Scale and Societal Resiliency: A Conversation for the New Economy
Aug. 7 live conversation to be held via Google Hangouts on Air

Axiom News has partnered with Enterprising Non-profits Canada to host an online conversation about scaling social enterprise on August 7 at 12:30 p.m. EST. As the social enterprise movement grows, questions around the conventional Holy Grail of business are surfacing. How does the concept of scaling up translate in the world of social enterprise? And what kind of impact does the scale of a social enterprise have on societal resiliency?
Joined by two consultants and two practitioners in the field, the live conversation will delve into various understandings of scale, lessons and insights from experiences of scaling up, and how this conversation fits into the reshaping new economy. Viewers can share their comments and questions on the topic via the Google Hangouts on Air Q&A app, by posting on the Google+ event page or by using the #enponair hashtag on Twitter.
The August 7 conversation will feature the following guests:

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  Abe Grindle

Abe Grindle is a consultant at the Bridgespan Group, where he has helped a variety of domestic and international organizations develop strategic plans for scaling their social impact to help break cycles of intergenerational poverty. Abe’s past clients range from mid-size NGOs to large national networks to a multilateral development agency to a leading corporate foundation. He has worked in economic development, public health, global development, education and youth development. He is the co-author of Transformative Scale: The Future of Growing What Works, published in the February 2014 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review.
The Bridgespan Group is a non-profit adviser and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. Bridgespan collaborates with social sector leaders to help scale impact, build leadership, advance philanthropic effectiveness and accelerate learning.

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  Vanessa LeBourdais

Vanessa LeBourdais is the executive producer of DreamRider Productions, a social enterprise energized by a mission to inspire students to do their part to conserve water and energy and to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. To actualize its mission, the enterprise creates, produces and delivers live theatre productions to students in Greater Vancouver. The program has worked far beyond what its originators dreamed as students have gone home and made significant changes in their and their families’ lives.

After working yearly with more than 70,000 students of all ages in more than 200 Greater Vancouver schools, Dreamrider is now launching the Planet Protector Academy, an interactive, curriculum-linked program for Grade 3-6. The key impetus for the new program is to expand Dreamriders’ social impact to a broader audience.

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  Heidi Lambie

Heidi Lambie is the regional development manager for two ReStore social enterprises in southern Alberta that support Habitat for Humanity. In 2012, the Calgary ReStore hit $1.7 million in sales, the highest of all Canadian Habitat for Humanity social enterprises for that year.

Established in 1991, the Habitat for Humanity ReStores sell new and used building supplies, home furnishing, appliances, and décor donated by corporations or citizens.
Heidi, who has worked with the two southern Alberta stores for about a year, attributes the Calgary store’s phenomenal 2012 success in part to rigorous documentation of incoming inventory, as well as clearly and constantly articulating the purpose of the enterprise. The goal for the southern Alberta stores is $3 million in sales in 2014.
Profits from ReStore social enterprises are directed to the non-profit, Habitat for Humanity Canada, to support the building of more homes for families who are struggling. The social enterprises’ impact also includes shrinking the public’s environmental footprint by reducing and reusing building supplies and home and office items.

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  David Upton

David Upton with Common Good Solutions has been using entrepreneurship as a tool for change for over 30 years. He has worked with Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s North, youth and business development organizations, and all levels of government to develop sustainable entrepreneurial projects in recreation, the arts, environment and business sectors.

David has a special passion for working with young entrepreneurs. He is also an active volunteer, having been a member of the Social Economy and Sustainability Research Network Subnode, which focused on food security in the Atlantic provinces. He is the founding and current president of the Atlantic Council for Community and Social Enterprise, and sits on a number of national committees to further develop the policy environment for investment and capacity growth in the sector.

What questions around scale are burning for you leading up to the conversation? Let us know here or tweet to @ENPCan or @Axiomnews with #enponair.

With files from Michelle Strutzenberger.