5 Year Direction

On December 16, 2013
Vision, Roles and Areas of Operation

Two years ago, EWB designed the new vision and have since been growing into it and adapting our work to achieve the vision and goals it outlines.  In it, EWB outlines two basic beliefs that guide our work:

  1. A world free from poverty requires changes to the current systems that entrench inequality
  2. EWB’s community’s contributions will come from being great at incubating systemic innovations in Canada and Africa.
As time goes on, EWB is refining the “how” to incubate systemic innovations.  The 5 year direction describes 3 key roles that EWB will focus on:
  1. Convening collisions : bringing people and ideas together to catalyze reactions
  2. Incubating successful ventures : ideas that will grow within EWB and then outgrow it
  3. Enabling a policy environment ripe for change: advocacy, influence, coalitions and strategic partnerships.
Our areas of operation is where we will focus our efforts:
  1. EWB’s in Canada community is vibrant and powerful: connecting passionate people together
  2. Building the EWB community in Africa: creating space for a community of leaders in Africa
  3. Engineers and Engineering as an asset to EWB: bringing engineers and engineering skillsets to the table
  4. Talent and Knowledge : continue to improve our talents and knowledge
  5. Funding: improve the predictability and strategic value of the sources of funding
When combined into a 2D matrix of the two, we get the following diagram
The areas where the roles crosscut the areas of operations are where the EWB’s ventures will be operating. After discussions with many stakeholders, our ventures will be organized into portfolios that not only help prioritize our current work, but allow for much greater flexibility and creates space for new ideas and initiatives / ventures in the future.  These portfolios are the following:
  1. Small and growing social business:
    • Increasing opportunities in Africa, investing in radical and innovative business models
    • Ex:  Growth Mosaic
  2. Adaptive public service institutions:
    • Responsive to citizen’s needs
    • Ex: WatSan
  3. Inclusive Food Systems:
    • Benefits everyone, especially those disadvantaged by current systems
    • Ex: AgEX
  4. Engineering Leaders for the 21st Century:
  5. Triple bottom line for Canadian mining companies:
    • Tackle power imbalances between extractive companies and communities
    • Ex: Mining Shared Value
What does it mean for ventures?
Some ventures fit within this model, and others don’t. Unfortunately, not all ventures will continue to be funded while others will. New ventures will be formed in 2014 but the priority is on increasing funding stability.  These portfolios will be prioritized differently, and therefore will receive resources based on these priorities.
Other information: 
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