Leveraging Our Strengths Conference

An annual community conference organized by Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ottawa Community Foundation, United Way East Ontario and Volunteer Ottawa.



& Creating Equitable Diverse & Inclusive organizations

Leveraging Our Strengths Conference. November 23-24, 2022 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM - Pre-Conference Event September 27, 1:30-3:00pm

Welcome to the 2-day 2022 annual Leveraging Our Strengths (LOS) Conference and a Pre-conference event. In its 21-year history, we are offering this year’s conference virtually with a pre-conference event before the actually 2-day conference.  

The pre-conference event is on Tuesday, September 27 from 1:30pm to 3:00 pm. For the Pre-conference event, we are partnering with United for All to promote understanding of the Truth and Reconciliation history and TRC Recommendations. Our keynote speaker is Tim O’Loan who is an Indigenous survivor who has served 10 years in the military. In 2010. he joined the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada as the Advisor to the TRC Chair the Hon. Murray Sinclair.

The objective of 2-day LOS Conference on Wednesday, November 23 & Thursday, November 24 is to share best practices and provide capacity building and mutual learning opportunities to strengthen the social service sector.   

Implementing Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive (EDI) policies across an organization and network of partners can be complex. Taking a systematic approach helps deliver effective EDI programs. This year’s keynote speaker and panel conversation will focus on sharing information that organizations can: 

  • Successfully develop and implement EDI policies and frameworks.  
  • Remove systemic barriers and ensure that their EDI activities are not tokenistic or performative by ensuring that they are well resourced.  
  • Take action to make progress on EDI at all levels of the institution. 
  • Set benchmarks and indicators for diversity and inclusion. 
  • Monitor progress on EDI policies and practices with an intersectional lens. 
  • Create a safe space for people who are not always seen and heard to feel comfortable participating. 
  • Ensure strong and visible commitment to EDI by the organization’s leadership 


The objective of this year’s conference is to set a stage for continuous learning about EDI and help organizations put in place the right conditions for each individual, including those from underrepresented groups—women, racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities and members of LGBTQ2+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, Two-Spirit, plus) communities—to reach their full potential, unimpeded by inequitable practices, including personal and systemic discrimination and racism, imposed by policies, processes and other practices in work environments.  

About Us

History of LOS

From 2001, United Way organized the Sharing of Our Strengths (SOS) conference for nine years with the broader objective to building capacity of the community organizations and partners. The conferences were held to provide an effective and affordable opportunity for staff and volunteers of community-based and not-for-profit organizations to enhance their skills, exchange information and share good practices that draw upon and celebrate our collective strength as a community.

The conference was paused in 2010 to engage more partners in organizing the event and to make it more effective for the participating community service agencies. The City of Ottawa, Community Foundation of Ottawa, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Volunteer Ottawa were brought on board to review the past events.

In 2012, the conference was re-branded and called Leveraging Our Strengths Conference. The focus was to promote the concept of Collective Impact as we believe that many of our community’s most pressing and complex social problems can be resolved when nonprofits, foundations, governments, and businesses coordinate their efforts to focus on a common agenda.

The 2013 Leveraging Our Strengths Conference was directed at community development leaders. It was intended to assist all stakeholders to partner more effectively and better demonstrate impact. In 2014, Mark Friedman from Fiscal Policy Institute was invited to provide a one day session to introduce the concept of Results Based Accountability and how it can support Collective Impact initiatives.

In 2015, the LOS Conference looked at the experience over the past four years to identify critical learnings about what makes a Collective Impact approach work, particularly from a Canadian perspective, and to suggest some of the challenges to success. Leading figures such as Andrea Cohen, CEO OTF, Hilary Pearson, president and CEO Philanthropic foundation of Canada, and Dan Clement, VP United Way Canada were invited to share their views with the participants.

In 2016, the conference was organized around the theme of social enterprise and in 2017 the conference was re-structured to offer a variety of workshops and presentations related to capacity building of non-profit sector for a deeper impact.



Professor Dr. Alison Scott-Baumann

Professor Dr. Alison Scott-Baumann

Founder & Academic Director; Professor, Entrepreneurship & Strategy
Sylvia Cheuy, Consulting

Sylvia Cheuy, Consulting

Keynote Day-2
Tais McNeill

Tais McNeill

Panel Moderator
Michael Allen

Michael Allen

President & CEO of United Way East Ontario
Ticket Pricing

Early Bird, Group and General Admission

One Day
$ 35 /day
  • Day 1 or 2
  • General Admission
  • Keynote Address
  • Panel Discussion
  • Q&A with Keynotes
2 Days
$ 60 /day
  • Day 1 and 2
  • General Admission
  • Keynote Address
  • Panel Discussion
  • Q&A with Keynotes
  • Get in touch
  • General Admission
  • Keynote Address
  • Panel Discussion
  • Breakfast and Lunch
  • Q&A with Keynotes

Subsidies available upon request – please contact Leveraging our Strengths secretariat for more information on subsidies.

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Carleton University

Richcraft Hall Atrium, Carleton University

9376 University Dr, Ottawa, ON

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