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How Social Enterprise Can Solve Our Most Costly Problems | Shaun Loney | TEDxExchangeDistrict

How Social Enterprise Can Solve Our Most Costly Problems | Shaun Loney | TEDxExchangeDistrict



[Applause] good afternoon we live in an era where problems seem to be insatiable and unsolvable and I think I know why let's take for example incarceration right here in our home province of Manitoba the Auditor General put out a report a few years ago warning governments that if they weren't to back off this significant increases in incarceration it would cost 1.5 billion dollars of your taxpayer money and by the way most of the people that are locked up are indigenous in this province and it's not hard to see how those numbers come by when it's two hundred and twenty thousand dollars per jail cell and a hundred thousand dollars a year to put somebody into that cell also the same problems we have with health care seventy five percent of our health care expenditures are now on diseases were diet as a writ main risk factor yet government's seem to be doing nothing to change to help us change our diets the Bank of Canada has warned governments that if things continue on the path that they are that 80% of our provincial spending will be on health care within the next decade leaving only 20% for all the other things that are very important and child child welfare Manitoba has more indigenous children in care than there ever were in residential schools it costs 1.8 million dollars per child to have them raised in the system from baby to age 18 now could it be that governments are obsessed with problems and maybe they're even addicted and could it be that the problems aren't the problem maybe the issue is that we need to be focusing on problem solvers my theory an army of problem solver is it indeed you need a problem solver to solve a problem this is not something that governments have got their heads around yet but we believe we're pushing in this direction now who are the problem solvers well in in my book I break them out into three different groups as the social entrepreneurs and we all know Elon Musk he it is a for-profit venture Tesla and his goal is to electrify the transportation sector social entrepreneurs are a good example of problem solvers the small farm and local the small farms and local food movement is growing very quickly these are folks that are selling directly to to us as consumers without the salt and sugar that is causing our our healthcare spending issues they also use very little phosphorus and fossil fuels in their whole production process which makes our lakes cleaner and repopulate s' our rural areas and we have social enterprises as well which are like the other two but they're nonprofit and we as nonprofits are using the market in order to achieve our mandates now here's a continuum of all the different ventures that are there ranging from a charity like a food bank for example all the way to strictly profit seeking companies and social enterprises we're nonprofit so we take the community oriented Ness and we combine it with the market tools that are available from the private sector in order for us to reach scale let me give you an example this is a staff photo from right here in Winnipeg Winnipeg's North End of build build is now 11 years old and is accomplishing what is Canada's defining issue and that is connecting people who most need to work with the work that most needs to be done now a build is hired over 600 people in its 11 years and we've lowered utility bills at 16,000 low and households for savings to government of about eight to nine million dollars a year just in utility bill costs that's pretty exciting we have other social enterprises here in Winnipeg like Manitoba Green retrofit a similar Qaeda staff photo with people who are previously involved in gangs for example and were hired because they didn't have work experience because they had a criminal record because they didn't have grade 12 or a driver's license one of the things that Manitoba Green retrofit does is bed bug remediation imagine this new paradigm we'd love bedbugs of social enterprises why because we can hire people to remediate the bedbugs and this is what's exciting as we move from the problem making paradigm into a problem solving paradigm now what does the future look like well I just I'm researching a new book and I just got back from from Scotland do they have 5600 social enterprises they're here in the homeland in the homeland of bagpipes and Vegas they're leading the world in social enterprise development and in establishing one new social enterprise every day so many social enterprises there that it amounts to about one for every thousand people in their population now what are these social enterprises doing what are they accomplishing well fifty percent of them hire people with barriers to employment now doesn't it make sense to you that if we're tired of paying for jails we're tired of the inhumanity of locking people up who really need a job doesn't it make more sense to engage social enterprises yes we're tired of that now two-thirds of these social enterprises in Scotland are run by women you know how many how many of Canada's top 100 companies are run by women – doesn't that make more sense afore interested in gender equality and to be making more compassionate decisions that we have more social enterprises of course it does and interestingly the average wage differential in social enterprises in Scotland is 2.5 to 1 that means that their CEOs make only two and a half times the average worker in Canada's top 100 companies the average CEO makes as much as the average employee by lunchtime on the first thing if we're interested in addressing income inequality in this country it makes sense to be engaging social enterprises this is a co-worker of mine from the peg was First Nation and he and I both work at key energy key is an Ojibwe word for earth so we're doing geo installing geothermal and Trevor along with many of his co-workers have installed now 8 million dollars worth geothermal on First Nations here in Manitoba with no government funding how do we do that now here's here's when the paradigm gets interesting remember I talked about using money that's being spent on poverty in a different way well Manitoba Hydro our local utility here provides the $20,000 up front the first nation installs the geothermal and the bills go from this to this and there's enough room and that those bill reductions that Manitoba Hydro puts a financing fee there which they continue to collect until they get all their money back and in this way we're able to say weh-weh C capital G Way nation we announced the new project eight million dollars four