At Saint Paul University, social innovation takes place within two organizations: the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation and the Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop (The Atelier). Deeply connected, these two organizations are in direct contact with both the Ottawa-Gatineau community and the social innovation sector in Ontario and Quebec.
The Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation
The Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation is the first social innovation school in Canada. It offers a variety of academic programs that combine critical thinking, social action and democratic management. Designed for both students completing their first university education and for professionals who want to improve their skills, it offers solid theoretical training coupled with a practical focus in teaching.
The School of Social Innovation’s mission is to provide theoretical and practical training in the field of collective action and social innovation in local communities. More specifically, the School focuses on the dissemination of knowledge related to the emergence of new models of organization, social practices and civic engagement to combat social inequalities and various forms of oppression, as well as fight against poverty. Social innovation includes not only social entrepreneurship and collective enterprises, but all initiatives, movements and experiments responding to immediate needs while promoting democracy, justice and social change.
The Mauril-Bélanger Social Innovation Workshop – The Atelier
The Atelier is a not-for-profit, member-based organization. It is an inclusive bilingual space (physical and virtual) for collaboration, training, knowledge-sharing, and support for social innovations. The non-profit organization is the practical branch of an ecosystem located at Saint Paul University in Ottawa alongside the Élisabeth Bruyère School of Social Innovation and the Centre for Research on Inequalities and Social Transformations (CRITS). The Atelier’s members are stakeholders in the field of social innovation: students, researchers, practitioners, entrepreneurs and local communities.
In collaboration with their partners, the Atelier offers training; professional support; opportunities for visibility and; funding to individuals and initiatives pioneering new organizational models, social practices and tools for civic engagement to be used in the fight against social inequalities and various forms of oppression.