Friday, March 29, 2013

I Don't Mind Shelling Out Tax Dollars to Fix the Rec Centre Roof in Sarnia. But Why are Ontario Taxpayers Funding Marxist Social Engineering?

Ever wonder on what basis the Ontario Trillium Foundation doles out our tax dollars? Even if you haven't, and even if you don't happen to live in this province, you may be interested to learn that something called "social innovation" is a really important criterion. Here's how it's explained on the Foundation website:

Social Innovation Say What?

“Social innovation” is a term that the Foundation often uses to describe a desired impact of some of the initiatives we fund. But what do we tend to mean by the term?

We liked this short video from Social Innovation Generation (video) that describes social innovation in an engaging way, using graphics and plain language to unpack a complex idea.

Social Innovation Generation (SiG) is a partnership of four Canadian institutions and sites: the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, MaRS Discovery District, the University of Waterloo and SiG West.

OTF program manager Arti Freeman looked at three examples of how funders have supported social innovation in the youth sector. Read the article she wrote with peers.

To learn more about social innovation and creating conditions to make it happen, check out the SiG Knowledge Hub.
They may have liked that short video from Social Innovation Generation. Me? I thought it sounded an awful lot like latter-day Marxism tarted up in eco-green fleece. And when I read the article by OTF program manager Arti Freeman, I found a nugget (which I've bolded) embedded in the bureaucratic gobbledygook:
This article explores the ways in which three different funders have supported social in- novation, with a particular focus on youth-led organizing.
• The first example, a collaborative between the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Laidlaw Foundation, Tides Canada Initiatives, and other partners, highlights how funders can help create environments for a community of practice to emerge.
• The second example, drawing from the evaluative learning of an inter-gov- ernmental group with funders from all sectors, illustrates the impact funding collaboratives can have on leveraging additional resources to the youth sector while promoting institutional change within different funding bodies.
• The third example, based on the experiences of a national project under- taken by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation as part of its inclusion strategy, highlights how adopting developmental evaluation practices can dramatically support innovation and learning.
The Tides people--aren't they the ones trying to put the kibosh on the Northern Gateway pipeline? Why the heck are Ontario taxpayer funding a "collaborative" (dreadful bureau-jargon, no?) with them?

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