Jill Andres works toward bridging businesses and social ventures

Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business recently hired Jill Andres to fulfill the role of “changemaker in residence.”

Andres, a mother and founder of Creating Value Inc., says a changemaker is someone who identifies a system that isn’t working well, comes up with a plan to make it better, and sees themselves as capable of implementing the plan and following through. The most important part, she says, is that anyone can be a changemaker.

“I think when we think that the people who do extraordinary things are somehow extraordinary, it can be limiting,” Andres says.

In her part-time role, Andres is hoping to help the business school better support not only students’ thinking about social change, but also their ability to enact change.

“I think that if we see ourselves in those people who are doing extraordinary things we are more able to imagine ourselves doing those things as well,” she adds.

James Stauch, director of the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, says Andres is invaluable.

“She has really strong instincts, and really strong insights into how business and the social sector interact and could interact.”

Stauch notes that with Andres’ direct connection to the institute, she brings a tremendous amount of passion, energy and enthusiasm. He adds that she is able to bridge the worlds of business and social activism in a compelling and authentic way while redefining business terms so that they are more accessible to everyone.

Produced by Jocelyn Doll

Andres, 41, is hoping that the shift in language from “social entrepreneur” or “social activist” to “changemaker” will make the idea of social entrepreneurship more inclusive and successful.

“We need the hearts and minds of people from across disciplines and across sectors and from different kinds of backgrounds,” Andres explains.

jdoll@cjournal.ca  

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Kadey at mkadey@cjournal.ca