The Future of Good - RSA

The Future of Good: a bold new festival to examine how Canadians can address future social, environmental and technological challenges

Fellowship news

  • Sustainability
  • Global

Volunteerism, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, aid, protests, public policy, public spaces, social services, art, conservation — there are many ways for individuals to do good. But in a fast moving world, is how we do good good enough? From November 29-30th, Canadians from around the world will gather in Ottawa to explore this and other questions at Future of Good - a new festival that sets out to radically improve Canadians’ contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Will today’s approaches satisfy tomorrow’s needs?

Canadians have created a number of innovative ways to do good in response to the needs of the times, or to take advantage of unique opportunities. Often, these new approaches have become part of our collective identity, e.g. universal healthcare, peacekeeping, multiculturalism, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In some cases, they have been contributions to the world.

Despite this storied history, for many Canadians, approaching 2017 (the country’s 150th birthday) gave us pause. With annual expenditures of approximately $400 Billion (CDN) on social outcomes and wellbeing via investments in health, education, a network of social safety programs, etc. we still have far to go to eliminate discrimination in the workplace, to transition to a low-carbon economy, to eliminate child poverty, to walk down a path of reconciliation with indigenous peoples, to name just a few.

In an era of climate and refugee crises, income inequality, labour automation, demographic shifts, and political polarization our past innovation for doing good are showing signs of strain.

We’ve also seen the emergence of new technologies, collaboration techniques and platforms, and professional disciplines that are rapidly being adopted into a range of private sector organizations. In some cases we see these new tools and approaches being tested by social mission organizations to help them do good significantly better, but they are far from becoming mainstream in the sector.

Enter Future for Good

Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as our foundation, Future of Good is an attempt to:

  • Explore how western society will respond to the social, environmental and technical challenges of the future,
  • Expose attendees to the new tools (e.g. AI, blockchain, drones, etc) and approaches (e.g. BCorps, outcome financing, predictive science, etc.) being tested around the world to tackle complex challenges, and
  • Equip Canadians (and friends) with a network to make bold contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Future of Good will feature talks from top Canadian innovators, artists, entrepreneurs and thinkers from around the world. It will include live artistic performances – some announced, and some not. Speakers will step off the stage and into intimate conversations with you to dig deeper into issues and turn ideas into prototypes.

Confirmed speakers             

Ilse Treurnicht - "On the future of skills and human capacity"

Ilse Treurnicht is CEO of MaRS in Toronto. Her career spans venture capital, startups and young firms, consulting, public policy, science research/ commercialization. She holds a DPhil in Chemistry (Oxford University, Rhodes Scholar).

Indy Johar - "On mental models for an interconnected world"

Indy Johar is an architect, co-founder of 00 and a Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation. He is also a co-founder of Dark Matter Laboratories, which aims to apply complex systems science to value chain innovation, management and relationships.

Shauna Levy - "On the future of design"

Shauna Levy is President and CEO of Design Exchange (DX), Canada's Design Museum. Her 20-year career includes launching and developing cultural attractions, exhibitions and trade/consumer shows within the categories of design and popular culture.

Robert Opp - "On driving expontential change in organisational culture"

Robert Opp is Director of Innovation and Change Management at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the largest humanitarian relief agency in the world. He has over 15 years of experience working in the public sector (both government and inter-governmental) and the private sector. 


We’re inviting Canadians and anyone interested in the future of how public value is generated/maximized to join us, November 29-30th, 2017.

For more information on speakers, performers, schedule and registration, go to

By Jason Pearman, Fellow with Social Innovation Generation and co-curator of Future of Good.

Canadian Fellows will be afforded discounted tickets for this event. If you are interested to hear more, contact Jason Pearman for further information.

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