Terry Rock

Terry Rock of Rock Strategy & Leadership 

What is he up to?

Terry was the lead consultant for the first part of a community-driven social innovation exploration in Alberta, funded by Suncor Energy Foundation, leading to his publication of the report: How can we put social innovation to work for Alberta?

The main question driving his research: should we leap by learning and start a network similar to the neighbouring BC Partners for Social Impact? When he asked the BC Partners themselves this question, they said they weren’t sure - Alberta would have to do more research to see if it would work to serve the same purpose.

What is it about BC Partners for Social Impact?

The 11-point agenda and process of developing that agenda. Alberta needs clear rallying points to similarly  “chart out a course of action for the province.

The BC Partners for Social Impact story is a national bright spot of social innovation in action - a vibrant network supporting the frontlines of change with policy, capacity, knowledge and relationship. Now morphed in the platform www.hubcap.ca, BC introduces a shock of the possible.

What we are capable of as a province? Should we echo BC’s process? Or adopt their approach? Maybe. These are questions the Fellows hope to answer over the next few months - but our main question is this: what is the pathway true to Alberta’s strength and character that would apply the best of social innovation to moving the needle against our most stuck, complex problems? How can and will Alberta Lead?

Throwing down the gauntlet: Terry’s challenge for ABSI Connect Initiative and beyond..

Is there are enough common interests to make a social innovation network come to life in Alberta?

Terry believes there is, even though the bright spots of social innovation in Alberta were hard to find he started his research - you had to dig. It surfaced the fragmented nature of social innovation activity and action in the province. This is where ABSI Connect has to take up the mantle of discovery, strengths-finding and storytelling.

What if the ones who are innovative or doing the boundary-pushing simply don’t have time to engage?

ABSI Connect needs to learn what is the number one support these folks need to make their work easier and their time available for engagement and knowledge sharing.

Is the existing network(s) around social innovation in Alberta too one dimensional?

Terry challenged us to help inspire a shift in the way folks network from “I know this person who works in this space…” to “I have a relationship with this person who works in this space and you can be helpful to each other in this way. Let’s connect!”


There are many folks working at the ‘frontiers’ in Calgary that need patient and enduring support. Who is willing to wait for their results? Who is willing to experience failure as part of a process of getting to the best outcomes through experience? What shift in mindset will it take to responsibly and inclusively-engage with and in the work of the people at the edge of the status quo, innovating new possibilities for stuck problems?

His final challenge? Let’s make Calgary not just the best city IN the world or for Social Innovation, but the best city FOR the world!

Toward the horizon

Thank you for your time and insight, Terry. This is rich nourishment as we seek to weave together the story of social innovation in Alberta and prepare the way for folks to continue shifting the status quo for a vibrant, thriving and leading Alberta!

Join the conversation? We are keen to connect and speak with folks across sectors and experiences. Email us your thoughts or ideas, tweet us at @ABSIConnect or find us on Facebook