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Nigel Mojica

Labs for Social Change: Stories of Impact for the “Lab-Curious”

By | RADIUS Lab | No Comments

Canada is home to what might be the most diverse social innovation lab ecosystem in the world. Social innovation lab practitioners are working tirelessly across a wide range of intractable issues that are important to Canadians – including reconciliation, sustainable energy transitions, poverty reduction and civic participation. With the increasing popularity of labs in recent years – and their proliferation at universities, within governments and in communities across the country – the time has come to showcase and share this work!

On June 26th, you’re invited to join RADIUS SFUSFU Public Square and SFU Continuing Studies for a evening of storytelling with Canadian lab practitioners. These systems change leaders will share stories about the insights, new solutions, and tangible and intangible impacts their work is having on shifting resource flows, mindsets, and culture. Labs for Social Change will showcase the diversity and impact of the social innovation lab work being done across Canada, and create a space for the lab-curious to learn from more experienced practitioners.

Are you…

  • Looking for strategic approaches to address complex problems?
  • Engaged in collaborative or multi-stakeholder initiatives?
  • Interested in social innovation or social change?

If you answered “yes”, or even “maybe” to these, we’d love to see you at Labs for Social Change: Stories of Impact for the Lab-Curious!

Labs for Social Change will be the public kick-off event before CONVERGE: Canadian Lab Practitioners Exchange, an invite-only gathering of 100+ of Canada’s leading lab practitioners taking place at SFU on June 27th and 28th. If you are actively running a social innovation lab, please reach out to to learn more about CONVERGE.

Labs for Social Change: Stories of Impact for the Lab-Curious will take place at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue on traditional, ancestral and unceded Coast Salish territory.

>>Register here<<


Diane Roussin

Boldness Project – Indigenous Child Welfare, Winnipeg, MB

Diane Roussin is a dedicated community leader and a proud member of the Skownan First Nation. Diane has worked tirelessly for over two decades with organizations and projects that respect the ability and the right of Indigenous families, children and individuals to care for themselves and thrive. Most recently, she became the Project Director for The Winnipeg Boldness Project, a research and development project focusing on improving outcomes for children in the North End of Winnipeg through social lab processes. Diane holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work degrees. She is a cherished member of a large extended family and a loving mother of two daughters whom she adores.

John Purkis

Natural Capital Lab/GTA Housing Action Lab, Ottawa, ON

John Purkis is a sustainability expert, facilitator and systems change specialist. He works with all orders of government, businesses and other organizations to generate and implement bold visions for a sustainable future. He designs and facilitates transformational change processes with organizations both in Canada and around the world. Recently, as the Director of The Natural Capital Lab, John lead a group of approximately 40 senior level innovators to explore barriers and policy changes required at a federal, provincial and municipal scale to integrate natural capital into decision making and accounting practices. John also co-managed the GTA Housing Action Lab and was a member of CMHC’s Sustainable Community Planning Committee.

John holds a BSc in Environmental Science from Brock University (1995) and a graduate Diploma in Institutional Administration from Concordia University (2000). He also completed independent studies in business at Concordia University (1996-1997). He enjoys woodworking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and photography.

Kiri Bird

Local Economic Development Lab – Economic Inclusion, Vancouver, BC

Kiri Bird is a process designer, strategist and facilitator of collaborative systems change initiatives. Kiri is founding Manager of the Local Economic Development Lab (LEDlab), an initiative of Ecotrust Canada and RADIUS at Simon Fraser University. LEDlab is a place-based social innovation lab in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, which incubates community-driven solutions for a more vibrant and inclusive local economy. In 2016 LEDlab was the recipient of the RECODE-Cities for People Civic Innovation Award, and in 2018 the City of Vancouver’s Healthy City for All Leadership Award. Kiri has a background in communications, community engagement and economic development both locally and internationally. She holds a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management and Planning from Simon Fraser University, and is passionate about addressing inequities and advancing happiness, well-being and resilience in cities.

Lindsay Cole

City of Vancouver Solutions Lab, Vancouver, BC

Lindsay Cole is currently leading the creation of the Solutions Lab at the City of Vancouver – a place where breakthrough, transformative solutions to some of the city’s most complex problems are being sought. She’s worked on a variety of exciting projects with the City, including leading the planning and public engagement process for the award-winning Greenest City Action Plan. Prior to joining the City, Lindsay co-founded and co-directed Sustainability Solutions Group, a workers cooperative consulting company doing climate change and sustainability work. Lindsay splits her time between Vancouver and Roberts Creek, and in addition to her work life she’s also an active volunteer in community economic development, a PhD student, and the parent of an incredible 9 year old.

Moderator: Darcy Riddell

J. W. McConnell Family Foundation

Darcy Riddell leads the instructional team for SFU’s Social Innovation Certificate program and is the director of strategic learning for the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. She has spent 20 years advancing sustainability and social change as a campaigner, strategist, process designer and facilitator. Darcy completed a PhD in social innovation/social and ecological sustainability at the University of Waterloo, where she researched strategies for catalyzing and scaling innovation in complex systems.


We’re Hiring! Two exciting opportunities to work with RADIUS!

By | Jobs | No Comments

We are looking to fill two unique new positions at RADIUS! Click the links below to learn about both of these exciting opportunities.


This position will be responsible for RADIUS’ Health Promotion Lab, a contained social innovation initiative designed to engage with the broader health ecosystem, and incubate solutions to solve social health issues. Your work will accelerate ventures that help people live more healthy lives, specifically via the prevention and early detection of chronic disease through healthy nutrition, fitness, and education around substance use options and choices.

View the job posting. (click “VIEW JOB POSTING” top right for role description)


At the core, RADIUS’ mandate is to support “entrepreneurship in service of systems change.” Our new Curriculum Facilitator will help contribute to building a more just, inclusive, resilient economy that is rooted in a healthy ecosystem by ensuring the successful delivery of our entrepreneurial education programs.

