Past community partner challenges

We asked our organizations in the Calgary community to engage our students in finding solutions to challenges they are currently facing. This page outlines the past challenges our students helped address in our Global Community Challenge YYC. 

Click the button below to learn more about our challenge.

Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre

Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre

Our mission is to promote respect for civil liberties and human rights in Alberta through research and education to contribute to a more just and inclusive community.

Our biggest challenge is not being able to give legal advice to the public. As lawyers, we are allowed to provide legal information but not legal advice. Many people think we are supposed to represent them in court or give them our legal opinion. It is hard to draw a line between legal advice and legal information and it is hard to explain it to our callers. Our challenge for participating students is to demonstrate a clear distinction between what constitutes “legal advice” versus “legal information” in order for the public to understand that our Centre provides legal education and research and not legal representation and advocacy (despite the fact that most of us at the Centre are lawyers). Therefore, students need to show where to draw a line between what is information and what is advice. Students can do so by defining each term and by looking at institutions that deal with similar issues and then proposing how to share that information with the public.

The Centre’s work usually focuses on vulnerable groups such as low-income individuals who cannot afford hiring a lawyer, and those who have been discriminated against such as Black, Indigenous, Asian and LGBTQ2+ people. However, many of these individuals still do not know about our work despite the fact that they may face human rights and/or civil liberties issues on a daily basis. How can the Centre reach out to these individuals?

Learn more about Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre by visiting their website.

Alberta Tomorrow Foundation logo

Alberta Tomorrow Foundation

Our Mission: To deliver a platform that empowers youth to design and sustain a future for our shared ecosystem.

Our Vision: An informed society actively fostering sustainable futures.


Our first challenge is: how do we track program impact. As our program is online and educational in nature, it is difficult to track the impact our program has other than looking at number of users, number of website visits, etc. Often education does not result in immediate change in behaviours, but the impact of the program could be realized years later in the form of career choices, consumer choices, or impacts on parents or families. For example, we teach about the effects of climate change but we can't actually track GHG emissions from individual participants.



Our second challenge is how do we expand our program, throughout Canada and internationally, with limited resources and Covid restrictions to travel. We would like to become more self sustainable, rather than depending on year to year grants, perhaps moving towards a social enterprise model. This requires initial funding and relationships with organizations across Canada and the world to agree to pay for the program and/or site licenses.



Alberta Tomorrow is an online platform that empowers youth to design and sustain a future for our shared ecosystem. Our vision is an informed society that actively fosters sustainable futures We can track the “design” outcome through our website usage statistics, simulator usage, number of return visits, number of simulations run, average time spent on the site, analysis of types of the simulations run, etc., however it is more difficult to track whether empowering students leads to a “sustained” change in their behaviour that results in a better future. We do have direct contact with some teachers and students through our in-person or virtual school visits, but because our program is online and educational in nature, it is difficult to track the broader and long term impact our program has. Education does not always result in immediate change in behaviours, but the impact of the program could be realized years later in the form of career choices, consumer choices, or impacts on parents or families. For example, we teach about the effects of climate change but we can't actually track GHG emissions from individual participants. We are looking for a way to track long term impact and behavioural change but are a very small organization with one part time employee. Solutions to the challenge must be low cost and require minimal effort and upkeep.

Learn more about Alberta Tomorrow Foundation by visiting their website.

Alinea International logo

Alinea International

Mission: Alinea is an international development consultancy providing technical and management expertise that helps people improve their lives. Our mission is to deliver lasting change through partnership, participatory methodologies, localization and results-based project design, with a commitment to inclusive governance, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Vision: Sustainable economic, social and environmental development around the world.

Our challenge is fostering leadership in governance projects internationally. For the Global Community Challenge YYC, we want to address this challenge as it relates to our project 'Support for Ukraine’s Reforms for Governance' (SURGe). Alinea improves the quality of life of Ukraine’s citizens, particularly women and girls, through inclusive, citizen-centred and gender responsive public sector reforms. This project builds on Alinea’s Expert Deployment for Governance and Economic Growth project and works with the Government of Ukraine to deploy Canadian and local experts to support reform efforts in priority areas.

Some questions informing this challenge include: How can Alinea improve its leadership competency model to support managers in achieving project goals? What is the approach that the SURGe project uses to foster visionary leadership? How effectively does it do this with its project management team and with its stakeholders in the Ukrainian government? How can Alinea corporately refine and apply its corporate management and leadership competencies to strengthen impact, nurture champions and ensure post-project sustainability? Is there a way to consider the Sustainable Development Goals in the development of these leadership competencies?

Challenge #1

The Dry Corridor in Central America has some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and femicide in the world. This is a very challenging environment for women, youth and/or indigenous persons to live in peace and prosperity and exercise their rights. To address this problem, Alinea International is currently implementing a four-year, $4.9M Global Affairs Canada funded project called “Women Leading Change” (WLC) that seeks to enhance gender equality and empowerment of women, youth and Indigenous Persons in the Trifinio region of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The Project works with municipal governments and organizations led by Women, Youth, Indigenous Persons to address key equality gaps related to equal participation in decision-making, equal access to, and control over, economic resources and equal realization of rights.

How can we improve the ability of women, youth and/or indigenous persons who are at risk of, or are survivors of SGBV, to develop economic autonomy?

Challenge #2

The Dry Corridor in Central America has some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and femicide in the world. This is a very challenging environment for women, youth and/or indigenous persons to live in peace and prosperity and exercise their rights. To address this problem, Alinea International is currently implementing a four-year, $4.9M Global Affairs Canada funded project called “Women Leading Change” (WLC) that seeks to enhance gender equality and empowerment of women, youth and Indigenous Persons in the Trifinio region of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The Project works with municipal governments and organizations led by Women, Youth, Indigenous Persons to address key equality gaps related to equal participation in decision-making, equal access to, and control over, economic resources and equal realization of rights. 

