Social Change Institute to Deepen Clarity and Commitment

Joel Solomon says event provides opportunity for cross-sector collaboration
Tuesday May 29, 2012
Article by Camille Jensen, Axiom News

What if a conference could ignite your passion, deepen your commitment to meaningful work and connect you to a diverse tribe of people who will support your journey?

This is what Renewal Partners president Joel Solomon says Social Change Institute (SCI) offers participants June 6-10 at Hollyhock lifelong learning centre on Cortes Island.

It’s the third annual SCI, which focuses on bringing together people working in the nonprofit sector for five days of collaborative sessions. 

“I’m motivated by the opportunity to create events that enable people to be re-inspired by their own deeper purpose,” Joel tells Axiom News, adding he’d like to see people who aren’t involved in social change attend and be exposed to fields that are underrepresented in media and universities.

“It’s an extraordinary group 
of people in an ideal environment for both deepening one’s own clarity of commitment and purpose, and connecting with others.”

Joel helped found SCI, which has been running in its current form for three years and is based on the Social Venture Institute conference model that has been running for nearly 20 years. The event fills certain gaps critical to seeing large-scale change occur, according to Joel.

The first is the need for greater collaboration and networks. The world is coming out of an era of specialization and silos, and Joel says it’s time to take a more systemic and holistic view that enables people to build cross-sector strategies.

“Social Change Institute is not focused on one issue or one strategy; it’s saying all of us are devoting our lives to taking on challenges and making solutions for a better future. That’s the unifying thing,” says Joel.

The conference will also provide outer and inner skill-building for leaders. While there are many places to find traditional skills training, Joel says SCI is rare in that it offers sessions to support emotional well-being for people who, when working in social change, often carry heavy burdens. 

“It takes a lot of sacrifice to do this work,” says Joel, adding Hollyhock’s natural surroundings and SCI sessions provide a safe place for leaders to voice their deepest feelings.

“The environment we’ve created is one where people really open up and share their vulnerabilities, their challenges and gain a surprising amount of support from a network of people, many of whom become relationships they carry forward long into the future.”

Joel will be co-hosting SCI, and brings a range of experience,  from his work at Renewal investing and growing socially-responsible companies to being a founding member of organizations like Tides Canada Foundation and Social Venture Network. He says his primary role will be connecting people and providing mentorship.

“One-on-one advising I can add because I’ve been around for a few decades doing this work. You get a pretty good sense of the people there and what their skills and resources are, accesses are, and understanding what others bring.”

There are still several spots left for SCI. To learn more, click here.

Axiom News provides Stakeholder News to Hollyhock, Canada's lifelong learning centre. Click here to view this article's original post at

Axiom News provides Stakeholder News to Hollyhock. Click here to view this article's original post on the Hollyhock site.