We’re looking for a creative educator with exceptional design thinking and facilitation skills, and experience with the world of entrepreneurship, and who is comfortable designing and delivering high impact learning experiences and able to deeply engage with entrepreneurs working to tackle real social challenges.

View the job posting. (click “VIEW JOB POSTING” top right for role description)

Please direct any questions about these postings to

Join us at BlastOff – A Slingshot Accelerator Cohort Celebration!

By | Accelerator, Slingshot Accelerator | No Comments

Over the past six months, the six remarkable health promotion ventures in RADIUS’ Slingshot Accelerator cohort have learned, grown, been tested, and laughed together.

As this cohort wraps up, you’re invited to a community celebration: part presntations from the ventures, part social innovation mixer – all awesomeness.

Your ticket ($10-25) includes your first drink. REGISTER HERE.

Come on out if you…

  • want to learn about and celebrate these six health promotion focused social ventures
  • want to connect with social entrepreneurs who are in the thick of things – share experiences, lessons learned, and helpful connections
  • want to help us say thank you to the presenters, mentors, and supporters who have contributed to this Slingshot cohort
  • are interested in the Slingshot program and want to find out more
  • like spending time with a lot of fun, passionate innovators!

Who are the 2017/18 Slingshot ventures?

Dunya Media’s on-and-offline healthcare communications work builds healthy families across generations in the Canadian South Asian community, improving quality of life, reducing stigma around healthcare, and re-connecting people to their cultures while helping reduce the burden of cost on both citizens and the health care system.

Opthalight designs and manufactures portable smart ophthalmic diagnostic/monitoring equipment and software which provides a simple, digital alternative to conventional eye exams that are performed nearly 105 million times per year in the US.

The Good Stuff makes “ready-to-blend” smoothies: sustainably grown, whole food ingredients pre-packed frozen into delicious smoothie recipes. Just add water, blend, and enjoy.

Nomad Nutrition is a Vancouver based startup focusing on manufacturing healthy, organic nutritious meals for life on the go.

Richer Health teaches individuals and groups that are diagnosed with chronic degenerative diseases (lifestyle diseases) how to prevent, stop the progression of and even reverse their illnesses by switching to an evidenced-based nutritional therapy that uses organic, non-processed, plant-rich, whole foods and a natural detoxification protocol.

Cannabis Hemp Conference & Expo is the largest Cannabis Conference in Canada, featuring 60+ exhibit booths and a multiple scientific presentations and panel discussions over two days.

We’re Hiring! Two Exciting Opportunities to Work with RADIUS

By | Jobs | No Comments

RADIUS has two openings on our team for professionals interested in incubating entrepreneurship in service of systems change. These are both six-month contract roles with the potential for renewal or conversion to staff positions. Learn more about both opportunities:

RADIUS Lab Manager – Health Promotion

This is a new senior role at RADIUS, overseeing a significant new piece of programming activity, and one of RADIUS’ core theme areas – Health Promotion. We are looking for someone who can be self-directed, strategic and entrepreneurial in that they see opportunity everywhere and can quickly organize around critical opportunities; is a strong network builder and weaver; and has a good understanding of, and is passionate about, leading change in the health system.

RADIUS Venture Activator

This is a new educator position at RADIUS, delivering programs targeted at cohorts working through various phases of entrepreneurial exploration, launch and growth. Delivering programs across all of RADIUS’ core theme areas (Health Promotion, Indigenous Entrepreneurship, the Future of Work, and Refugee & Newcomer Integration), the Venture Activator will be someone with a proven ability to facilitate and engage cohorts, who has experience and aptitude in working across cultures, education levels, and business sectors, and who has a strong foundation in core frameworks in entrepreneurial development.

Both postings close at 11:59pm on April 1st 2018. If you have questions about either role, please don’t hesitate to send an email to

2018 RADIUS Fellowship

Introducing the 2018 RADIUS Fellows!

By | Fellows, RADIUS Edu | One Comment

It’s with much excitement that we introduce the 2018 RADIUS Fellows cohort! 

These 16 changemakers from diverse backgrounds will spend the next four months expanding their personal and professional capacities, growing their networks, supporting one another and building connections across the Greater Vancouver social innovation ecosystem. Program sessions will take place weekly at the RADIUS Hub under the leadership of RADIUS Education Programs Manager, Tamara Connell.

Unlike in previous years, the 2018 cohort deliberately comprises changemakers working in the following areas:

  • Refugee and Newcomer Settlement and Integration
  • Health Promotion
  • Future of Work/Precarious Employment
  • Future of Education

The Fellowship is made possible by funding from the Beedie School of Business,  SFU Innovates, and the Vancouver FoundationLearn more about the RADIUS Fellowship program here.

Meet the 2018 RADIUS Fellows! 

Mohammed Alsaleh

Mohammed Alsaleh is a Syrian-Canadian Human Rights Advocate, TEDx Speaker, and the B.C. Refugee Sponsorship Trainer.

He was a fourth-year medical student in Syria when he was forced to flee after surviving imprisonment and torture by the Assad regime for his involvement in the peaceful Syrian uprising.

Since arriving in Canada as a refugee in 2014, he has been building a new life in Vancouver resuming his activism as a public speaker and a volunteer raising awareness and helping other newcomers settle in B.C. From Syria to Canada, his journey and work was featured in the documentary “Welcome to Canada“.

Meheret Bisrat 

Meheret is a humanitarian, an advocate of inclusion and diversity and speaker of truth. Over the past 7 years, she has had the privilege of making meaningful impacts on the lives of new immigrants and refugees through her front line work in a nonprofit agency serving newcomers.  Her compassion, empathy, ability to form connections, love of engagement through dialogue and her curiosity of knowing people’s lives, allows her to understand people from various backgrounds. With a strong passion for social justice, Meheret strives to empower individuals and communities to advocate for themselves while addressing the inherent inequity that exists in our societies.  She is also a Board Member of the Ethiopian House Project, and is actively engaging with community members and other stakeholders to realize a dream of establishing an Ethiopian Community Center. Meheret graduated from SFU with a B.A. in Criminology. She hopes this fellowship experience will advance her natural leadership abilities.

