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Tim Draimin

Job Title: Senior Advisor at the McConnell Foundation

SIX was a constant source of inspiration and wellspring of knowledge

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Tim Draimin. I’m a Senior Advisor at the McConnell Foundation in Canada. 


What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about helping societies recognise the value of innovation to underpin how we generate the solutions we need to create the world we want.


What was your first encounter with SIX?

My first encounter with SIX was in preparation of the founding meeting of SIX. There was an invitation that came to us in Canada for somebody to go and, together with a colleague, we identified who should go to the 2008 founding meeting. 


The real connection was later. I met Louise when the SIX office got going and we first connected around the start up of SiG (Social Innovation Generation)  in Canada. We relied enormously on SIX’s advice for helping us identify the key resources, people and institutions that we needed to connect with to fast track our work and avoid reinventing wheels. [SiG was a decade-long partnership of McConnell, MaRS, WISIR and PLAN Institute working to catalyze Canaaa’s social innovation ecosystem. It sunsetted as planned in December 2017.]


What’s a particularly memorable SIX event that you’ve been involved with? 

Too many! One key thing that had a huge impact on SiG and the McConnell Foundation was Louise designing a study tour opportunity for myself and the President of McConnell to learn from the social innovation ecosystem in Spain. That 2012 trip - to both Bilbao and Barcelona - opened the doors to a range of relationships, which now six years later, the people we met there are part of the ongoing programme of development at McConnell Foundation. Those relationships around knowledge exchange and learning have role-modeled how McConnell has been expanding its global learning partnerships. 


How do you think that SIX has influenced or changed the way that you think about your work? 

My previous role was managing a backbone platform to support an innovation partnership. Both in terms of forms that enable an educational role or the proactive activities around relationship and network building and strategy development, SIX was a constant source of inspiration and wellspring of knowledge. In fact, the first big joint partnership activity was to go on a study tour to the United Kingdom where SIX played an indispensable knowledge broker role. 


What are you excited about for the future of your connection with SIX?

That’s a really interesting question because I’m just reflecting on the decade of relationships and the arc of the development of the social innovation ecosystem in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe and globally. I recognize how much has changed and am asking myself ‘to what extent did I understand or anticipate that evolutionary progress?’

I think that looking back it’s been clear that, for us, international relationships -  the exchange of intellectual capital, the exchange of experience, the exchange of knowledge, and the benefit of the creation of peer networks with people facing challenges in circumstances that are very different - notwithstanding those differences, their experience offers us huge insight into how best to choose ways forward. It has saved us a huge amount of time and effort. Any ways in which we have been successful, we have achieved more because we were nurtured by those global inputs. Now thinking about the next ten years, I think that the internationalisation of the learning communities around social innovation is even more important, because of how quickly our societies and technology are changing and how many more experiments are underway with people testing, probing and interrogating new insights around innovation for social impact. SIX retains its compelling proposition to be front and centre in assisting us to manage emerging knowledge and strategy heading to 2030.