Social Innovation: Leveraging Systems Thinking to Improve Community Partnerships

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EDT

Featured Speaker: Yassaman Nouri and Cara Benjamin-Pace

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Over many decades, many “solutions” to social and environmental problems in local and global communities have been implemented without a thorough understanding of complexities; hence, many have resulted in un-intended negative impacts. The shift to systems thinking and analysis has helped improve our understanding of interdependencies and complexities. This shift has been integral in identifying intended and unintended positive and negative impacts in communities. In this webinar, we will take a brief look at what ecosystems are and how systems thinking can be used to better understand the positive and negative impacts of your work in the community. We will then help you understand, through examples, how to leverage this system understanding to build partnerships across your community and achieve sustainable solutions to social/environmental issues.


Yassaman Nouri

yassaman nouri.jpgYassaman is a UBC BComm Finance graduate and a recipient of Queen Elizabeth’s Queen Jubilee medal for contributions that positively impacted communities domestically and internationally. She is originally from Tehran, raised in Vancouver and has worked in Iran, UK, China, Malawi, Tajikistan and Canada in diverse sectors including post-secondary education, international trade, international development, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, credit unions, non-profits, management consulting and government organizations.

Yassaman has had the privilege of contributing to organizations of all sizes from one-person-start-ups, to large global firms, on projects that range from strategy development to implementation and operation.

Yassaman currently serves on the community wealth board of Options for Homes as well as helping the Hamilton Community Foundation with their pilot impact measurement project. She teaches various courses related to social impact through Social Enterprise Institute, such as "How to use Systems Thinking to solve social problems", "How to use storytelling to connect to stakeholders", and "Tips and tools on building local and global impact communities".


Cara Benjamin-Pacecara benjamin pace.jpeg

Cara Benjamin-Pace is the Co-founder and Project Director of Newcomer Kitchen. Newcomer Kitchen is an exciting new NFP that emerged out of an organic call to action to find ways to welcome and provide meaningful engagement for Syrian refugees as they arrived in Canada. It has emerged into a vibrant community that embraces newcomers, local community and educators with small and large business support. Cara has a varied background in start-ups and innovation. She is passionate about the intersection of the economy and civic engagement, cultural and social diversity, and equity and accessibility in the workplace.



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