Today’s crises demand new ways of thinking and doing. But true innovation is tough – especially if you’ve never done it before. That’s why many leaders lean on story as a familiar tool to inspire and inform breakthrough solutions. And that’s what I talk about in Episode 11, with two women who’ve been supporting the Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative* – Natalka Cmoc, now Director General of Science and Policy at Indigenous Services Canada and Shannon Lough, Manager of Communications and Engagement at the non-profit Ecotrust Canada.
Their project promotes the development of Indigenous-led housing innovation across Canada. From day one, they knew they couldn’t use a typical competitive and bureaucratic approach to engage First Nations partners. So, they integrated the use of story into the process - from proposal development, to community engagement, to knowledge sharing and idea testing.
By enabling Indigenous project leaders to connect through stories about their shared ideas and visions for the future, the project team expects to be able to scale successful housing innovations much more quickly than in the past. Plus, they’ll support the development of new relationships and strengthen storytelling capacity across some of Canada’s most remote and isolated communities. Though the project was in early stages when we recorded this episode, Shannon and Natalka were already able to share some impressive success stories that have emerged through this approach. Find out more about the storytelling work and the innovators themselves.
* The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative (IHII)is a five-year $36M federal program funded by Indigenous Services Canada and delivered in partnership with the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO). An Indigenous Steering Committee selected 24 projects led by Indigenous Innovators to participate in the Accelerator phase where innovators will spend up to 18 months refining their project ideas. Project ideas that meet eligibility criteria will access additional funding to support implementation. Follow or contribute to the community of practice through the IHII Circle
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