Mary Ellen Schaafsma

Mary Ellen Schaafsma

Director, Social Purpose Institute

Mary Ellen is the Director of the Social Purpose Institute and United Way of the Lower Mainland. She is dedicated to fostering Social Purpose in businesses – across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley — to help companies benefit from the act of installing Social Purpose at their core, creating tangible and meaningful community benefits.

Mary Ellen has a Master in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa and a Certificate in Social Innovation from SFU.



Sessions with this Speaker

Social Purpose from the Ground Up: How to Define and Activate Social Purpose in Business

  • Sustainability as Strategy
In September 2019, 181 members of the US Business Roundtable (BRT) signed a Statement of Purpose endorsing stakeholder-inclusive purpose for corporations, indicating a departure from the shareholder-focused mentality that has dominated the corporate sphere for decades. This dynamic session will put you at the forefront of social purpose in business. First, hear from leaders from Ikea, ALDO Group and Nature's Path who will share their pivot to purpose, along with the drivers, benefits and challenges.

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Coro Strandberg President, Strandberg Consulting
Valérie Martin Vice President, Communications, Culture and CSR, ALDO Group
Eri Mathy Head of Growth and Innovation, IKEA Canada
Arran Stephens Founder and Chair, Nature’s Path Foods
Mary Ellen Schaafsma Director, Social Purpose Institute