How can we increase awareness among women, youth and/or indigenous persons of available services for victims of SGBV, including psychosocial and legal support?

Learn more about Alinea International by visiting their website.

Alliance Francaise logo

Alliance Française of Calgary

Our mission: The Alliance Française of Calgary engages Calgarians in the enjoyment of high quality French classes, and in the discovery of francophone cultural experiences, accessible to all. Our Vision The Alliance Française of Calgary is recognized as Calgary’s preferred French language and cultural hub where all can access exceptional language instruction and participate in vibrant francophone activities that enrich our community and local landscape.

The Alliance Française of Calgary is a non-profit organization in Calgary which is recognized for the excellence of its French classes! The organization is also a cultural center with weekly free activities for anyone to practice French and a center for official certifications of French (TEF / DELF). We are also a French library with more than 8,000 resources that can be used by our members.

Challenge: Unfortunately, we have some difficulty getting our library identified as a place with many French resources for the community. Only 335 people used our library in the year 2020 (1/3 of them being our students) and it seems to us that we are not able to reach out to potential users.

We would like to focus on the following challenge: Improve our fundraising impact.

Our non-profit organization does not raise much funds and is mostly auto-financed. We believe we would benefit from a better fundraising action plan.

  • Target Funders – General Public or Corporate Donors.
  • The plan would be carried out by staff + board of directors.

We are largely self-financed and do not rely on fundraising as other organizations or chapters of Alliance Française do. This is an idea we would like to explore.

Learn more about Alliance Française of Calgary by visiting their website.

Association for German Education in Calgary logo

Association for German Education in Calgary

AGEC aims to bring the German Culture and Language to all interested parties creating a vibrant community. Our Vision - A thriving German culture in Calgary. Our Mission - Promote, support, and celebrate German culture and language through community engagement.


We have been bringing events and movies, as well as other supports to the community for over 10 years. The events have been mainly aimed at those under 10, with movies for kids, families and those in the sandwich generation and older demographics. What we would like to set as the challenge, as it is this for our group, is to develop marketing strategies and approaches to better engage youth, university students and early career adults.

What are potential areas of interest which can be explored in either live event formats or movies, book readings etc.? What is the best methodology to use in formatting the approach? What are potential interest categories for launching this new area?



With the current casino situation and continued rumored changes to the distribution of casino funds in the air, the raising of funds from another source is of great interest to our group as well. We do - in times when we have been allowed to meet - hold book sales which also include the sale of refreshments, that have brought in funds. As well, the movies which we've shown have had a refreshment stand and donation box. However, the sum total of this venture doesn't cover the movie license in most cases, and with the Library reconsidering its community partnering, there may be some increased expense from this avenue as well. In the recent past, the membership cost was eliminated, as this seemed to pose a hurdle for the involvement of quite a few families and individuals.

How to approach the fundraising without reinstituting a membership fee. It's got to be something that would help cover the costs of the events without making the events prohibitive to attend.

Learn more about Association for German Education in Calgary by visiting their website.


The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth


The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth (CBFY) is a charitable not for profit youth-centered and a family-focused hub that originated in the year 1990, and supports over 12,596 individuals annually. For 30 years CBFY has provided a welcoming and inclusive environment for immigrant and refugee children, youth, and their families by enriching them with the appropriate skills, information, knowledge, and experience as they build a life in Canada. Our core value statement and what drives our passion is “Youth Thrive and not Merely Survive”. CBFY takes their inspiration from Maya Angelou–“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”. This personifies the characteristics of great men and women of CBFY who channel their energies into the betterment of all our clients. Our values are captured in the following acronym “BRIDGE”: Belonging Respect Innovation Diversity Generosity Excellence Vision: Equitably engaged and thriving communities.

Mission: In collaboration with community partners, we are the youth-centered family-focused that gives power of voice to immigrant and refugee children, youth, and their families.


Project management in the context of COVID-19. The organization would benefit from a complete project management strategy, equipped with a step-by-step guide for practitioners and youth workers to follow in hosting community events and workshops. The organization would benefit from understanding project management in a virtual and online setting, including using existing software applications, how to set up a virtual event, invite clients, set up online registration, track participants, engage participants, incorporating activity kits, collecting immigration information/date of birth, and limitations of said software.


Tracking impact in program evaluation. These challenges stem from navigating the unique populations we serve, our programs' nature, and monitoring impact. The evaluation process faces the following challenges: creating a "one survey fits all" that all youth can relate to and understand. This is particularly relevant as settlement journeys vary from individual to individual. Also, interpretation and translating haven't been feasible with how frequently survey questions may have to change. This makes tracking impact an incredibly difficult task, especially as the organization has multiple programs. Support in tackling these evaluation challenges would allow for improved evaluation process and service delivery.

Learn more about The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth by visiting their website.

Calgary Climate Hub logo

Calgary Climate Hub

Vision: Calgary is a leader on climate action.

Mission: We educate and empower Calgarians to become active climate citizens. We are part of the Climate Reality Project Canada's national network of climate hubs.

CRP was started by Al Gore to get citizens engaged in climate action. We have three main activities: 1. We host Community Climate Conversations in neighbourhoods throughout the city to get people talking about climate. Follow up conversations result in small groups taking on local climate-related projects. 2. We host monthly webinars called "A Climate of Change" to examine the impacts of the pandemic on climate action, and 3. We run campaigns to influence climate action at the municipal level, including advocating for transit, limiting sprawl, and funding climate policy. Municipalities hold the keys to taking action because municipal governments make decisions about land use, transportation and waste.

