Canadian innovation to shine at 2010 “Davos of social entrepreneurship”

MaRS CEO Ilse Treurnicht invited to prestigious Skoll World Forum alongside White House director and UK Minister April 14-16, 2010

Toronto, March 25, 2010 – It’s the Davos of social entrepreneurship and Canadian innovation will be front and centre.

Over 800 leaders from the social, academic, finance, private and policy sectors will gather at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, UK for a series of critical debates, discussions and work sessions focused on innovating, accelerating and scaling-up solutions to the world’s most pressing social issues.

MaRS is thrilled to announce that Dr. Ilse Treurnicht has been invited to speak about the MaRS model of integrating social innovation alongside science and technology innovation. This invitation is definitely a nod to Canada’s leadership in this field.

There are more integrated innovation hubs across Canada planned thanks to the winning formula MaRS established, the most developed of which is Capacity Waterloo Region joining with the Accelerator Center in southwest Ontario.

The 2010 Skoll World Forum focuses on Catalyzing Collaboration for Large-scale Change, recognizing that social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to critical issues cannot achieve impact at scale without forging cross-sector partnerships and alliances.

Dr. Treurnicht will participate in a session titled Government Support for Social Entrepreneurship: From Subcontracting to Partnerships – Reviewing Best Practice Approaches. A highlight in the program, this panel invites leaders to share how they and their governments are working with high impact, creative change-makers, recognizing that their approaches may challenge mainstream modus operandi. Sonal Shah, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, and Angela Smith, Minister for the UK Office of the Third Sector will join Dr. Treurnicht on the panel.

The panel lineup highlights the vital role played by MaRS for the Canadian and provincial governments; an innovation hub bridging a gap already filled by dedicated offices in the US and UK. Both governments have recognized the 21st century challenge for innovation not to stand alone, but to also involve social and environmental impact.

Skoll has played host to distinguished speakers who are committed to innovative solutions and models for social change including, Former US President Jimmy Carter, The Honorable Mary Robinson, Nobel Laureates Al Gore, Jody Williams, and Dr. R K Pachauri, Muhammad Yunus, and Dr. Paul Farmer.

About SiG@MaRS
SiG@MaRS is Social Innovation Generation at the MaRS Discovery District. We support social entrepreneurs – those that seek to make money and make a difference. We do this through the MaRS Advisory Services and more broadly by generating educational resources, thought leadership and by fostering multi-sector collaboration with the intention of creating a culture of social innovation within Ontario.

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District ( is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

Contact Info
Geraldine Cahill
Communications Coordinator, SiG@MaRS
W: 1.647.260.7844
M: 416.566.5313
T: @sigeneration