It's not a lion's den, it's not a shark tank, you're not getting thrown to the wolves...

It's a safe place to explore innovative social ideas together.

We’re bringing together people who are passionate about solving social issues. Come and be part of the process - provide feedback, support and innovative ideas.

This community innovation challenge is about the collaboration and contributions of everyone.


The Purpose:

Creating sustainable community impact through collaborative and innovative problem solving by bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences

The How:

We’re partnering with organizations (community groups/ non-profits) and social entrepreneurs who have experience addressing social problems to create a space for engaging dialog and open feedback. Using the 1000 Innovation Ninjas tool, we’re focusing on the process of creative problem solving - looking at social problems comprehensively, exploring all possible solutions, validating assumptions, and collaboratively producing a valuable and viable solution.

What is a social problem?

We are seeking community initiatives led by Calgary communities, social workers, non-profit organizations, or social entrepreneurs that address at least one of the following social issues identified by the City of Calgary social workers:

  • Income
  • Food insecurity
  • Housing
  • Unemployment, underemployment & precarious work
  • Childcare
  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Safety
  • Social Exclusion

Why should your organization participate?

Do you have an idea, community initiative, project that addresses a social issue? Lion's Den is the perfect opportunity to receive support and feedback for your idea from professionals who have championed social responsibility in their industry. All we ask is that you are open to iterating. Don’t have a solution yet? If you have identified a problem and are looking for support, you are still encouraged to participate.

Why should you participate as an individual?

We are looking for people who are passionate about solving social issues. Come and provide feedback, support and innovative ideas that can help initiatives take off and make an impact.

The Format:

Part 1: During the afternoon break-out sessions block on Friday, September 28, ideas/ projects will be pitched to Soul Forum attendees. Attendees will be able to provide feedback to organizations.

Part 2: After the Soul Forum concludes, there will be be a second pitching session (4:30 pm - 6:00 pm), where Impact Influencers (experts in social impact/ entrepreneurship) will provide feedback on the idea.

The Prizes: thank you to EDGE for supporting the Community Innovation Challenge

  • $500 cash prize for each group
  • Matched with mentors EDGE's mentorship network
  • Access to EDGE's Small Business Solver
  • A copy of the book The Giveback Economy book
  • $1,200 worth of templates from Clausehound - access for a year to a legal support system




The Timeline:

Mid August: Community groups confirmed to pitch

August: Kick-off meeting with all groups & Pitch coaching

August: Match groups with social entrepreneurs to work on business plan

September: Match groups with social entrepreneurship students to work on presentation

September 28: Pitch Day


For questions please email


Thank you to our other supporters:

Launch your business AND create social change in your community. Thrive can help you bring your vision into reality through practical business skills and meaningful community partnership. You don’t have to trail blaze alone; tap into a community of change-makers and be part of a growing movement that’s creating social change through business.



Check our our interview with one of the winners of last year's Lion's Den Social Innovation Challenge