Our city will be having a municipal election in October. As a non-partisan organization, we cannot support specific candidates, but we want to make sure that candidates who do get elected will make climate change a top priority. Our challenge is to develop a non-partisan campaign strategy for making climate change a top election issue.

Our challenge for students will be to develop a strategy to advocate for The City of Calgary to adopt a Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE) that would enable Calgarians to retrofit their homes and businesses. See for more information.

Our research shows that new Canadians care deeply about the Climate Crisis, but our membership list and volunteer engagement does not reflect that. How do we ensure that we are addressing the challenges immigrant communities are facing in the Climate Crisis and providing meaningful opportunities to engage, connections and support? How are other cities globally addressing this challenge? What are some stories of success and failure?

Learn more about Calgary Climate Hub by visiting their website.

Calgary German Language School Society logo

Calgary German Language School Society

We want to continue bringing education, second language learning and being an active contributor to the diverse community of Calgary, Alberta and Canada. This happens with a dedicated teaching staff and administrative team, volunteer parent board and a Calgary community that walks with us every step of the way. Being part of a diverse group of learners of all ages, utilizing rental space in communities, and commitments from our stake holders has impacted learners and families for over 65 years. We provide outstanding German language education to students of all ages and ability levels in Calgary, Alberta. Founded in 1956, the school was once known as the Language School of the German Canadian Club of Calgary. Thousands of students have gone through the program, receiving credits in Alberta high school credit German courses (German 10, 20, and 30), achieving official recognition of German language proficiency with the Common European Framework of References for Languages, and going on to be certified with the German Sprachdiplom I and II. The school offers programming from pre-school to Grade 12, along with adult courses from beginner to advanced levels. The school is registered with SAHLA and Alberta Education as a private Heritage Language School. It is also registered in Alberta as a not-for-profit Society that is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Parent involvement and support is vital to the school’s direction and success, as it is parents who fill most of the positions on our Board. The Calgary German Language School Society offers the only German program, in Southern Alberta, to provide CEFRL and Sprachdiplom certifications, in addition to high school credit courses in German 10, 20, and 30. In addition to being taught the German language, students also learn about Germanic culture. It is because of the value that our community has placed on education, culture and heritage that CGLSS continues to be a dynamic contributor to the lives of our learners and partners.


Increasing enrolment for a private language school. How does a private language school effectively and efficiently reach out to a diverse community in the best way? Are there more effective tools besides a website? For example, where do high school students search for information if they want language credits, versus a parent looking for a language program for their child? How does a not for profit use limited financial resources in the most budget-friendly and effective way when trying to raise the profile of the program?



Keeping staff and students engaged when moving classes from in-person learning to online learning. How many online resources become too many? During the COVID 19 pandemic how is a small private language school not only engage staff and students in an online virtual environment, but increase enrollment, maintain retention, and ensure student learning? At what point is online learning too much and how do you ensure ongoing engagement for each successive class?

Learn more about Calgary German Language School Society by visiting their website.

Calgary Justice Film Festival Logo

Calgary Justice Film Festival

We are a local film festival that has been operating free of charge in Calgary for the past 16 years. Our vision is to influence positive behavioral change by sharing environmental and social justice films that inspire and engage neighbors to become global citizens. Our mission is to provide a platform through film and visual arts that creates community awareness and discussion about justice issues that matter.

Our main challenge is how to translate the environmental and social justice themes we highlight in the films we screen into ACTION. How can we encourage our audience to take action? How do we measure that? How will we know if what we do is making a difference? We educate our audience on global issues that show how connected we all are, but we always try to bring it back to local action. we want to empower people to take action at a local level, with a global level of awareness.

Learn more about Calgary Justice Film Festival by visiting their website.

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion Logo

Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI)

The Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), and CCDI Consulting are made-in-Canada solutions designed to help employers, diversity and inclusion/human rights/equity, and human resources practitioners effectively address the full picture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the workplace. Founded and run by experienced diversity and inclusion practitioners, CCDI’s focus is on practical sustainable solutions that help employers move toward true inclusion. Effectively managing diversity and inclusion, and human rights and equity is a strategic imperative for all Canadian organizations that wish to remain relevant and competitive. For more information:

In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has made 94 calls to action. CCDI is looking to explore: How can newcomers to Canada continue their learning and education about Indigenous history to further support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action 93 & 94?

CCDI has re-launched a brand new "See Different" program – a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training and certification program for youth between the ages of 15-24. As an organization offering DEI education to youth, how can we best engage youth to be future leaders in the DEI space? How might we overcome barriers to youth participation, learn more about the topics youth are most passionate about, and support youth in their growth beyond educational programs?

Learn more about Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) by visiting their website

Calgary Women for Women in Afghanistan logo

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan) is a federally registered non-profit organization that has been committed to the education of girls and women in Afghanistan since 1998. We believe that the best prospect for building sustainable peace and human development is through quality, gender equitable education that will empower women and girls as change makers. In Afghanistan we educate, engage and work in solidarity with people of both genders to overcome barriers to girls’ education and to ending the oppression of women. We work in three program areas in Afghanistan 1) investing in basic education; 2) community literacy; technology for education. CW4WAfghan engages Canadians as global citizens to raise awareness and, in partnership with Afghan women, work towards improving conditions of human rights, ending women’s oppression, and providing opportunities for Afghan women to live their lives with dignity, certainty and purpose.


