Claire Elizabeth Williams is the Co-Founder and CEO of Foundations for Social Change (FSC), a charitable organization whose mission is to advance social change through evidence-based research and innovation. She is the driving force behind the New Leaf Project, North America's first direct-giving pilot with people experiencing homelessness, which has made an impact on the global stage. Inspired to be a positive force for change, Claire is dedicated to cultivating compassionate communities and advancing new models of leadership. In 2021 she was named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence™, an award that recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments of Canada's diverse women role models. In 2020, Claire was placed on the 21 Founders to Watch list prepared by "The Future of Good" – Canada's leading digital publication covering the world of social impact.Prior to Foundations for Social Change, Claire worked as an environmental consultant where she had the opportunity to collaborate with Indigenous Peoples, the private sector companies, and government to promote environmental protection, corporate responsibility and sustainable land-use. During this time, she honed her skills in relationship building, strategic planning and project management. Claire holds a BA (High Distinction) in Environmental Studies and Economics from Carleton University and Master of Planning with Distinction from Dalhousie University.
Claire Williams speaks to the potential of direct cash transfers to help lift people out of poverty. A co-founder and CEO of Foundations for Social Change, Claire joins Am Johal on Below the Radar to share results from the New Leaf Project, a pilot initiative exploring the impact of direct cash transfers on the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver.Claire and Am talk about issues of stigma around mistrust in financial assistance programs, as well as reducing the barriers and bureaucracy that people meet with when trying to connect with aid and resources. Claire also shared some learnings from the project and participant feedback that will inform their expansion efforts, with the hope that the project's continued success will model how direct giving could be practically implemented in policy.Resources:— Foundations for Social Change: https://forsocialchange.org/— New Leaf Project: https://forsocialchange.org/new-leaf-project-overview— TEDxTalk by Rutger Bregman: Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash: https://www.ted.com/talks/rutger_bregman_poverty_isn_t_a_lack_of_character_it_s_a_lack_of_cash?language=en
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