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Tim Draimin - Social Innovation Generation. Toronto, ON, CA

Tim Draimin

Executive Director, Social Innovation Generation (SiG) National | Social Innovation Generation (SiG)

Toronto, ON, CANADA

SiG tackles social & ecological challenges by creating a culture of social innovation that develops entrepreneurship for the common good




Australian social innovation from a Canadian social innovation perspective


The case for social finance in Canada




As Executive Director, Mr. Draimin supports SiG’s growing network of academics, practitioners, social entrepreneurs, allied institutions and partnerships in expanding Canada's Social Innovation ecosystem. Tim is the author of Canada's first national study of social entrepreneurship and a frequent advisor to government, non-profit associations and business.

A leader in the non-profit sector, Mr. Draimin was the founding CEO of Tides Canada Foundation. Mr. Draimin guided the Foundation’s expansion, established Canada’s first national support system for social entrepreneurs – Tides Canada Initiatives – and supported a world-renowned model of integrated conservation: B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest initiative.

Tim Draimin brings to SiG over 30 years of international career experience. He has worked for or consulted in Canada and abroad with the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, the International Development Research Centre, Synergos, and Ford Foundation. He has served on many international delegations and participated at UN prepcoms. He was a member of Canada's official delegation to UNCED.

An active volunteer, Tim serves on the boards of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation (Toronto) and the TRICO Charitable Foundation (Calgary).

Tim is a senior advisor to the new MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (CII), a hub created to increase the awareness and effectiveness of social finance by catalyzing new capital, talent, and collaborative initiatives to deliver innovative solutions to Canada’s social and environmental challenges.

He was an advisor to Community Foundations of Canada's Responsible Investing Pilot Project and a past board member of the Social Investment Organization (SIO), Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network (CEGN), IMPACS, and past member of the Voluntary Sector Forum's Finance Action Group.

Industry Expertise (5)

Public Policy


Corporate Leadership


Government Relations

Areas of Expertise (10)

Social Innovation and Finance

Social Enterprise

Social Finance

Cooperatives and Economic Development

Social Entrepreneurship

Private Capital for the Public Good

Public Policy Development

Community Revitalization

Enterprise Development

Ethical Investing

Accomplishments (8)

Executive Director – Social Innovation Generation (SiG) (professional)


Social Innovation Generation (SiG) is a group who believes that serious social problems can be solved. In order to nurture the health, resilience and vibrancy of our linked social, economic and ecological systems SiG will work to develop a "living laboratory" of social experiments that have the potential to achieve system change and improve the well-being of Canadians. Our focus will be on social innovation that has the potential for impact, durability and scale.

Advisory Council Member – MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (professional)


The Centre for Impact Investing provides a national hub to increase the awareness and effectiveness of social finance to catalyze new capital, talent and initiatives dedicated to tackling social and environmental problems in Canada. Delivering educational programs focused on research and policy as well as market and product development, the Centre aims to strengthen our collective ability to mobilize private capital toward public good.

Board Member – Catherine Donnelly Foundation (personal)


The Catherine Donnelly Foundation, established in 2003, is the financial and human legacy of the tireless efforts of a remarkable community of religious women, The Sisters of Service, and a testament to their work in communities across Canada. An ecumencial alliance between concerned laity and the Sisters, the Foundation is a learning organization that supports projects and programs designed to promote positive social change and to advance the position and interests of the poor and marginalized.

Board Member – Trico Charitable Foundation (personal)

Trico Charitable Foundation was established as an evolution of Wayne and Eleanor Chiu's philanthropic endeavours. The Foundation emerged due to the Chiu's vision to create an impactful legacy within the non-profit sector, and is focused on promoting the development of effective and successful models, concepts and principles related to the national advancement of social enterprise. The Foundation's vision is to grow a community of sustainable, entrepreneurial non-profit organizations.

Member, Advisory Council, Sustainability Transition Lab – The Natural Step (professional)

The Natural Step is a non profit organization founded with the vision of creating a sustainable society. For two decades, The Natural Step has been at the forefront of international research and dialogue about sustainable development. We have developed a proven, science-based model that helps communities and businesses better understand and integrate environmental, social, and economic considerations.

Member, Scientific Advisory Board – Grand Challenges Canada (professional)


Grand Challenges Canada, an independent, not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to supporting bold ideas with big impact in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we fund innovators in low- and middle- income countries and Canada. Grand Challenges Canada works with its consortium partners – the International Development Research Centre and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – to discover sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing health challenges.