CW4WAfghan engages in a program of advocacy efforts, mobilizing Canadians to promote the calls of the Afghan people for a ceasefire and the protection of women's rights in their current peace process. While the global pandemic has created challenges in terms of how we carry out our engagement work, we also see the shift to greater online engagement as an opportunity to reach new groups of potential supporters. We're looking for a team of students who can research and develop a social media strategy that will help us reach Canadian youth under 30, who are passionate about human rights and gender equality, and convert them into active supporters of our advocacy work towards gender inclusive peacebuilding.



CW4WAfghan works with local craftswomen in Afghanistan who supply us with fairly traded items including jewelry and pashmina scarves, which we sell to supporters in Canada as a form of social enterprise that funds artisans and our own programs. We are looking to make these artisan crafts available online and would benefit from support in the development of an online platform to showcase and sell these items and a marketing strategy that will ensure this venture succeeds.

As the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, the challenge we face as Canadians is how to effectively advocate on behalf of Afghan citizens. The team of students will be challenged with the task to grow participation in our public engagement and advocacy efforts, focusing particularly on students. This will include sharing stories on instagram and other social media platforms, letter writing, and growing on-campus advocacy.

Learn more about Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan by visiting their website.

Carbon Upcycling Technologies

Carbon Upcycling Technologies

Carbon Upcycling Technologies was founded to find ways to use the waste of today to build a better tomorrow. Over the last 6 years, we have developed a carbon utilization technology that creates versatile, high-performing, nanoparticle solutions using CO2 (carbon dioxide) and readily-available power feedstocks.

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals are pushing us every day to focus on making the earth a better and safer place for all. As a company, we tackle challenges like climate change, sustainable building and responsible consumption and production head-on. We are currently looking for a strategic way to engage with consumer-facing brands to incorporate carbon-derived materials into their products. There are some companies that lead climate action in material choice, having products that are low-carbon or carbon-neutral, while others fall behind. It is understood that making adjustments to raw materials in a supply/production chain is a large decision that is tied to financial, logistic, and marketing aspects of a company. So, how can we best engage with these companies to bridge this gap?

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals are pushing us everyday to focus on making the earth a better and safer place for all. As a company, we tackle challenges like climate change, sustainable building and responsible consumption and production head on. We are currently looking to develop a expansion strategy and marketing for our modular production capacity through automated, modular carbon sequestration reactors. There are some companies that lead climate action in material choice, having products that are low-carbon or carbon-neutral, while others fall behind. It is understood that making adjustments to raw materials in a supply/production chain is a large decision that is tied to financial, logistic, and marketing aspects of a company. So, how can we best position ourselves as a viable option to help lower companies carbon footprint?

Learn more about Carbon Upcycling Technologies by visiting their website.


Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST)


A world where people have the opportunity to succeed because their basic water and sanitation needs have been met. Our Mission: Provide technical training and consulting, and act as a centre of expertise in water and sanitation for the poor in developing countries. Since our inception, CAWST has provided capacity development services to organizations working in non-networked WASH, helping them to start, strengthen, or scale up their programs. Our suite of services includes technical training, competency development, and consulting support.

Physically Distanced Development: how can CAWST effectively support its partners and clients when travel isn't possible? CAWST is a Canadian charity and licensed engineering firm that addresses the global need for safe drinking water and sanitation by building local knowledge and skills on household solutions people can implement themselves. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the way we provide our services with online connections. But we are still learning how to effectively support when we can't physically be present to meet, train, assess, consult... We are looking for innovative ideas to improve our remote services provision.

Learn more about Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology by visiting their website.

Centre for Newcomers

Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary

Our mission

To support newcomers and the receiving community in becoming a diverse, united community, through services and initiatives that create conditions of success for newcomers and that foster a welcoming environment in Calgary.

Our vision

We envision a community that values diversity, in which people of all backgrounds find and create opportunities to fulfill dreams and participate fully as citizens.

Outcome areas

Programmatic impact-programs and services for families, groups, children and seniors, service innovation; Influence-collaboration and partnerships with systems, institutions, service practice and communities; Leverage-community engagement, external relations; fund development (inclusive philanthropy); innovation

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre for Newcomers has seen a surge in the number of service users needing support (basic needs for children and families), housing, community connections, etc. With this increase comes the need to have matching resources to sustain and maintain continued provision of service. Thus, the Centre for Newcomers has been trying to find different ways of creating an environment for inclusive philanthropy aimed at raising funds for our cause and at building a sense of community through community philanthropic efforts. This is where the team that will be working with us could provide some support. This challenge could simply be a development plan or an engagement plan.

Forced displacement related to disasters, including the adverse effects of climate change is a reality and among the biggest humanitarian challenges facing States and the international community in the 21st century (The Nansen Initiative, 2015). Between 2008 and 2014, a total of 184.4 million people [were] displaced by disasters caused by natural hazards such as floods, tropical storms, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, saltwater intrusion, glacial melting, glacial lake outburst floods, and melting permafrost (The Nansen Initiative, 2015).

We would like the team to create an educational campaign that teaches the public the impacts climate change has on different countries and how it causes the displacement of people. This campaign will also focus on the importance the Centre for Newcomers will play in receiving additional climate migrants and how communities need to start preparing for their arrival. Ideally the campaign will include communications materials that the Centre for Newcomers can distribute to a variety of audiences, including donors, politicians, community leaders, and the general public, and in different mediums, such as videos, photos, info graphics, and outreach emails, etc.

Learn more about Centre for Newcomers Society of Calgary by visiting their website.

