history

 

The Community Innovation Hub was founded by Carla Leon and Peter Miller in 2017 to support social innovators and social enterprises through unused space in communities of faith. Carla asked Peter to become involved in a Social Innovation Challenge in Toronto where over individuals pitched an idea.

The first location, Markham Community Innovation Hub, opened in a United Church in Markham, Ontario, with significant support from the church’s minister and the directors.

The new approach to creating community hubs is to expand from physical to digital, building virtual spaces where communities (individuals and organizations) create hubs as Social Franchises. The ultimate goal is to create a global community of social innovators who support the giveback economy.

How can changemakers work together to build and support a society that prioritizes sharing, giving back, partnering and coming together cooperatively and commonly, motivated by something deeper than profit – community?

We know that complacency is not a solution for poverty, hunger, disease, environmental issues and inequality. We know that we hold in common enough knowledge, resources, time and talent to go from scarcity to abundance.

For example, statistics tell us that we produce enough food globally to feed everyone. But 70% of the food we produce goes to waste because:

  • Logistical errors happen on our part
  • Food doesn’t look the way we think it ‘should.’
  • We let our food go bad in our refrigerators.
  • We leave our food uneaten on our plates.

If we all worked together, no one would have go hungry. We must stand up and make a difference!

The Community Innovation Hub is all about acting locally to make change globally. We are a rallying place, a nurturing place and a place for change to start. We are a place grounded in relationship, social innovation and impact. We are a place to make a difference.

Community Innovation Hubs are places where changemakers gather and support each other in the important work of making a difference in society, flesh out their ideas, and connect with other like-minded individuals and form relationships of trust, accountability, learning and support.

Here, local changemakers:

  • Learn from local experts –> Topics might include fundraising, design thinking, governance, and branding
  • Join in peer-to-peer coaching –> Sharing challenges and celebrations in an atmosphere of support.
  • Share personal experiences –> Sharing wisdom for the shared good of social change is a powerful experience
  • Build the local eco-system of changemakers –> Create a network that can be counted on!

Won’t you join us on this journey? We’d love to have you!

 

The Community Innovation Hub’s vision is to ignite the creation and growth of social franchise community innovation hubs helping idea generators, social innovators, social enterprises and supporters in the Giveback Economy.

Staff

Co-Founder, Peter Miller

Peter Miller is a former commercial banker, college professor, serial entrepreneur, social innovator and social enterprise coach and is the co-founder of the Community Innovation Hub. He is passionate about social innovation, social enterprise and corporate social responsibility, as demonstrated in the Giveback Economy, whivch he co-wrote with Carla Leon. All royalties go to the GiveBack Fund to support development and growth of Community Hubs, Community Innovation Hubs, Agrihoods, Coworking Spaces and Makerspaces across Canada.

Coordinator, Sarah Levis

Sarah Levis is a writer/editor, the Marketing Manager of Small Business Solver, and an internationally-known disability rights activist with a social work background. She is thrilled to join the team at Community Innovation Hub.

Consultant, Rev. Rob Dalgleish

Rob Dalgleish is a retired minister with the United Church of Canada. He has an MBA in Management Information Systems and a Masters of Divinity. Rob is looking forward to taking everything he’s learned about social innovation as the Executive Director of the United Church of Canada’s EDGE: Network for Ministry Development to further the work of the Community Innovation Hub.

 

Advisory Board Members

Nancy Angus – Nancy created Age Big based on her professional experience with seniors and her personal experience with her mother.

Tom Auger – Tom is an experienced entrepreneur, technology guru, musician and social innovator. Learn more about him at him website: Tom Auger.

Gurbeen Bhasin – Gurbeen is the CEO of Aangen, a self-funded, not-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to providing local, sustainable, solution-based responses to social issues.

Marc Choy – Marc is the President (Canada) for Ghost Kitchen Brands. Ghost Kitchens are virtual kitchens that let people get food prepared by national brands like MacDonald’s, Quizno’s, and Cinnabons delivered to them. 

Mary Doyle – Mary is the founder of Rural on Purpose, an entrepreneurial support organization specializing in collaboration projects with rural communities.

Darnel Francois – Darnel is a business designer with The Client Catchers, a company that helps other companies to create a long-term creative brand experience and meaningful solutions for clients/users. He is also on the team developing Study Space.

Sinem Gökçe – Sinem, the Projects Coordinator of İstasyonTEDÜ in Ankara, Turkey, is a writer, consultant, social innovator, and project manager expert.

Simon Johnson – Simon runs Simon Steeps: Tea for Life and is an agrihood expert.

Charlotte Kirby – Charlotte runs The Village Hive, a clear example of why coworking spaces may replace traditional offices as the places where important work gets done.

Addie Lentzmer – Addie, a senior in high school, founded the Vermont Student Anti-Racism Network, a group of high school students whose goal is to promote racial equity and justice in Vermont schools.

Carla Leon – Carla Leon is Director of Innovation at the United Church of Canada, and co-founder of Small Business Solver, the Social Innovation Challenge, and the Community Innovation Hub.

James Ouma – James is the Executive Director of Lifesong Kenya, which helps male teens who are in contact and in conflict with the law get a second chance through skills training, reconciliation, healing, and restoration back to their communities. 

Peter Statsny – Peter is a Senior Advisor at CEDEC and a business development specialist with over three decades running, building and coaching small businesses.

Frank Sinipoli – Frank is a serial entrepreneur running a social enterprise that makes getting fresh, nutritious food easier for those who have trouble accessing a grocery store. To learn more about becoming a customer or a franchisee, visit Grocery Neighbour

Hardy Steinke – Hardy is the Executive Director of Heart Comonos, which create projects and activities to support personal and community wellness in Cooksville-Mississauga and the surrounding area, with the support of community partnerships.