January 27-29th, 2017


CANADA  – THE NEXT 150. Reimagining what Canada will look like over the next 150 years.


Students and participants will be asked “What is Canada’s greatest challenge or opportunity of your generation?” and to imagine what Canada could look like in the next 150 years. Participants will be encouraged to design solutions and businesses to help address the challenges and issues, creating a legacy for coming generations. An emphasis will be placed on youth engagement, diversity and inclusion, reconciliation with indigenous peoples, and environmental stewardship.

This 150th remembrance is important for youth to contemplate issues such as the environment, diversity and Canada’s place in the world. It’s the young people that have the biggest stake in the future and their ideas and voices must be heard. Put our creativity and lived experience to the test with innovation in the social sphere at the 2017 Ryerson Social xCHANGE.


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.

Participants can register for one of two streams:


New to social innovation? Through a mix of though provoking speakers and hands-on workshops you’ll get to try your hand at the tools of the trade. Learn Design Thinking tools and problem identification skills.


Ready to take action on you ideas? This stream allows you to take part in an intense social hack on the theme of ‘Canada the next 150’ where you will be asked to design businesses with one of the following themes in mind; environmental stewardship, youth engagement and indigenous issues and reconciliation.


You get access to:


Coaches and subject-matter experts

Networks of like-minded social innovators

(food, drink, snacks, caffeine)

Meet existing social entrepreneurs

Shop for ethical goods


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.




Denis Edney Headshot

Dennis Edney
Distinguished visiting professor,
Faculty of Arts

Defence lawyer Dennis Edney has been appointed distinguished visiting professor in the Faculty of Arts.

Edney earned his law degree from the University of Northumbria in 1987, and has appeared at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the United States Supreme Court. He practices criminal, constitutional and human rights law.

The recipient of a number of awards and distinctions, Edney holds the National Pro Bono Award (2008) for his commitment to the Omar Khadr case, and the fight for access to justice and human rights. In 2009, the lieutenant governor of British Columbia awarded Edney with a human rights medal for fighting to uphold the Rule of Law without personal gain.

In 2011, Edney was appointed bencher at the Law Society of Alberta. He also received the honorary title of Queen’s Counsel for exceptional merit and contribution to the legal profession. Edney was awarded the prestigious Gerald L. Gall award by the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human rights (2013), the Winnipeg Citizens Award for his contribution to human rights and justice (2014) and the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club of Canada (2014). He was named one of Canada’s 25 Most Influential Lawyers by Canadian Lawyer (2015), and received the Friend of the Muslim Community Award (2016).


Sandra Odendahl, P.Eng., CFA
Board Chair,
The Atmospheric Fund

Sandra is a corporate sustainability and social finance pioneer, with a passion for using the power of business and finance to drive social change. From 2007 to 2016, Sandra headed RBC’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Finance and Social Innovation teams.  At RBC, she oversaw the development and implementation of the RBC Environmental Blueprint, a multiyear strategy to mitigating environmental risks and acting on opportunities associated with RBC’s business activities. She led the development and roll-out of RBC’s Social Finance Initiative, a $20 million program to catalyse the use of private money and financial markets to solve environmental and social issues. The Social Finance Initiative includes the RBC Generator, a $10 million pool of RBC capital for investing in for-profit companies that are delivering social impact along with financial returns. She also designed a framework for partnering with start-up accelerators that nurture early stage companies with a social or environmental purpose.

Sandra volunteers on a number of non-profit boards and advisory groups that reflect her interests in finance, sustainability and innovation.   She is the Board Chair of the (Toronto) Atmospheric Fund (TAF), where she has been a director since 2011. TAF was established by The City of Toronto in 1991 with a $23 million endowment to finance innovative organisations and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. In 2016, the Province of Ontario provided TAF with an additional $17 million for its endowment.

In addition to her work with TAF, Sandra has been a Board member and Finance Committee member at Pollution Probe since 2012. From 2013 to 2015 she served on the federal government’s Ministerial Advisory Council on Social Innovation.   In 2014, she was one of 2 Canadian members appointed to the Asset Allocation Working Group of the G8 Social Investment Task force.   And she recently joined the Board of Advisors of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead).



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 2017.

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!


The Social Innovation Hub (SIHub) at George Brown College is an alternative placement for GBC students in the School of Community Services, and an early stage incubator and connector for the generation of innovative ideas, projects and social enterprises. The SIHub graduates the next wave of social entrepreneurs, social innovators and leaders focused on bringing economic and social justice to the world.

Ideas Congress (ICON) students at the University of Guelph foster innovative ideas for today’s most pressing sustainability challenges. ICON harnesses the power of collaboration in a project-based learning environment. Through partnerships with community organizations, ICON introduces students to real-world challenges and provides students with access to resources and expertise to make real change. Students are supported by Feeding 9 Billion and ICON to join the fun at the 2017 Social xChange.




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



Formerly the Social Innovation Summit

2016 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 Partners:

Science Discovery Zone, Ryerson University
Office of Social Innovation, Ryerson University
World Vision
StartUp HERE Toronto
City of Toronto
Ontario Centres for Excellence
Faculty of Arts
OVPRI Ryerson
Social Ventures Zone
Ryerson University

Contact Us

Ryerson University Campus

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

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