Speak up now! Nominate a leader for the Social Finance Awards
Trailblazers within the field of social finance are those leaders who challenge the status quo. By proposing new models, solutions and frameworks for finance, they fundamentally alter the way we perceive and interact with the world.
People who have challenged the status quo are found in a wide array of contexts—think Rosa Parks and Pablo Picasso—and are often revered for having single-handedly revolutionized their field.
The ideal of an omnipotent figure grabs our attention because it is simple and easy to understand. However, in the complex and interdependent 21st century, solutions to social and environmental problems are anything but simple and easy.
Time and time again we learn that silver bullets rarely have the breadth or durability to address the scope of the systematic challenges we are dealing with. This is an integral premise of social finance, which at a fundamental level is a wide collection of arguments that question many of the basic assumptions and values that play out in all of our lives.
Scores of individuals have taken the initiative to innovate the way they respond to our world’s challenges. Individually, these efforts amount to little relative to the scope of the issues they face. However, each time a business becomes a certified B Corporation, and each time a Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) or the YWCA uses innovative community funding, they are contributing to a growing set of examples, precedents and stories, drawing a road map for others.
As a community, these efforts amount to a growing movement.
SocialFinance.ca’s raison d’être is to support this movement by connecting, informing and inspiring all parties interested in social finance. We strive to trigger a fundamental shift in the alignment between what our society values and how it allocates resources.
Introducing the Social Finance Awards
As a tool to enable this process, SocialFinance.ca is proud to announce the launch of the Social Finance Awards. For the transformative potential of our community to be realized, the stories and examples of our leaders need to be shared widely. The Social Finance Awards are an instrument that SocialFinance.ca will use to surface, showcase and celebrate the initiatives of trailblazers in the Canadian impact investing marketplace. In doing so, we hope to support the growth and development of our national social finance community.
An open nomination process will be followed by the selection of up to 10 finalists by our panel of distinguished judges:
- Brenda Reid-Kuecks of Ecotrust Canada
- David LePage of Enterprising Non-Profits
- Michael Oster of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund
- Seth Assimakos of the Saint John Community Loan Fund
- Tania Carnegie of KPMG
- Tessa Hebb of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation
- Timothy Nash of Strategic Sustainable Investments
The stories of each finalist will be profiled on SocialFinance.ca. The public will then have the opportunity to vote for the leader who they feel is most deserving of the award.
Have your say! Nominate a leader for this year’s award
The Social Finance Awards will highlight leaders from a different sector each year. This year, the award will be presented to Canada’s most promising new financial player.
Myriad financial leaders have recently entered the Canadian impact investing space. We wish to celebrate this energy as it is a powerful motivator for other financial leaders who might consider the role that impact investments could play in their own practices.
Nominations are now open for this year’s award. The nomination period closes on July 25, 2012. To nominate a leader, simply send your name, the name of the nominee and the contact information of the nominee to email@example.com.
Factors considered will include:
- the nominee’s financial commitment to impact investing;
- the nominee’s financial/investment model (innovation, scalability);
- the social, environmental and financial impact as a direct result of the nominee’s investment; and
- the nominee’s involvement in advancing the social finance industry in Canada.
More information on the awards process can be found on the Social Finance Awards web page. Please note that we are accepting nominations for Canadian organizations and residents only, however anyone (regardless of country) can submit a nomination.
The power of stories
In a world of dynamic social complexity, what room exists for the fabled hero? What roles are left for today’s most driven, innovative leaders to fill? Perhaps the answer lies in a shift of awareness.
While the heroes of old slayed the beast, the heroes of today mobilize armies. Our historical examples, Rosa Parks and Pablo Picasso, led movements that revolutionized racial equality and the visual arts, music and architecture respectively. In both cases, these leaders accomplished incredible feats not in isolation, but through their ability to influence and unleash the creative potential of millions of others.
The transformational leaders of today create change through the larger cultural shift that they affect. By motivating, inspiring and proposing new models for how to think and behave, these leaders begin by sowing seeds in fertile soil. They are revolutionary not because of their actions, but because of how their actions inspire a more widespread shift in thinking and behaviour. Through this resonance, today’s leaders catalyze a profound and fundamental shift in the way we live our lives.
It is the stories and examples of our leaders that have the potential to shift the trajectory of history. The Social Finance Awards are one way of enabling this process.
Nominate your colleagues today and have their stories told!