Previous Events

2024 Changemaker Education Research Forum

Event Summary

This event was hosted virtually February 29-March 1,2024

The Changemaker Education Research Forum (CERF) brings together practitioners and scholars from around the world to enhance the knowledge base of social innovation and changemaking. This global gathering is co-hosted by Ashoka Canada and Ashoka U every 1-2 years and features insights from Changemaker Campuses, Ashoka Fellows, and from across the post-secondary sector. 

The fourth CERF took place online February 29-March 1, 2024. We welcomed 50+ practitioners, academics and researchers for two days of learning about the New Horizons of Social Innovation in Changemaker Education and Research.  Through sixteen presentations, interactive discussions and networking sessions, participants explored innovative paths forward in how changemaker education is taught, researched and measured. 

Presenters and attendees joined from around the world, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Mexico and more. The 2024 CERF featured presentations from Ashoka Fellows Camesha Cox, Ilona Dougherty and Tatiana Fraser, as well as Changemaker Campuses HEC Montréal, Georgian College, Royal Roads University, University of California San Diego, University of Evansville, Tulane University, Universidad de Monterrey and Tecnológico de Monterrey.  To read presentation abstracts and learn more about the presenters, download the 2024 CERF Program. 

As CERF attendee Dr. Guydeuk Yeon shared, “I’m truly inspired by the collective energy at CERF and commitment to making a difference in the world. The experiences shared at the forum, along with the insights from other changemakers, have provided me with valuable perspectives that I intend to integrate into my work. We’re constantly striving to enhance our impact, and the forum has definitely equipped me with fresh ideas and approaches.”  

Thanks to our partners at RBC Future Launch for their generous support of the Changemaker Education Research Forum.


New Longevity: A Demographic Shift Driving Innovation

Event Summary

This event was hosted at the HEC Montreal campus on Thursday, October 20, 2022

On October 20th, 2022, Ashoka Canada, HEC Montréal (IDEOS – social impact hub and the Office of Sustainable Development), and the Maison de l’innovation sociale (MIS), hosted an in-person event in Montreal to bring together people from multiple sectors to exchange on innovative practices for better aging. For the first time in human history, the world has more people over the age of 65 than children aged five and under. This demographic change will bring its share of challenges, but also opportunities for change and transformation.  

Participants had the opportunity to hear from world class social innovators: Ashoka Fellow, Marc Freedman, founder and co-CEO of CoGenerate, and Jean-Daniel Muller, co-founder and CEO of Siel Bleu. They both represented Ashoka’s New Longevity movement. New Longevity is a new perspective on aging and offers concrete examples of ways to shift norms and create spaces where people can, throughout their lives, make contributions, build connections, and ensure their financial security and well-being. A key paradigm presented at the event was the importance of expanding our notions of aging: it is not a specific population, but a universal human experience.  

Alain Dubuc, strategic advisor at the Institut du Québec, and David Boisclair, executive director at the Retirement and Savings Institute, presented some of the longer-term implications of this demographic change. Their discussion focused on how this shift may significantly weigh on Quebec’s health care system if solutions continue to depend heavily on institutional responses and services. Strengthening home support is one of many potential solutions to reduce the pressures on health infrastructures.  

In an interactive workshop led by MIS, participants had the chance to brainstorm the role of seniors in strengthening community resilience. They explored the different barriers and opportunities to promote inclusion and meaningful participation of seniors within their communities, and the potential impact of having a community where intergenerational relationships and problem-solving thrive.  

You can find on the right side of the page an article about the event that appeared in Le Devoir, as well as key resources shared by or related to the speakers. 

This event was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Mirella and Lino Saputo Foundation.

Photo credits: Youssef Shoufan

Key resources shared by or related to the speakers:

Marc Freedman

What if older and younger generations worked together to solve the problems that no generation can solve alone? Explore the impact of CoGenerate. You can learn more about Marc’s work by also listening to his Tedx Talk.

Jean-Daniel Muller

Siel Bleu is a non-profit organization serving over 140,000 beneficiaries per week in nine countries. Jean-Daniel talked about the concrete benefits of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) on health, well-being, and relationships. The programs of Siel Bleu promote people’s autonomy and quality of life through activities led by professionals trained in APA. In 2013, they started the Siel Bleu Institute to develop, study, and disseminate new health practices centered on APA to improve the state of health and the quality of life of people weakened by illness, disability or advancing age.

Alain Dubuc

The Institut du Québec is a non-profit organization that focuses its research and studies on socio-economic issues in Quebec. Alain Dubuc authored a highly insightful report on home care in Quebec: Soins à domicile: Le statu quo ne sera plus possible.

David Boisclair

The Retirement and Savings Institute wants to promote cutting-edge research at HEC Montréal, with the aim of better understanding the issues related to retirement, savings and insurance. You can explore their publications by visiting their website.

To find out more about social entrepreneurs, ideas, and insight redefining longevity, we invite you to download the My Longevity app by scanning this QR core with your mobile device.

QR code for My Longevity app