Aslam Bulbulia

Aslam is a recent settler on Coast Salish territories with South African-Indian heritage. He has always tried to raise the bar set by his parents while being a good role-model for his brothers.

Through travel and studies, he explored political science, philosophy, city-planning, development, Islamic law and spirituality, user-centred design and decoloniality.

He has been shaped by experiences that include a Mosque tour of Johannesburg, teaching English in Toronto and Sharjah, performing stand-up comedy, co-producing a Palestinian-solidarity album, working for a large multi-national corporation, the ASRI Public Policy Fellowship and research positions within local and provincial government.

He is currently leading Community Engagement Initiatives at SFU’s Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies and involved with the Muslim Urbanists network. He is enrolled in the SFU Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement, and part of CityHive’s Civic Engagement team, trying to understand how decolonising engagement can disrupt power and improve social cohesion.

Alan Chen

Alan is a keen intrapreneur with an eye for good questions and a lens for systems thinking. Raised in Vancouver and educated in Montreal, he embodies a gentle masculinity and an anti-oppressive approach in his interactions, politics, and work.

Alan’s pool of working experience comes from his time with McGill University’s sustainability community. Having completed a B.A.Sc. in Sustainability and Urban Systems, his personal diary of initiatives includes chapters on a leading a student-led placemaking group, living in an urban sustainability collective, as well as sitting on a committee to help seed-fund community-led sustainability initiatives on campus (all, he’d like to add, on rollerblades). In recognition of his efforts, Alan was awarded with the McGill University Emerald Key Catalyst Award in 2015 and was named onto the Corporate Knight’s 2016 Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Champions in Canada List as well.

Currently, Alan works as an excitable assistant social planner with the City of Vancouver on the Vancouver Immigration Partnership, as well as a Program Liaison with Growing Chefs!

Larissa Chen

Larissa is an experiential learner and global go-getter, dedicated to community engagement and storytelling. Her passions lie in connecting with diverse individuals and identifying areas of strategic collaboration and support. She is the co-founder of Böues, a personal care company dedicated to creating natural products, aligning with her interests in social entrepreneurship and health promotion.

She has completed her Bachelor of Health Sciences in Population & Quantitative Health at SFU, with specialties in gerontology, social equity and health literacy. Larissa is now the Purchasing Manager at Virogin Biotech Ltd., a cancer research facility at UBC, and Research Assistant with the CLSA. Her other experiences include former President of the SFSS, SFU Senator and Communications Specialist for Bridge for Health. She also assists local small businesses and non-profits with developing effective digital marketing strategies.

Larissa enjoys travelling, photography, meeting new people, and appreciating Vancouver’s craft beer scene.

Christine Dyson

Christine is a recent graduate from Simon Fraser, and holds a BA in Environmental Geography, Minor in Environmental Education and Certificates in Spatial Information Science and Corporate Environmental Social Sustainability. Throughout her undergrad career, Christine was heavily involved within the SFU community in various student leadership positions. She believes these opportunities not only shaped her undergraduate education, but also taught her the importance of being involved within one’s community.

Currently, Christine is the Events and Marketing Coordinator for SFU Public Square, where she enjoys finding ways of connecting the university to the community and facilitating conversations on issues of public concern. She is continuously inspired by those she works alongside, and is curious about how she can help make a greater impact. With a passion for community engagement and education, Christine is thrilled to be a part of the RADIUS Fellows cohort.

Haitham El Khatib

Of Palestinian descent, Dubai birth and Lebanese citizenship, Haitham (Tibo) grew up surrounded by the sweet and sultry people and flavours of the Middle East; having lived in four of its countries. His travel and corporate experiences made Haitham a curious thinker and an avid adventurer. Motivated by asking “why?” he developed an interest in creating experiences that could shift one’s cultural perception. Upon moving to Vancouver, Haitham immersed himself in the west coast culinary culture graduating from the Northwest Culinary Academy, working in different capacities in the industry until embarking on opening his own concept, Aleph; an eatery that resembles a Middle Eastern garden, where people from typically opposing sides can find a point of commonality.

Showing the possibilities of peace through breaking barriers, it is through building community with this approach that Haitham aspires to contribute to social change. Why? To leave this world, slightly friendlier than it was when he walked into it.

Michael Hewlett

Michael Hewlett conducts applied research for SRDC, a non-profit consultancy that designs and tests social interventions to learn if those programs work, and how. Michael holds an MSc in Evidence-based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation from Oxford University (2016), and a BASc from McMaster University’s flagship Arts & Science Program (2014). He integrates maths, women’s studies, engineering, economics, medical humanities, physics, law, and other disciplines to appraise the evidence behind programs and policies, design research to test them, and develop novel responses to social issues.

As a RADIUS Fellow, Michael adds a rigorous, thoughtful, and practical approach to compliment the radical doing of a social innovation lab. He learned the latter through co-founding the McMaster Social Innovation Lab in 2014, a 45-member start-up that trained students in human-centered design and systems thinking.

If you have a project that you think would be of interest, particularly around emotions, adolescents, or food systems, you can reach Michael at

Robbie Hsieh

Robbie’s interest in creating meaningful employment for persons living with disabilities has led him to hold different roles for the past seven years. He began working as an adapted sports coach with the Canucks Autism Network, moving on to supporting students with special needs in the Burnaby School District. In his most recent role, Robbie managed a provincially funded employment program with Open Door Group serving youth with disabilities in the greater Vancouver area.

Robbie holds a BBA from Simon Fraser University with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He is keen to combine his business background and his work experience to help build a more inclusive labour market for persons with disabilities.

Julia Hulbert 

Julia Hulbert is a community engagement and communications specialist with a passion for urban planning, heritage, art and culture.

Julia has over a decade of experience working in the arts and culture sector in Vancouver and Victoria, BC. She completed her Bachelor of Arts, Honours, at the University of Victoria in Art History in 2010 and is currently a Master’s student at Simon Fraser University in Urban Studies. Her personal interests concern connecting people to place which she does through curatorial projects and community engagement activities.

