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Inspired by CICan’s 5-year Strategic Plan 2019-2024, the ImpAct initiative, aims to support colleges and institutes in achieving their shared vision of Better Futures for Peoples and Communities.

First made possible through funding by the McConnell Foundation and placed under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, it builds on the common values and aspirations of CICan members and is designed to amplify the college and institute system’s contributions to economic and social development, community well-being and a sustainable future by supporting deliberate and collaborative approaches.

The ImpAct initiative’s actions will be guided by Canada’s commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By using the SDGs as a framework for setting priorities, partnering with others and measuring results, the ImpAct initiative will support CICan members in collaborating for a healthy, inclusive, prosperous and sustainable 21st century Canada. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are interrelated, however, CICan identified the following four to prioritize in its own strategic planning:

  • SDG5 – Gender Equality
  • SDG8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG10 – Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 – Climate Action

Two CICan initiatives will help strengthen and scale up member institutions’ contributions to social and economic inclusion and ecological sustainability:

Four collaborative ImpAct-Climate pan-Canadian projects will help strengthen and scale up member institutions’ contributions to social and economic inclusion and ecological sustainability:

Reducing barriers to inclusive access

The Reducing Barriers to Inclusive Access Project Working Group (PWG) is a pan-Canadian group that has co-created a joint project to share initiatives that are reducing barriers to inclusive access on campus and in the community. By sharing information on initiatives that are reducing barriers to inclusive access across Canada on a web-based platform, the group hopes that this will help raise awareness of the resources, initiatives and support available to dismantle the barriers that other individuals and/or groups encounter.


Social entrepreneurship

The Social Entrepreneurship Project Working Group (PWG) is a pan-Canadian group that is co-creating a joint initiative to increase awareness and further promote social entrepreneurship at colleges and institutes in line with the SDGs. In honour of Global Goals Week they launched Humans of Impact, on September 24th 2021 a digital platform to share social enterprise stories curated from campuses and communities across Canada as told by students.
Read the full Press Release


Campus sustainability

The Campus Sustainability Project Working Group (PWG) is a pan-Canadian group that is co-creating an initiative to reduce harm to the environment to achieve long-term environmental sustainability on campuses across Canada. In July 2020, the Campus Sustainability PWG has led the writing of an Open Letter: Building Back Better to Ensure Well-being for All to three Ministers.


SDG Accord PWG

The SDG Accord Project Working Group, is a pan-Canadian group, raising awareness regarding the SDG Accord, encourage institutions to sign the Accord and provide guidance, resources, and support for signatory institutions. This PWG is instrumental in spurring and supporting change amongst post-secondary institutions in Canada.


Advisory Committees

Two advisory committees will guide the project, bringing the perspectives of large, small, urban, rural and Northern institutions from across the country:

President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability

The President’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (PACoS) provides strategic input and guidance on opportunities and challenges related to strengthening and accelerating our members contributions towards achieving sustainability and a net-zero economy. This work is aligned with the CICan strategic plan and leverages the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework.

Committee Members

The Student and Alumni Advisory Committee (ISAAC)

The ImpAct Student and Alumni Advisory Committee (ISAAC) provides strategic input and guidance from a student and youth perspective on emerging priorities, alignment with the SDGs and engagement strategies. ISAAC members provide advises on ways to ensure new projects and initiatives include and involve students and reflect their concerns and needs, act as liaisons with their home institutions or organizations, and serve as champions for environmental sustainability and social and economic inclusion. They help promote the SDGs as core tenets of the college and institute system. For more information about ISAAC, please check out this trailer and full-length video that they’ve created.

Committee Members

List of all other national advisory committees, including the National EDI Advisory Committee


Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) helps Canadians share knowledge locally and globally in order to create better societies and build peace in the minds of men and women. To do so, the Commission facilitates cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, communication and information to address some of the most complex challenges facing the world today.
McConnell Foundation
The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges. They do so through granting and investing, capacity building, convening, and co-creation with grantees, partners and the public.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
In November 2018, ESDC launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Funding Program to support projects aimed at: building awareness of the 2030 Agenda; increase partnerships and networks; advance research; and further Canada’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Fast Facts

  • 300+ individuals who are part of our ImpAct Community of Practice served since February 2019
  • 3 Project Working Groups, 2 Advisory Committees, and 1 Task Force were formed to support the work of the ImpAct initiative
  • ImpActful webinars on sustainable development

Funded By

  • The McConnell Foundation
  • Employment and Social Development Canada