From the mouths of social innovators

But then, she left the hospital and struck out into the community. With more than 25 years being a formal leader in organizations, she learned to step into her own power...

“Each year, we invest in professional artists so they can showcase their talents, support youth in our community to be able to tell their stories, to open their minds and explore new ideas, new ways of creating and co-creating with the arts,” Andrea said.

As they initially didn’t know how to upcycle a wheelchair, they eventually partnered with Goodwill Commercial Solutions to develop a standardized upcycling process to ensure every device that comes through the company is safe, clean and high quality.

When it comes to making websites accessible, Ryan said there is a list of 60 guidelines developers need to check off when building out a website to get to AAA compliance — the highest level — with the AODA.

“For the students, it’s the opportunity for them to engage with London, the people of London, that you just can’t do when you stay on campus,” she said. “There is a definite, different energy and shift when the students come into this space.”

LAVA gets together on a monthly basis with discussing regular business then a forum for the membership where specific topics are brought forward and discussed.

"Out of sight, out of mind, and a business like mine is entirely dependent on people connecting with me,” she said. “I don’t have a website, so I have to remain visible. I can think of all kinds of discussions I have been a part of that would never have happened without being here."

One day, back in April, he decided to come in and find out more. After an impromptu tour from Innovation Works director Lore Wainwright, he signed up as a co-tenant and has been travelling to the space once a week ever since.

“Between yoga and meditation, I later added Reiki (a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation), because energy healing modality was something my naturopath told me I needed because my anxiety was so bad,” she said. “Then I moved, organically, into helping other people with this. When I left the corporate world, it was natural for me to step into this.”

Quick to acknowledge her pride for young people who are utilizing the space, not to mention those who are showing social consciousness and the ability to collaborate in different ways, Maureen said she understands why the spirit of innovation works so well with the audience she is dedicated to writing about.