CRITS Conference 2019

Social Innovation: Beyond a Buzzword

From 29 May 2019 to 30 May 2019

May 29-30, 2019
Social Innovation Workshop Mauril-Bélanger (The Atelier), Saint Paul University.
95 Clegg St., Ottawa

Join activists, academics and practitioners for two days of bilingual conversation and discussion on a set of questions we believe are crucial to ensuring that social innovation is not, or ceases to be, the exclusive domain of neoliberal trajectories:

  • Is social innovation the offspring of neoliberalism?
  • Breaking free from capitalism, but to go where?
  • Does engaged pedagogy produce engaged students?
  • How can social movements fund themselves without losing their souls?
  • Does democratic governance hate leaders?
  • New digital infrastructures: illusions of democratic potentialities?
  • Does engaged pedagogy produce engaged students?
  • What needs to be decolonized in the social and solidarity economy?

For the event, we have commissioned Artengine – a local collective of artists. The collective will present the work of Émily Rose Michaud: InterconnectedWatershed, in resonance with the theme of the conference. This proposal will also capture the affinities between creative practices and research practices. To know more about Artengine: 

Detailed program

Wedn. 29 May
  • Julie Chateauvert and Philippe Dufort, co-directors of CRITS 
  • William-Jacomo Beauchemin, Lab Instructor of social innovation, Exeko.

An interactive art installation to pay homage to the Ottawa River Watershed + the Waters we love.

InterconnectedWatershed explores the power and presence of water — past, present, and future. This interdisciplinary, inteactive art installation draws on local and regional experiences with hydropower, watersheds, water bodies, dams, and water flows — from Almonte to Maniwaki. The exhibit features Emily Rose Michaud’s soundscape, made to accompany the work, which is layered with the sounds of water, Gaelic folk song, social and political speech, and music from Esmerine’s atmospheric melodies.

Each participant will be invited to draw a body of water they love on a cedar tile which will be added to the floor installation over 500 pieces from people of diverse communities in the Ottawa River watershed region. Tiles are arranged into a mosaic in which the water lines flow into one another.

Ain’t we teachers? Decentralizing our academic practice from research to emancipatory pedagogy

Philippe Dufort and Anahi Morales Hudon
Professors, Saint-Paul University

Learning to manage social innovation? Experience in the theatre of the oppressed at HEC

Chantale Mailhot and Marc D. Lachapelle
Professor and lecturer, HEC Montréal

Is Knowledge Power? Self-Knowledge, Empathy and Social Responsibility

Bianca Briciu
Lecturer, Saint-Paul University and Carleton University, Founder of Emotional Balance

Social innovation as an activist space

Yves-Marie Abraham, Professor, HEC Montréal

Small-group  workshops will follow.

Social innovation and digital liberation projects


  • Charlotte Rautureau and Julien Bellanger, Association PiNG, Nantes
  • Sophie Toupin, FemHack and Université McGill
  • Alejandro Mayoral Baños, Indigenous Friends Association
  • Stéphane Couture, York University.

Workshop 1 : Questioning the Procurement and Investment Readiness Fund (PIRF)

Philippa Weins, Senior Program Manager, PIRF, and Ethel Côté, MécènESS.

Workshop 2 : How can Philanthropy be transformed?

 Jon McPhedran Waitzer, Resource Movement and Shereen Munshi, The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples

Overcoming neoliberal social innovation: between philanthropic-capitalism and emancipatory project

Jonathan Durand-Folco, Saint-Paul University

Small-group  workshops will follow.

Building Transformative Movements


  • Clayton Thomas-Muller, Stop at the source campaigner,
  • Harsha Walia, activist and author of Undoing Border Imperialism (2013).
    Moderated by Amanda Wilson, Saint-Paul University
Thur. 30 May

Social innovation and neoliberal environmentalism in the Anthropocene era: for a socio-ecological problematization of social innovation

Martin Samson, Saint-Paul University


Mathieu Dufour-Perron, Université du Québec en Outaouais


Montréal-Nord: epicentre of social innovation in Quebec’s metropolis ?

Bochra Manaï, Parole d’ExcluEs
and Steves Boussiki, Table de Quartier de Montréal-Nord

Chimeda and InterconnectedWatershed, research-creation in communities

Emily Rose Michaud, artist and educator


  • Isabelle Ruelland, Université de Montréal
  • Mathieu Couture , HEC
  • Geneviève Proulx-Masson, HEC
  • Erin Mackie, S4ES

Presented by Martin Blais, Simon Tremblay-Pepin and Jamel Stambouli, Saint-Paul University