Internationally-Renowned Social Innovator to Visit Cape Breton

Cape Breton University (CBU) is pleased to welcome internationally-renowned social innovator, Marty Donkervoort, to Cape Breton later this week. Donkervoort is also the author of Inner City Renovation: How a Social Enterprise Changes Lives and Communities. His book chronicles the emergence and impacts of a Winnipeg-based company that does renovations and new construction, of which Donkervoort was general manager. The social enterprise creates good jobs for people who are hard to employ in the inner city, and at the same time revitalizes housing stock.

Dr. Catherine Leviten-Reid, Associate Professor at CBU, Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development Program, connected with Donkervoort through her work as a board member of the Affordable Housing Renovation Partnership. She is planning on making the most of his time on the Island. He will be visiting with several community groups, including Pathways and New Dawn, and will deliver a lecture at CBU on Thursday. Donkervoort will also lead a workshop on Friday to discuss how Winnipeg’s Inner City Renovation’s success could be applied locally.

Several local organizations are already looking at ways to address community need, particularly around housing and homelessness in CBRM.  “Marty’s visit is timely….we have an opportunity to talk about his experience and develop a plan that suits local conditions.  I look forward to seeing where this could go, and envision a social enterprise here in CBRM that both addresses employment and problems with our housing stock,” says Dr. Leviten-Reid.

Donkervoort will be at CBU on October 29 at 11:30 a.m. in the Multi-purpose Room. Anyone wanting to attend the workshop is asked to email tanya_andrews@cbu.ca or by calling 902-563-1492.

This visit is taking place through partnership with the Shannon School of Business, the Affordable Housing Renovation Partnership, the Tompkins Institute, NSCC-Marconi Campus and Habitat for Humanity Cape Breton Chapter.

New Dawn is also inviting community members to hear Donkervoort speak at the Ideas Powered by Passion series on Thursday, October 29th at the New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation. This event is open to all and will include music by local musician Victor Tomiczek.