The Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge 2017 is a unique opportunity that brings together change makers, mentors, and funders – all focused on bettering society. Now is the time to learn more about an issue you care about and present your findings to the 300+ attendees at the Soul of the Next Economy Forum.

NEW THIS YEAR – Daniela Papi-Thornton of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford’s Saïd Business School will be coming to speak to us about her Tackling Heropreneurship report and we will be using an adaptation of the Oxford Global Challenge. We want to know about an important social issue and understand what the current solutions are that exist to tackle it. We then want you to identify the gaps and opportunities in them so that we can help you embark on a journey to continually learn more and fill in those gaps. Keep on reading to learn more about this year’s format.

Who can enter?

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Students
  • Non-profits/businesses/community organisations
  • Anyone who wants to start a meaningful conversation!


“We are in an age of heropreneurship: everyone wants to be a social entrepreneur.
The myth of the entrepreneur creates a false hierarchy with start-up founder at the top.
We foster this obsession in our education, our funding, our awards, and our media.
But we don’t just need more founders. We need more positive social impact.”

How to enter?

Fill out the Registration Form below to tell us about the problem you wish you explore, be entered into this year’s Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge, and receive your PROMO CODE for the Soul of the Next Economy Forum for ONLY $30! (While quantities last)

Once you have registered, you will receive more information from us shortly, but in the meantime, please submit the following by Tuesday, September 26 by midnight to

What is the issue?
What is already being done to solve the problem?
Where are the gaps & opportunities?

  • Visual Map/Chart/Canvas displaying your answers (on a single PowerPoint slide)
  • Discussion paper of your Visual Map (max. 1500 words, excluding footnotes & citations)
    • We want to see you interview people/organisations in the landscape of the problem you are researching and look at a variety of written sources: news, statistics, op-eds, academic articles, books, etc..
  • 2 Questions for Soul Forum attendees to discuss AND Requests (max. 5) for what you would like from the audience: expertise, funding, etc.. (on a single PowerPoint slide)
  • 3 minute video introducing yourself and the problem. Tell us about your Visual Map and why you should be picked to present on the main stage at the Soul of the Next Economy’s Lion’s Den Social Innovation Challenge.

We will let you know by Thursday, September 28 whether or not you have qualified for the Lion’s Den. If you qualified, we will let you know if you will be presenting on the stage at Lion’s Den. All entrants are  still welcome to attend the entire Soul of the Next Economy Forum.

So what happens when you qualify?

  • Your visual maps and discussions posted for the 300+ Soul Forum attendees.
  • Soul of the Next Economy Forum events – starting at 1:00pm on Friday, September 29 and ending with the Lion’s Den events on Saturday afternoon.
  • Lion’s Den working session @ about 8pm on Friday, September 29, 2017 (after the regular Soul Forum events). Did you hear? Daniela Papi-Thornton from the Skoll Centre at Oxford, who came up with all this, is coming to the Soul Forum. She is the keynote speaker on Saturday morning and will be stopping by to start off the working session on Friday evening. Other advisers and mentors will also be on hand.
  • Your visual maps and questions/requests (your 2 PPT slides) printed in the Lion’s Den programs for Soul Forum attendees
  • If you are selected to present on stage: 3 minutes to present on your visual map during the Lion’s Den Challenge @ 2:45pm on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Forum attendees will be given an opportunity to talk at their tables about your questions and respond to your requests.
  • If you have NOT been asked to present on stage, that is OK – we are still going to tell the audience about your ideas and attendees will have an opportunity to respond on-line!
  • THEN, after the Lion’s Den event and Soul Forum wrap-up, Forum attendees can interact with you in person and offer additional input.

I thought this was a competition… What do I get from all this?

  • Lion’s Den event prizes!!! – the Soul Forum audience votes on the most creative, best local issues and best international issues presentations. We also give a prize for the most comments. Prizes will be announced soon!
  • Soul Forum attendees offer you their time/expertise and connections. Did we mention that the Soul Forum attendees care about these issues too and include businesses, non-profits and other community members?
  • Mentorship – you can be matched with a mentor from the Edge Social Innovation Network. The fees and waiting list will both be waived!
  • Resource package – consultations with lawyers, accountants, grant writers, marketing experts, website designers and more.
  • Recommendations to incubator/accelerator programs going on in Calgary through Thrive, ATB and Innovate Calgary.
  • Social Innovation/Lion’s Den Grants – apply for a grant (free cash $$) to spend time with an organisation that is part of the problem or solutions landscape. Partner with ATB BoostR, a crowd-funding platform or something else for you to continue your journey. If successful in launching your initiative, more $$$ might be around the corner for you!
  • Invitation to create a crowd-funding platform for the December 2017 ATB BoostR!

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