“Ground-breaking Canadian social entrepreneur Shaun Loney shows how it’s done. Innovation that leaves you asking, ‘Why isn’t everyone doing this already?’”
—Michael Toye, Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network

“Shaun Loney connects the dots and articulates a way forward. This book is for everyone who cares about reconciliation.”
—Molly McCracken, Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba office

“Shaun Loney's ideas are simultaneously simple and ingenious. Start a revolution; read this book!”
—Dr. Evelyn Forget, Professor of Economics and Canada’s leading expert on guaranteed annual income

“This book is a timely and important milestone in the journey towards rebuilding a social value marketplace.”
—David LePage, founder and CEO of Buy Social and founder of Enterprising Non-Profits

“Loney offers convincing evidence that social entrepreneurs have answers that business and government don’t.”
—Julia Deans, Executive Director of Futurpreneur

“On behalf of the team, we are so pleased to see this second book. We’re glad to be on the front lines of the solutions revolution.”
—Lucas Stewart, co-founder Social Enterprise Centre and Manitoba Green Retrofit

“Our Elders are recognizing social enterprises from back when our communities were healthy. Aki Energy is transforming Manitoba’s North, one nation at a time. ”
—Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO)

“This book offers us a way of being involved in ‘pimatisiwin’ (fullness of life) and can address our learned dependency.”
—Very Rev. Stan McKay, Cree Elder and former moderator of the United Church of Canada

“Changemaking 101 by one of Canada’s leading changemakers.”
—Barb Steele, Executive Director of Ashoka Canada



over 8,000 books
have been sold!!


Unemployment on First Nations and in inner city neighbourhoods?  Climate change? Exponential diabetes rates?  Unaffordable government?  High incarceration rates?  There are no shortage of chronic and insatiable societal problems.

Shaun Loney’s An Army of Problem Solvers offers good news at a time when we need it most.  Loney draws on his experience as one of Canada’s leading social enterprise developers and his time as a senior civil servant to offer up a new and practical vision.

The problem isn’t the problems, he says.  The problem is that governments prevent problem solvers from doing their job.

Just who are the problem solvers?  Loney makes the case that social enterprises, social entrepreneurs and the small farm movement comprise the “solutions economy”.  Governments will soon understand that it is their job to “make it easy for problem solvers.”

The book comes at a time when Canada is discussing what reconciliation between Indigenous Canadians and the rest of the country means.  Loney argues that we can’t achieve it without allowing the re-emergence of local economies. An Army of Problems Solvers answers the question:  “what does nation-to-nation mean?”

As Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson says in her Preface:  “At the heart of this strategy is a big step towards creating a new Nation-to-Nation relationship.  Shaun’s book defines more clearly what this means.  Nation-to-Nation doesn’t just mean getting rid of diesel fuel in remote communities, it means having our own utilities that sell renewable energy to heat and power our homes.  Nation-to-Nation doesn’t mean simply making imported food more affordable, it means transforming our local food economies.  Nation-to-Nation doesn’t mean raising social assistance rates, it means implementing a basic income guarantee.  Nation-to-Nation even includes having our own currencies (alongside Canadian currency) that promotes local businesses.”


ABOUT shaun loney

Shaun has co-founded and mentored 11 social enterprises, including BUILD Inc, which won the 2011 Scotia Bank EcoLiving Green Business of the Year, and the 2013 Manitoba Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.  Before
co-founding BUILD Inc, Shaun was Director of Energy Policy for the
Government of Manitoba.  Loney is the first prairie Canadian to be awarded an Ashoka Fellowship (2015) and was Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.  Shaun lives in Winnipeg, with his partner Fiona. Between them they have three boys - Aandeg, Weslee and Owen. Shaun is proud to be part of a strong and visionary social enterprise team that is flourishing across the country.  An Army of Problem Solvers is Shaun's second book.


