Media Coverage

Media Coverage


New book explores Canada's social economy (Axiom News, February 4, 2010)

A new book about Canada’s social economy was inspired by the desire to inform business students and a broader audience about the different aspects of the social economy, says co-author Ann Armstrong. ...  Read full article

Where purpose trumps profit (The Toronto Star, February 2, 2010)

In social economy enterprises, mission takes precedence over money making ...  Despite employing some two million people – plus another two million volunteers – and contributing more than $100 billion annually to the economy, the sector is largely invisible to most people and ignored by the nation's business schools.That indifference needs to stop, say the authors of a new book,Understanding the Social Economy: A Canadian Perspective. In fact, they argue, business schools should be teaching their students about the wonders of non-profits. ... Read full article

Carleton University Professor and Southern Ontario Social Economy Node Member Ted Jackson awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship (November 17, 2009)

Carleton University Professor Ted Jackson has been awarded the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, one of 11 Ontarians receiving the prestigious honour this year. He is also one of a very few academics ever to receive this award since its inception in 1973. ...  Read full article

Jack Quarter Keeps Co-op Organizations in Focus with Education (Marketwire, October 8, 2009)

Professor Jack Quarter has helped keep a spotlight on co-operatives and credit unions in education for more than 25 years. ... Quarter is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and co-director of the Social Economy Centre, both at the University of Toronto, where his teaching and research includes co-operatives. His initiation to co-operatives was in the mid 1980s, when he became the editor of the Worker Co-operative magazine until 1992, and he was one of the founders of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation in 1991. ... Read full article

The social economy's hidden value (Edge, July 2009) ...

Mook and Quarter aim to change the way society values the social economy. To this end, they’re overseeing 35 research projects, funded through a five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council strategic grant of $1.75 million. In addition, they have developed an open source software called Volunteers Count to assist community organizations in developing social accounting statements that include volunteer contributions.

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Social accounting provides greater picture of an organization's value

(Axiom News, January 27, 2009) ...Laurie Mook, OISE/University of Toronto Social Economy Centre director, says it's important for non-profit organizations to start thinking beyond traditional accounting and consider the resources and added value they bring to the community. "Sometimes what happens when you don't put a value on something is it is perceived to be valueless or not having a value," Mook told Axiom News. Traditional accounting income statements show how money is spent, and when only looking at the dollars coming in, there is a loss of capturing the value that is created. She says organizations need to flip this around, and look at the value that is being created and the difference being made in the community...

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Evaluation becoming increasingly important for non-profit organizations

(Axiom News, January 26, 2009) Michael Hall, vice-president of research at Imagine Canada, says there are increasing pressures for non-profit organizations to be evaluating themselves. “Demand for this information is increasing, it certainly is ever-present among funders these days,” says Hall. “We are in the midst of a real sea change in terms of transparency and information about charities and non-profits and evaluation is going to be ever-more important as we move forward,” says Hall...

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Non-profit organization leaders engage in evaluation dialogue

(Axiom News, January 23, 2009) ...Margaret Spoelstra, executive director at Autism Ontario, says the event showed how non-profit organizations have similar stories and challenges, both in raising funds and with limited human resources. “Fundamentally we have a challenge of priority in trying to figure out how we get investments from the business community and from the general public into what we do, and at the same time how do we make a better case,” she says...

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Upcoming Rotman event tackles measuring the impact of doing good

(Axiom News, January 20, 2009) Dr. Ann Armstrong says she hopes people will leave the Jan. 21 Symposium on Measuring the Impact of Doing Good with some useful tools to enhance their ability to meaningfully evaluate organizations. Armstrong, senior lecturer and director of the Social Enterprise Initiative at the Rotman School of Management, says the event will look at a range of evaluation approaches.“I’m hoping that through the learning conversations that people have they will come to appreciate both the complexity of the evaluation but also how it can be used to drive performance of the sort that they want,” she says...

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Creating leaders for non-profit sector

(National Post, August 21, 2008) People don't typically think of the non-profit sector as big business, but that's exactly what it is, says Brenda Gainer, director of the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program at Toronto's York University's Schulich School of Business. "It's huge." She's not kidding. According to Imagine Canada, a national registered charity that looks into and out for Canada's charities and non-profit organizations, the country's non-profit and voluntary sector is the second largest in the world...

