The board of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation has approved the Engineering Change Lab’s grant application for $420,000 of funding over the next four years.
The first year’s funding of $120,000 is assured, while the Change Lab would need to match the Foundation’s $100,000 contributions in each of the following three years with funds from the private sector.
“McConnell is one of the most progressive foundations in Canada and their investment in the Engineering Change Lab is a huge endorsement of the broader societal importance of the Change Lab’s goals,” said Engineering Change Lab Animator Mark Abbott. “Our goals are big, and we are going to require significant resources to ensure that we can achieve them together.
“This investment by the Foundation is an exciting next step and we must continue to build on this momentum in the months and years ahead.”
The Engineering Change Lab was created in January 2015 as a platform for collaboration to allow individuals and organizations from across the engineering profession to come collaborate and take action to unlock the profession’s full potential. The core Change Lab team consists of 40 senior leaders (CEOs, Deans, VPs, Directors) representing 35 organizations from across the profession including companies, universities, granting agencies, and non-profits.
The group convenes three times a year to share their perspectives and deepen their shared understanding of challenges confronting the profession, including a lack of diversity, ethics challenges, and a low level of innovation. The Change Lab develops and progresses a portfolio of initiatives designed to address these challenges.
“The McConnell Foundation describes its mission as engaging Canadians in building a more innovative, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient society, and it recognizes that creating enduring change takes time,” said Engineers Canada Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships, Jeanette M. Southwood, M.A.Sc., FCAE, FEC, P.Eng. “Engineers Canada is pleased that the Foundation has recognized the important work being undertaken by the Change Lab,
“We very much appreciate the Foundation’s investment, and we look forward to working with them to continue to build momentum, share learnings, and collaborate on our common goals.”
Engineers Canada, along with Engineers Without Borders, Concordia University, York University and Suncor are the Change Lab Champions, who have committed to contributing a mixture of financial and in-kind contributions to the Change Lab.
The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s purpose is to enhance Canada’s ability to address complex social, environmental and economic challenges. They accomplish this by developing, testing, and applying innovative approaches and solutions; by strengthening the community sector; and by collaborating with partners in the community, private, and public sectors.
“We’re excited to build this relationship between the Change Lab and the Foundation,” said Abbott. “This is a great opportunity for reciprocal learning and to find synergies with the Foundation’s other efforts to create ‘social infrastructure.’