Innoweave, au Québec!

November 28, 2013

At Innoweave, we believe context is as important as language when creating tools for both Anglophone and Francophone organizations.

NFPs in Montreal attend an Innoweave event at Santropol Roulant (photo credit: Kim Auclair)

For Marc Ouimet, Innoweave spoke to a long-standing pet peeve.

“What I really appreciate about Innoweave’s approach,” he says, “is that it creates support that is not only centered around technology itself, but also in supporting the human capacity to use the technology.”

Ouimet is a Director at Pilote Numérique, a co-operative that supports nonprofits in their web and cloud computing needs, and a coach and facilitator for Innoweave’s Cloud Computing module in French.

“Sadly, most programs focus on hardware and softwares and don’t help people to use them to their full potential, which often leads to discomfort or even abandonment of potentially great solutions.

“Developing team digital competencies has been a part of my work as a consultant for years now and I really think (the human element) is the key to a successful implementation and use of technology.

“Innoweave bridges that gap, and that’s huge in my opinion.”

But it’s not the only gap Innoweave aims to bridge.

Innoweave seeks to provide practical learning tools to help organizations in both English and French Canada increase their impact. And to do that, we realize the need to go beyond simply providing the same content in both languages.

It is also a matter of context.

“Francophone NFPs are usually smaller scale than their Anglophone counterparts. In Quebec, the non-profit sector functions mainly as a network of small and medium organizations working at grassroots level,” continues Ouimet.

“I think the workshop component really helps bring participating organizations up to speed regarding how cloud computing can help them in very tangible ways. The coaching is also a great thing since:

  1. It doesn’t just leave the organizations with money they may not actually know how to spend effectively specifically regarding cloud computing implementation.
  2. It allows them to get outside support to figure out what’s the best technology regarding their needs, how to implement it correctly.
  3. And most important, it teaches them how to use it in an efficient and independent manner therefore not relying on outside support in the long run.”

XPLANE Culture Map
Alain Meunier, Head of Research and Development at Communagir, a Montreal-based organization that specializes in supporting community networks says, “In Quebec, we have a rich experience of inter-organizational collaborations we call “concertation”, which creates collective dynamics that appear somewhat different from how thing happens in other parts of Canada.”

Learning how to harness the power of such networks and working it into our tools is something Innoweave is looking forward to.

Communagir will be delivering an upcoming FREE Developmental Evaluation webinar on Dec 5 (details here)  We are adapting the DE material so it speaks as much to organizations as to collective initiatives.”

In many ways, the French arm of Innoweave is very young and still evolving. On Nov 7 at the Imagine Canada Montreal Forum, in a room packed with Francophone organization leaders, Innoweave Program Officer Claude Lauzière explained how Innoweave works.

Though perfectly bilingual, Claude self-identifies as a French speaker, so sharing tools that will help Francophone organizations learn, share and connect with English Canadian thought leaders and vice versa is a cause close to her heart. Bringing back the Québec perspective is also very important in connecting organizations across the country.

“A lot of organizations do the most amazing things on a day-to-day basis,” Lauzière says. “And sometimes society at large doesn’t even notice how brilliant some of these social innovations are. I love the idea of being able to empower these organizations to do what they do even more efficiently.”

Lauzière’s Montreal presentation focused mostly on the 8 modules that Innoweave offers. “People were really excited that the tools were structured this way so they could immediately start using the ones that would help them the most. It cuts down on any unnecessary time or effort spent on aspects that are not immediately useful to an organization.”

The highlights of her talk included the fact that organizations can get started right away simply by accessing the Innoweave website and taking a simple self-assesment quiz under the module of their choice. They can then deepen their learning by participating in a free webinar (or watch previously recorded webinars on the site), attend a workshop, and then get expert coaching and funding through Innoweave’s grant application process.

“My favourite part of this presentation was afterwards. People came over to chat and I was able to spend 15-20 minutes with each participant going over the details of their organization and their specific needs and whether Innoweave would be a good fit for them.”

 “There’s a lot of talk about how to increase impact. Organizations are definitely interested in tools to help them increase their efficiency in this process. And Innoweave is all about new approaches.”

Innoweave also offers Impact and Strategic Clarity and Social Enterprise (adapted by Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario and the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal) in French. Dynamo is adapting the Collective Impact module into French and will run a workshop in Spring 2014. If you’d like to find out more about how Innoweave can provide your organization with expertise and practical solutions in French, please send an email to to help you get started.