CSI Facebook Takeover: The Story of Andrea Telfer, Director of Operations

24 Sep 2022

This is another installment from our series of articles in the CSI Facebook Takeover Week. In this piece, Andrea Telfer, SSE’s Learning Team Director of Operations, talks about her experience coming into the social innovation world.

Andrea Telfer unselfie

Andrea Telfer unselfie

I have been very fortunate in my 30-year career to have had the opportunity to work for great companies, with great people in many parts of the world.

One of the ventures that I was involved in was an entrepreneurial startup involved in creating a sustainable solution to an environmental issue.

This experience tweaked my interest in social innovation, social impact, and social finance. As I learned more, I wanted to learn even more, and connected to people in the sector. I found my way to the School for Social Entrepreneurs and its inspiring mandate. It also supported my interest in education–an ambition lost in the pursuit of a more traditional business career.

So I volunteered for a couple of years—essentially becoming an intern—learning more about the School’s embracing of new solutions to societal challenges, the challenges of social innovation and impact, and not surprisingly, the wide range of technology available to organizations today.  It is an opportunity for me to keep on learning, to share my experience and expertise, and to work with a venture that is having an impact on our communities.

I transitioned from volunteer to staff about six months ago; doing so has allowed me to interact and support a diverse, engaged, passionate, incredibly talented and committed group of colleagues, students, and partners. The School is creating an ever expanding community of likeminded individuals and organizations to support the concept and realities of social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, making connections across the country and around the world.

And what can I bring to the School? I believe that my experience in the corporate and entrepreneurial sector allows me to bring a view of how all the parts of an organization can work effectively together, an unflappable nature, a sense of humor, attention to detail and skills that support the ever changing priorities of a startup organization. I hope it is a fair trade.

What kind of skills, connections, and learning is needed to make the 50+ crowd as successful as possible as social innovators or partners in change? You can post your answers on the CSI Facebook page or send me an email at info@sseontario.org

Andrea Telfer is one of SSE’s two Boomers-in-Residence. The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Ontario is a member of CSI.