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Social Innovation Immersion Workshop at Wasan Island

For Leaders in Social Innovation

We’re thrilled to be offering the 2023 Social Innovation Immersion workshop at Wasan Island, facilitated by Darcy Riddell, Tonya Surman, and Lisa Gibson from June 12-16, 2023. This workshop is a space for deeper knowledge, reflection, honing purpose and practice, and engaging with a peer-community of innovators on a similar path. It is a space to deepen your leadership capacities to meet the complexities of these times using the wide range of tools that social innovation offers from inner work to interpersonal practice to systems tools. 

Why do we need a Social Innovation Immersion?

Social innovation and systems change have become concepts now commonly applied by non-profits, communities, social-purpose business, philanthropy, universities, governments and even big business. Social innovators seek to shift the culture holding problems in place, engaging in de-colonization and reconciliation, and transforming the underlying power structures and beliefs that lead to systemic marginalization. The work of social innovation implicates individuals as well as systems, requiring deeper capacities of seeing and relating, along with willingness to fail, experience vulnerability and change oneself. 

This one week social innovation intensive is designed for people and organizations who see the potential social innovation has to solve their ‘wicked problems’. Perhaps they have applied some concepts to their work already with promising results and now they are ready for a deeper immersion – the gap filling, tool box building, understanding the full power of social innovation possesses as a level for change. Imagine a mini-master’s degree in social innovation, but wait for it – all in one week – delivered as a beautiful retreat in Muskoka, on Wasan Island, where you get to co-learn with other change makers. Questions? Send us an email

  • Deepen your leadership capacities to meet the complexities of these times using the wide range of tools that social innovation offers from inner work to interpersonal practice to systems tools
  • Hone your capacity for engaging and navigating complexity and systems thinking in practical and applied ways
  • Cultivate embodiment and awareness practices that help you access, recognize and support emergence in yourself, others and wider systems
  • Clarify your purpose and developmental path as a systems change leader 
  • Hone your capacity for collaboration, intimacy and perspective taking across relationships of difference
  • Expand your network of innovative and engaged leaders committed to creating a more sustainable, equitable and thriving world

The 2023 Social Innovation Immersion workshop takes place June 12-16, 2023 at Wasan Island.

Wasan Island is situated on Lake Rosseau, in the heart of the Muskoka Lakes. Wasan Island is being operated in 2023 through a partnership between the Breuninger Foundation (German Foundation and owner) and the Centre for Social Innovation (Canadian Social enterprise and operator). For more information, check out our webpage!

We have three wonderful facilitators running the Social Innovation Immersion workshop. May we introduce you to…

Tonya Surman

Headshot of Tonya Surman

Tonya Surman is one of Canada’s leading social entrepreneurs. Her clients: people and planet. Her superpowers: visionary ideas that inspire, models that harness collaboration, and spaces that accelerate systemic change.

Highlights from her 30-year career include co-founding and leading the Centre for Social Innovation, a pioneer in the coworking and social enterprise movements that has catalyzed more than 1000 world-changing initiatives; leading the creation of Social Innovation Canada – a national effort to build the capacity of people, organizations and systems to problem solve together; developing the Constellation Model, a multi-stakeholder partnership framework that was used to ban toxic chemicals in baby bottles and organize 40,000+ Ontario nonprofits into a network with policymaking clout; creating the Community Bond, a groundbreaking social finance tool that raised $7.3 million to purchase $50 million in real estate to house 900+ social entrepreneurs and led to the creation of Tapestry Community Capital; and launching Catapult, a micro-loan fund that galvanizes government, corporate and nonprofit partners.

Tonya is the recipient of numerous awards: the Global Ashoka Fellowship, the Trillium Foundations Great Grants and Entrepreneur of the Year from Socialight Canada are among the many organizations that have recognized her leadership and contributions. 

Darcy Riddell

Headshot of Darcy RiddellDarcy Riddell has been a student and teacher of social change for 25 years in a variety of roles – in forest campaigns in Canada’s coastal rainforest, leading transformative learning in philanthropy, designing and facilitating multi-sector change initiatives, and teaching cohorts on social innovation and systems change.  Her passion for spanning boundaries and getting at root causes has led her to work with environmental and social justice movements, First Nations, philanthropic organizations, entrepreneurs, and academia. She is currently focused on launching an indigenous-led network for conservation finance, the RAD Network.

Darcy led the Pacific team at Makeway, and prior to that was Director of Strategic Learning with the McConnell Foundation. She completed a transdisciplinary PhD in Social Innovation and Sustainability, from the University of Waterloo, focused on transformative leadership in complex multi-scaled contexts and has published on systems change, social innovation, evaluation, and scaling impact. She is currently the board chair at Social Innovation Canada. Darcy is a fifth generation British Columbian of mainly British Isles descent, living with her family in the territories of the əsəlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), & Sḵwx̱wú7meshsi (Squamish), where she roots in cycles of nature and teachings on nonduality.

Lisa Gibson

Headshot of Lisa Gibson

Lisa Gibson is a facilitator, coach, systems change consultant and educator based in Vancouver, Canada with over 25 years experience in local and international work at multiple scales. She specializes in working with individuals, organizations and communities to embed systemic change, transform belief systems, and construct alliances across diversity.

With a background in social justice, gender and development, and community engagement, Zen meditation and somatic practice, Lisa is particularly interested in the intersections of complexity thinking, inner work, and the capacity to work across difference as core capacities to affect change in an world with increasingly complex challenges. 

Lisa is a founding instructor and curriculum designer in a wide variety of social innovation, systems change, facilitation, mindfulness programs and more. Her consulting work with a diverse range of clients including nonprofits, government, and foundations focuses on a range of issues, including facilitation of complex multistakeholder processes, strategic planning and design, creativity and innovation, leadership development, and mindfulness. 

Lisa is a Certified Integral Facilitator, and holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria, and a Masters in Gender and Development from the University of Sussex. She is grateful to be based in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded ancestral Coast Salish lands and waters of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Wauthuth Nations with her two children and partner.

Stays at Wasan Island are all inclusive – yes, that means your room, food, drink, and activities are all covered! Not to mention that the food is world class (prepared by our on-island chef), the drinks are delicious, and the activities include a sauna, two hot tubs, games, kayaks, canoes, and a beautiful lake for swimming.

Early Bird Pricing 
Take advantage of Early Bird pricing and register by May 1, 2023 to save on your experience.

There are three different levels of accommodation available for the Social Innovation Immersion workshop at Wasan Island, and include both private and shared options. Prices are per person and all inclusive for your full stay (excluding HST). Read on for a bit more information about each of them. 

Shared Double Room: These include 2 single beds and access to a shared washroom.
Early Bird: $1999
Regular: $2590

Single Private Room: These are private rooms, with either one single, double or queen bed, and a shared washroom. Some of these rooms are in a private bunkie on the Island, or within a larger building.
Early Bird: $2499
Regular: $2950

Premium Room: These are either shared (2 queen beds) or private (1 king bed). Washrooms are ensuite.
Early Bird: $2999
Regular: $3950

* We are working on a scholarship program for equity-deserving individuals. If this interests you, please reach out to

Fill out our form below! 🙂 Once you’ve completed the below form, the Island Manager will reach out to you to submit payment to secure your spot.

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