City of Calgary logo

City of Calgary

Calgary is one of the most liveable cities on the planet. We're the third largest municipality in Canada, serving 1.2 million people. Calgarians are, on average: young (average age of 36), diverse (28% visible minorities), and growing — we have thousands of new people arriving annually from across Canada and the world.  

We're building Calgary's future by making smart changes today.

The Green Line LRT is the largest infrastructure project in Calgary's history. With $4.9 billion in unprecedented investments from the Government of Canada, Government of Alberta and City of Calgary, the Green Line Light Rail Transit will play a key role in shaping our city's future. This critical piece of our transit network will connect more communities to downtown, other LRT lines and our expansive bus rapid transit network, with ridership projected at 60,000 trips per day.  

In this very challenging economic environment and with a concerted focus on economic diversification in Calgary and across Alberta, there is a need to make balanced investment choices.  How can the City of Calgary best strategically position the proposed Green Line as an essential economic driver for Calgary’s future? Looking at transit systems around the world, how does their impact compare to the current and proposed Calgary Transit system? What is the importance of public transit in building a world class city?  

We are seeking your assistance in providing a stakeholder outreach plan that will identify new opportunities to connect Green Line with Calgary’s economic future.  

To learn more about the City of Calgary visit their website.

For more information on the Green Line:

End of the Rainbow logo

End of the Rainbow Foundation

Our mission is to improve socio-economic conditions for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions (SOGIE) by providing innovative education, support programs, and research. Our vision is to fully welcome and nurture SOGIE people into Canadian life so that they become contributing members of our society. We provide both one-on-one as well as group peer support to a diverse range of SOGIE individuals, helping to build community as well as connecting people to the services that will help them build safer and more secure lives here in Calgary.


Over the past year, we have had to transition most of our services into an online model. While this has allowed us to reach some people we may not have, it has also presented us with a number of challenges. Some of the barriers have included safe access to technology, economic barriers, physical barriers and mental health barriers. As a result we have seen our attendance drop in half, with the impact largely seen on community building and the relationships that would form during conversations after the structured portions of our peer programs.

Challenge #1 is to Create a programming strategy for virtual community engagement and relationship building with existing and new clients.



We are hoping to build tools that help foster community in a virtual environment, that are mindful of the challenges our clients' experience. As restrictions lift, it is our hope that some of these tools could also be adapted into a hybrid model encompassing both virtual and in-person components.

Challenge 2 is to develop a hybrid model for virtual and in-person programming in line with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions


Peer support groups connect people with shared lived experience together in a safe space. Peer support centers the individual as the expert of their lived experiences and needs. The shared lived experience builds empathy and trust between participants, providing a place where they can share experiences, resources, encouragement, and foster growth and hope. How can the Foundation engage volunteers and participants in a grassroots LGBTQ+ peer support group for international students?



Peer support groups connect people with shared lived experience together in a safe space. Peer support centers the individual as the expert of their lived experiences and needs. The shared lived experience builds empathy and trust between participants, providing a place where they can share experiences, resources, encouragement, and foster growth and hope. How can the Foundation plan for the long term sustainability of a grassroots LGBTQ+ peer support group for international students, given that university programs are transitional, which leads to high turnover in participation.

Challenge #1

End of the Rainbow Foundation connects sexually and gender diverse (SOGIE) people to volunteers to create: support groups and mentorship; match convention refugees to sponsor groups or ‘groups of five’; and  provide language, employment, other training or educational services. The core work of the foundation supports 2SLGBTQ+ refugees, through private sponsorship of refugees, as well as other pathways of migration. With the ongoing Afghan and Ukraine responses, as well as tight rental markets in Calgary, it can take time to find safe long term housing for 2SLGBTQ+ refugees and refugee claimants. Safe homestays are identified households that are able to offer a temporary safe living space for someone until more permanent housing is found.

The challenge is to help us develop a plan to find, identify and build a database of potential safe homestays that refugees can be matched to when the need arises.

Challenge #2

End of the Rainbow Foundation connects sexually and gender diverse (SOGIE) people to volunteers to create: support groups and mentorship; match convention refugees to sponsor groups or ‘groups of five’; and  provide language, employment, other training or educational services. The core work of the foundation supports 2SLGBTQ+ refugees, through private sponsorship of refugees, as well as other pathways of migration. Building volunteer "groups of five" is critical to the success of helping a refugee thrive in their new city, by providing ongoing support and helping introduce them to services, community and culture in their new neighborhood during the first 12 months post-arrival.  It can be difficult to find sponsors who are sensitive to the needs of 2SLGBTQ+ refugees, or who are aware of how necessary providing refuge for 2SLGBTQ+ individuals is. With the current media spotlight on the migration of Afghans and Ukrainians, many other groups also seeking refuge are being overlooked.

The challenge is to develop a strategy to raise awareness of and to recruit volunteers for the sponsorship of 2SLGBTQ+ refugees.

Learn more about End of the Rainbow Foundation by visiting their website.


