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Social Robots are reducing seniors’ social isolation

Impact Conversations

Release Date: 09/02/2021

Gord Downie’s Legacy of #ReconciliACTION! show art Gord Downie’s Legacy of #ReconciliACTION!

Impact Conversations

Sarah Midanik, Executive Director of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund shares a message of hope, as she reflects on the important work of reconciliation requiring us all, and non-Indigenous Canadians in particular, to take action. We hear about the important work to be done to address systemic racism and how this national charity found a way, working from the ground up, to address the history not previously being told in the school  curriculum, providing tools and resources into some 6000 schools within 4 years. And that’s just one example.   Resources  Gord Downie...

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Insights from Toronto’s Reconciliation Action Plan show art Insights from Toronto’s Reconciliation Action Plan

Impact Conversations

Selina Young, Director of the City of Toronto’s first Indigenous Affairs Office speaks with us about Toronto’s Reconciliation Action Plan, recently unanimously approved by Council.  We hear about the process, informed by various Indigenous community leaders, which pushed Selina and her team to revise the plan, ensuring big, bold action towards reconciliation.  It’s also made clear that this plan is not for Indigenous folks to undertake, but rather actions for non-Indigenous folks to be taking, namely by the City and its some 38k people, leveraging its role as service provider,...

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Creating an increased and lasting sense of civic agency in youth show art Creating an increased and lasting sense of civic agency in youth

Impact Conversations

Veronika Berlicki, co-founder and leader of CityHive, shares how they are transforming the way young people engage in shaping their cities.  Based in Metro Vancouver, this 5-year old nonprofit has revisited its initial strategic plans, to assess the impact its been making and see what changes that might mean for the way forward. They’ve engaged key stakeholders along the way and had some tough conversations as a team, looking at the change they want to be making and considering the trade-offs. They’ve developed a Theory of Change that is not only guiding their work but providing...

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Catalyzing Local Action on Climate Change through Collective Impact show art Catalyzing Local Action on Climate Change through Collective Impact

Impact Conversations

Bianca Caramento is the Manager of the Bay Area Climate Change Council, leading the collective impact initiative to advance and accelerate climate change action in the cities of Burlington and Hamilton.  She shares with us the structure behind this collective, with her “backbone” role housed in the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College, supporting a collective of 14 community organizations.     We hear about their Theory of Change – the master plan for reducing green house gases in the community by 50% by 2030, towards becoming net zero cities by...

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The Prosperity Project: Creating a Prosperous Canada is Women’s Work show art The Prosperity Project: Creating a Prosperous Canada is Women’s Work

Impact Conversations

Foreseeing COVID negatively impacting women’s ability to stay and thrive in the workforce, Pamela Jeffrey, Founder and lead of The Prosperity Project was concerned about the impact this would have on not just the women themselves, but Canada’s prosperity.  So, she took action, focusing on women, and particularly women of equity-deserving communities, including Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQ2S+, and physically challenged.      Pamela shares how this project came to be and the unique seed funding approach, with 60+ senior professional women committing to the...

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The Home Depot Canada Foundation’s Commitment to Systems Change in Youth Homelessness show art The Home Depot Canada Foundation’s Commitment to Systems Change in Youth Homelessness

Impact Conversations

The Home Depot Canada Foundation has recently revisited their role and plans by developing a Theory of Change and Strategic Plan.  We hear about the journey and results from Amy Bilodeau, Sr. Manager, Community Investment for the Home Depot Canada, a role which includes supporting the Home Depot Canada Foundation's mission to eradicate youth homelessness in Canada.  This mission has remained intact, and with a renewed commitment, with the Foundation continuing to aim higher on its fundraising goals, and then applying those significant funds for systemic change.  We hear about...

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The B Corp Movement, with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions show art The B Corp Movement, with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions

Impact Conversations

B Corp is a global movement of more than 4800 companies, with almost 400,00 employees in 79 countries around the world, all focused on making business a force for good.     Together, B Corps are working to shift our global economy from a system that profits few to one that benefits all: advancing a new model that moves from concentrating wealth to ensuring equity, from resource extraction to energy generation, and from individualism to interdependence.     We are happy to have Ian Kelly and Elaine Adema from PeaceWorks Technology Solutions, a fellow B...

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How B Lab is leveraging business for climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economic system show art How B Lab is leveraging business for climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economic system

Impact Conversations

Show notes:  Kara Peck, Senior Director, Strategy + Partnerships, B Lab US & Canada shares their journey to strategic clarity for their organization and for making a real difference in the world.  Leveraging a time of organizational and societal change, they have developed a Theory of Change, creating alignment around a new focus for the B Corp-certifying nonprofit, to support the business sector in taking collective action towards addressing racial equity, climate justice and stakeholder capitalism.       Resources: B Lab US/Canada Theory of...

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Non-Profit Leadership, with Shelley Zuckerman of North York Community House show art Non-Profit Leadership, with Shelley Zuckerman of North York Community House

Impact Conversations

In this episode, Sally speaks with Shelley Zuckerman, who has been the Executive Director of North York Community House for the past 30 years, about her long career in the non-profit sector, how her organization has navigated the challenges of the past two years, and her advice for the next generation of leaders in the sector.      Shelley shares what makes her optimistic for the future, both for our sector and more broadly. As she nears retirement this year, Shelley reminds us about how far we have come, and shares her confidence in the next generation to go further...

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Supporting Youth Transitioning from Care through Collective Impact, with Halton CAS show art Supporting Youth Transitioning from Care through Collective Impact, with Halton CAS

Impact Conversations

We’re focused in this conversation on a collective approach being taken in Halton to support young people as they transition from the care of CAS, at age 18-24. Halton Region identified this as a priority area, creating a Community Safety and Wellbeing table, and it truly is a community effort. With the Oakville Community Foundation holding the backbone or coordinator role, leveraging support from the Halton Granters Table, many local youth serving organizations have come together to support youth transitioning from care to support their goals in education, employment and training. We hear...

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More Episodes

Lee St. James founded Social Robots to apply her tech background to a social issue, close to home.  Not able to spend as much time with her father while seeing the effects of social isolation, she took action.

Through this social enterprise, and with help from an Investment Readiness Program grant from the Community Foundations of Canada, through the Oakville Community Foundation, Lee is piloting the use of a friendly robot, complete with a tablet for interactive apps and photos, to engage seniors in retirement homes and long term care facilities.  She’s addressing issues of social isolation and boredom while providing an interesting tool for Rec leaders to engage with their senior residents, and seeing positive results. 

With a heightened awareness of the issue of social isolation due to COVID-19, Lee is seeing growing interest, and particularly from post-secondary institutions looking to embed this in their curriculum to prepare the next generations for better supporting our seniors populations.  

 

 

Resources 

Social Robots: https://socialrobots.ca  

Investment Readiness Program through the Oakville Community Foundation:https://www.theocf.org/initiative/irp/  

Sheridan College – Centre for Elder Research:  https://www.sheridancollege.ca/research/centres/elder-research  

PARO Therapeutic Robots/Baby Seal:  http://www.parorobots.com  

Pepper - Canada's first talking, dancing, emotionally sensitive robot:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6aDHtRFZJ0  

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Thank you for listening to Impact Conversations with Lynn Fergusson & Sally Fazal

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Find out more about our work at Social Impact Advisors: https://socialimpactadvisors.ca