Changing the world is a hard task for normal everyday citizens, it may seem almost impossible However, once in a while, an innovative, world-changing idea takes root in the brain, an idea that can help make the world a better place. To take these ideas and bring them into reality is the identity of a Social Innovator, a change maker that is willing to take the steps to bring positive change into the world. So how does one go from being an ordinary citizen to becoming a Social Innovator?
One of the answers is participating in the Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge; a collaboration between the Soul of the Next Economy Forum and the Social Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the United Church of Canada. This unique event will help provide citizens with the support they need to turn their ideas into reality. Structured like the popular show Dragon’s Den, contestants will have 90 seconds to pitch their idea to peers, mentors and panel members. The top 8-10 contestants will advance to the Ultimate Social Innovation Challenge, where they will pitch to a panel and potential funders. Prizes are given to the top 3 winners and successful proposals may also receive up to $22,000 in funding from a Calgary entrepreneur.
Through the Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge, the organizers hope to forge lasting relationships between potential partners and create a network of support for social innovators. “My mantra in life is to help other people reach their dream,” says Carla Leon Manager of New Initiatives at EDGE and a key organizer of this year’s event. Creating social innovators is not just about their single projects, it’s about creating a mindset, a culture centered on strengthening local community, improving society and promoting innovation. Together, the network that is created through the Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge has the potential to revitalize the Calgary community and increase the capacity of ordinary citizens to create the change they want to see in the world.