It’s been a while since I’ve felt as inspired as I did on Thursday, November 17th. On this day, I had the opportunity and privilege to attend the Trico Enterprising Spirit Conference in my role as the Executive Director of a Calgary-based charitable organization – Highbanks Society (www.highbankssociety.ca). This agency has been providing subsidized housing with wrap-around support services to parenting youth since 2003. The Society was formed in 2001, and in the two years leading up to opening its doors, founder Bette Mitchell and her Board of Directors worked as true social entrepreneurs to secure the perfect real estate to realize the vision of housing, employing and educating young mothers in Calgary.
This conference broadened my knowledge of how to effectively grow a strong organization through social enterprise. It exposed me to a network of leaders in the field, with whom I otherwise may not have connected. And, it ignited a desire to learn more so that I may do my part in building a more sustainable organization and healthier community. Tasked to lead Highbanks through its current stage of growth, I feel invigorated to explore the feasibility of many potential innovations which have organically been derived from the needs of parenting youth in our city. I feel encouraged to take some measured risks, by leveraging our Community Assets (www.vancity.com/MyCommunity/Impact/Stories/Community/) and years of operational experience, for a cause much greater than that of a financial bottom-line. Lastly, I feel rather animated (http://socialinnovation.ca/about/theory-of-change) to explore potential partnerships and synergies with others committed to making the world a better place.
I want to take this opportunity to commend Katherine Harmsworth and her team for their hard work in putting the day together! Thank you also to Wayne Chiu and his fellow Board Members of the Trico Charitable Foundation(www.tricofoundation.ca) for their passion and vision. The experience was truly inspirational and I look forward to the next conference!
Cecilia de la Rocha