An upcoming weeklong event is an opportunity for Calgary changemakers to make new connections, collaborate and amplify their impact. Down to Earth Week is presented by REAP Business Association and SAGE Investment Advisors and will feature 19 presenters across three interactive events April 23-27.
The presenters are leading agents of social change speaking on innovative ways business can make the world a better place. Following the presenters is scheduled time for local social entrepreneurs to explore, build and network the ideas further.
The weeklong celebration of social innovation kicks off with organic urban farmer sharing the story of his now eight-year-old venture Sole Food Street Farms. Sole Foods is the largest urban farm project in North America, and employs people living on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which is also known as Canada’s poorest postal code.
“Sole Foods is a proving ground to explore whether urban agriculture can be truly agricultural, and if urban agriculture can have a positive impact on people’s lives who have been underserved and had a tough go,” says Michael, who recently authored a book on the subject, entitled Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs and Hope on the Urban Frontier.Capital for a Cause: Back to Basics runs April 24, and will bring together impact investors — investors who are interested in generating a financial and social or environmental return — with social entrepreneurs working on food security and affordable housing.The week finishes with Innovating for Shared Prosperity, an evening event April 27 inspiring and connecting those who are passionate about creating a resilient local economy that benefits everyone.REAP Business Association president Stephanie Jackman says she’s looking forward to this year’s Down to Earth Week, which is known for making meaningful connections among Calgary’s business, civic and non-profit communities.

“What always amazes me is the number of connections and collaborations that happen when you bring together passionate people around share values,” she tells NewScoop.

Wanting to better understand the event’s outcomes, REAP Business Association developed a measurement framework to track its results. Last year’s Down to Earth Week netted more than 1,500 new connections and $4 million dollars in new impact investments among participants.

“It’s really powerful when you bring people together around shared values how much more rapidly those connections and that amplification happens,” says Stephanie, adding she’s hoping for similar results this year.

“What I would love to see is each of our three events filled to capacity with people that are passionate about creating community and environmental benefits through their work, so that every guest will leave with two to three meaningful connections.

“If we achieve that – it’s not just a great Down to Earth Week, there will be ongoing impact.”

To learn more about Down to Earth Week, click here.

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