Calgary European Film Festival logo

European Cultural Society of Calgary

The European Cultural Society of Calgary (ECSC) presents contemporary European culture to Calgary, recognizing a changed and united Europe, especially since the formation of the European Union in 1993. Established in 2012, the ECSC first carried out its mandate by organizing Calgary’s first and only European Film Festival with contemporary film screenings from five European nations. Over the last nine years, ECSC has grown steadily year after year until so that its eighth edition in 2019 found it expanded from a duration of a single weekend to nine days and from an attendance of 500 to 2,500 movie lovers. The ninth edition took place from November 7 to 15, 2020 with twenty Organizations representing twenty European Communities as participants. Most recently in early 2019, the ECSC solidified a partnership with European Union Film Festival Delegation in Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa to host an EU Film Series with free monthly contemporary European film screenings at the new Central Library beginning on July 16, 2019. Also in 2019, the ECSC has join forces with their CEFF partner since 2105, the Cultural Department at the Embassy of Spain in Ottawa - Spain Arts & Cultures - to establish the first edition of the Calgary Spanish Film Festival. Finally, the ECSC was well on its way to set up a European Folk Dance Festival for September 2020, though this event had to be postponed due to the restrictions on such activities during the COVID19 pandemic. Combined, these activities demonstrate ECSC’s values of contemporary European multiculturalism, unique expression and contribution by all, and strong community both across the Atlantic and in its microcosmic form in Calgary. Inclusive and collaborative, the ECSC fosters strong community partnerships with local and national organizations through its unique approach to programming by which the European community in Calgary is an active participant in the final selection of artistic and cultural exhibitions hosted by the ECSC. Local European organizations make film selections, propose related activities, and provide cultural content and materials. Reversing the practice and process of a closed programming team, the ECSC unites and builds relationships among European communities by strengthening the development and leadership capacity of local community organizations and by providing a large cultural platform for their European country of origin, allowing them to showcase their culture to each other and to the Calgarian public at large. 

The other criteria ECSC is very carefully looking at year over year is the average attendance per movie, which denotes the width of the outreach ECSC manages, within Calgarians with European heritage and the general movie lover public. From an average of 70 people per movie in the first edition, CEFF has grown slowly but steadily at one of 107 as of 2019. (With the 2020 edition being an online-only event, the numbers of viewers will not be added to the general stats) The ECSC has learned to expects a goal from a 10% increase year over year, showing a growing interest in the Festival from the Calgary arts and culture scene. The attendance numbers are a direct reflection of CEFF’s outreach to Calgarians. This is composed on the one side of promotion within each European Community which is done by the cultural Association representing it, and on the other by the paid advertisement at the city level done by ECSC through social media campaigns, radio ads, online and printed channels publicity, bridge banners, etc.; the latter being targeted at the general movie-loving Calgarians, disregarding their heritage.

Challenge: CEFF is unique in that the festival is community-based and films are selected by each participating European community in Calgary. This is one of the Festival's strengths. But at the same time, it is also a challenge as these communities are where most of the audience is coming from. Over the years we have been able to expand our audience reach but there is ample room for improvement. We would like to hear other ideas about how we could expand our audience beyond the European heritage communities in Calgary.

Learn more about the European Cultural Society of Calgary by visiting their website.

Fig Tree Foundation

Fig Tree Foundation


Fig Tree Foundation's vision is to improve the quality of international development projects originating from Calgary, through improving the capacity, skills, and knowledge of Calgary-based international development organizations.

Fig Tree Foundation is undergoing a process of renewal, in terms of deciding how best to achieve its mission and vision. One of the challenges being faced is around what services are being provided to our member organizations. In the coming months, we are redesigning our website, which will include a members-only section. Understanding what content would be most valuable in that section of the website is an important challenge. An improved understanding of that content will also help to inform the overall communications and education plan that will be used to support members.

Learn more about Fig Tree Foundation by visiting their website.

Immigrant Services Calgary logo

Immigrant Services Calgary

Since 1977, Immigrant Services Calgary has been providing a wide range of settlement services to immigrants and refugees looking to begin a new chapter of their lives in Canada. We employ a client-focused, integrated approach when working with individuals and their families to help them settle in Calgary. Our aim is to reach newcomers in a timely and responsive manner to facilitate a smooth transition, proper settlement and successful integration into the Calgary community. We work collaboratively to ensure our clients have access to programs and services that can help them overcome the challenges that come with immigrating to a new country, thus setting them up to succeed in their new life in Canada. Our Vision: Unleashing the economic, social & civic potential of clients. Our Mission: Connecting newcomers to the right service at the right agency every time. Our Values: We are forward thinking, adaptable & optimistic. We value accountability, collaboration & impactfulness. We act with integrity and treat people with respect.

Immigrants arriving in Calgary face several barriers to integration. Many struggle in silence, unaware that resources exist to assist them with financial constraints or the rebuilding of employment connections. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the Government of Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2021-2023. Canada aims to welcome 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, 411,000 in 2022, and 421,000 in 2023. This challenge is made more complicated due to a lack of coordination between agencies during client intake, assessments, and referrals. Challenge: How are we going to unleash the economic, social, and civic potential of the record newcomers that will be arriving to Canada in the next 3 years (60% of them economic)?

Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) is committed to ensuring Clients have a world-class experience accessing our services. ISC is currently in the process of renovating and rethinking its building design and how the client intake experience of accessing our building and services can best demonstrate our client centricity, put clients at ease, limit barriers to accessing services, and welcome immigrants and newcomers to our office space and Canada as a whole. The intake system at ISC, how clients are assessed and referred to internal and external programs, is fundamental to being client centric. This is why we would like to invite participants to explore how ISC can create a world class intake experience for our clients as part of our building transformation.

Learn more about Immigrant Services Calgary by visiting their website.