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Social Economy Centre Meets with the Honorable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education of Ontario, to Discuss the Social Economy in High School Textbooks

On March 28, 2008, Social Economy Centre members Jack Quarter, Laurie Mook, Daniel Schugurensky, Jan Haskings-Winner and Denyse Guy along with Andre Brisebois of Conseil de la Cooperation de l'Ontario (CCO) & Audrey Aczel-Castillo of the Ontario Co-operative Association met with Ontario Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne to talk about the presence of the social economy in high school curricula and textbooks. The presentation was based on two studies conducted in 1995 and 2005 on this topic. The two studies found that the social economy has a significant presence in Canada and Ontario, but such presence was under-represented significantly in curricula and textbooks. The Social Economy Centre expressed concerns about this situation, and asked that in the next curricula revisions this matter will be addressed. The Minister planned to follow up with her staff and her office will get back to us regarding the next steps.

Graduate's PhD thesis to represent University of Toronto 

Co-director of the Social Economy Centre Laurie Mook’s PhD thesis, Social and Environmental Accounting: The Expanded Value Added Statement, was selected by the University of Toronto as the University's representative (one per university) for the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Doctoral Thesis Competition, Social Sciences & Education...

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Textbooks economical with words about co-ops 

(Toronto Star, September 5, 2007, AA8)  A recent study conducted through the Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto raises questions about the narrow focus of business and economics textbooks in Ontario's high schools. The research by professor Daniel Schugurensky and MA student Erica McCollum of OISE/University of Toronto, examined the contents of 22 business textbooks containing 11,375 pages currently used in Ontario high schools...

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Beyond profits

(Toronto Star, March 24, 2007, L1) All agree the projects combine business acumen with a commitment to helping society's less fortunate. "There are thousands of these types of organizations that are neither part of the private sector nor government," says Jack Quarter, co-director of the Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto...
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The value of volunteer contributions: Calculation (im)possible?

The model that Plato used for calculating the value of his volunteers’ contributions comes from the research done by Laurie Mook, director Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto, along with Jack Quarter and Betty Jane Richmond. ...
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Putting social co-ops on the map

From co-ops to Kiwanis Clubs, the social economy deserves a lot more recognition, says Professor Jack Quarter, co-director of the Social Economy Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. ...
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New Social Economy Centre Launch

The Social Economy Centre (SEC) opens officially on the evening of March 2 with a party hosted by Vice-President, Research, John Challis...
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$9 million to support Canada’s social economy

SSHRC-funded research networks will help improve community-based social, cultural and health services...
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WindShare part of a $1.75 million research project

For the next five years, WindShare will be part of a research project that aims to enhance our understanding of a growing sector- the social economy...
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Receptivity to change and creativity core elements of strong ENGOs

The Social Economy Centre, a research hub co-run by OISE professor Jack Quarter and doctoral candidate Laurie Mook, aims at mapping the impact of the social mission sector, and through applied research, providing new tools to develop networks and improve organizational efficiency...
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Charting volunteer value changed organization's self-perception


After participating in workshops on social accounting – the value added to an organization by its volunteer’s contributions – the director of finance for a national literacy non-profit says the organization “has more tools to tell its story.”...

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Research hub to offer practical knowledge to Ontario’s social economy

A revaluation and stocktaking of Southern Ontario’s social economy, and the use of practical applications to assist organizations to better communicate with stakeholders and build networks, is the goal of a research alliance housed at the Social Economy Centre at the University of Toronto...
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Corporations must look at social values: Prof

Owing to recent high-profile scandals, consumer vigilance and increasing stakeholder pressure, many corporations are becoming more socially responsible, displaying greater accountability to the communities and individuals they impact...
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Social Enterprise Initiative @ Rotman

Ann Armstrong, Director: The mission of the Initiative is three-fold: to generate and to disseminate learning about the nonprofit and social enterprise sectors through collaborative research, curriculum design and community engagement...
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$9 Million to Study the '$0' Economy — $1.75 Million to Launch Southern Ontario Research Network

SSHRC has just announced $9 million in funding to build five Canadian research networks to study the social economy — not-for-profit organizations and co-operatives ranging from child care and credit unions to food banks and community theatre. Each research network will be awarded $1.75 million...
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(Toronto, November 18, 2005) — Mapping the social economy — OISE researchers measure volunteer contributions

Every year, volunteers in the United States and Canada contribute the equivalent in full-time work of almost 10 million people. Laurie Mook, manager of the newly created Centre for Social Economy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of U of T, thinks it’s time they got some respect...
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(Montreal, November 8, 2005) — $9 million to support Canada’s social economy SSHRC-funded research networks will help improve community-based social, cultural and health services 

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) announced today a $9-million investment to connect university researchers with the not-for-profit organizations that make up Canada’s essential social economy...
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(Toronto, Ontario, November 8, 2005) — Minister Volpe announces research initiative in the social economy at the University of Toronto
The Honourable Joseph Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today congratulated the University of Toronto on receiving $1.75 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to support a major research initiative on the social economy...
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