Rebuild: Systems Leadership and Transformation

This session is part of a 3 part series called 
Recovery Post COVID-19: Re-entry, Remodel and Rebuild.


Many people have recognized that while COVID-19 is the immediate crisis, it is only exposing and intensifying existing flaws in our systems. In this moment, we have the opportunity to facilitate massive shifts and build resilience through these transitions. 

We now have the opportunity to shift wealth inequities; colonization, racism and oppression; violence against women and children, homelessness and housing; addictions and mental health, climate emergency and so much more. Let's harness the collective power of networks and people for a better world for all.

We are inviting you into a process of transformation, not only for your organization and the communities it serves, but to go deeper into the root causes, relationships and systems that continuously perpetuate the same challenges. Challenges that may have further revealed themselves as the result of the pandemic and are bringing forth questions that we can no longer ignore.

This process begins with a conversation, as any good moment of change does and requires a strong willingness to commit to a journey that may not always feel clear and with people we may not always feel comfortable.

Are you ready for change, ready for action?

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes and program design have been influenced by recent research that identified common factors shared by transformative social innovators across a broad range of impactful systems change initiatives. 

Participants will:

  • Explore perspectives that can help ‘see’ the invisible patterns and possibilities in complex systems 

  • Draw from multiple traditions and ways of knowing to hone capacity for impactful, skillful and creative systems intervention 

  • Check-in with the ‘inner’ conditions that allow them to move with greater freedom, purpose and awareness in times of uncertainty and hyper-complexity 

  • Start from a heart-centred place of connection to engage power and conflict in order to think and act like a movement and to convene wisely 

We don’t have all of the answers, yet we have lots of questions:

How do we activate this moment for transformational shifts, not transactional or even worse go back to the way things were? 

How do we move from conversation to action holding an equity and inclusion lens?

How do we sustain system changes and continue to impact policy for true systems transformation?

How do we collectively hold grief and proceed at the speed of healing during this abrupt disruption?


Michelle Baldwin
Michelle Baldwin is Executive Director of Pillar Nonprofit Network and helped to co-create Innovation Works and VERGE Capital in London, Ontario. She has extensive experience in nonprofit management, social enterprise, social innovation, social finance, communications and fundraising. In the development of Innovation Works a 32,000 sq ft co-working space for social innovators, Michelle was involved in bringing innovative social finance tools including a 1 million dollar community bond and 1.2 million in social finance loans to make the project possible. 

She currently serves as Chair of the Board for the Ontario Nonprofit Network and Vice Chair of the Board for Atlohsa Family Healing Services. Michelle will be co-teaching a Governance Leadership Ethics course at Huron University College in the coming school year. 

Michelle holds a Master of Educational Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, as well as a Communications & Public Relations Professional Certificate from Western, Volunteer Management Certificate from Fanshawe College and completed the Maytree Policy School and Banff Centre for Creativity & Arts Foundations of Purpose program.

Andre Vashist 
André is a facilitator of multi-stakeholder and complex collaborations that nurture reconciliation, regeneration and resilience. He currently works with Pillar Nonprofit Network as the Director of Social Innovation, one of London's Top 20 under 40 and graduate of University of Waterloo's Social Innovation and Systems Leadership program. 

He is a seasoned facilitator of complex collaborations between government, academic, business, finance and nonprofit sectors.  At Pillar, he helped found national leading placed social finance intermediary, VERGE Capital, and supports a team implementing programs serving as collaborative platforms like Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network, Inclusive Economy London, and Deskhan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond. 

André’s educational background blends ecological, sociological and economic domains, and his areas of experience include organizational development, program design, social enterprise, social finance, impact evaluation, and fundraising.  

Dharshi Lacey
Dharshi Lacey is the Director, Diversity & Governance at Pillar Nonprofit Network and has worked for over 20 years in the nonprofit sector. She has many years experience in Cultural Competency, and has facilitated sessions with boards and organizations to help them embed an inclusive and equitable lens in their leadership and strategic work. Dharshi also has over 6 years experience working in community development, with a focus on health promotion for immigrant and francophone populations. 

She leads a number of professional development workshops on board governance for Pillar Nonprofit Network and offers this expertise in customized content for individual boards within Ontario. Dharshi teaches Board Governance for the Nonprofit Management Post-Degree Diploma offered by Western University Continuing Studies.


Thank you to our 2020 Learning and Development Sponsors:

Fanshawe Corporate Training Solutions and Western Continuing Studies

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