Past SEI Events

Our past events have attracted positive media interest and were successful in promoting the SEI, the MDIIM and the Desautels Faculty of Management.



  • On May 30, 2016, members of the McGill and Montreal community gathered for the launch of the Social Innovators' Integration Lab (SIIL). The SIIL research project, located at Le Salon 1861 in the heart of Montreal's Quartier de l’Innovation, is dedicated to develop scientific and practical knowledge around the social economy, social entrepreneurship and social innovation in urban environments. The bilingual launch gathered over 80 researchers, students, and local field actors with a threefold objective: to meet each other, to present the SIIL project and the SIIL map, and to collect expectations and needs from the field that could nurture SIIL's future direction. For more information about the launch event, please visit here.
  • On September 29, 2016, the Social Innovators' Integration Lab (SIIL) hosted a dynamic panel discussion as part of McGill's Community Engagement Day. The panel of social economy representatives was complemented by a virtual walking tour of the SIIL Atla - - an interactive and virtual map geographically displaying qualitative and quantitative information on social economy, social entrepreneurship, and social innovation initiatives. Representatives of Equitas, Tyndale St-George Community Centre, and World Wide Hearing – who work closely with SIIL and McGill’s Social Economy Initiative’s Impact Internship Program (SEI-IIP) - shared and discussed what the social economy means for them and how they are making positive impacts through their work.


  • On September 29, select students and social entrepreneurs attended a special mentorship luncheon with John Woods, founder of Room to Read. Mr. Woods spoke provided insight on his own career path and lessons learned in establishing a successful social impact organization with global reach. Mr. Woods was in Montreal as part of McGill's Beatty Memorial Lecture.
  • On October 23, the McGill community welcomed David Bornstein to speak to a captive audience on social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and the power of solutions based journalism. Part of McGill's Homecoming events, this 4th installment of the SEI Keynote was entitled "The Possible Nation: Social Innovation and the Art of Unleashing Human Potential". For more information on the event, please visit here.
  • On November 13, the Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM) and the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship co-sponsored a half-day workshop on social entrepreneurship. Entitled “Social Entrepreneurship: Designing your career, your enterprise, and your impact”, the event featured a broad range of attendees – from those new to the concept of entrepreneurship to established entrepreneurs. For more information on the event, please visit here.


  • In October, the Social Economy Initiative hosted its 3rd Annual Homecoming Keynote Address. Entitled "Sacred Space: How a benefit corporation is repurposing a church; fusing business and community development", the event featured keynote speaker Ms. Natalie Voland (BA’95 and BSW’99). Ms. Voland explained how her Benefit Corporation (B Corp), Gestion immobilière Quo Vadis, takes a design-centred approach to real estate development and property management. As a concrete example, she presented on how her company is working with community organizations, social enterprises, government, and McGill University to transform l’Église St-Joseph into a hub for social innovation and entrepreneurship within Montreal's south-west Quartier de l’innovation (QI).


  • In February, the SEI collaborated with the Public Policy Forum of Canada for Innovation through Cooperation, a discussion panel on cooperatives featuring a keynote by Monique Leroux, President and CEO of the Desjardins Group. A team of SEI volunteers organized a co-op table where several local cooperatives were showcased. Learn more about the event details here
  • In February, the SEI hosted Charles Eisentein, author of Sacred Economics and the Ascent of Humanity. This free, maximum-capacity event was co-organized with the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. Learn more about the event here. Also, click here for the Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition podcast. 
  • In April, the SEI welcomed close to 400 guests at its inaugural flagship event Strengths of the Social Economy. This event featured a lively panel discussion about the social economy with: The Right Honourable Paul Martin (Former Prime Minister of Canada), Dr. Henry Mintzberg (John Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies, McGill University), and Nancy Neamtan (President and Executive Director of the Chantier de l'économie sociale), facilitated by Stephen Huddart (President and CEO of the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation). ISESI alumni, 2013 Hult Prize winners and eight Centraide organizations also participated in the event. For full podcast, click here. Learn more about the event here
  • In September, the SEI launched its Student and Faculty Speakers Series, providing a forum for academic exchange on topics related to the social economy while offering students and faculty a unique opportunity to engage with recognized leaders in social innovation, social entrepreneurship and non-profit management. The inaugural event on September 4 featured philanthropist Charles Bronfman. Mr. Bronfman discussed his new book, The Art of Doing Good, a how-to guide on succeeding as a social entrepreneur and answered questions from the student audience. For more details about the event, click here. On September 24, the SEI welcomed J.J. McMurtry, Graduate Program Director of the Social and Political Thought Program and an Associate Professor in the Business and Society Program at York University. Professor McMurtry presented before a diverse faculty audience on The Gordian Knot of the Social Economy. To learn more, click here
  • In October, the SEI presented Championing Social Entrepreneurship, a special Homecoming event at the Desautels Faculty of Management. The event featured inspiring and innovative young social entrepreneurs: Aspire – the 2013 Hult Prize team (comprised of Desautels MBA students), four past winners of McGill's Dobson Cup Social Enterprise Track and SEI Impact Interns took the stage to share their experiences and vision for social impact and social innovation. Learn more about the event here.
  • In November, as part of the SEI Speaker Series, the SEI - in collaboration with the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI)- welcomed Seung Chan (Slim) Lim for a unique lecture on empathy and empathetic action. Empathy in the Creative Process: Leveraging Human-centered Design for Social Innovation was free and open to all. Learn more about the event here.


  • In October, the SEI was delighted to welcome social entrepreneur Mary Gordon as a keynote speaker at McGill Homecoming 2012. In her presentation, "Empathy Trumps Bullying", Mary Gordon addressed how her organization, Roots of Empathy, helps reduce classroom bullying and improve interpersonal relations at school. She also discussed local and global social entrepreneurship. Her keynote address was followed by a Q&A with the audience. This event was free and open to the public.