Table of contents

PREFACE - Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson

1. The Upside of Down: Confessions of an Ex-bureaucrat
2. Who are the Problem Solvers? How the Solutions Economy Works
3. Economic Reconciliation: Re-imagining Indigenous Economics

4. Food for Change: An Example of Connecting Problem Solvers with Problems
5. Power Up: Energy and Employment Solutions for First Nations
6. Growing Solutions: Diversifying the Food System to Curb Health and Other Costs
7. Correcting the Corrections System: An Employment Solution to an Expensive Crime Problem



8. Making Money, Making Change: Social Entrepreneurs
9. Measuring Change: A 'Seven Generations' Economy
10. On Uber and Complementary Currencies: Modern Tools for Old Problems

11. Reinventing Government: A Word to Bureaucrats and Politicians
12. The End of Welfare: The Case for a Cost-Neutral Basic Income Guarantee
13. A $15 per Hour Minimum Wage: Full-Time Work Should Pay the Bills
14. Agree to Agree: Transforming the Political Spectrum
CONCLUSION - An Army of Problem Solvers




Speaking Schedule - 2018

January 16th

Ottawa, ONT


January 19th

Engineers Without Borders*
Hamilton, ONT


January 30-31

Change Maker Workshop*
Saskatoon SASK


February 6th

Institute of Public
Administration of Canada*
Toronto, ONT


February 20th

SolutionPodcast with Roger Nairn


March 5th

Change Maker Workshop*
Kenora, ONT


March 6th

Wakefield, QC


March 7th 

Community Health and Wellbeing
United Church of Canada
Winnipeg MB


March 8th

Rainy River Stewardship Board*
Fort Frances, ONT


March 19th 

Eagle Lake First Nation, ON


March 26th 

Motivate Canada
Toronto, ON


April 18th

Canadian Diaconal Ministry Conference
Winnipeg MB


April 19-20th

Change Maker Workshop*
Regina, SASK
Health Quality Council


April 25-26th

Change Maker Workshop*
Guelph, ONT


April 30-May 1st

Change Maker Workshop
Red River College, Winnipeg MB


May 2nd

Saskatchewan Economic Development Association*
Saskatoon, SASK


May 7th

fredericton, NB*



May 9th

New Brunswick Community Advisory Board, Homelessness Summit*
St. John, NB


May 10-11

Change Maker Workshop*
St. John, NB


May 11th

New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association*
St. John, NB


May 15-17th

Prince Edward Island*


May 23rd

Public Health Agency of Canada
Ottawa ON


May 25th

United Church Conference of MB and NOW*


May 31st

Winnipeg, MB


June 4-5th

Indigenizing Social Entrepreneurship*
Ottawa, ONT


June 6-8th
Toronto ON


June 13-15th  

Policy Matters Conference*
Government of Alberta   Edmonton Alberta


June 18th

Institute for Public Administration of Canada*
Edmonton AB


September 25th-27th  

Change Maker Workshop*
Mount Royal University
Calgary Alberta


September 30th – October 1st

Tsuut’ina First Nation


October 7th-10th

National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship*
Fort Worth Texas


October 11th-13th

Atlantic School of Theology*
Social Enterprise Symposium
Halifax, NS


October 25th

Micah Centre, Kings University
Edmonton, AB


november 1st-4th

Food Secure Canada
Montreal QC


November 4th –7th

Oneida First Nation /
Chippewa on the Thames




Speaking Schedule - 2017

January 9th-11th, 2017

Nadleh Whut'en First Nation BC


January 19th, 2017

Pimachiowin Aki, Brokenhead First Nation MB


Feb 6th, 2017

Emmanuel College, University of Toronto


Feb 7th, 2017

First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Economic
Development Commission, Quebec City, QC


Feb 23-25th, 2017

Breakthrough - Alberta Eco Trust
Edmonton AB


March 1, 2017

Ankweyatulti’kw- Caring for Our People
Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq Millbrook First Nation, NS


