Social Innovation Hub 2019-2020

The Social Innovation Hub was forced to shut down its work in the spring of 2018. In 2019 we received permission and funds from GBC Research and Innovation to conduct research into the impact of the Social Innovation Hub from 2014 – 2018. Principal investigator is Natalie Wood; student team includes, Stephanie Cole, Nerissa Hutchinson & Joanne Lee; and Advisors are Zuby Saloojee and Rick Kelly. The report is now complete and will be uploaded along with the Zine.

Between 2019 and 2020 the research led to opportunities to present on national and international panels and to conduct workshops at Centennial College, York University and TakingITGlobal.

Social Innovation Hub Ecosystem 2014 – 2018

Social Innovation Design Jam 2018

Just a note that even though the Social Innovation Hub is on a one year strategic planning hiatus we worked with our long term in house and external partners – StartGBC and Edge to put on a Social Innovation Design Jam for second year students in the SSW program and CYC program. Here are pictures of the day with Keynote speaker, Professor Colin Phillips from Ryerson U’s School of social Work and a variety of pictures showcasing our mentors, judges, the students and the winners. Congratulations!





Brief Update: SIH Poster Presented at Creating Opportunities Summit

The Social Innovation Hub Poster Presentation at the TCBN Creating Opportunities Summit 23 – 24 March 2018. The poster was well received and was especially seen as a successful model. The Summit’s main organizer was a former hubster – HUBSTAR, Symone Walters.

TCBN PosterRevised

Clothing Swap n’ Sale


The Social Innovation Hub’s first Clothing Swap n’ Sale of 2018 was a fantastic success! Through generous donations from students, staff, and faculty at George Brown College as well as members of the community, we were able to raise funds for Hubsters to build and sustain their innovative projects, initiatives, and programs. The Swap also worked to generate interest in and awareness of the Hub by providing an opportunity to engage with folks and promote our mission and values throughout the college. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and be sure check back for information about our next Swap coming up in March!

Social Innovation Hub Recruiting Hubsters


Placement Opportunity for Second & Third Year CYC, SSW, CW & AWCCA Students


The Social Innovation Hub (SIHub) at GBC is an innovative second and third year alternative placement, connector and an early stage incubator for students in the School of Community Services, that provides training in social innovation and social entrepreneurship so that students could generate their own social enterprises, projects and initiatives within a supportive environment.

Hubsters are trained in socially innovative business concepts that include: social justice business canvas model, design thinking, creative confidence, social innovation, financial literacy & project management. They then choose one of two paths that lead them to making change that impact communities and the world. 1. They choose to work with non-profit organizations developing social or hybrid enterprises 2. They develop their own innovative or hybrid enterprises often in collaboration with a related organization that may fill in as a second placement. In this scenario hubsters would choose how many days in the week that they would spend in these secondary collaborative placements and how many in the week would be spent in the hub working on their projects/ initiatives/ enterprises.

The SIHUb has graduated 57 hubsters and has supported the development of 33 innovative projects 12 social enterprises, since its first year of operation. The SIhub has been nominated for an innovation award at GBC (2015), was instrumental in supporting the development of BSSN, which was originally a Hubster idea and project. Plus 2 of its hubsters have won awards at the Social Innovation Challenge for their initiatives in 2016, 2017. ___________________________________________________________________________________

The SIHub is looking for up to 20 SSW students who are engaged with the world and are interested in learning skills that they can then put into practice to help non-profit organizations achieve their social missions; and/ or to develop their own enterprises to bring about change within the College or outside of the College.


  • A Self-directed and a highly motivated learner, able to work independently and in a team
  • Solution- focused and open to experimenting & leading projects that bring about social change and social justice
  • Committed to working with marginalized communities to facilitate social change
  • Someone with strong interpersonal, group and communication skills


  • Past Experience working or volunteering in the social services sector or in a social enterprise
  • An ability to think outside the box to develop creative & innovative solutions for addressing social issues
  • Project management and social media skills

Due to the timing of their placement all SSW students would be required to take the Social Enterprise course elective before applying for placement in the SIHub.


