Partnership guidelines

Our approach to partnership

From niche innovators to global companies, civil society leaders to policy-makers, we work with organizations and network across a wide spectrum. What they share is the conviction that systems-level change is necessary and possible, and they are committed to putting in the time, effort, and resources to drive it forward.

We work with those who are driving and at the forefront of solutions. However, we also work with those that have been complicit in and bear some responsibility for the complex sustainability challenges we face. In our view, these organizations must play a role in creating real and workable solutions. Increasingly, many of them are committed to doing just that–both because of external pressures as well as their own business realities.

However, sometimes, organizational commitment isn’t enough to drive change. Instead there may be systemic barriers—beyond the control of any one organization—that get in the way of true transition. That’s why we create safe, neutral, and pre-competitive Solutions Spaces where problem-solvers can collaborate to find systemic solutions that otherwise might not be possible. This requires the engagement of a full spectrum of participants from across systems, sectors and industries.

Our approach is to harness the ingenuity and the influence of partners who are ready and willing to help change the broken systems that they are a part of. While this isn’t the only way to make progress, we believe it is an essential one.

Generate Canada’s partnership guidelines

System-scale impact

Thinking and acting on systems is one of our core values. We work with partners that have the capacity and commitment to drive change on that scale. That includes large companies that have significant influence in their industries and value-chains, and are prepared to use it. It also includes organizations of all kinds that have the power to shape policy, engage critical stakeholders, drive innovation and demonstrate its value on the ground.

Ambition and commitment

Many of our partners are already sustainability leaders in their industry. We also work with those who are not there yet, but have both the ambition and commitment, at the senior levels of their organizations, to take substantial steps forward. Our focus is on building partner relationships that enable us to support, influence, and shape those steps.

Openness to challenge

There is inherent tension to working with a diverse group of partners, often with opposing viewpoints. We lean into these tensions and work with partners who are also willing to do this hard work because we believe it is essential to change. Our partners do not always agree with each other, and we do not always agree with our partners. Openness to challenge is a key part of our model. It follows that our partnership with an organization does not equate to a blanket endorsement.

Pre-competitive environment

Many of our Solution Spaces bring market competitors together to address challenges none could solve alone. We do this in a strictly pre-competitive setting, with policies in place to ensure collaborations do not impact business competition or lead to an unfair advantage.


We will not allow our relationship with an organization to be used as “greenwashing.” To that end, we are transparent about the organizations we work with and how. We agree, in advance, with partners how to authentically communicate our relationships. We only accept funds from partners that are genuinely committed to our work.

Balanced and Evidence-Based

Working from the evidence is one of our core principles. That means generating and drawing on a body of credible, science-based evidence to ensure decisions and recommendations are balanced and well-informed. While our partners play an important role in informing our work, no partner or group of partners will have an outsized influence on decision-making. Size of organization and scale of funding does not equate to more influence.