Our Approach

We invest in people, ventures and ideas to create systemic change.

Poverty is the product of broken systems that prevent people from realizing their full potential. Extreme poverty and inequitable development exist because injustices are deeply entrenched in our systems – in behaviours among individuals, within institutions and in the relationships that bind them.

EWB is a social change incubator for people, ventures and ideas. We spark and accelerate systemic innovations in Canada and Africa that have the potential to radically disrupt the systems that allow poverty to persist.

People
From wanting global change to leading systemic change

EWB Canada is committed to nurturing and growing a powerful community of passionate, talented young people into an understanding global systems of justice, their role in these and accelerating their capacity to lead systems change work.

For more than 10 years, EWB has been attracting and developing leaders and engineers who can change systems. EWB offers its members, staff, and volunteers the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills, gain valuable leadership experience and take active roles in systemic change initiatives. Some launch the ventures that EWB supports in Africa or Canada; some take accelerated career paths thanks to the skills and insights they've developed; all are sought by leading non-profits, social enterprises, organizations and corporations.

Ideas
From inspiration to influence

There is a difference between a good idea and a good idea that has influence in business, government, development organizations or society as a whole.

EWB Canada helps turn ideas into impact. We convene collision spaces that bring cultures together, make sense of the systems we want to change, provide deeper understandings of problem definitions, highlight bright ideas, test innovations and ripen the environment for change.

Ventures
From concept generation to impact generation

EWB Canada invests in ventures that will drive radical systemic innovations, sparking and accelerating the development and growth of these ventures, building capacity and resiliency to ensure their long-term independence and sustainability. Ventures are radical when the propose alternatives that fundamentally challenge the norms and habits that contribute to the patterns of injustice in the prevailing system.

Some are social enterprises that bring affordable financing the rural entrepreneurs. Some improve African government service-delivery and decision-making. And some mobilize Canadians and engineers to create change in areas like ethical consumption. All challenge the status quo and provide radical alternatives to unjust systems.

Our ventures are organized into portfolios, each focused on a global issue. Work in any individual venture is tied back to the larger goal of the portfolio.

We are EWB.
We don’t accept the status quo.

We combine passion and pragmatism. We challenge and invest in each other to learn continuously, because that’s what is needed to create change together.
We are outraged and hopeful.
Our fellow human beings continue to live in extreme poverty, with dramatically diminished choices and opportunities; a mother who can’t feed her family, her husband telling their son that he can’t pay for school. This is an affront to our beliefs about what is right. Her hopes are our hopes. His drive is our drive. We serve their dreams to allow all of us to truly prosper.
We create systemic change wherever it's needed to accelerate Africa's development and unlock the potential of its people.
We incubate systemic innovations – investing rigorously, proving what works by having the courage to fail, and transforming the way people and organizations behave. This ensures the change we create is meaningful and lasting.
To do this, we invest in people who will lead systemic change.
They do whatever it takes, working tirelessly to learn and grow and transform how people think and how things are done. These exceptional leaders are able to act in the face of ambiguity and drive change together with all EWBers.