The Immigrant Education Society (TIES)


The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization established in 1988 with the goal to provide Calgary-based immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals with a solid foothold in Canada and afford them the opportunities to build community with the Canadians who already live here. TIES is governed by a Board of Directors made up of devoted community-minded volunteers and operates through funding from both government and private organizations. Since its inception, TIES has assisted over 250,000 newcomers and clients through its programming focused on 1) settlement and integration 2) language training 3) employment 4) research & program development on settlement and migration. Objective / Vision: An inclusive and pluralistic society. Mission Statement: To provide innovative language education, customized employment training and placement, and integration services to newcomers and Canadians based on best practices. Values: Togetherness: We prioritize relationships and respect for each other Inclusion: We welcome and embrace pluralism; Empowerment: We instill confidence and strength in ourselves and others; Service: We serve and build our community


The COVID-19 Pandemic has propelled TIES into previously unknown territory in terms of its service delivery. Previously a non-profit where service delivery was primarily client-facing, we are now seven months into a period where 90% of our programs are delivered online via various platforms such as Zoom, and MS teams. The challenge for us now is to envision an operating environment post-pandemic. Will everything return to face to face delivery? Or should we retain a proportion of our operations and working environments via online and delivered remotely? What should TIES do to anticipate a post-pandemic world?


Settlement agencies like TIES struggle to find enough translation and interpretation services for its interactions with its clients. Regular translation services are costly, and informal translation and interpretation services using client family members can be stressful. Is there a way of building a network of volunteer translators and interpreters who can help settlement agencies with their clients?

Learn more about The Immigrant Education Society (TIES) by visiting their website.

Kleos logo

Kleos Microfinance Group Ltd.

Sustainable Development through Empowerment and Access Kleos works to support women in developing countries escape the cycle of poverty by promoting entrepreneurial activities through micro-lending, training, savings and scholarship programming. Kleos' satellite office in Gulu, Uganda has been operating for seven years and has supported more than 1500 individuals start and grow their micro-enterprises to better support themselves, their families and their communities.

Kleos is structured for local support of projects in developing countries, which allows individual projects to reach sustainability and self-sufficiency. Kleos is currently challenged with growing its support base here in Canada. An effective support base in Canada provides multiple benefits for Kleos including; the sharing of the impact of Kleos' work, increased publicity of Kleos activities, an increased donor pool, and new partnership opportunities. As a small, volunteer run organization, Kleos is limited in its reach, which limits both the impact and the sustainability of the organization.

Learn more about Kleos Microfinance Group Ltd. by visiting their website.


Light Up the World logo

Light Up The World

Light Up The World (LUTW) is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to the idea that access to energy changes lives. 789M people still live without access to Electricity We work in remote off-grid communities that lack the basic technologies that many of us take for granted. By providing these communities with solar photovoltaic systems, we help them transition away from using polluting fuel-based lighting and costly single-use batteries. The result is transformational. With a focus on training local technicians and developing the capacity of local service providers, LUTW fosters long-term partnerships so that communities are empowered to move towards a more sustainable future.


The global pandemic has caused LUTW to suspend all projects that were scheduled to be completed to electrify schools, health clinics and public buildings in the developing countries that we support. These projects were completed with the help of our corporate partners and represented a big part of the organization's revenue to maintain all areas of organizations, some of which remain operating and impacting the lives of our beneficiaries. We have moved quickly in finding ways to complement our development of funds to keep our local staff to continue their meaningful work. We have been able to keep operating thanks to the overwhelming kind support of our fan base and alumni, but unfortunately, we are not projecting this to be enough to stay afloat in the case our projects cannot be resumed. What we would like to do is to communicate our work and expand our network of supporters.

As we work toward providing access, one of the challenges is to identify where the need is. We work at looking for off-grid communities in two ways. 1. by communicating by word of mouth with local government agencies, other organizations and individuals. 2. With GIS with Peruvian open access and organization data. We think that there are opportunities to find more communities by expanding our two methodologies. Our challenges for the UCalgary teams are to assist us with the following:


Creating a digital communication (marketing) campaign to gain public support to find these communities.



Using technologies (machine learning AI) to analyze satellite images and find indicators of human populations, roofs, farms. We are also open to any student's suggestions and ideas, contributions to these challenges, since they could be highly impactful for the organization.


Develop a digital gift to thank our current loyal fan base and to capture more people that could be inspired by our work and values. Ideas for this could be like a short e-course such as digitizing our solar energy 101 course, and we are open to your ideas.



One part of our work is offering microfinance so families can acquire solar systems and transition from single-use batteries and candles. Because of the economic impact of Covid-19, some families are unable to complete their payments. This makes us unable to acquire more systems to serve other families. For the second challenge, we would like to launch a fundraising campaign, to help the families that cannot complete their payments to continue completing their payments.

Light Up the World (LUTW) is about to launch some projects where we work with satellite internet for remote communities. We would like to hear student research and proposals about what kind of online businesses or remote work people in these communities could pursue.

Learn more about Light Up the World by visiting their website.

Loft 112 logo

Loft 112

Loft 112 is a creative hive where ideas are given space to develop, a place where established and emerging writers, readers, artists, and poets are supported, a place where unheard voices are given a platform and a place of collaboration.

Our small space is warm, welcoming, and highly collaborative and it is diverse. Our mandate has guided us to be open to all and to make all feel valued and welcome. But is it enough? We know we need to continually evolve and do better. Our efforts of late to reach more communities through the cold call email, the researched hashtag, the direct conversation with those we know have been unsuccessful and felt stilted.

What feels right is creating a collaborative/call & response writing/art project that travels from Loft 112 and goes 'into' communities and invites and celebrates those communities we want to know better through their stories. What could this look like? What could the campaign look like? Where would this project lead to in the end? This could be a city project or a global project.

Learn more about Loft 112 by visiting their website.

Making Changes Logo

Making Changes Employment Association of Alberta

Making Changes Association is a community of women helping women and teenage girls through life transition by providing them with programs and resources to support their pursuit of meaningful work and educational opportunities. Our organization has been successful in empowering women and adolescent girls who are living in poverty, perhaps in vulnerable situations, or may be new to Canada and trying to fit into school or the Canadian workforce. Our four successful programs have more than 2,400 local women use our services annually. They are seeking employment, attending school, or engaging in volunteer opportunities. Our clients are empowered to continually share their own destiny and transform themselves, their families and their communities.

