“Aren’t you a bit too old to be idealistic about social change?” a prominent global leader taunted me with a smile during a 2013 lunch in a restaurant in San Francisco. I was in the city attending SOCAP, one of the largest social entrepreneurship conferences in the world. At that time, I was leading Impact Hub Ottawa, what has now become a renowned coworking community for impact-oriented people. His question about my idealism took me by surprise. His words were skeptical; his tone, cynical. At that time, I experienced the man’s provocation as an affront to what my team and our collective work represented. His question was in response to a vision I shared of local change-makers from a variety of sectors and neighbourhoods driving innovation through collaboration.
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