Economics of Social Change returns to bring new learnings to New Central Library

Since its inaugural run in 2018, Economics of Social Change inspired community changemakers to take a renewed approach to their work through economics and finance, from engaging Indigenous business leaders to social enterprise and procurement.

Economics of Social Change is a certificate program that explores how to use economic tools to create social change. In collaboration with Thrive, the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, and the Calgary Public Library’s New Central Library — where the 2019 program will be held.

The first of five workshops in this community learning series, The Solutions Economy, is on April 26 from 2-5 p.m.

“There are other learnings that examine social issues through movements, poverty, or politics as a lens,” says James Stauch, Director at the Institute for Community Prosperity.“What Economics of Social Change focusses on is what role the economy has in social change and if there is a connection between economic empowerment and ability to affect social and community change.”

Topics covered will include Indigenous perspectives on community economic development, financial models that support social-change initiatives, the role of co-ops and social economy business models, and policy opportunities that build an inclusive economy.

The idea for Economics of Social Change was sparked by Momentum’s Executive Director Jeff Loomis, “to bridge the learning gap between business or economics and social work,” he says. “The program allowed participants to learn about how the economy impacts social issues so they can more effectively work on complex community issues.” Loomis himself facilitated Strengthening Systems for Community Economies — the third workshop in the series — alongside REAP Business Association Founder Stephanie Jackman last year and is excited to make his return to the classroom on June 21.

Economics of Social Change will also bring in storytellers for some of the workshops to provide perspective on creating social change through their own lived experiences. The second workshop, The Changing Nature of Business, will bring in speakers including Hannah Cree, co-founder of CMNGD – a laundry company that hires Calgary’s disenfranchised at a living wage. The fourth workshop, ‘Reconciliation and an inclusive economy’ will bring in Roy Bear Chief, Tribal Manager of the Siksika Nation – in addition to being taught by Tash Calf Robe, Youth Chief of the Blood Nation.

“We’re hoping that this adds one additional layer of skills and knowledge to look at impact through an economic lens as one more arrow in the quiver,” Stauch says.

Take Action:
• Click here to register for up to five courses in Economics of Social Change. Those who register for all five, including those who attended individual courses last year who want to catch up, will receive a certificate of completion.
• Want to attend the workshops but are facing financial or travel barriers? Apply for financial assistance by emailing info@thrivecalgary.org with ‘Economics of Social Change’ in the subject line, explain your interest in the program, how the program will support your community change efforts and your reason for applying for aid.
• Connect with the Institute for Community Prosperity on Twitter