hundred houses and half of that eight million dollars would be on reserve labor and how exciting this project was and we didn't need any help from government at all other than in this particular case to to get out of the way and we got an email from the federal government saying no no we're not allowing you to do this anymore if you want to do geothermal and First Nations you have to apply for funding and of course that's more expensive and we're not able to get the scale but the other thing about that is very important for us as Canadians to understand is that there's attending process happens and a company comes in from the outside and we continue to do things for and to indigenous people in this country and as a privileged person I'm here to say this is going to stop and it's going to stop now now so we're optimistic that the federal government will come to its senses we've been having some good discussions with them and when this when this balloon breaks there'll be lots of ways that we can achieve good outcomes and we're very optimistic but the battle is ongoing now but just so you know this isn't the one off we went to Garden Hill First Nation where my coworker the CEO of a key energy is from his name's Darcy wood and we went thinking we'll go to garden hill it's a it's a fly-in community so you can't you can't drive there it's an OG Cree Nation about 700 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg and he said we can we do something at home said well of course we'll go and see see what works but when we got the Garden Hill I quickly saw we quickly saw that they don't need lower utility bills this is a first nation whose priority is food there were virtually no gardens in garden hill obviously there used to be that used to be a big thing for them as all indigenous communities looked after their own food at one time but garden hill especially was very proud and there we saw a dialysis unit which is for severe diabetics and it's a million dollars of your taxpayer money for one dialysis bed and $100,000 a year to put somebody into that bed and there are 38 people in Garden Hill who are an elite list for dialysis almost half the people in Garden Hill there's 44 hundred people there just one First Nation either have diabetes or will soon have it it is in a epidemic well we know and you now know that you need a problem solver to solve a problem so we set up a social enterprise called a key foods a key foods starts with a 13 acre farm now 13 acres for Yunnan farmers is a big the size of a large shopping centre including their their parking we have an orchard chickens and turkeys and lots of vegetables and we have kids coming from the school engaging in the process and it's all very exciting except for this one little problem and I want you to remember that where there's bad government policy means that there's going to be bad outcomes and in Garden Hill the federal government through the nutrition North Canada subsidy program gives a million dollars a year of your taxpayer money to a monopoly retailer that sells mostly unhealthy food now guess how much a key Foods gets get so much Garden Hill gets for its firm and healthy food operation which is creating employment and changing the food system to be much much in a much healthier fashion nothing why because in order to be eligible for the food subsidy the food has to come in from outside this is going to change and it is going to change now [Applause] let me finish with a story and there's about eight years ago our conservative federal government you might remember was working really hard to lock up more people it was mandatory minimums they were making it more difficult for people to get pardons and these are my co-workers that they're messing with at this point and we were really upset with this and we were particularly upset that our provincial NDP government decided to go along with them and said yes we're tough on crime we want to get on that boat as well so we had a demonstration in front of the legislature and we're all mulling around in front of the legislature and I could hear somebody calling my name it seemed to be kind of coming from on high that Sean and I thought wow is that the Justice Minister leaning out his window saying you know we we get it you know on behalf of taxpayers we are gonna go down the road of employment we know social enterprises work we're going to begin folk buying more goods and services from social enterprises we know that this is the way forward but it wasn't anyone leaning out that window and I heard that my name again called with more urgency Sean I looked it's like wow could that be the premier hanging out his his window saying yeah you know in this age of reconciliation that we think that what you're saying is important and we're going to back off this very expensive very unhealthy way to be Manitobans but no-one there either Sean with a lot of urgency I look up on the roof of the legislature is Bruce Carson who is Bruce Carson well Bruce Carson is a young tree guy that used to work at build with me and he was actually in between crack deals when he dropped off his resume with us which qualified him for for a job and so roosted really really well he took the parenting classes and on-the-job training and he was just a star as are most people that we work with and in fact the last time I saw Bruce he got a job with a major construction company here locally but he came to tell me something he says Sean I just rented a three-bedroom house now why am I telling you that he rented a three-bedroom house Sean I'm getting my kids back isn't this the type of thing we want to hear more of in this country so back back to the question at hand what is Bruce Carson doing on the roof of the legislature so he's got a hard hat on he's working for a trades company that's got a contract fixing the roof of the legislature and I can see he's got his tool belt on and I can imagine he's got a wallet and inside his wallet would be a picture of his kids an apprenticeship cart there would be a driver's license all the things that you and I take for granted and I call my co-workers heroes because they're overcoming daily barriers to achieve the things that the rest of us find easy and Carson Bruce Carson looked down at me and hollered something to me but I think he was talking to you too what are you doing down there No and what what are we doing down here we have this paradigm where we're focused on problems you need a problem solver to solve a problem and this is why I'm here to say that it's possible to create an economy where everyone belongs and how exciting that is for our future together thank you [Applause]

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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