Julia volunteers as a Heritage Commissioner with the City of Vancouver and is a member of the Heritage Advisory Panel to the Vancouver School Board. Her views on heritage are holistic and inclusive—she is passionate about the built environment and its capacity to shape collective experiences. Paramount to her interpretation of place is the understanding that the land contains layers of histories and values that are often in conflict. Her Master’s thesis explores these values and narratives by asking how the exclusion of intangible cultural heritage from municipal heritage plans creates barriers to the realization of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Actions.

In addition to her studies and volunteer work, Julia works as a consultant in cultural and heritage planning and public art policy development. Recent projects include the City of Victoria’s Cultural Plan, the City of Maple Ridge’s Cultural Plan Update and Maple Ridge’s Developer Public Art Policy.

Jesse Kancir

Jesse Kancir is a resident physician at the University of British Columbia, completing his training in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, with special interests in population health and healthy communities, Canadian healthcare policy, and medical education.

Jesse’s training has focused on science, social science, and public policy, with education at the University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge, where he was a 2014-2015 Chevening Scholar.

He has previously worked as Policy Advisor to federal Minister of Health Dr. Jane Philpott, and was the 2013-2014 President of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students.

Bahar Khazei

Bahar is an educator and researcher and is strongly passionate about improving the education system for newcomers. She is currently a graduate student at the UBC faculty of education, researching policies that directly affect newcomer youth in the education system in British Columbia. She is also an elementary school teacher with training in Montessori philosophy. Bahar is involved with various projects and groups at UBC. As an executive member of the World University Society of Canada UBC chapter, she has worked directly with the WUSC Student Refugee Program and WUSC Ottawa to raise awareness about refugee issues in Vancouver.

Bahar is an outdoor enthusiast and loves working with students outside. She has taught youth about food cycle and sustainability and has worked with the UBC farm education programs and local not for profit organizations such as Soaring Eagle Nature School and Environmental Youth Alliance. In her spare time she enjoys, growing food, beekeeping, photography and hiking.

Caroline Merner

Caroline is a passionate environmental educator and a sustainability enthusiast. Caroline works at Ocean Wise engaging youth in ocean conservation. She co-directed the Dalhousie Student Union Sustainability Office in 2016-17 and, since 2015, has served as a Youth Advisory Group member for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Her background in conservation has taken her to the Arctic, Hawaii, Peru, Chile and Banff, as a workshop facilitator and international conference delegate. As a graduate from Dalhousie University in Sustainability and International Development, Caroline’s thesis focused on effective climate change communication. For her work, Caroline has been named Green Student of the Year by Dalhousie University, an inaugural Young Women for Nature by Nature Canada, and a Top 25 Under 25 Environmentalists by Starfish Canada. She is now thrilled to co-direct Climate Guides in Vancouver, a mentorship program addressing climate change.

Shagufta Pasta

Shagufta is a social planner, a writer and a builder of community. She has a Political Science degree from UBC and a Masters in Planning, specializing in Social Policy and Planning from the University of Toronto. Her Masters project examined how planners can better deconstruct and address conflicts that surface with proposed mosque developments. After graduate school, she coordinated the UBC Community United Way Campaign, helped organize donor engagement projects at United Way Toronto, and lived in Johannesburg for 2 years, an experience that changed her understanding of what inclusion can feel and look like.

She currently helps undergraduate Arts students at UBC figure out who they are becoming and what they want to do in the world. Outside of work Shagufta blogs, podcasts and vlogs about careers, work, cities and representative books at, experiments with vegetarian recipes, and organizes bookclubs – her favourite way to make new friends.

Jillian Read

Jillian finds bios hard to write (which is funny, because Jillian is paid to write things). Currently, she is a Communications Strategist and Consultant for Curitus, a B.C. firm specialising in project consulting and media support for charities. She has several years of experience working with community organisations in both Canada and the UK, including those in the arts, education, youth mentorship, and First Nations health care. In 2015, she made the somewhat questionable decision to move to Edinburgh after watching the classic Julia Roberts’ film, “Eat Pray Love” (she wishes she was joking). There, she spent most of her time managing Light Up Learning, an education charity that mentors disengaged young people and puts them in charge of their own learning experiences. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia. It can be found hanging somewhat crookedly on her living room wall.

Michaela Slinger

Michaela’s first love is performing, and she made her public debut at age 3 singing the anthem at an NBA game. Although (regrettably) she does less performing now, Michaela’s life continues to be about connecting with people—audience or not. She has eight years’ experience coaching youth in competitive swimming and soccer, and her undergraduate thesis included the design and pilot of an educational after-school program. Michaela graduated from Quest University, an innovative liberal arts and science institution, where she was also involved with her school newspaper. She was chosen as one of ten undergraduate journalism fellows to work with Discourse Media on their Possible Canadas project during the last federal election. Michaela also worked with her student government, and spearheaded a voter engagement group for BC’s most recent provincial election. In her new life as a non-student, Michaela works with Open Door Group as Executive Assistant to the COO.

WE’RE HIRING! | Communications, Engagement and Recruitment Officer [CLOSED]

By | Community, Jobs | One Comment

Join the RADIUS team!  

RADIUS is looking for a media savvy, outgoing communications professional to join our team as RADIUS’ new Communications, Engagement and Recruitment Officer! The successful candidate will work closely with RADIUS’ General Manager, Co-Directors and program leads to develop an ongoing communications, engagement and recruitment strategy, aimed at achieving RADIUS’ recruitment, community growth and retention goals and establishing RADIUS’ brand and thought leadership presence.

Interested? Check out both the Job Description and Job Posting Details and apply by Monday, February 5th!

WE’RE HIRING: RADIUS General Manager

By | Jobs | No Comments

Are you an operations wizard with serious project management chops and a desire to build and implement gorgeous systems for an organization doing good work in the world? 

We’re looking for a highly skilled and organized leader to join our team as the RADIUS General Manager!

