Across the world, it is becoming clear that “business as usual” approaches to social and economic development are falling short in achieving sustainable development. In order to ensure that “no one is left behind”, practitioners and organizations are experimenting, designing, and testing social innovations to tackle poverty and inequality around the world. Through social innovation, we are able to drive for more impact, try new and improved solutions, and achieve better results.

The Government of Canada defines innovation in international assistance as a process, mindset, and means to enable new or improved locally driven solutions. The aim is to achieve better results and to have a greater impact. It benefits and empowers the poorest and most vulnerable, including women and girls”. 

The ACGC Annual Conference 2022 aims to showcase this trailblazing towards inclusive development happening in Alberta. For example, through the Fund for Innovation and Transformation,  10 Alberta partnerships have walked new paths alongside communities, testing innovative solutions to a wide range of development challenges across the world including eliminating child marriages, training community health workers, and launching mobile clinics. In addition, Alberta organizations have developed new approaches to their work, and are creating spaces for youth to experiment with new ideas, many of which have been celebrated through ACGC’s Top 30 Under 30.

The Trailblazing New Paths To Inclusive Development conference will provide a space to recognize and learn from Albertan, international development organizations, and youth who are leading the way in designing and testing social innovations at home and abroad. We will convene the sector to share ideas on how Albertans can make new partnerships and collaborations to address the challenges faced by communities across the world in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Finally, through this conference, members of the international development sector will be challenged to think critically about where current innovation approaches fall short in achieving inclusive sustainable development for women, girls, and the most vulnerable in Canada and around the world. Conference attendees will be encouraged to reflect on anti-racism and anti-colonialism, to ensure that new approaches to development are inclusive, collaborative, and do no harm.

Event Details

Location:  Edmonton
Venue:  TBD
Dates: September 16 – 17, 2022

During this two-day hybrid annual conference, participants will be encouraged to engage in reflective and deep conversations, whilst learning from each other and having an opportunity for topic-focused Q & A sessions with sector experts.

*COVID Protocols: ACGC will comply with all provincial guidelines in force at the time of the event. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available to all attendees.

Friday, September 16

Time: 10AM MDT 

Format: Virtual (Online Only)

The term “innovative financing for development” has emerged in recent years to describe new ways funding organizations are channeling resources towards development, beyond traditional grant contributions. The term refers to “financial structures and mechanisms that mobilize, govern or distribute funds beyond traditional donor-country ODA”. Innovative financing relies on creating new types of partnerships with new and diverse actors, and is intended to narrow the gap between current resources available and the resources needed to achieve sustainable development (GAC Guidance)

This panel discussion will focus on funding organizations and the approaches to innovative financing that they are taking. It will focus on how funders are collaborating with communities to leverage locally driven solutions; the diverse and non traditional funding and investment mechanisms they are using, and the types of partnerships they are creating to mobilize resources. The discussion will end by focusing on how Albertan organizations can position themselves to align with innovative funding streams..

Time: 2PM

Format: In-person

At this fair, local and international non-for-profits will model ways that Albertans and their partners are experimenting, designing and testing social innovations both locally and globally. Attendees will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with organizations as they navigate through a range of facilitated “innovation stations.”

Join ACGC staff, members and the international development sector in Alberta which includes  Albertan international development organizations with projects overseas, youth, students and educators engaged in global citizenship and volunteerism, and representatives from the private sector and local government that are working towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Alberta and abroad, for an evening reception and keynote address on the conference topic, Trailblazing New Paths to Inclusive Development.

Keynote Speaker TBC.

Saturday, September 17

Time: 10AM

Format: In-person (with online presentations)

Innovation in international development has meant moving away from “business as usual” approaches and seeking new ways to partner and collaborate with communities facing challenges. This presents an opportunity to address issues of inclusion, anti-racism and equity in international development programming. This panel is intended to reflect on strategies used by organizations to be inclusive and to center communities, particularly women, girls and the most vulnerable in the design and testing of social innovations, and how this impacted outcomes and sustainability. We have the privilege of hearing from partners of FIT Funded ACGC Member organizations from around the world, speaking about their experiences collaborating with Albertan organizations to design and test sustainable development approaches.

This panel will be followed by a World Café facilitated discussion and reflection on inclusion and voice in social innovation.

Time: 11:30AM

Format: In-person (with lunch)

Time: 1PM

Format: In-person

For centuries, Indigenous peoples around the world have been leading the way in social innovations that are based on deep knowledge and understanding of the land, environment, and  how communities organize and work together. In this keynote, we have the privilege of hearing from indigenous women whose social innovations are making an enormous impact on their communities. This discussion will focus on the space indigenous women have carved out to innovate, the barriers they have worked to overcome and the incredible impact of their contributions on our communities.

Speakers TBC