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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.

Backed 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.

Three collaborative 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 is co-creating a joint initiative to reduce barriers to access at their institution, that, once proven, can be scaled to the entire network.


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. One of the current pilot projects that the Social Entrepreneurship PWG is working on is to share social entrepreneurship stories from campuses across Canada using the “Humans of New York” digital approach.


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.


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


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