View the full posting here see competition #645, with separate links to application instructions and full job description

Interested parties, apply by 4:30 pm PST on November 6, 2017.

Adam Kahane in Vancouver – Collaborating With The Enemy

By | Community, Events | No Comments

As a leader today, we know you face complex, multi-faceted challenges that require you to collaborate with diverse actors. To achieve systemic change and make a real impact in your community and around the globe, leaders cannot simply preach to the choir—we must learn to work effectively with people we don’t necessarily agree with, may not like, and often don’t trust.

In his new book, Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust, Adam Kahane tackles this challenge of creating across diversity.

On October 12th, RADIUS SFU and SFU Innovates are excited to present Adam Kahane in downtown Vancouver for a keynote lecture based on this best-selling new book.  Tickets are available now.

Having worked alongside highly heterogeneous systemic change teams all around the world for 25 years, Kahane has learned that collaboration is becoming increasingly necessary and also increasingly difficult. He has also learned that the conventional models of collaboration, which focus on agreement, certainty, and control, are becoming obsolete.

The last time Adam Kahane was in town, the event sold out in moments. If you had the pleasure of attending that lecture, you know why! You won’t want to miss this chance to learn from one of the best. Tickets are $20 and you can purchase your ticket now.

Making this event accessible is important to RADIUS. If you would like to attend and cost is a barrier, please send an email to

Raincoast Books will be on site with copies of all of Adam’s books, including his new best-seller, Collaborating with the Enemy.

RADIUS Ventures’ Health Promotion Focus: Different Branches

By | RADIUS Ventures, Slingshot Accelerator | No Comments

Since we announced our focus on health promotion and $25K equity investment in every venture that successfully completes the Slingshot Accelerator, we’ve had a number of inquiries about the scope of our health promotion focus. These are great questions which we hope to shed light on with this post. Here are some areas, or “branches”, encompassed in our shift towards supporting health promotion-focused entrepreneurs and ventures with innovative business models. Note that this list is not exhaustive. If you think your venture could be a fit for one of our programs, apply by June 30th!

Prevention and early detection of lifestyle-based chronic diseases

Included under the health umbrella are ventures promoting positive habit formation – whether in relation to food and nutrition, physical activity and exercise, respectful use of addictive substances, or another area of healthy living. Extensive consultations with leading Canadian health experts highlighted the prevalence of lifestyle-based chronic disease in Canadian populations; you can read more about those consultations here.

Mental health

Ventures creating valuable tools and resources for individuals living with mental health conditions are invited to apply to one of our Ventures programs. These can include learning tools, symptom management products and systems, support for medication compliance and/or compatibility, assistance with social integration and other meaningful interventions pertinent to persons living with mental health conditions.  

Addictions and the opioid crisis

Ventures doing meaningful work to mitigate the staggering effects of BC’s ongoing opioid crisis are strongly encouraged to apply for RADIUS’ Slingshot Accelerator. The present crisis is, in large part, affecting the province’s most vulnerable groups. Ventures working on innovating safer methods of opiate consumption, systems level responses to the overdose crisis, emerging overdose prevention technologies and other meaningful interventions pertaining to safe drug consumption are welcome to apply.

Remote access to public health services

If your venture is working on improving access to public health services for individuals who have traditionally experienced limited or poor access to these services, you are wholeheartedly encouraged to apply to one of our programs. This can include access to tele-health services, remote diagnoses, improved access to prescriptions and medications or any other meaningful interventions that increase access to health services for traditionally underserved populations – whether for geographical, social or economic reasons.

As mentioned above, these are just a few possible areas encompassed by our focus on health promotion. If you think your early stage venture might be eligible for one of our programs, apply by June 30th or shoot the RADIUS Ventures team an email at if you have questions.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Three Projects Awarded SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Funding

By | Funding, Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of RADIUS and Embark Sustainability that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. The Fund allocates sums ranging from $200-$1000 to SFU graduate and undergraduate student social innovators.

Three remarkable student initiatives were awarded funding in the fourth and final round of the 2016-17 Seed Fund. Read about them in their own words below:

Virtual Reality (VR) as an Ethnographic Medium

This virtual reality (VR) project introduces K-12 classrooms to faraway countries, customs and people via “virtual field trips” in order to increase empathy, awareness and understanding of other cultures.

About Rachel
Rachel Ward is a PhD student in the School of Interactive Arts + Technology at Simon Fraser University. As a member of SIAT’s Making Culture Lab (MCL), Rachel strives to develop new digital methods in the field of cultural anthropology.

Find Rachel’s project online:

Voices Against Extremism

Voices Against Extremism aims to promote diversity and inclusion by giving everyone a voice and hosting events that bring people of different backgrounds together. We believe in the power of art and storytelling as a way to bring attention to the issue of radicalization and extremism.

About us:
We are a team of current and formed Simon Fraser University students standing up against extremism and radicalization. We want to bring people together and show we all have more in common than we think.

Find Voices Against Extremism online:
Instagram: @voicesagainstextremism

Project S.A.V.E.

Project S.A.V.E. aims to integrate writing instrument recycling programs into major education establishments in Metro Vancouver. Partnered with Staples, we strive towards recycling and reusing stationary wastes to divert them from our landfills. Additionally, we educate and inspire students to start incorporating waste reducing methods into their daily activities for a more sustainable lifestyle.

About us: 
Project S.A.V.E. is comprised of SFU undergraduate students who are passionate about environmental sustainability. We are determined to make a positive change in this world by educating and promoting new methods of recycling.

Find Project S.A.V.E. online:

We wish all three projects the very best and look forward to hearing about their learnings along the way!

SFU Changemakers are in Oxford for the Global Challenge Finals!

By | Change Lab, Events, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

After rising to the top of the Simon Fraser University and Canadian national rounds of the Oxford Global Challenge, a team of SFU undergraduates – comprising Change Lab alumni Alec Yu and Iman Baharmand (Faculty of Science) and Kimberley Venn (Beedie School of Business) – are headed to the Saïd Business School to compete in the Global Challenge Finals! The team, accompanied by RADIUS Co-Director Shawn Smith, will be competing with thirteen other finalists from institutions around the world in front of an international panel of judges.

