Learning from our past; innovating for a stronger future

Understanding how and where change has happened in our past, can provide an innovator with important learning for designing and introducing a new idea today. It also honours and celebrates those ideas that make our lands and our systems more positively resilient.

The History of Social Change is a multimedia project of SEE Change Magazine profiling social change movements in Canadian history – and their key players – that have shaped who we are as Canadians today e.g. Suffrage, Marriage Equality, Cooperatives, Environment, Social Economy, Labour etc. With a focus on the 20th century, each profile will offer an in-depth look at the movement’s origins, its activists, challenges, victories and its status today.

As publisher and editor-in-chief of SEE Change Magazine, Elisa Birnbaum explains: “Social change is not an easy process. It takes effort, stubbornness and the ability to persevere in spite of all obstacles and opposition. Once achieved, social change and any newfound rights and freedoms should never be taken for granted, yet they often are. When that happens, we not only lose our sense of who we are, we lose sight of how we got here, which makes looking forward that much more challenging.”

And so Elisa set about interviewing and developing profiles with people who have changed Canada for the better. There’s dozens of inspiring stories on their site and SiG is happy to amplify their messages. It’s the kind of project we love. Elisa also took the time to chat with SiG National Executive Director, Tim Draimin about where his passion for social change began and what social innovation is all about.

Spend some time trekking through these stories and let Elisa know what you think. I’m sure she would agree that it’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a significant contribution to honouring our history. Importantly The History of Social Change project provides additional information and written history to give the interviews due context.

Leaving the last words to the producer herself: “It is my hope that this project will offer a valuable examination of the diversity of issues, people and social causes that define our country, remind us of the values we hold dear, celebrate the successes and illuminate the steps we must take next.”

For further stories of social change, visit our profile page as well.

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Geraldine Cahill About Geraldine Cahill

Manager, Programs and Partnerships, SiG National

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