The Employment and Life Skills program is an empowerment process for immigrant women to increase their personal power through participation so that they can take action to improve their circumstances. The pre-employment program offers a series of workshops to help immigrant women plan and prepare for their future in Canada. The training provided builds confidence and skills in the areas of career planning, communication, assertiveness, Canadian business culture and accessing community resources. The program aims to support the women by providing them with the tools necessary to identify their skills, values and interests and effectively maneuver the Canadian workforce. Unfortunately, only about 30% of new immigrants access immigrant serving agencies and are unaware of the support we can provide them as they start their new lives in Canada. Therefore women struggle in their search for employment, lacking an understanding how to most effectively profile their skills, experience and talent with Canadian employers. Support from a team on how to best recruit applicants for the program would have a substantial impact on our ability to more effectively recruit candidates and offer more programs.

Learn more about Making Changes Employment Association of Alberta by visiting their website

Natures Ride Logo

Nature's Ride

Our vision: Fun, exciting informative journeys with nature. Mission: To provide services and products with messages of responsibility about the environment and our planet using fun, informative platforms. At the same time, Nature’s Ride through Art Society attempts to reduce its own operational footprint and that of its products and services.

Our values: Respect for all: humans, flora, and fauna. It is everybody’s world!

Nature’s Ride is researching the sustainable management of municipal biowaste, namely food waste from the marketplace and homes. Open dumps comprising 50-80% organic matter are common in low-income countries, resulting in deterioration of human health from vermin-transmitted pathogens, polluted surface and groundwater, odour nuisance, and GHG emissions. The Black Soldier Fly waste treatment method, a low-cost sustainable biological waste treatment method, has been identified as a viable solution by Nature’s Ride. The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) treatment is a low-tech, power supply independent, minimal spatial requiring, economically viable biowaste technology for low-income locations. The method produces byproducts like larvae for animal feed and biofertilizers for agriculture, which has resulted in a growing private-sector industry. However, involving community groups (preferably female-led groups) is essential to manage the flow of increasing organic waste piles. The organization needs to create a strategy and an implementation plan to carry out and evaluate this idea’s environmental, social, and economic impact.

One cause of food insecurity in the rural communities of less developed countries is food wastage due to the lack of farm-based resources for food processing and preservation.

At the same time, in developed countries there is a lack of awareness of the prevalence and impacts of food insecurity and energy poverty in rural communities of less developed countries.

Our challenge is how to create awareness in Calgary through a Nature's Ride workshop focused on the resources provided by the Solar Shelter as a potential solution to farm-based food wastage in rural communities of less developed countries.

Attached for your information is the infographic for the Solar Shelter. 

Learn more about Nature's Ride by visiting their website

Pakistan Canada Association

Pakistan Canada Association

Pakistan Canada Association (PCA) Calgary, formed in 1967 and officially registered in 1975, is a non-profit organization representing Canadians of Pakistani origin residing in Calgary and its surrounding areas. The main objectives of PCA are: Promote understanding, harmony, tolerance, and good relations between Canadians of Pakistani heritage and the community at large. Encourage participation in social, cultural, and educational functions/programs not only within the Pakistani community but Canadian society as a whole.


Background: In Calgary, during the Covid pandemic era we, as a community organization, have noticed an alarming trend in youth behavior such as a sudden rise in speeding incidents resulting in many deaths, their involvement in drugs, gang-related activities, addiction, etc.

It is critical that we, as a community, develop concrete and positive steps for such awareness to prevent further life-threatening incidents in youth. The first team is requested to take upon this challenge and develop a guideline on how to effectively bring this awareness amongst the youth.



We feel that there is a disconnect between the social realities of youth and their parents. Children have a different outlook and most of us are not able to adequately connect to them, and/or listen to their issues, and co-construct solutions. So, we would like one of the teams to suggest and recommend a suitable channel of communication to effectively interact with our youth (e.g., through religious and community leaders and/or through their educational institutions or through any other means).

Learn more about Pakistan Canada Association by visiting their website.

Calgary and Edmonton are experiencing a wave of hate crimes. How can we reduce the spread of hate in our city and bring awareness especially to young people about the value of multiculturalism?

People for Progress Foundation logo

People for Progress

Our Mission: Our mission is to empower individuals and communities in need to achieve sustainability through education, leadership and partnership.

One of the most important challenges AQQA that we face at People for Progress Foundation (PFPF) is the connection between the why - this means whether it's in Kenya, Tanzania, or Canada (Calgary) is how to keep volunteers not only interested in the vision of the organization but include the greater purpose, of empowerment of what we do through our organization. We are looking for the WHY and connecting with others to continue to build relationships, network, support and empower those we work with and serve. We feel this is a great opportunity to have another perspective and brainstorming on how, when, where to expand and continue our success in empowerment through education and sustainability.

People for Progress Foundation is a small, volunteer led organization with a limited support base composed mainly of friends and associates of the President and Founder. Events are planned mainly around impressing this limited base and are organized by the volunteer Board members. This restricts growth; exhausts and overtaxes the Board members; limits potential fund raising and compromises sustainability. How can People for Progress Foundation expand its support base; explore and implement new ways of reaching people; increase its social media presence; recruit and maintain volunteers and incorporate new technology to promote, sustain and improve its programs to fulfill its mission and vision?

Learn more about People for Progress by visiting their website.