When David Upton co-founded Common Good Solutions (CGS) in 2012, he didn’t come armed with an in-depth, detailed strategic plan. But there was a mission. And it was a powerful one. “See the need, try to fill the need,” is how David describes it. Over the years, that big-picture mission would inspire the Halifax-based social enterprise to help dozens of purpose-led businesses make meaningful impact in their communities. And it’s given Common Good Solutions and its impassioned CEO a leadership role in the social enterprise landscape in Canada and beyond.

David Upton recently retired from Common Good Solutions. On this special podcast, he looks back on his impactful journey so far  – and looks forward to the needs he still wants to fill on the road ahead.



Welcome to In the Business of Change, where we speak with social entrepreneurs impacting their communities and the world. I’m your host Elisa Birnbaum publisher and editor in chief of SEE Change Magazine. As many of you know I’m also the author of a book by the same name, profiling over 70 social entrepreneurs around the world and their lessons learned. Well, it just so happens that we’re having a big book giveaway this month. All you have to do is share this podcast episode and tag SEE Change to be eligible to win a copy. We’ll announce the winners next month.

And back to our podcast. In our conversation, David Upton examines the challenges that Common Good Solutions was designed to tackle and the tools they adopted to make change. He shares the many ways in which CGS walked the talk, a point of deserved pride. We discuss the role of social finance in meeting societal challenges. And his role in helping develop recommendations for Canada’s Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy including where that initiative sits today. Finally, David offers some words of wisdom from a distinguished career in social enterprise – and hopeful thoughts for the next generation.

Listen. Learn. Enjoy. Share

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