Have you ever used an app on your phone to control the heating in your home? Or a FitBit to track your sleep cycles, step count and activity levels? What about installed a “Find my Phone” app to track your phone in case it gets lost or stolen? These are all examples of the Internet of Things.

IOT is the merging of the physical and online world. By taking physical objects (devices, vehicles, building, etc) and embedding them with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, it enables the objects to connect and exchange data. Now, physical objects can be sensed and controlled remotely allowing for a greater connectivity between the physical world and computer-based systems. The outcomes are improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.

In today’s day and age, anything can be equipped to connect with the internet. Cell phones, home appliances, wearable devices along with parts of machinery, such as a black box on an airplane. Pretty much any object or person can be part of this rapidly growing network.

There are many examples of using the internet of things both in a person’s life and in business. One example would be a family member wearing an alarm button that they can press to notify emergency response teams when they are in destress. Another example would be the monitoring of garbage in disposal bins to optimize routes for pick-up. A third example would be a smart feeder that calculates the amount of food your pet should be eating and orders food for you when you run out. 

How can this apply to business? The opportunities are endless. Sensors can be attached to devices to perform a wide variety of tasks. They can be used to manage a fleet of items, determine when you are getting low on supplies through a weight metric or tell when something is full and needs to be emptied. The information can also be used to give you notifications or trigger an action such as an automatic tweet, an email notification, even a purchase through Amazon. These are just some of the many examples. 

Posted
AuthorDouglas Pawson

CISED welcomes four new star-quality Directors to our Board!

It is with great pleasure that I announce four new board members to the Centre for Innovative Social Enterprise Development.  We are very fortunate to have new members with a spectrum of experience, perspective and interests. 

  •  Mike BulthuisMike currently serves as Executive Director of Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa. His passion and drive for the homelessness support sector is evident in the unbelievable amount of time and energy he invests in homelessness and housing events and projects in the city. 
  • LoriAnn GirvanLoriAnn has deservedly earned the title "Social-Finance and Housing Guru". Before she fell in love with Ottawa, she was Director of Housing and Homelessness for Toronto's Housing Services Corporation and Director of Community Health for the Toronto Community Housing Association, which provides homes for nearly 60,000 low-to-moderate income households. 
  • Stewart HardacreStewart brings to CISED a wealth of executive and operational knowledge. Having served as President & CEO for both the Canadian Hunger Foundation and Habitat for Humanity Canada, he understands how to scale and manage large social enterprise initiatives, such as the 90 Habitat for Humanity ReStores across Canada. 
  • Aleatha Bedard-PooleAleatha is an Associate Manager in Growth and Transitional Capital at Business Development Bank of Canada. Her financial and private investment expertise is complemented by her incredible passion for helping others in the community, such as through her mentorship roles at Enactus OttawaEcoEquitable and Rise Asset Development

With these four, we almost double the size of CISED's board. This was done to help support the governance of our recent growth, as well as to jump on some new opportunities for us to become a permanent anchor for social enterprise in Ottawa. Before this addition, our Board of Directors consisted of:

  • Dr. Tessa HebbTessa was one of the very first supporters of CISED and continues to be a champion for social finance and social enterprise across Canada and beyond. She is the founder of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci) and member of the steering committees for the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment Academic Network; the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network; the Canadian Social Investment Organization; and, the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative
  • Priya Verma ThakkerPriya currently serves as an Advisor for Health Canada. Although this work keeps her plenty busy, she is also the National Projects Coordinator for The Art of Living Foundation, which is an educational and humanitarian movement that has operated for over three decades and across 155 countries. 
  • Kent TurnerKent is an Investment Counsellor with BMO's private banking arm Nesbitt Burns.  Although his first foray into the social finance world, Kent's interest in environmental finance and business legacy transfer has made him an engaging asset to our team. 
  • George BrownGeorge was also one of the very first supporters of CISED, and I would also say of social enterprise, in the city. He currently works as a Lawyer with a specialization in immigration/refugee law and community development law. Prior to this, George spent nine years as President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, as well as nine years as City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa. 
  • Myself, Read Guernsey. I work in various roles with the Government of Canada by day, and serve on the founding board of JustChange by night. 

