professionals and organizations working within Metcalf’s three program areas.
Toronto Sector Skills Academy meets with Minister Deb Matthews
Metcalf’s Toronto Sector Skills Academy is a professional development program that strengthens the capacity of local leaders to develop effective workforce strategies that deepen collaboration with employers in order to benefit low-wage workers and job seekers. On April 4, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Deb Matthews and Maureen Conway from the Aspen Institute joined the cohort to discuss how workforce development can be a powerful poverty reduction strategy.
Announcing the newest Cycle City grantees
The goal of Cycle City is to build a constituency and a culture that support cycling in Toronto. Eight grants have been approved during the last two funding cycles. Initiatives include a community bike hub on the York University campus, research into repurposing Toronto’s laneways into safe and efficient cycling routes, and efforts to expand cycling infrastructure along the Bloor, Danforth, and Yonge Street corridors.
How Artscape Daniels Launchpad is igniting creative businesses
Artscape Daniels Launchpad is an entrepreneurship hub that supports artists and workers in the creative industries in launching and sustaining business enterprises. The Foundation has provided curriculum development funding for the centre’s educational programming. Metcalf recently spoke with Artscape CEO Tim Jones about the new facility, its offerings for performing artists, and how it aims to address the perceived divergence between the worlds of art and business.
Case study: from grassroots practice to policy change
The Inclusive Local Economies Program is interested in how innovative work at the neighbourhood level informs public policy, research, and community action. The Danforth East Pop-Up Project — a Metcalf grantee since 2012 — provides a compelling case study of this process, as staff and volunteers from the project helped lay the foundation for a significant policy victory at City Hall. Here are three elements of their successful strategy.
Making sure that green jobs are good jobs
A Metcalf-funded report finds that Ontario’s climate change plan has the potential to create thousands of new green jobs in manufacturing, construction, and trades for people who face barriers to employment. Written by Environmental Defence, the Clean Economy Alliance, and Blue Green Canada, Building an Ontario Green Jobs Strategy offers recommendations to ensure that Ontario’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can also work to alleviate social and economic inequity by creating good jobs for the people who need them most.
Building capacity to make change in the social sector
Choreographing New Practices for Social Change is a new report from Metcalf Innovation Fellow Dr. Sarah Schulman. It documents her experiences and reflections from two years of experimentation within Canadian social services organizations. In an accompanying video from the report’s launch, Dr. Schulman challenges us to examine our assumptions around how we sustain organizational behaviour change in the non-profit sector.
Convening the Creative Strategies Incubator
On April 4, Metcalf’s Performing Arts Program brought together all three cohorts of its Creative Strategies Incubator for a day of introductions, workshops, and provocative discussions. As each cohort is addressing a significant issue facing their sector, this joint meeting was designed to inspire a sense of community around the process of adaptive change and allow participants to learn from other’s experiences. We’ve shared our reflections, and lingering questions, from the day.
Better Way Alliance makes the business case for decent work
Metcalf is a member of the Better Way to Build the Economy Alliance, a coalition of businesses and other organizations who believe that a commitment to decent work makes good economic sense. The Alliance has recently released a series of video testimonials from small- and medium-sized business owners. According to participants, investing in their employees is also an investment in the long-term success of their companies, their communities, and the Ontario economy.
Op-ed series calls for a Clean Growth Century
Clean Growth Century is a pledge for Canadians and our governments to support policies that can accelerate our shift to a sustainable and prosperous future. Fellow signatories have published six op-eds in the digital magazine Policy Options. Their articles highlight areas of policy and innovation that include cleaner transportation options, pricing pollution, and the intersection of green jobs with good work.