We caught up with the SFU team before they set off for Oxford to ask what they had learned as undergrads that had allowed them to succeed as changemakers. Here’s what they had to say:

Iman Baharmand | We are usually encouraged to ask questions but I think we are naturally scared to question our own decisions. The most important thing I learned as an undergrad is that you will have days when you doubt yourself and ask if ‘this’ is even something you want to pursue. But you shouldn’t neglect these thoughts – you should acknowledge them, reflect on them and talk about them with people who are close to you!

Kimberley Venn | I think the importance of recognizing strengths and weaknesses and knowing when to ask for help is underrated in the innovation process. What I have learned in my undergrad experience is that change can’t be made alone. Being a part of interdisciplinary teams and reaching out to others allows us to develop areas we lack knowledge, create friendships, and in the end, become better innovators.

Alec Yu | It really helps to be a jack-of-all-trades, or to work with a close-knit interdisciplinary team, or both. Stagnant and inefficient systems are often deeply rooted within organizations or societies, and it takes expertise in fields that may seem disparate at first to have the leverage to accelerate change.

The RADIUS community wishes Alec, Iman and Kimberly the best of luck in the Global Challenge Finals on May 1st! We look forward to following their remarkable achievements as they continue with their academic and professional journeys.

The Fall semester of Health Change Lab – an interdisciplinary, once-in-a-degree studio course that allows students to develop practical solutions to real-world challenges – is currently accepting applications. Learn more here.

We’ll laugh, cry and cheer with these FAILURE WAKE speakers!

By | Accelerator, Events, RADIUS Ventures, Uncategorized | No Comments

FAILURE WAKE – RADIUS’ celebration of audacious entrepreneurial attempts gone wrong – is back for its fourth year! Brave entrepreneurs will once again take to the stage to share stories of valour and calamity, chutzpah and disappointment, lessons learned and ventures lost. Mistakes and failures will be aired in an Irish wake style celebration. We’ll laugh; we’ll cry; we’ll dust ourselves off and try again.

In anticipation of this exciting event, we’re delighted to introduce our four brave speakers and ultra-charismatic MC.


In 2012 Rick Havlak (top left) launched Vancouver’s only urban homesteading store. He envisioned a brick-and-mortar space where people of all backgrounds could come together to learn how things are made, think more deeply about consumption, and buy supplies for cheese-making, beekeeping, pickling, soap making, growing veggies, and more. First as Homesteader’s Emporium and then as Homestead Junction, Rick and his team hung out their shingle for nearly five years before closing the physical store in February of 2017. In the wake of this, Rick and his remaining staff are evaluating whether the brand has legs for educational events and e-commerce.

Len Laycock (top middle), serial entrepreneur, award winning marketing executive, sustainable business consultant and green product designer will share stories and learning from Upholstery Arts’ Black Swan Event – its impact on his newest green venture, and aligning business practices with positive economic, environmental and social outcomes.

Emily Lycopolus (top right) is the owner of Olive the Senses, a luxury olive oil and vinegar tasting room and shop in Victoria, BC, Canada that offers the finest fresh premium olive oils and balsamic vinegars from all over the world. She is also the founder of This Table Collective (, an online food community that sources artisanal food products, shares recipes and artisan stories, and supports food-focused charities. Emily lives in Victoria with her husband, Steve, and their pug, Cedrik. She can most often be found at local markets, in her kitchen creating and testing new recipes, or mingling in her store with her loyal customers.

Allanah Mooney (bottom left) has over twenty years’ experience in storytelling,strategy, and social change, including ten years in the NHL with the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. She owns Lionheart Productions Inc. Lionheart works on large issues based film campaigns. Lionheart specializes in multiplatform, short-form content. Allanah produced a multi-film health and safety campaign for Teck Resources. Teck recently had their safest year on record and has reduced injuries by 50% since the campaign started. Allanah’s background includes international film campaigns in China and India. Her work has been translated into seven languages. Allanah is currently based in Calgary, AB and works as a consultant for Anstice Communications. She is also developing a documentary mental health series “Making a Comeback” designed to destigmatize mental health and promote innovate treatments.

Mike Rowlands (MC)
President & CEO at Junxion Strategy. Director at Hollyhock, and Social Venture Network. Entrepreneur-in-Residence at RADIUS. Philosopher. Advisor. Official Failure Wake limerick writer.


Tickets to FAILURE WAKE typically sell out, so get yours fast! Your ticket includes entrance, a free drink, appies, and a chance to meet and mingle with an impressive community of social entrepreneurs. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Click here to purchase your ticket at the price point that best suits you.

May 4th | RADIUS Presents the 4th Annual Social Venture FAILURE WAKE

By | Events | No Comments

Failure happens. It is the fertile soil in which new ventures grow. It’s the master class in the school of entrepreneurship. But it’s really hard to talk about.

Now in it’s fourth year, the RADIUS Failure Wake is an always sold out celebration of audacious entrepreneurial attempts gone wrong.

The evening will feature three stories from brave entrepreneurs, a lightening round of audience lessons learned, and an Irish Wake style celebration to help put this all firmly behind us.

Mistakes and failures will be aired. We’ll laugh. We’ll cry. We’ll dust ourselves off and try again.

Your ticket includes entrance, a free drink, appies, and a chance to meet and mingle with an impressive community of social entrepreneurs.

Purchase you tickets here before they sell out!

concAUCTION: Ask. Source. Connect.

By | Fellows | No Comments

RADIUS is pumped to announce the third annual concAUCTION event!

The RADIUS Fellows cordially invite you to mix up your Tuesday night and join us for an experiment in connecting and celebrating.

Whether you’re looking to share ideas, offer support, deepen your network or just partake in the party, you’ll want to be there.

Purchase tickets here. 