Member, Institute on Governance Strategy Council – Institute on Governance (professional)


Founded in 1990, the Institute on Governance (IOG) is an independent, Canada-based, not-for-profit public interest institution. Our mission is ‘advancing better governance in the public interest,’ which we accomplish by exploring, developing and promoting the principles, standards and practices which underlie good governance in the public sphere, both in Canada and abroad. The IOG has undertaken over 1000 projects in Canada and 35 other countries.

Chair – Causeway Social Finance (professional)

Causeway Social Finance is a collaborative project anchored with Social Innovation Generation (SiG) National and hosted at SiG@MaRS. Causeway is a 3 year project whose objective is to fast-track Canada’s adoption of social finance, ensuring there is a healthy social finance marketplace supported by mainstream financial institutions serving a national constituency of charities, social enterprises, social economy entities, community economic development institutions and cooperatives.

Event Appearances (15)

The Challenge of Change: Funders and Sustainable Social Innovation

At the Heart of Philanthropy  Montreal, Quebec


Global Philanthropy + Development Trends: Opportunities for Social + Financial Innovation

British Columbia Council for International Co-operation AGM  Vancouver, British Columbia


Panel Moderator: Show Me the Money – Leveraging Assets for Social Change

The Pulse of Philanthropy Conference  Calgary, Alberta


Social Innovation and Finance

Social Innovation and Finance Tour 2011  SFU Segal Graduate School of Business, Vancouver


KEYNOTE SPEECH – Social Finance: Its Promise and Its Challenges

Social Finance Experts Speaker Series @ Rotman  Rotman School of Management, Toronto


From Canada to Oz and Back: What does Australia say to Canada about Social Innovation (and Social Finance)?

Social Innovation Generation (SiG) Event Series  Webinar


KEYNOTE SPEECH: Building a National Innovation Ecosystem

ReVV 2011 Conference  Portland, Oregon


KEYNOTE SPEECH: Ideas, Interaction and Innovation

Canadian Social Forum  Calgary, Alberta


"Sustainable Returns” and Rewards: The Case for Ethical Investing on Your Triple Bottom Line

7th Annual Foundation, Endowment & Not For Profit Investment Summit  Toronto, Ontario


Mobilizing Private Capital for Public Good

Canadian Task Force on Social Finance Event Series  MaRS Discovery District, Toronto


Finance and Investment

The Ontario We Want – Next Steps to a People-centred Economy  University of Toronto


Starting up Social Innovation

Startup Canada Event Series  Centre for Social Innovation, Toronto


How the World Is Changed: Seeing and Shifting Patterns in Systems

Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Summer Institute  Halifax, Nova Scotia


Social Finance: From Theory to Practice

PFC Conference – Changing Philanthropy: New Visions, New Voices  Toronto, Ontario


Social Innovation / Entrepreneurship

7th Annual Responsible Leadership Summit  Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario


Sample Talks (5)

How the World Is Changed: Seeing and Shifting Patterns in Systems

People engaged in systems change recognize they are dealing with complex, interlocking systems which can’t be controlled but can be shifted and influenced. They use their deep understanding and trusted relationships to connect innovative ideas and initiatives with the broader context. In this way, they create an environment where social innovation can flourish. This presentation is for people who want to become more effective in implementing systems change, thus furthering social innovation.

Social Finance: Its Promise and Its Challenges

Tim Draimin, Executive Director, Social Innovation Generation (SiG) will lead a discussion on Social Finance: Its Promise and Its Challenges. Tim’s discussion will draw on his recent work with the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance. Using Canadian examples of social finance in action, he will outline why current and future business leaders should become more involved in social finance as a new and effective way to engage in the social economy and to bridge profit and social good.

Building a National Innovation Ecosystem

In this presentation, Social Innovation Generatin (SiG) Executive Director Tim Draimin will discuss how SiG is a leader in Canada towards a more fluid, supportive social innovation ecosystem. Tim will also reflect on what can cities, regions, and countries do, from the grassroots to the government, to better understand the unique needs and opportunities social enterprise holds for our future.

"Sustainable Returns" and Rewards: The Case for Ethical Investing on Your Triple Bottom Line

Bringing your investing in-line with your mission statements is a great way to increase your Reward Potential. This session will take a look at why socially responsible investing is currently on the rise, and how you can reap above average returns through ethical investments.

Social Finance: From Theory to Practice

Foundations in Canada have been challenged by the Canadian Task Force on Social Finance to begin to invest more of their assets in ways that directly support their mission. This could be through program-related investments, investments in nonprofit loan funds or intermediaries, or equity investments in mission-related companies. This presentation will offer some practical examples of how innovative financing, driven by foundation investments, are making a difference in Canada.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Corporate Training


0 to 10000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee