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Next Gen Leaders Pitch Game-Changing City-Building Projects at CivicAction’s ELNshowcase

TORONTO, May 6, 2016 – Last night at CivicAction’s ELNshowcase, five teams of emerging leaders presented rapid-fire project pitches in a Dragon’s Den-style event. The prize? Seed funding, work space, strategy support and media profile to help turn their ideas into action. Now in its third year, the event helps incubate projects that aim to make the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) a better place to live, work and play.

“CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network [ELN] attracts the best and brightest rising leaders our region has to offer,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction. “This event showcases that incredible talent while also inspiring new & creative ideas that will shape the future of our region.”

The winning team, Get Outside! Toronto Parks + Trails App took home the grand prize package of $1500 cash, 100 hours of co-working space at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a strategy session with PwC and promotional support from NOW Magazine – a package that will help get their project off the ground. Get Outside! proposed an app that showcases the city’s incredible greenspaces and calls on people to interact with parks and trails in new ways by providing accessibility, amenity, event, activity and permit information to users.

“We’re so grateful for the award,” said Neluka Leanage, Get Outside! Team member. “The talent in the ELNshowcase room was tremendous and all the project ideas were brilliant.”

The winner was selected by an all-star panel of judges with a deep understanding of what it takes to make new ideas stick:

  • Rami Lama, Group Director Business Development at Fjord (Accenture)
  • Sheldon Levy, Ontario Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
  • Scott Mullin, Vice President of Community Relations at TD Bank
  • Elisha Muskat, Executive Director, Ashoka Foundation
  • Joanna Reynolds, Director of Social Enterprise, CSI
  • Som Seif, President & CEO, Purpose Investments

“Through ELN project incubation we support our members to test and strengthen their city-building ideas,” said Elisha Muskat, ELN Co-Chair. “It is inspiring to watch rising leaders build both themselves and their city, and to realize their civic vision.”

Proving that city-building can be a democratic process, new to this year’s event was the People’s Choice Award, which gave the audience the opportunity to “be the judge” and vote for their favorite project.  The award went to Baby Bucks, a pilot loan program modeled off the Ontario Student Assistance Program that would help middle-income families afford the rising costs of childcare.

At ELNshowcase, CivicAction also celebrated 10 years of supporting the region’s rising leaders through the ELN. CivicAction’s leadership programs have incubated many successful city-building projects such as Project Neutral, which has helped 80 percent of participating households in Toronto reduce their carbon footprint by five tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and the Pan Am Path, an 80-kilometre multi-use path that continues to offer active public space long past the Pan Am Games.

ELNshowcase would not be possible without the generous support of our partners KPMG, NOW Magazine, PwC, Accenture, CSI, Toronto Homecoming, and Elisha Muskat for providing her social entrepreneurship expertise to event participants.

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Alanna Mager

Senior Communications Advisor

(416) 309-4480 x 515
M (416) 831-4169

About CivicAction: For over a decade, CivicAction has played the role of neutral sandbox, bringing together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region’s toughest challenges. CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships, and launches campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. To find out more visit or follow us on twitter at @CivicActionGTHA.

About CivicAction’s Leadership Programs: CivicAction offers a suite of high-impact programs designed to help emerging leaders develop their networks, grow their minds, and transform their communities. The Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) brings together more than 900 emerging civic leaders committed to advancing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The ELN harnesses the power of this emerging talent to create a connected, collaborative region and catalyzes action in the form of high impact, city-building projects. CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows is one of North America’s leading urban fellows programs for rising city-builders. Now in its 7th year, with over 150 graduates, this free year-long leadership program enables Fellows to become better leaders and create change in their communities. Follow ELN @elnonline for updates and join our leadership conversation at #livehereleadhere.