And with these nine, we aim to support CISED's continued growth over the next year under the drive and operations of Douglas PawsonKathleen Kemp and Brenda Richardson.  There's much we have planned for the coming months. You may also hear soon about a new Advisory Committee that will further augment the strategic capacity of CISED's work, particularly around our social procurement initiatives. Stay Tuned!

Looking forward to meeting you all at the next social enterprise event,

Read Guernsey

Chair of the Board of Directors

It’s an exciting time here in the social enterprise sector in Ottawa! 

The Centre for Innovative Social Enterprise Development (CISED) plays an integral role in the development of numerous social enterprises in Ottawa by providing a range of supports to support the social enterprise sector including coaching, technical assistance, and workshops.  Since my arrival this past summer as executive director, the sector has given me a warm and welcoming reception and I’m encouraged that we can play a growing role in the development of social enterprise. In this first post of a two part series, I’m excited to share our strategic direction and how we think CISED will continue to make an impact in Ottawa.

Our Beginnings
Since its inception in 2009 as a collaborative based out of Causeway Work Centre, an Ottawa-based organization that operates four successful social enterprises, CISED has had one single purpose; to support and build the social enterprise sector.  In the spring of 2013, CISED officially incorporated as a social enterprise not-for-profit and continues to operate through the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and ENP Canada.  Given the early success of CISED, I’m excited to share with you our new strategy to support and serve the burgeoning social enterprise sector in Ottawa.

Much of what comprises our strategy, and what lays at the ethos of CISED is underpinned by three key pillars.

Social innovation
CISED plays an integral role assisting Ottawa’s social enterprises, many of whom come from the charitable and not-for-profit sector.  To create systemic and transformative social change, we need to be collaborative and embrace multi-stakeholder partnerships.  There are many ways to embark on this.  One pervasive need facing the sector revolves around the ongoing need for the right financial supports to start and scale social enterprises, yet there remain significant gaps.  While capital tends to remain a prevalent issue for many social enterprises, CISED is committed to playing an important role in facilitating new and innovative funding models and social finance products and services to give the right supports to social enterprises.  Social innovation, however, doesn’t simply occur with a new funding model or financial product.  In order to enact transformative social change we all need to be engaged in the sector in meaningful ways not simply as consumers or entrepreneurs, but when we look to find new ways to leverage our community’s collective experiences, networks, and infrastructure to support the sector in a collaborative fashion.  This is a task that Ottawa is ready for.

Sector building
It has always been CISED’s goal to build a vibrant social enterprise sector in Ottawa.  This goal hasn’t changed, but we believe transformative change can occur when we dedicate the right resources to the right enterprises and partnerships.  When CISED first began there was a steep learning curve for many organizations interested in starting a social enterprise.  Today, however, many now understand the crux of what social enterprise entails, even if they don’t have an idea of what goods and/or services they will sell.  As a result, CISED must pivot to ensure our efforts and focus is directed to supporting social enterprises through all facets of their development, from ideation to maturity.  Our hope is that through innovative partnerships we can help create new social enterprise sector jobs and see new capital flowing into the sector that otherwise would not.

Knowledge sharing
I’m fortunate to be witness to CISED’s early impact with many of Ottawa’s social enterprises.  One area that we can play an increased and important role in the development of the sector broadly is to share our findings and key learnings.  Over the years CISED has assisted over 100 organizations and social enterprises and have amassed quite the knowledge-base.  Some of the lessons we’ve learned have been applied to help other social enterprises, but I believe there’s a real opportunity to share some of our findings with the sector here in Ottawa and across the country as we develop our programming areas over the next year.  To this effect, I’ll be looking to package key findings and takeaways in formats that are easily accessible, readily available and informative for the sector.

There is no doubt in my mind that CISED can continue to work to galvanize our community in meaningful ways to support the social enterprise sector in Ottawa.  In my next blog post I will highlight some of the key activities we’re undertaking to do just that, including our work on social procurement, social enterprise legacy transfer, and through our Mission Multiplier Grant program supported through ENP Canada.

Burning Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts with SocialFinance.caCISED or Douglas on Twitter!

Special thanks to the Jared & the SocialFinance.ca team for posting.

See more at: http://socialfinance.ca/2014/10/07/enterprise-impact-nations-capital/#sthash.MySdkXS5.dpuf

Posted
AuthorDouglas Pawson