Advance tickets $10-$30
Doors at 6pm ~ Action at 6:30pm
Tasty finger foods will be provided
Refreshments will be available (Cash only)

The Asks: Our Fellows will be making asks of the crowd. They are each working on something to make the world more awesome – a project, a venture, an initiative, a conference. Whatever it is, that something needs someone or something to make it more awesome – an introduction, a piece of advice, a link, a fresh idea or maybe even a collaborator.

Asks are only 60 seconds! This will be an enticingly fast and fun evening, where you’ll want to hold onto your hats but not your business cards.

This event takes place on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

The venue is certified accessible and has one gender-neutral bathroom.

A Storyteller’s Tale: RADIUS Fellows alumnus Brielle Morgan’s media journey

By | Community, Fellows | No Comments

RADIUS Fellow Brielle Morgan is one of the producers of an ambitious nation-wide story collecting initiative to engage communities in deep listening.

Brielle Morgan, a journalist and graduate of Simon Fraser University and Carleton University, has reported stories from around the world, spanning from Canada’s far North to East Africa. After working for more “traditional” media outlets for a few years, she felt a growing misalignment between the work she was doing and the work she wanted to pursue.

Brielle joined the RADIUS Fellowship program during its inaugural year with hopes of meeting a community of like-minded individuals in addition to sourcing support for her story collecting initiative, The Grandmother Project. Inspired and touched by the stories that poured out of her grandmother after just a few thought-provoking questions, Brielle worked with radio producer Angela Johnston, to launch the project. Together they aimed to encourage young people to engage more frequently in sharing thoughtful conversations with their grandmothers.

The Grandmother Project evolved into Storywise, an audio recording project that invites people to sit down one-on-one to listen to each other, to swap stories in a designated space, and to honour each other’s experiences in a memorable way. Participants – whether friends, family or curious strangers – receive keepsake recordings of their conversation. With permission, some talks are edited into short stories to share with the broader community.

At the Al Etmanski’s book launch event, attended by the RADIUS Fellows, Brielle was introduced to Erin Millar, Editor-and-Chief and CEO of Discourse Media, an independent journalism company dedicated to in-depth reporting on complex issues facing Canada and the world. The two saw alignment in the journalistic work they each wanted to pursue, and a few months later Brielle joined Discourse as Reporter and Producer. Part of Brielle’s new role was take what she learned from her experience with Storywise and apply to Discourse’s community engagement strategy.

This past March, Storywise organized an event series called The Big Listen, inviting individuals to bring a friend or family member and honour each other by asking questions about a meaningful experience. In partnership with the Vancouver Public Library, they recorded conversations in the newly refurbished Inspiration Lab at the Central Public Library.

Storywise co-founders Brielle Morgan (left) and Angela Johnston (centre) with Vancouver Public Library Inspiration Lab staff members Simon, Mark and Sam

In the first weekend alone, twenty-two people took part in sharing their stories with a loved one. Themes such as living with mental health, immigration struggles, and changing shapes of families in modern society emerged from the conversations.

A specific story that stood out to Brielle was a conversation between a five-year old boy and his parents (names withheld as per the family’s request). The boy described the people who lived in this uniquely imaginative solar system that lives in his mind. Fascinated by the details in the preschooler’s story, the parents continued to ask questions, exploring his world. Here is a short clip from that conversation:

Taking what she has learned from Storywise, Brielle has applied her learnings to a new project to engage communities across the country in deep listening and story sharing.

Starting this year, Brielle and the Discourse Media team will be working with the newly created non-profit Challenge for Change (C4C) to vision, design and execute a story collection project inspired, in part, by Storywise. C4C has launched with the support of Inspirit Foundation, the MacMillan Family Foundation and the National Film Board, adding capacity for large-scale events, short film and animation adaptations of audio stories, digital archiving, and collaborations with schools.

The RADIUS Fellowship program granted Brielle the opportunities to pitch, receive feedback, fine-tune, and walk away with a stronger and more impactful vision of her project. From what she terms her “tumbleweed of connections,” she was exposed to a journalism venture that aligned with her values, came across an opportunity to envision a nationwide story collection project and “feels more optimistic and excited” about the future of journalism in Canada.

Brielle Morgan with Storywise participant Elaine Benson

If you would like to learn more about The Big Listen and the upcoming Challenge for Change project, be in touch with

Sonam Swarup joined Discourse Media as a Marketing Coordinator and was one of the 22 RADIUS Fellows in Radical Doing in our second cohort. For more information on the RADIUS Fellowship in Radical Doing, click here.

Four Projects Awarded SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Funding

By | Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of RADIUS and Embark Sustainability that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. Funding amounts ranging from $200-$1000 are currently available for SFU graduate and undergraduate student social innovators. The deadline for the current round of funding – the last of the 2016-17 Seed Fund – is April 17, 2017 – apply now!

Four remarkable student initiatives were awarded funding in the third round of the SI Seed Fund. Read about them in their own words below:

Soap for Hope

Soap for Hope  is a non-profit social enterprise that collects and sanitizes gently used bar soaps from hotels and upcycles them into liquid hand soap. Partnered with Mission Possible and Hope for Freedom, we work towards providing wages and transitional work opportunities to marginalized individuals who help with production, all while diverting reusable materials from the waste stream.”

About the team:
The Soap for Hope team is comprised of SFU students that come from diverse backgrounds. Ranging from first-years to near graduates, we utilize our unique experiences to innovate creative solutions.

Find Soap for Hope online:
Twitter: @soapforhopeSFU
Facebook: /soapforhopeSFU
Instagram: @soapforhopesfu

Bright Ideas

At Bright Ideas we implore high school students to pursue their entrepreneurial idea, make a tangible difference in their community and to learn about the business world. Bright Ideas aims to showcase the diversity of our community, empower our youth, foster creativity and emphasize teamwork, all in a professional and engaging program.

About the team:
The program is run solely by SFU students beginning from the creation of the curriculum to the facilitation of every workshop. Each group of high school students will not only be mentored by industry professionals from the community and Beedie Alumni but will also be paired with an experienced Enactus SFU mentor throughout the program for guidance.

