Our History

Web of Change was founded in 2001 to help connect people and organizations working at the frontiers of technology and social change. Our core values are "innovation, collaboration, and transformation" and, like our community, we aim to be the change we wish to see in the world.

The seeds of Web of Change were sown in the fall of 2000 at the Social Venture Institute (SVI). SVI founder and social investor Joel Solomon asked one of his new investee companies, Communicopia, to convene a similar gathering for people providing tech and web services to the social change sector. Knowing only three other people doing this work at the time, yet wanting to please his new-found friend, Communicopia's Jason Mogus agreed. A year later, 28 people gathered at Hollyhock for the first Web of Change. Thirteen years on, WOC is producing sold out, community driven, transformational events and programs.

The idea then, as it is now, was to:

  • Build a deep trust network of people working at the leading edge of their field
  • Improve the mastery of work produced in our sector
  • Provide leadership and whole person support to future leaders
  • Create a culture of radical openness and collaboration in our community

WOC alumni are now directors, VP's, and senior consultants advising and executing some of the most innovative digital work on the planet.

Model

Each year an advising team of industry thought leaders come together to co-create the year's focus, agenda, and community outreach plan. We use a highly participative model to produce an agenda that serves the direct needs of the community. Meet this year's advisors.

We operate in an enterprising model, supported primarily through participant revenue, private sponsors, some very modest foundation grants, and discounted and volunteer labour. With an extremely low overhead, most of the revenues we raise are turned back to support non-profit participation in our programs, or planning for future years.

Many thanks to early co-conveners including Jodi Tonita, Mark Surman, Phillip Smith, Jason Mogus, and Madeline Stanionis. Until 2010, Communicopia was our primary partner, providing management, event and communications services at cost or pro bono. 

Partners

Web of Change is owned by the community and managed by a board of directors and managing director. Thirteen years in, we continue to broaden the leadership and ensure this community's long-term vibrancy and viability. Our current partners provide sustaining resources, networks, and capacity:

Communicopia, a Vancouver, BC, based digital strategy agency focused on social change founded Web of Change.

Renewal, a series of organizations founded by Joel Solomon and Carol Newell, uses the tools of business and finance to support social change. They have been our visionary and primary backers since day 1 and continue to write annual cheques to help Web of Change happen. Renewal works to build, activate and leverage progressive networks. Check out their other incredible work here.

Sponsors

When the economy is functioning, sponsors provide around 40% of the revenue we need to make each of our events happen. Long-time supporters tend to be companies making their living in the social tech space, and they show they're not merely capitalists exploiting an exciting market by supporting this community with real cash dollars. We are extremely appreciative.

Long time, multi-year sponsors have included Advomatic, Agentic, New Organizing Institute, Care2, Salesforce Foundation, and SAP.

Please read more about our generous sponsors. They are all deeply committed to this community and are doing great work. If you're interested in joining the group of leaders who support this community please visit our become a sponsor page.

Gold Sponsor

Salsa Labs

Bronze Sponsors

Agentic Advomatic Crowdtangle Sea Change Strategies

supporting sponsor

Gott Advertising