SocialWashWhy is it that we think we’re doing something great when we add the word “social” in front of a word?

Social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, social innovation, social change, social economy, social enterprise, social finance, social purchasing…

What does it really mean? Don’t worry; I’m not going to attempt to define these terms. That’s already been done (here. here, and here in case you’re really interested.)

Rather, I thought I’d try and convey what JustChange means when we talk “social,” since it’s a brand we full-heartedly rally behind. My hope is that you’ll understand what inspires and motivates us and perhaps get inspired too.

To us, the label “social” signifies a statement of refusal to accept old ways of doing things: ways that have disembedded communities, nature, people, and relationships from our societal systems and infrastructure. Finance, business, and the economy seem to have forgotten those whom they are to serve in the first place – people!

The label “social” also signifies a statement of intent to create new ways of doing things: ways that reconcile our systems to humanity. The belief behind “social”, is intensely hopeful, creative, and forward-looking and the result is that old methods are being used in new ways to tackle some of society’s worst social conditions: such as income inequality, poverty, and unemployment (like SAE, EcoEquitable, and Bibz), as well as environmental degradation (like Ottawa Sustainability Tour).

At JustChange we’re looking to fund those ideas that truly embody this vision of “social,” ideas that have the potential to address a societal problem or create a societal good in the city of Ottawa.

We’re also looking for ideas that are so daring, risky, untested, or new that they may experience difficulty in attracting funding or support elsewhere. And we’re not looking to sustain an initiative; we’re looking to propel it. We want to help you get to the next level, whatever that may be.

~Brittany Fritsch