Risk-taking in Philanthropy with the Laidlaw Foundation

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Wed, 2013-09-25 12:00 - 13:30

Upcoming Speaker Series

Co-Presenters for this Speaker Series with the Laidlaw Foundation:


Violetta Ilkiw - Strategic Initiatives, Laidlaw Foundation
John Fox - Chair, Board of Directors, Laidlaw Foundation
Phyllis Novak - Artistic Director, SKETCH Working Arts

In this talk, the speakers intend to inspire deeper conversation about the role of philanthropy in our society, the panel will explore the following:

  • What do we mean by risk taking in philanthropy?
  • What role does or should philanthropy play in risk, innovation, or experimentation?
  • Laidlaw's perspective on risk, and examples of what that risk taking has yielded (what they have learned).

When: Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 Time: Noon - 1:30 pm. Where: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (U of T) 252 Bloor St. West, (St. George Subway Station), Room 3-104 *No registration required

Presenter Bio's 

Violetta Ilkiw: Strategic Initiatives/ Senior Consultant at Laidlaw Foundation. Violetta has acted as senior consultant to the Laidlaw Foundation, bringing strategic vision, design, innovation and increased collaboration into the Foundation’s work with young people. She has developed and implemented numerous grant programs, and is a skilled design/process facilitator, who has worked with groups through organizational change processes, capacity strengthening and advises organizations on key strategies toward participatory decision-making. Violetta is also pursuing a Masters in conflict facilitation and organizational change.

John Fox: Chair, Laidlaw Foundation Board of Directors. John has recently led the Foundation in a strategic planning process, with the aim to increase the Foundation’s knowledge capital and its capacity as a change agent. He is highly active in his community, also sitting as Honourary Board member of the Christian Resource Centre, and was the past Board member and chair of the Daily Food Bank. John is a partner at Robins Appleby & Taub, specializing in real estate law. He bring expertise in housing, construction, brownfields, procurement and public and private partnerships. Previously, John was the General Counsel, Development, for Toronto Community Housing.

Phyllis Novak: Artistic Director of SKETCH Working Arts. An actor and graduate of York University in Fine Arts Theatre, Phyllis is the Artistic Director and Founder of SKETCH Working Arts, a community arts development initiative based in Toronto engaging young people living homeless and marginalized from across Canada. Phyllis is a community developer and community artist who has been engaging in creative merry making for over 20 years. Phyllis is consultant to emerging community arts initiatives and youth engagement, locally, provincially and nationally. Her work reframes how we view people who live on the margins and posits culture making as the primary way to build equitable and vibrant communities.

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