January 30-31, 2016


We believe everything needed to create the great cities we dream to live, work and play in exists. Your challenge over the course of two days is to search for new ways to pull ideas and data together to design solutions that add to city building and increase engagement in and between communities.

Youth (15-29 yrs.) are at the centre of urbanization and add energy, vibrancy and creativity to cities. Youth build a city’s competitive edge, stimulate development and find new solutions. Put our creativity and lived experience to the test with innovation in the social sphere at the 2016 Ryerson Social xCHANGE.

Social xCHANGE Winners


Ryerson Social xCHANGE Winners

Pictured above: Farmium team members Lediona Canellari, Daniel Tabak, Alif Ruhul and Lloyd Turner.


Project: Farmium

Team Members: Lediona Canellari, Daniel Tabak, Alif Ruhul and Lloyd Turner

Idea: Farmium is an automated green roof system that uses wireless sensor nodes to read plant vitals such as moisture, temperature, light and humidity. It then translates this information to intuitively optimize growing conditions.


Project: Sense US

Team Members: Alexandrae Wong, Gersom Rodriguez, Blake Vollbrecht, Abe Arafat, Tina Chan, Natalie Down

Idea: Student Civic Engagement.


Project: Taste Talks

Team Members: Ambreen Khan, Maliha Shahid, Arnabi Konar, Ravi Shankar, Neha Arsid, Abhinav Saxena

Idea: Innovative app using food and eating out as a tool to engage with isolated groups.




The Ryerson Social xCHANGE is a collaborative event aimed at inspiring social innovation and social enterprise across Ryerson and the community at large. This event provides opportunities and space for students, alumni and community members to explore, initiate and develop their ideas for change.

It’s about purpose and passion.
The Ryerson Social xCHANGE will be a catalyst sparking and fueling social innovation ideas while offering clear channels for building on these ideas leveraging Ryerson’s Zone Learning Network.


You get access to:


Coaches and subject-matter experts

Networks of like-minded social innovators

(food, drink, snacks, caffeine)

Access to Wifi
A dedicated nap room



Be inspired by fellow students, alumni and
community members to explore, initiate and develop
ideas for change.
Everyone is invited to register. You do not need to be a Ryerson student to attend this event. This event is free of charge.


Social xCHANGE Recap

The Social xChange, put on by the Faculty of Arts, the Social Ventures Zone (SVZ) and OVPRI, engaged community members and students from across 5 Universities in the GTA, a delegate of students India and from Southampton in the UK. Ryerson, known for its strong support of entrepreneurship and innovation, hosted more than 150 students who were challenged to design ideas around ‘City Building and Community Engagement” during the weekend long event, sponsored by DUCA and the Brookfield Institute.

Building off the momentum from the previous year, the xChange brought together students and community members from a diversity of backgrounds, sectors and cultures and encouraged participants to think cross-culturally and interdisciplinary to solve social issues. To kick off the event, the weekend began with an inspiring morning with community, industry and student speakers such as Charlie Richter of Apopo, an organization that uses rats to detect landmines in worn torn countries, Luke Anderson of Stop Gap and Sarah Brigel, a Ryerson student and co-founder of MicrobeHub hosted in the SVZ.

The unique format of the xChange allowed students to either “dip” or “dive” into social innovation. Those in the dip stream were given the opportunity to learn more about social innovation while those in the dive stream participated in a social hackathon where teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges.

The xChange provided more than an avenue for students to pitch their ideas, it functioned as a networking event. “The main things that benefitted me from the social xchange were the connections I made with so many like-minded people, all fired up and ready to help; and the amount of support offered to our team and our project throughout the entire week” Lloyd Turner, Southampton University, UK.

The finale of the xChange culminated in a judged event, where 10 teams pitched their ideas to a group of four judges. Within just 24 hours, teams developed ideas to address social issues from waste reduction to youth engagement and competed for the top prize of $1500, entry into the SVZ and participation in the Ashoka Exchange conference in New Orleans.



Charlie Richter Headshot

Charlie Richter
US Director; APOPO

Charlie joined the APOPO team in December 2014 as US Director, based in Washington DC. Previously he worked in business development and project management for Gallup, a large research and consulting firm, and One Economy, an international technology NGO, both based in Washington DC.
At APOPO Charlie is responsible for building new partnerships and projects with US based organizations as well as developing APOPO’s independent US based 501c3 organization. He has an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and was a former Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa where he developed a passion for innovative social enterprises.


Charlie Richter Headshot

Rachel Pulfer
Executive Director, Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)

Rachel has managed media development projects in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to joining JHR, Rachel was a Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College, and a magazine journalist of 10 years’ standing. She was the U.S. correspondent, editorial board member, and columnist for Canadian Business – Canada’s national business news magazine. Rachel has previously held positions at Investment Executive Magazine, the Montreal Gazette, and Azure magazine, and her journalism has appeared in The Walrus, Toronto Life, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and Maclean’s Magazine.
As a humanitarian who grew up in Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea, Rachel believes JHR’s mission – empowering journalists to cover local human rights issues ethically and effectively – is an excellent way to put her profession to work for a greater good. She is pleased to be part of making that mission a reality

JHR Logo



Southhampton Logo
Students from University of Southampton have been selected to represent a delegation at the 2016 Ryerson Social Innovation xCHANGE. In order to win a place in the delegation, students took part in a condensed version of the xCHANGE competition in Southampton: the Social Innovation Challenge, hosted by the Social Impact Lab to demonstrate their ability, creativity and passion for social innovation.

St. Paul's GreenHouse Logo

Great ideas can strike anytime, and living with like-minded people in an innovation community enhances those opportunities. St. Paul’s GreenHouse is the first and only live-in campus-linked accelerator in Canada focused on social innovation and entrepreneurship. The delegation is excited and ready to create initiative solutions to the xCHANGE theme for 2016.

Laurier University Logo
Located in one of Canada’s top innovative cities, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Social Innovation & Venture Creation team embrace the opportunity to inspire lives of leadership and purpose by taking innovative approaches to old, complex social issues. The Wilfrid Laurier University delegation is excited and grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Social xChange this year!




2nd Place
$1000 Cash PrizeContributed by Ryerson
3rd Place
$500 Cash PrizeContributed by Ryerson



Formerly the Social Innovation Summit

The Ryerson Social xCHANGE Partners:

Ontario Centres for Excellence
Divine Chocolates
Ted Rogers School of Management
Ashoka Changemaker Campus
Faculty of Arts
OVPRI Ryerson
EnactUs Ryerson
Digital Media Zone
Social Ventures Zone
Ryerson University


The Ryerson Social xChange is sponsored by:
Duca Logo


Contact Us

Ryerson University Campus


Student Learning Centre
341 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1S1

RU logo Ashoka Changemaker Campus Logo