March 29th,  2017

Mistissini First Nation, QC


April 3th, 2017

Indigenous Student’s Centre, University of Manitoba


April 4th, 2017

Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations


April 6th, 20-17

Dawson College Indigenous Days, Montreal Quebec


April 20th, 2017

CLAC – Better Together, Edmonton Alberta


April 21th, 2017

Hopeful Economics, Vancouver BC


April 23th, 2017

Augustine United Church, Winnipeg MB


April 28th, 2017

Daniel McIntyre Collegiate's
Annual Writers Conference


May 4th, 2017

Saskatchewan Association of Architects
Saskatoon SK


May 10-12, 2017

Canadian Conference on Social Enterprise
University of Winnipeg


May 13th,  2017

Red Days, Red River College


May 25th, 2017

Citizen’s for Public Justice - Micah House, Winnipeg


June 5th, 2017

Governor General’s Leadership Summit
Social Enterprise Centre
Winnipeg MB


June 16th, 2017

Third Age Learning Cooperative
Brandon MB


June 19th, 2017

Rainy River District Right Relations Circle
Metis Hall, Fort Frances, Ontario


June 20th, 2017

University of Waterloo and Economic Developers Association
Thunder Bay, Ontario


September 11-13th, 2017

Reconciliation and the Solutions Economy:  an EcoNous Pre-Conference Event, Mount Royal University, Calgary Alberta


September 13-15th, 2017

EcoNous 2017
Innovatiing for Shared Prosperity, Calgary, Alberta


OCTOBER 11TH, 2017



OCTOBER 15TH, 2017



OCTOBER 18TH, 2017



OCTOBER 31ST, 2017



November 3-5th, 2017

University of Alberta
Spirit of the Land


NOVEMBER 6th, 2017












NOVEMBER 30, 2017








CBC's The Disruptors
Audio Link

Shaun Loney left his bureaucracy-heavy civil servant job in pursuit of a new idea he had - to pull people out of poverty one must create new opportunities out of the very things standing in their way.

The Winnipeg entrepreneur says it's working.

"We can use entrepreneurial tools to solve social problems and environmental problems," Loney tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

According to Loney, social enterprises are economic ventures that solve problems while shying away from government funding.

"In Canada, we believe the defining issue is connecting people who most need the work with the work that most needs to be done," he explains.

Loney co-founded Akki Energy, what he calls a social enterprise incubator, in Manitoba.

"Aki' is an Ojibwe word for Earth and we're doing geothermal on First Nations. But we've started several other social enterprises through it on many other First Nations in Manitoba," Loney tells Tremonti.

"In fact, the two largest geothermal companies in all of Western Canada are social enterprises that we've started, they're employing people where there were no where there was no employment before."The high utility bills on First Nations was an opportunity, Loney says. By providing renewable energy options that would lower bills significantly, they were able to use some of the bill reductions to pay for the upfront infrastructure costs of geothermal — and thus engaging First Nations communities in an economic development process. Loney says that they've been able to do seven million dollars worth of geothermal in just three years.
"It's very labor intensive work. So wherever that happens we're employing people from the First Nations themselves."

Loney tells Tremonti that the government generally asks First Nations to apply for funding when it comes to renewable energy and brings in outside companies for those services.

"There's no economic development in that whole process so we've turned that on its head and said 'why don't we set up utilities'? The First Nations can operate in, and employ folks from their own nations to install their renewable energy, and then use the bill reductions to pay for the up front costs of that infrastructure."

It's an exciting turn of events says Loney but that doesn't mean it hasn't come without some push back.

In May, the government shut down an eight million dollar geothermal project and suggested to apply for funding to get it back running. Loney and co. refuse to do this.

"This is how colonial governments …  do business. They want to maintain control and they don't believe that the First Nation families, Indigenous communities can do anything for themselves."

"And we're showing them quite different."

Loney says his new book, An Army of Problem Solvers: Reconciliation and The Solutions Economy, looks at all the different ways the government gets in the way of progress happening and wants to challenge the government to think beyond the colonial past.

"Let's look at Canada and how it can be in its next 150 years."

This segment was produced by Winnipeg network producer Suzanne Dufresne."



Problem solver profiles




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