Bright Ideas is holding their Spring 2017 Final Showcase on April 1st – visit the Facebook event page to learn more or register here.

Find Bright Ideas online:

Team Phantom

Our mission is to inspire the innovators of next-generation electric vehicle technology. By building a Formula SAE Electric race car, we aim to provide SFU students with tangible experience in technical design and leadership. We strive to shape the story of sustainable transportation, a vital component of building vibrant communities and combating climate change and pollution.

About the team:
Team Phantom is an interdisciplinary group of over fifty committed SFU students across all faculties. We believe strongly in experiential learning, collaboration, and innovative design.

Find Team Phantom online: 


Refresh collects and utilizes excess food products and turns them into a variety of enjoyable culinary delights. The goal of the program is to provide an alternate future for excess groceries to prevent food wastage.

About the team: 
The Refresh team consists of 15 SFU undergraduate students who all share a passion for helping their community.

Find Refresh online:

We wish all four projects the very best and look forward to hearing about their learnings along the way.

Do you need funding to get your idea off the ground? Visit the SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund page for deadlines, eligibility, and more!

SVI Vancouver | Discounts & scholarships available for RADIUS cohorts & alumni

By | Community, Social Innovation | No Comments

The good people at Hollyhock are offering RADIUS members and alumni a 20% discount to attend the Social Venture Institute Vancouver (SVI) from April 19-21, held at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in Vancouver.

About Social Venture Institute Vancouver

SVI Vancouver is an amazing opportunity to connect with business leaders and social entrepreneurs for an intensive, interactive inquiry into the day-to-day challenges of running a socially conscious enterprise. The SVI community is notorious for supporting one and other. RADIUS loves SVI and we are excited to be able to connect you with this community!

Discount code for RADIUS Members

Current participants in a RADIUS program and alumni are invited to apply as a RADIUS Alumni (there’s an option to indicate that on your SVI application) and you’ll be sent a discount code.

And a full scholarship to SVI Vancouver too

What’s more, RADIUS also has a pair of full paid scholarships for the conference. In order to apply for one of these, fill out this short application form.

Spotlight on “Move your Mood” & “Leefy” | A look back at Trampoline 3

By | RADIUS Ventures, Trampoline | No Comments
The latest cohort of social entrepreneurs to participate in RADIUS’ Trampoline Business Model Validation Program recently delivered their final presentations. Under the leadership of sessional instructor Greg FitzGerald, the cohort of fourteen entrepreneurs (across ten ventures) met every Thursday for eight weeks to test alignment in three major areas:

  • The Problem: Is the venture focused on addressing a real, meaningful, and impactful problem?
  • The Solution: Is the proposed solution viable and effective in addressing the problem without creating new ones?
  • The Entrepreneur: Are you the entrepreneur or team to move this project forward? 

A diverse set of amazing ventures came through the program in its latest iteration. Two of these projects shared the common element of utilizing a games-based approach to improving mental health in children: Dr. Randall Gillis’ “Move your Mood” game and Nicholas Cheung’s “Leefy”.  We interviewed both to learn more about the problems they are solving and the impact of the Trampoline Program on their journeys. Read More

Meet the winners of the Oxford Global Challenge at SFU

By | Social Innovation | No Comments

The Oxford Global Challenge is a unique competition focused on understanding social problems before trying to solve them. SFU is participating in the 2017 Global Challenge along with other top schools from around the world.

On February 17, 2017, shortlisted teams from the SFU round of the Global Challenge delivered their presentations for a panel of judges at the RADIUS Hub. Of the teams that presented, one winner and two runners up were selected. The winning team, in addition to receiving a $1000 cash prize, will be travelling to Calgary on the weekend of March 24, 2017 to pitch in the Canadian final of the Global Challenge. Each of the runners up were awarded a $500 prize. Read about the winning team and runners up below:

WINNER | HealthShare

Team Members
Alec Yu, Iman Baharmand, Kimberly Venn

“Our team is investigating current problems, solutions, and gaps within solid waste management in Vancouver hospitals. We highlight the interplay between hospital practices, government/health authority policy, and private companies. Inspired by our own experiences in Vancouver hospitals, we saw an opportunity to combine our abilities as social entrepreneurs and aspiring physicians in tackling a comprehensive topic. By providing a thorough analysis of diverse stakeholders in this issue, we are driven to illustrate actionable gaps that improve patient care nationwide.”

Visual Map | Report | Bibliography

RUNNER UP | On Assistance, Can Work: Employment and Income Generation in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Team Members
Kim Mackenzie, Anna Migicovsky

“Our team has worked on this issue (employment, income generation and income assistance in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside) in various capacities in the Downtown Eastside community and are passionate about innovative solutions to poverty and unemployment. Anna brings her experience running an employment program in the neighborhood, and Kim brings her policy and research knowledge to create a community-academic partnership. This research draws on many ideas that have come out of the LEDlab, both from our own work with the lab and that of others.” All of the graphics for this project were created by Andrea Robertson of Hypsypops Design Co.

Visual Map | Report | Bibliography


Team Members
Khayla Almonte-Davila, Katie Mai, Fehintola Okunubi

“Post migration trauma is a commonly under-looked but important risk factor of poor refugee mental health. With Canada receiving such a large influx of refugees, we found it important to understand the resettlement process to learn how to support the refugees’ journey to Canada.” SFU International provided an additional $500 prize to the REACH team for their work on refugee related issues.

Visual Map | Report | Bibliography

The Global Challenge at SFU is delivered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The University of Oxford, RECODE at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation the Trico Charitable Foundation and SFU Student Engagement and Retention.

RADIUS Spring Workshop Survey

By | Events, Social Innovation | No Comments

RADIUS is planning a workshop series for spring 2017 and we want your input!

We want you to have an opportunity to share your thoughts with us regarding the types of workshop programming that would best support your professional and personal development needs. Specifically, we want to know about your preferences in terms of the content, structure, price point and scheduling arrangements for our spring workshop series. Got five minutes?

Fill out the survey below or open it in a new window by CLICKING HERE.

We appreciate your input!