All interested students are required to submit a resume and a 1-page letter to Natalie Wood via:

 The letter will need to outline the following:

  • Why you believe you are best suited for this placement
  • What you are passionate about
  • How you can add value to work being done in the SIHub.
  • Two references, one from a Professor, and another from a volunteer or placement supervisor

The SIHub Management team along with the faculty team will review the applications and select acceptable candidates. All applicants will be notified of their acceptance status via email.

For more info please go to

About Social Innovation and the Hub:

Rationale: Community Colleges in Canada have an important role to play in combatting the root causes of inequality in Canada. The manifestations of social inequality and social injustice in Canada find expression in poverty, unemployment, underemployment and youth unemployment to name a few. The graduates from the Community Services Programs at GBC work with, support, and often come from these most marginalized groups. The Social Innovation Hub (SIHub) believes our graduates are most suited to taking leadership to direct change in the Social Services sector.  The SIHub wants our graduates to be better equipped in competing in the market place, and possessing tools to address the lack of access to resources, the digital divide between and among communities, and to create collaborations between students, faculty and communities for real world solutions.

The Social Innovation Hub (SIH) at GBC is an alternative placement, early stage incubator and connector for the generation of innovative ideas and social enterprises. We are focused on graduating the next wave of leaders, social entrepreneurs and social innovators focused on bringing economic and social justice to the world.

Our Vision: A world where social entrepreneurship and innovation contribute to economic and social justice.

Our mission: To create a sustainable ecosystem that develops graduates that are the next wave of leaders, who have the skills and confidence to pursue socially innovative and entrepreneurial activities.

Students placed in the Hub (known as hubsters) will, once accepted go through a blended training for 7 weeks in the Group Facilitation course from October – December in concepts that include, creative design, social justice business canvas model, creative confidence, problem identification, social innovation, financial literacy, project management. By December the Hubsters will then know which initiatives they are designing or projects they will be taking the lead on.

All Hubsters will participate in managing one aspect of the Hub operations and can choose one or both placement streams- Social Entrepreneur Experience and/or Social Intrapreneur Experience.

  1. Hub Management Experience all Hubsters will be given some work focused on the day-to-day SIHub operations and on managing projects that develop the organization. These will include social media management, vlog and online presence, chairing meetings and developing documentation, recruiting, managing drop-ins, Hub networking and updates, SIHub Showcase, Social Innovation Challenge.
  2. Social Entrepreneur Experience where students with ideas of their own that they want to work on will be given space in the Hub, and will receive support and guidance from a faculty member, and paired with a mentor and/or provided other resources to accomplish their goals.
  3. Social Intrapreneur Experience where students will be placed with another initiative, social enterprise or external organization within which they will apply their creative and leadership skills to develop their own initiatives, projects within and with support from these organizations.

For more information or to forward your application you may contact: Natalie Wood in the SSW Program at   Thanks!

You can find us on:  Facebook: Social Innovation Hub – George Brown College/  Instagram:  SIH_GBC /   Twitter: SIH_GBC

Social Innovation Hub Showcase

We had a fantastic Showcase where GBC President Anne Sado and Cory Ross Dean for Centre for Health Sciences made opening remarks. This was followed with a presentation of the Province’s strategy on Social Enterprises by Stephen Cohen, Policy Advisor to the Social Enterprise Unit at the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth. The Hubsters then presented on their social ventures.

Social Connect


Social Connect’s project lead Paula Johnson (left), alongside Sasha Fink and Nishima Yashpal during a visit to Jessie’s Centre’s Swap Shop. Photo: Philip Iver / The Dialog

Through its organized tours and group volunteer events, Social Connect allows folks to experience agencies first-hand alongside fellow SSW students.

Read more about this initiative in the Dialog


A Beautiful Mashup

IMG_3407Level up Fitness Academy is taking fitness to new levels with A Beautiful Mashup by providing specialized programs to teach people with developmental disabilities the benefits of healthy living and exercise using ABA principles. Corey is also working with Cawthra Secondary School ( PEEL District School Board) on reenacting their social enterprise students to provide them with real world experience that can be used to develop resumes for students to  use following the Secondary school

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