Community Ideas Factory

The Community Ideas Factory is a SSHRC funded collaborative research project that aims to leverage Sheridan’s research and creativity expertise, in supporting the Oakville Community Foundation’s efforts to implement and execute actions to address community issues identified in their Vital Signs® report. The co-investigators of this project are Dr. Michael McNamara, professor of creativity at Sheridan College and Dr. Sara Cumming, professor of sociology at Sheridan College.

The Community Ideas Factory is a two year project that includes an analysis of four separate, and yet interrelated, areas in the Halton Region; housing, food (in)security, employability and wraparound services. Qualitative research will be conducted in each of the identified areas to determine any underlying issues or gaps in services in each of the sectors. Once the data from a sector is collected and analyzed by the lead researcher, Dr. Sara Cumming, the project will then move to Creative Problem Solving sessions led by Dr. Michael McNamara. Specifically, the project is to engage the Foundation, its charitable donors, charitable funding recipients, and clients of services in a series of Creative Problem-Solving Facilitations in order to produce new, creative, and fundable projects that align with the issues identified in the qualitative research. An expected key deliverable of the project is the development of new, creative and fundable project plans that address the Vital Signs® issues.


Submissions from 2022


Community Ideas Factory: The Life Skills Project Year 1 Report, Community Ideas Factory

Submissions from 2019


The Community Ideas Factory: Using Qualitative Research to Solve Community Issues, Sara Cumming and Dr. Michael J. McNamara

Submissions from 2018


Innovations from the Margins: The Community Ideas Factory community collaboration, Sara Cumming, Jessica Pulis, and Michael J. McNamara


Community Ideas Factory, Michael J. McNamara, Sara Cumming, Sarah McPherson, and Angela Di Nello

Submissions from 2017


Nourishing Neighbours: A Joint Initiative to Find Creative Solutions to Food Security for Halton’s Vulnerable Populations (Neighbours), Sara Cumming

Submissions from 2016


Housing Hurdles: A Joint Initiative to Find Creative Solutions to Housing for Halton’s Vulnerable Populations, Sara Cumming