For the past two months, we’ve been collaborating with the civic superstars at Synapcity to deliver the 7th edition of Impact Academy, a 3-month immersive and experiential learning program for creative and entrepreneurial change-makers. 

For this special CityMaker edition of the program, we’ve been supporting projects, initiatives, and ventures aligned with three of the City of Ottawa’s priority areas: Environment and Sustainability, Transportation and Mobility and Healthy and Caring Communities.

This year’s cohort is an inspiring group of 13 Ottawans from a range of backgrounds, each motivated to move the needle toward a better City for all. Through workshops, study visits to local civic and community sites, and membership in the Impact Hub Ottawa community, they’re being exposed to the concepts, tools, and people that will help them advance their ideas to the next stage – whatever it may be.

Stay tuned: over the next few weeks, we’ll be shining a light on our participants and the projects they’re developing in order to transform the city for the better!

Babies, Business & Breakfast

Amy Lynch  

Amy Lynch After spending the better part of a decade as a freelance and remote worker in Australia, Ireland, and England, new mom Amy returned to Canada with a newfound motivation to address the isolation she sometimes faced as a working expat and new parent. Determined to maintain a sense of self while looking after her little ones, Amy often sought out networking and professional development opportunities and was surprised by a lack of inclusive spaces with baby change facilities and parent-friendly event times. After moving to Ottawa, Amy set out to make more space for ‘parentpreneurs’ looking to invest in themselves, and Babies, Business & Breakfast is the result. A pilot program for parent-friendly professional development, Amy’s initiative aims to improve parental mental health and accessibility of professional spaces across the city. After hosting a pop-up event and focus group this fall, Amy is continuing to build support for her idea and working toward a future in which parenthood and professional development don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Follow Amy’s progress via her blog and on TwitterInstagram and Facebook and sign up here for the Babies, Business & Breakfast mailing list.

HUSE – Hand Up Social Enterprise

Indigo Holley  

Indigo HolleyA firm believer that everyone has something to contribute, Indigo is a longtime community builder with a passion for empowering others to reach their potential. HUSE – Hand Up Social Enterprise is a community crafting initiative designed to cultivate citizenship and build leaders among those who may not see themselves as such. Partnering with community organizations, service providers, and shelters across the city, HUSE will organize and host community crafting events at different locations, providing marginalized people with the skills to turn recyclables into goods to be sold at craft fairs, community markets, and pop-ups. In addition to being compensated for their work, participants will benefit from mentorship and soft-skill development that will empower them to be active members of their communities. Indigo hopes to have HUSE up and running in 2019, and looks forward to promoting sustainability while offering others a hand up instead of a handout.

Indigo is still building a social media presence, but for now she can be reached by email.

Timsle, Inc

Quayce Thomas  

Quayce ThomasSix years ago, not long after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Quayce came face-to-face with the reality that our daily behaviours – however small – are what shape us. As days and nights of poor eating, minimal sleep, and no exercise turned into months, he found it harder to make the small changes he knew ne needed to improve his health. For Quayce, it was the support of his family, close friends, and partner that helped him to commit to those small steps toward improvement. Together, they started by setting simple goals – like getting out of bed, going outside, eating a nutritious meal – and holding one another accountable to them. It wasn’t easy, but in time Quayce found himself with a system that seemed to work for him and potentially, he thought, for others too. Enter: Timsle, an app designed to help users set and reach their health goals by staying accountable to close friends and family. Through Timsle, Quayce is on a journey to understand and improve population health in Ottawa and beyond. is currently in Beta, but stay tuned for the full launch in late November and reach out to Quayce via email