Founder and President
E-Y-E | The Social Projects Studio™
Ric Young has been called “one of our leading thinkers and practitioners of social change…a social visionary, whose career has been a tireless practical pursuit of the possible.”
Founder and president of E-Y-E | The Social Projects Studio™, Ric Young has been on the vanguard of large-scale social change work for the past 30 years.
He was a pioneer in the field of social marketing. He cut his teeth on the PARTICIPaction campaign as a key strategic and creative contributor through its formative years. He was co-founder of Canada’s first dedicated social marketing agency and, working with public, private and voluntary sector clients, was architect of numerous strategies and campaigns addressing societal challenges from AIDS to climate change, civil liberties to civic engagement.
He has been a significant player in the world of corporate citizenship. Young worked closely with Imagine to help get the corporate citizenship movement rolling in Canada. He has been on the faculty of the Boston College Centre for Corporate Citizenship; and has worked with leading corporations like DuPont, CIBC, Bell Canada, Manulife, AstraZeneca, GSK and Suncor to develop their breakthrough strategies for difference-making.
Young has been a driving force for social innovation. In 2000, he proposed to DuPont Canada that they embark on an initiative “to foster new mindsets, new skill sets and a new culture for social innovation in Canada.” He worked with DuPont over several years to develop the Social Innovation Initiative, eventually forging a partnership with McGill University to create one of the world’s first social innovation think-tanks. This think-tank gave rise to the best-selling book, Getting to Maybe.
The work of The Social Projects Studio™ builds on the social innovation thrust and continues to push at the leading edge of “Big Change.” The Studio has been the seedbed – “a transformation start-up shop” – for a very diverse range of initiatives, all focused on achieving breakthrough social impact. Examples include: The Red Ball – the global rallying symbol for Right To Play, and at the heart its programming to use the power of sport and play to improve the lives of children in some of the world’s most disadvantaged places; Frontline Health – a corporate citizenship initiative with AstraZeneca aimed at finding ways to better meet the needs of Canadians who are beyond the reaches of mainstream healthcare; and Resilience Regions – a forthcoming convening of change leaders from around the world to explore 21st century strategies for advancing the well-being of people and place.
In the foreword he wrote for Getting to Maybe, Young says, “This book is about the art, the science and the experience of possibility. Its bold purpose is to change the way we change the world.” This is the spirit that drives every undertaking, initiative and partnership The Social Projects Studio™ takes on.