May 13, 2024

Canadian Innovation Week celebrates researchers accelerating positive change through collaboration

Join the conversation May 16 to discover how UCalgary faculty are leveraging their expertise to tackle social issues
Text reading "Canadian Innovation Week 2024, May 13-17 #CIW24" Image of robotic hand holding a seedling

There are countless creative pathways when it comes to working with communities and mobilizing knowledge for mutual benefit. How are faculty at the University of Calgary exploring the possibilities and sharing knowledge to drive positive change?

As part of Canadian Innovation Week, we’ll delve into the diverse realms of collaboration with three UCalgary researchers who will share their unique approach to disseminating knowledge, lessons learned and driving positive change in their respective fields at the Unveiling Pathways of Impact session on May 16.

Photo of Karen Benzies

Karen Benzies

Karen Benzies

Karen Benzies

Dr. Karen Benzies, PhD, director of the Social Innovation Initiative and professor in the Faculty of Nursing, champions collaborative innovation in health care. With a background in nursing, midwifery and research, Benzies is dedicated to improving young children’s and their families’ health and well-being. She emphasizes the importance of understanding core issues. 

"Research impact begins with a deep understanding of a problem and the changes that need to happen to make things better," Benzies says.

Benzies recognizes the challenges of celebrating innovation, noting the tendency to focus solely on individual leaders. “Most innovations that truly solve complex social problems are the collective work of many actors across disciplines and sectors,” she says. 

Recognizing the generosity of resources and expertise available within collaborative networks, Benzies advises budding innovators to leverage inflection points along their pathways to accelerate positive change. Through mentorship and advocacy, Benzies nurtures a new generation of purpose-driven innovators committed to addressing global challenges collaboratively. 

Dr. Craig Ginn

Dr. Craig Ginn

Dave McCann

Craig Ginn

Dr. Craig Ginn, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Classics and Religion, is a passionate advocate for Indigenous education. As director of the International Indigenous Studies Program and a Métis Nation of Alberta citizen, Ginn has received recognition for his contributions, including the Excellence in the Arts Award at the 2023 Métis Recognition Awards. His innovative multimedia projects aim to help Indigenize curriculum and contribute in a good way to truth and reconciliation.

Ginn's approach to driving positive change in his field is multifaceted. "I am trying to increase awareness of Indigenous histories and world views through music and education," he says.

Reflecting on the importance of innovation, Ginn emphasizes the need to support approaches that respond to real needs and challenges. "While we may find it inspiring to learn, hopefully, we are inspired at a deeper level to harness our learning to serve with social impact for good, whether in science, technology, health, education, finance or other sectors,” he says.

Ginn inspires his students and colleagues to use their education for social impact, tackling local and global challenges through creativity and teamwork.

Photo of Adela Kincaid

Dr. Adela Kincaid

Adela Kincaid

Adela Kincaid

Dr. Adela Kincaid, PhD'15, assistant professor in the International Indigenous Studies Program, is dedicated to fostering positive change through collaborative and community-based approaches. Her research delves into parallel Indigenous-qualitative methods to explore animal-human relations and community-based research models. Kincaid actively engages with Indigenous communities, working on projects such as Îyâxe-Nakoda-led water initiatives and collaborative ventures with Indigenous artists and scholars.

Kincaid's commitment to driving positive change is evident in her approach. "I strive to work with Indigenous communities in reciprocal and respectful ways that support community-led projects and initiatives," she says. 

Reflecting on the importance of innovation, Kincaid underscores the significance of collaborative and inclusive approaches, and the impact of recognizing achievements. “Celebrating success that takes place in communities and on the land is a meaningful way to take the time to recognize the importance of ongoing relationships,” Kincaid says.

Through her work and collaboration with students and colleagues on applied community-based projects, Kincaid inspires innovative thinking and meaningful change in her field.

Unveiling Pathways of Impact session

This enlightening session, offered as part of the Navigating Partnered Research series hosted by Knowledge Engagement in collaboration with the Social Innovation Initiative, celebrates the multifaceted approach of UCalgary faculty in driving positive change.

Don't miss this opportunity to engage with purpose-driven leaders and discover innovative solutions to global challenges. This event is not just a celebration of innovation, but also a call to action for collective impact that emphasizes the impact of collaborative knowledge mobilization and inclusive innovation. Everyone is welcome to attend. Learn more and register

Canadian Innovation Week

Powered by the Rideau Hall FoundationCanadian Innovation Week celebrates Canada’s unique innovation landscape, where diversity fuels creativity and stability fosters progress. 

The week is dedicated to recognizing and honouring Canada’s transformative innovators who are making a positive impact within the country and on the global stage, acknowledging every sector, embracing innovators at all stages, and uniting everyone under the banner of potential and inclusivity.

Dig In! to Calgary's innovation ecosystem May 14

The UCalgary Alumni Dig In! series lets you dig in to timely and compelling topics. Delve into the realm of startups, scale-ups, digital health, and how entrepreneurial thinking can drive transformative solutions and economic growth in our region. You'll hear from alumni experts who are shaping the innovation landscape in Calgary with their resourcefulness, initiative and cross-disciplinary knowledge. Learn more and register

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