Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition

Waterloo Region is home to a diverse and aging population. Racialized people make up about 29 per cent of the regional population, and it is estimated that by 2031, one in five people in our community will be over the age of 65. In addition, the number of people living with dementia in Canada is also on the rise, with 1.7 million people expected to be living with dementia by 2050

The stigma associated with aging and dementia – particularly with racialized groups – can often lead to social isolation and increased barriers to accessing and participating in community programs. And while organizations may not realize it, the research shows that if they’re supporting older adults, they’re likely supporting people living with dementia.

One of the most effective ways to identify and support older adults who may be experiencing social isolation or facing barriers to accessing resources and community programming is through a community approach.

Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition

The Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition is about working together to solve real-world challenges. Local community service organizations and post-secondary students will work together to understand and create solutions to address the unique challenges that impact older adults, particularly those living with dementia and from racialized roups.

The challenges will be provided by the participating organizations and student teams will be tasked with developing a solution or product for the organization to implement. Participants will have the opportunity to secure funding to support the development of their solution/product.

Event details

Saturday, April 15 and 22, 2023
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST
Discovery Hall, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging, 250 Laurelwood Drive, Waterloo, ON, N2J0E2
Registration is free and lunch/refreshments will be provided.

All participants are expected to attend both dates. Backfill funding (a standard rate for the day) is available for 1-2 staff members per participating organization.


Community service organizations

The Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition is an opportunity to work collaboratively with post-secondary students to solve a challenge your organization is facing, and create tangible solutions. Waterloo Region-based community service organizations that serve older adults, people living with dementia, their care partners, and diverse populations are invited to submit a proposal that outlines a challenge they are facing and need assistance with.

Registration is now closed.

Here’s the list of participating organizations


Student participants

Are you looking to make a difference in the community? Do you have a passion for health care and/or applied health sciences? Join us at the Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition.

The Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition is an excellent opportunity for students to work closely with community service organizations throughout Waterloo Region to make a difference. We are actively recruiting post-secondary students, from any discipline, but particularly those interested in healthcare, and/or applied health sciences to participate in the Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition.

Click here to register

Student teams – a maximum of five people per team – will be paired with a community service organization and tasked with creating a solution to the organizational challenge. Students will present their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to secure funding to support the development of their solution. Space is limited and the deadline to submit proposals is March 31, 2023.

An example of a challenge you may be asked to solve is: ACNE company is seeing low registration for older adult males, they are looking for a solution to help them connect with different demographics and encourage diverse populations to participate in community programming. 

Additional information:

  • Students will need to bring their own laptops.
  • For teams that secure funding, product/solution development will take place within three months after the event and include a virtual wrap-up presentation.
  • All student proposals will be reviewed by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and are subject to slight changes based on feasibility of proposal.



All teams will present their idea to the panel of judges. Each team will have 5 minutes to pitch their idea and then judges will have up to 3 minutes to ask the team questions. Judges will be given a scoring sheet with the judging criteria, so all teams are judged equally and fairly. Completed judging forms will be shared with teams after the event to help them improve for next time.  Once the judges have heard all of the team presentations, they will deliberate and select the winning teams. 

Judging criteria

For this competition, we are focusing on the potential impact and the feasibility of the idea presented by the team.  The top 3 teams may receive funding to develop their idea to support the development of their solution/product. 

  • Team #1: up to $5,000
  • Team #2: up to $3,000
  • Team #3: up to $2,000

We also have a prize (Amazon gift cards) for the team with the overall most captivating and engaging presentation.

Note: We anticipate that teams will pitch solutions that could be successfully developed. 

The RIA will review the full proposal submitted by the successful team(s) prior to offering the funding. Revisions may be required based on the impact and feasibility of the proposal. Funding allocations will be communicated to successful teams following the event. 

Read the judging criteria here.


The Isolation 2 Inclusion case competition is hosted by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA), Supporting Inclusion through Intergenerational Partnerships, and the Government of Canada’s New Horizons Senior Program.

If you have any questions, please email: