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Allyson Hewitt

MaRS Discovery District
Senior Fellow, Social Innovation
Toronto, Canada Area
Allyson leads the social innovation programs at MaRS including the Ontario node of the national initiative, Social Innovation Generation (SiG).  With funding from the Province of Ontario, this program supports social entrepreneurs and promotes social innovation through the provision of advisory services; the social finance programs and services of the Centre for Impact Investing; ecosystem development; education; and public policy.  She is also helping establish the MaRS Solutions Labs, a change lab designed to tackle complex challenges and Studio Y, an initiative designed to support youth in creating and thriving in the new economy. She is also currently a lecturer in Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Master in Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology Program and an expert panel member in the Social Innovation Graduate Diploma program both based at the University of Waterloo. A life long social innovator, she last worked at SickKids where she led Safe Kids Canada and was a passionate advocate for children.  She was also the Executive Director of Community Information Toronto where she initiated 211, providing streamlined access to human service information.  For her leadership on this social innovation she received the Head of the Public Service Award and several other prestigious awards for meritorious public service.  Allyson has been leading and volunteering in not-for-profit organizations for over 25 years.  Her academic background is in Criminology, Law, Public Affairs, Voluntary Sector Management and Organizational development including Leading Change.