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.

CERF was initially launched by Ashoka Canada in 2020, previously the Canadian Changemaker Education Research Forum (C-CERF) and has now grown into a global gathering hosted by Ashoka U and Ashoka Canada.

CERF 2024

The New Horizons of Social Innovation in Changemaker Education and Research

Join Ashoka Canada and Ashoka U for the 2024 Changemaker Education Research Forum (CERF), taking place virtually February 29-March 1. In a rapidly changing world, the ways in which changemaking and social innovation are taught, researched and measured in post-secondary education are shifting and adapting. Academics and practitioners are forging innovative new paths forward in changemaker education and the 2024 CERF will explore and highlight research on these new horizons and their impacts.  

Save your spot at CERF

Early-bird registration is now open! Register by December 15th to secure the discounted rate of $75 CDN. An agenda and speakers list will be released closer to the Forum. Please note that CERF is delivered in English. 

Register Now

If cost is a barrier to attending, please click here to inquire about financial assistance or the student ticket rate.

Preliminary Agenda

*Timing is subject to change. More detailed agenda to follow.

February 29, 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. PST/ 12 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. EST*

  • Opening Address from CERF Chair Wray Irwin
  • Special presentation from Ashoka Fellow Tatiana Fraser
  • Session one: Presentations followed by Q&A Break
  • Session two: Presentations followed by Q&A
  • Closing Address
  • Virtual networking with presenters



March 1, 9 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. PST/ 12 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. EST*

  • Opening Address from Ashoka Canada
  • Special presentation from Ashoka Fellow Ilona Dougherty
  • Session one: Presentations followed by Q&A Break
  • Session two: Presentations followed by Q&A
  • Closing Address
  • Virtual networking with presenters



Special Presentations from Ashoka Fellows

Ilona Dougherty

Co-Creator and Managing Director, Youth & Innovation Project

Ilona will be sharing findings from the Ashoka Academy for Collaboration on Youth Allyship and the Build Power, Share Power, Leverage Power Report.

You can download the report here and find our more information about the research here.



Tatiana Fraser 

Co-Founder and Director, The Systems Sanctuary

Tatiana will be sharing insights into the practices of Scaling Deep in the context of systems change, changemaking and social entrepreneurship.

Read Tatiana’s latest report on Scaling Deep here.

Camesha Cox

Founder and Executive Director, The Reading Partnership

Camesha will be sharing initial findings from ‘Teaching Our Kids to Read: Exploring the Reading Journey of Black Children in Canada’, a joint research project between The Reading Partnership and the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation.

Learn more here about the research project here.

Special Edition of Social Innovations Journal

The Social Innovations Journal (SIJ) published a special edition in January 2023 highlighting research from the 2022 Changemaker Education Research Forum, titled Identifying and Addressing Cultural, Geopolitical, Structural, and Educational Barriers to Social Innovation. Click here to explore the research.

A “Meet the Authors” virtual symposium was held on January 25, 2023 to launch the special edition. Click here to watch the recording.

2022 CERF

The 2022 CERF was held at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and online from September 17-18. For the first time, CERF was held in conjunction with the International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC). There were two thematic streams for this Forum: The Impact of Changemaker (Social Innovation) Education and Cultural, Geopolitical and Structural Barriers to Social Innovation. Over the course of two days, CERF featured 14 presentations and two Lunch & Learns, including a Lunch & Learn with Ashoka Fellow Jennifer DeCoste. The Forum hosted 30+ people in-person, 25+ people online and 30+ people at Lunch & Learns, including Ashoka Change Leaders, practitioners, researchers and students.

To learn more, click here to download the 2022 CERF Program.

2021 CERF

The 2021 CERF was held virtually from March 15-18 alongside the Ashoka U Exchange. The theme was Changemaking Research and included two streams: the Changemaking Research Showcase, through which researchers shared their insights, findings, and learnings with other participants, and the Research Connector Workshop, a space for collaborations that link the research capacity of Changemaker Campuses with the research needs of Ashoka Fellows, Ashoka Staff, and other Changemakers. To learn more, click here to download the 2021 CERF Program.

2020 CERF

The 2020 CERF was held at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, Ontario on January 15. As the inaugural CERF, this Forum focused generally on bringing together researchers, practitioners, and theorists to discuss changemaking practice and theory.

Thanks to our partners RBC Future Launch for their continued support of CERF and Changemaker Education.

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