Social innovation happens when people from different backgrounds and experiences come together to share knowledge and ideas that address important issues facing society.

Through CIFAR’s national dialogue series, research and community leaders are invited to engage in conversation around new ways of thinking and acting to drive social change and community well-being.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Researching with Communities

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Who: Researchers engaged with communities, executive directors and senior research staff from United Way member agencies
When: Thursday, November 26, 9 AM-12:30 PM, followed by a networking lunch
Where: Ivey Tangerine Leadership Centre, 130 King Street West, Toronto

Join us for a symposium to explore how we can better use research to improve the lives of individuals in our communities. With the United Way Toronto & York Region, CIFAR’s newest Change Makers dialogue will bring together service providers and researchers to share knowledge and experience of the research process in order to identify ways of improving the policies and programs that serve our communities.

From this dialogue, you will come away with:

  • Deeper knowledge of the research process
  • Insights into building collaborations between practice and research
  • New connections with likeminded community leaders and researchers

Change starts with a conversation.

This event is currently at capacity. If you would like to be on the wait-list, please contact

Can’t make it in person? Watch the webcast live from 9 AM – 11 AM EST on November 26th. 


Learn more. Find related resources here.



Axelle Janczur: “Creating a bridge between service and research for healthier communities.” Axelle is Executive Director at Access Alliances Multicultural Health and Community Services. She has led Access Alliance in prioritizing capacity building to enhance services for immigrants and refugees, developing a community based research agenda and advocating for improved access to the determinants of health for individuals and communities facing discrimination and marginalization.

Kim Matheson: “Leaving your preconceptions at the door: Conducting community-led participatory research with First Nations communities.” Kim is a member of the CIFAR Advisory Board for the Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being program. Her work concerns the impacts of prejudice and discrimination on the physical and mental health of members of marginalized social groups. She is a Professor in the Department of Health Sciences, and cross-appointed to the Departments of Psychology and Neuroscience at Carleton University. She is Director of the Canadian Health Adaptations, Innovations, and Mobilization Centre, a Carleton University Research Centre.

Maureen Fair: “Getting ‘Cred’: Strengthening credibility of academics and community organizations.” Maureen is Executive Director of the West Neighbourhood House (formerly St. Christopher House), a multi-service neighbourhood centre working with diverse people of all ages in west Toronto. Her professional experience includes community development, public policy development and advocacy strategies on issues such as income security, income inequality and neighbourhood change.

Philip Oreopoulos: “Working with Pathways to Education to evaluate and improve its program.” Phil is an Associate Director and Senior Fellow in CIFAR’s Social Interactions, Identity, & Well-Being program. He is a Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on particular factors in early stages of a person’s development that contribute to long-run well-being and social-economic success.

Moderated by Robin Cory. Robin advises non-profit organizations and foundations in Canada on how to achieve greater strategic clarity. Based in Toronto, she is the co-founder of Colbeck Strategic Advisors, a firm focused on supporting social sector leaders to make more informed strategic decisions to increase their social impact.


For more information, please contact Hillary Birch at or 416.971.1098



United Way


Royal Bank of Canada Foundation

Videos from the Change Makers events

From evidence to action: inspiring ideas for happier communities (April 21, 2015. Vancouver)

Social Identity: The Creative Power of Groups to Improve Community Well-Being (February 5, 2015, Edmonton)