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SOAR Workshop: Thriving First Nations

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Our Futures Depend on Thriving First Nations

How might Canadians help create durable social change for first nations in the coming decade for education, employment, housing, justice and health equity, and spiritual connections to land?

The August 2013 DwD session was held by the “social start-up” Generation Connection to collect ideas toward an educational initiative envisioned to support the upcoming generation of First Nations and aboriginal entrepreneurs. About 25 participants engaged to co-create ideas and approaches to help realize durable social change within the coming decades. One of the intentions was to find ways in a multi-stakeholder inquiry to acknowledge First Nations and Aboriginal language and culture, and ways to support ancestral ideas and desire for self-governance, with economic sustainability.

Workshop Approach: The SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results) method is an appreciative inquiry approach that focuses on generating positive approaches and developments, from which action can be taken. A report was created (DwD Aug2013 First Nations SOAR), and is now available to participants and interested readers.

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Generation Connection 

Generation Connection is a social enterprise seeking to provide entrepreneurial education and related support services in collaboration with new First Nations and Aboriginal entrepreneurs. The mission is to provide entrepreneurial education as the catalyst that will enable local entrepreneurs to develop and implement business, social, and environmental solutions to local problems.  The vision is to provide alternative pathways out of poverty through entrepreneurship, to enable entrepreneurs to resolve local social justice gaps and barriers, and to live in a just and sustainable society.

Peter Scott, BFA, MDes Candidate OCAD U

Peter is a 2nd year Strategic Foresight and Innovation MDes student at OCAD University.  His background focuses on social entrepreneurship education, including entrepreneurship certificate programs from MIT Sloan, Wharton, INSEAD and Rotman School.  For the past seven years, Peter has been the program administrator for the Small Business Program (SBP-Regent Park Program) a jointed initiative with Rotman School, U. of T. and the Regent Park Community.  His research interest includes ways to enhance learning in the classroom experience, scaling up small businesses, and systems and design thinking approaches.

Ushnish Sengupta, MBA

Ushnish has an Industrial Engineering and MBA education, experience in starting up and managing Social Enterprises, and in delivering entrepreneurship and business courses. Ushnish’s specializations include project management, strategy, and IT

Larry Sadler, MBA 

Larry Sadler is an experienced business consultant, who has served for 5 years on First Nations reserves. Larry’s specializations include strategy, governance, operations, IT management, and three decades of co-operative development experience.