The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences applauds the creation of the Social Innovation Endowment Fund by the Government of Alberta. With an investment of $500 million in Alberta’s 2014 budget, and another $500 million next year, earnings from the endowment will fund projects in three streams: Research and Knowledge; Funding Models and Partnerships; and Prototyping (implementing innovative interventions to address social challenges).
“This is an important initiative by Alberta” said Jean-Marc Mangin, Executive Director of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences “and we are particularly pleased to note that the fund will focus on creative collaborations among the public, private and not-for profit sectors. Through research advances and campus-community collaborations, social science and humanities researchers are ready to contribute to understanding and solving the most pressing issues in Alberta and Canada”.
This investment in social innovation has the potential to provide returns to Canada’s triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) leading to long-term benefits to Alberta including by reducing demands on public spending for health and social services. Social innovation also creates jobs, especially in the vibrant not-for-profit sector which employs 2 million Canadians.
The future belongs to those who are able to approach today’s complex problems with new ideas and new or enhanced partnerships. In creating the Social Innovation Endowment Fund, the Government of Alberta is doing just that, and Albertans and Canada as a whole will benefit.