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Specialist, Social Innovation, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, VP Research

Job ID: 23404

Updated: July 22, 2021

Location: Main Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Overview

The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking within VP Research invites applications for a Specialist, Social Innovation. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 12 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Created with a generous gift from the Hunter Family Foundation in 2017, the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking is the University of Calgary's central innovation hub for activities that support entrepreneurial student experiences, enable faculty to lead in innovation, and connect a growing community of innovative thinkers and founders at UCalgary and beyond. The Hunter Hub contributes directly to the University of Calgary's strategic vision to be Canada's most entrepreneurial university through innovation activities such as experiential learning initiatives and entrepreneurship courses, competitions, events and programs.

Reporting to the Executive Director of the Hunter Hub, and working across all innovation organizations and faculties of the university, the Social Innovation Specialist will create, coordinate, communicate and deliver successful, innovative community outreach and engagement activities in entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation that reach a large, broad and diverse audience of students, staff and faculty across the university.

Success in this role is defined by impacting the greatest number of individuals and faculties across the University and helping to build the University's brand and community in entrepreneurial thinking via innovative initiatives, events, programs, and content. By 2030, the University's goal is for 50% of the student population to have been involved in innovation experiences at some stage during their programs.

This position will be a in a fast-moving, innovative environment with a high volume of visible, complex work. There will be competing demands based on multiple deadlines and the incumbent must communicate regularly with many stakeholders with a high degree of professionalism and judgement.

The position will involve some flexible work hours (i.e. early mornings, weeknights, weekends) to accommodate events.

The primary purpose of this position is to empower students, staff and faculty across all faculties to be more entrepreneurial, and to prepare create, coordinate, communicate and deliver entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation activities, initiatives and programs for the community in line with the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking strategy. These include events, presentations, workshops, hackathons, fairs; system change, social innovation and startup/social venture accelerator programs; and other initiatives.

The incumbent will be an expert in the social innovation community at U Calgary and will work closely with students, faculty, and staff across the university and with community partners.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Community Outreach (15%):

  • Develop student personas and formulate outreach strategies for each to reach a diversity of students from different disciplines and backgrounds.
  • Be a strong, inspiring ambassador for the Hunter Hub by engaging with students on a daily basis and in the community, and promoting the exciting opportunities in social innovation across the university available to them.
  • Work creatively and collaboratively with the Students Union, a broad range of student groups and departments to develop short and long-term sustainable outreach plans for entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation for students. Outreach may include, but not limited to, classroom presentations, creating outreach materials, competitions or challenges, and/or planning and supporting other innovation activities held across campus.
  • Support Hunter Hub communications and liaise/coordinate with diverse faculty marketing and communications teams for the promotion of outreach and innovation activities and to amplify innovators as role models to inspire others.
  • Work with Hunter Hub leadership to set targets for community outreach and initiatives and report monthly on them.

Community Engagement and Experiential Learning (30%):

  • Work with the Hunter Hub leadership to initiate, design, and lead the delivery of a calendar of entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation co-curricular events, programs and initiatives which may involve one or more faculties or partner organizations.
  • Provide expert advice, coaching and training on entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation (i.e. design thinking, systems change, and social ventures) to students in the classroom or via innovation initiatives to build capacity around entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation.
  • Working with the Academic Director of the Hunter Hub to support faculty to embed entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation content into classrooms and courses.
  • Assist in developing and running a student advisory committee on social innovation and connecting with student clubs to create student-driven initiatives and ensure the voice of students is included in Hunter Hub programming strategy.
  • Assist in developing a student volunteer ambassador program and identifying other key champions across campus to engage in or support outreach or innovation initiatives.
  • Work with Hunter Hub leadership to set targets for social innovation engagement, experiential initiatives and programs; Report monthly on them.

Project Management (40%):

  • Create detailed project plans and assist with all aspects and logistics of the professional delivery of events, programs and initiatives that encourage or reward social innovation experiences such as hackathons, challenges, scholarships, prize competitions and social innovation programs either within the Hunter Hub Collision Space, at other locations, or taking place online.
  • Contribute to the development of high impact communications plans with internal/external partners for all initiatives and coordinate their implementation working alongside the appropriate person(s) within the Hunter Hub team or externally.
  • Seek to achieve excellence in creating impactful, inspiring student experiences and ensure a feedback loop from partners and stakeholders to constantly raise the bar for all events and initiatives.
  • Source and negotiate services with vendors and event vendors ensuring the best quality and value while remaining within budget guidelines.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Content Creation (15%):

  • Help to grow the University's brand in entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation through cutting edge content and showcasing social innovators across campus and social ventures created by the UCalgary community.
  • Develop relevant and engaging entrepreneurial thinking resources and materials for students, faculty and marcom channels.
  • Support the development of cutting-edge entrepreneurship and social innovation content with subject matter experts.
  • Develop interesting, topic-based innovation events for students such as event series, hackathons and experiential learning events with different faculties; Develop learning materials and other content for social innovation programs.
  • Develop effective proposals, programs, and partnerships for government, donors, industry, researchers etc. to ensure the sustainability and growth of social innovation activities.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • The successful candidate will have a social innovation, business, entrepreneurship and/or education background with one or more university degrees in these fields, and is passionate about social innovation and social ventures. A Masters degree is an asset.
  • Demonstrated expertise in entrepreneurial thinking and/or talent development. 5+ years experience running entrepreneurial activities, talent development projects or programs in an academic environment with a diverse cohort of inexperienced innovators from technical andor arts/humanities domains. Experience teaching entrepreneurship or social innovation in these areas is an asset.
  • Experience with cross-faculty education, initiatives, entrepreneurship and the development of the innovation ecosystem at the University of Calgary is an advantage.
  • Superior organizational skills required. Demonstrated project planning skills and experience successfully running impactful, high quality, multi-stakeholder events and initiatives.
  • The incumbent will have an in-depth knowledge of local innovation ecosystems; demonstrated experience in developing collaborative relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Knowledge and understanding of University plans and policies, as well as structure, governance, and decision-making processes is an asset.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills (verbal/presentation and written skills) with strong attention to detail are required. Experience writing grants, creating marketing communications or working on marcom platforms an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a team environment that is complex and fast-moving.
  • Sound judgement, problem-solving and negotiation skills required.
  • Experience managing budgets and ensuring fiscal responsibility.
  • Excellent computer skills in Microsoft Office are required. Experience with University core business systems (Peoplesoft, eFIN, enterprise reporting, etc.) an asset.
  • Running social innovation or entrepreneurial activities, talent development projects or initiatives in an academic environment with a diverse cohort of inexperienced and/or. new innovators from technical and/or arts/humanities domains.

Application Deadline:  August 6, 2021

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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