BACI involved with effort to foster innovation within sector

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Initiative to encourage people to develop innovative ideas fostering inclusion without government funding
Deron Hamel

The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) is embarking on a collaborative effort with other agencies providing supports for people who have a developmental disability, as well as with social businesses and academics, to foster innovation that’s not dependant upon government funding.

The Community Living Innovation Venture will have its soft launch in about a month, and will provide a space where people accessing services, their families, support agencies and the business community can network about innovative ideas in areas important to ensuring full citizenship of all people, says strategic planning consultant Maggie Vilvang.

“BACI is a part of a whole network of organizations that have come together and recognized that if we want to be innovative we have to create an environment and a space where that can happen — it’s not something that can happen off the corner of a desk (and) it’s not something that can be confined to a department within an organization,” says Maggie.

In short, the venture is providing an opportunity for financial and human resources, consultants and business-planning experts to intertwine and help the developmental services sector think innovatively through projects developed in an environment where people are talking about innovation.

“I think what’s interesting about this is that it’s really grounded into one of the fundamental parts of innovation, and that’s collaboration and partnership,” Maggie notes.

“The (desired) outcome is increased inclusion and belonging and citizenship for people with developmental disabilities that doesn’t result in service delivery — this is the innovative part of it; trying to advance the community and economic inclusion of people with developmental disabilities through different means than creating a new government-funded program.”

Organizations involved with the Community Living Innovation Venture include 2010 Legacies Now, the Vancouver Foundation and the Vancity Community Foundation (VCF). VCF is hosting the initiative and 2010 Legacies Now and Community Living British Columbia are providing funding to launch the initiative.

These organizations will be working with agencies providing supports to people who have a disability and their families, such as BACI, posAbilities and Community Living British Columbia.

Once launched, the venture will choose three or four demonstration projects and use “a learning-lab approach” within the first year in order to get a better understanding of the types of supports and services that agencies, families and people accessing services need.

Areas of innovation that might be focused on include — but are not limited to — financial literacy, developing partnerships and creating resources.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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