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Events

CONVERGE: Canadian Lab Practitioners Exchange

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It is time to CONVERGE: Canadian Lab Practitioners Exchange

Converge is a national gathering of 80-100 active social innovation lab practitioners and key ecosystem enablers, hosted by RADIUS SFU, in partnership with The McConnell Foundation, Simon Fraser University and others. Over 2 days we will gather, on unceded Coast Salish territory, to connect as a practitioner community, surface and explore patterns and models in the field, and collaborate generously.

Social innovation labs have been increasing in popularity in recent years, with a proliferation of labs being established at universities, within governments, and in communities across Canada. However, most labs operate independently of each other, and as a result, there is a high degree of improvisation and a lack of coordination for greater systems change. In this fragmented state, Labs may be unintentionally recreating past work or struggling to ramp up and learn from others.

It’s time to converge. We believe that in order to get the best results from these projects and to support a growing ecosystem of systemic designers and leaders, practice building is needed. Modeling the very foundational values of labs, our approach in designing this exchange is rooted in abundance, transparency, convening labs across sectors and issues, and a commitment to growing impact in the field.

CONVERGE aims to:

  • Deepen relationships and trust amongst lab practitioners, laying the foundation for an active pan-Canadian community of practice;
  • Create a space for lab practitioners to add value to each other’s work;
  • **Make visible the diversity and impact of social innovation labs in Canada**;
  • Build a shared set of tools, practices, language, knowledge, and expertise across the lifecycle of a lab; and
  • Identify key problem/opportunity areas where Canadian labs can better align for increased coordination and impact.

CONVERGE invites those who are:

  • Lab practitioners with deep experience in the field (2+ years)
  • Early stage practitioners who need training, input and support
  • Funders of social innovation labs/ecosystem enablers
  • Key systems change facilitators, evaluators, social R&D practitioners, communication strategists, and other professionals working at the ‘edges’ of labs

**We are collecting data about the Canadian Labs Landscape. If you are actively running a social innovation lab in Canada, we would love to know about your work. Please take 10 minutes to complete this survey, even if you cannot attend CONVERGE. Results will be shared with the field at CONVERGE and post-event.**

CONVERGE has been made possible thanks to our partners:

FAQ

Will there be food?

Yes! We are planning to feed you a light breakfast, delicious lunch and snacks between sessions, as well as coffee and tea throughout.

My friends are interested in getting into this kind of work, can I extend the invite?

This event is by invitation, intended for people who are actioning social innovation labs in Canada so that we can CONVERGE those already working in the space. Are they currently running an innovation lab? If so, please have your peers email converge@radiussfu.com and tell us a bit about their work.

I’m curious about Labs but not actively practising, how can I get involved?

For the lab-curious, we have something for you too. We are in the process of planning an adjacent public event for the evening of June 26th. Please check back for details and registration.

I can’t afford to get there, are there bursaries available?

All attendees will be expected to pay for a ticket. A limited number of travel bursaries are available for those with financial need. If you would like to apply for a travel bursary, please fill out a travel bursary application form before May 25th. Bursaries will be decided the week of May 28th.

Are there opportunities to speak or present?

The content for CONVERGE has been developed based on data collected from a practitioners Needs Assessment survey issued in April 2018. Proposals for content were also accepted from invitees until May 13th, thanks to all for your contributions. A full agenda for CONVERGE will be released May 29.

How do I get to the venue?

We strongly encourage you to use public transportation. SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business is a short walk from the Granville Street Skytrain station and just a few minutes away on foot from the Waterfront station. For more information on public transport, please visit www.translink.ca. Downtown Vancouver also has bike sharing options via Mobi Bike share, which you can learn more about here: https://www.mobibikes.ca. No parking is available on site, however street parking can be purchased for two hours at a time; and there are full day parking lots located nearby.

Where can I stay during my time in Vancouver? 

We are working to reserve a block of shared bunk rooms at the YWCA. If you are interested in those please reach out to converge@radiussfu.com. Accommodation in hotels has proven to be expensive and a lot of them full, if you have friends you can stay with here, we encourage you to make the ask. There are also still some available options on Air B&B.

Is the venue accessible for wheelchair and gender neutral?

Yes! We have elevators to access all floors, the front doors are also mechanical and upon the push of a button, they will open for you. The first floor of the building will have gender-neutral washrooms. We are working hard to make this event feel safe for all Lab practitioners/enablers to attend.

What time should I plan to arrive and depart pre- and post-event?

Registration will open at 8:30AM on Wednesday June 27th, and CONVERGE will wrap by 5:00PM on Thursday June 28th. However, there is a a public facing event happening the evening of June 26th (free for CONVERGE attendees) and an awesome closing party being planned for the evening of June 28th. Additionally, rooms at the venue will be available on Friday June 28th for optional post-event emergent conversations. We therefore recommend planning to spend 3 nights in Vancouver, arriving afternoon/evening of the 26th and staying until afternoon/evening of the 29th.

Have we missed something?

Please feel free to let us know by sending an email to converge@radiussfu.com.

concAUCTION: ask. source. connect.

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Connect with changemakers on the leading edge of some of today’s toughest problems!

The 2018 RADIUS Fellows are a group of amazing local changemakers from diverse backgrounds who are working on a range of complex, pressing challenges – and you can help them!  

On May 15th, you’re invited to shake up your Tuesday with RADIUS at concAUCTION: our fun and inspiring networking auction and Fellows celebration.

You’ll hear pitches from each of the 2018 Fellows about their work and have the opportunity to respond to their “asks” of the audience. A unique chance to connect with the leaders who are shaping our world and shaking up our communities – this annual celebrations is not to be missed!

Get your concAUCTION tickets here.

About the RADIUS Fellows

The 2018 RADIUS Fellows are a remarkable group of 16 local changemakers from diverse backgrounds, working across the following areas:

  • Refugee and Newcomer Settlement and Integration
  • Health Promotion
  • The Future of Education
  • The Future of Work

 

About the “Asks”

Each Fellow will have 60 seconds to make an ask of the crowd. They are all working on awesome, impactful projects and initiatives – and they each need something or someone to help take their work to the next level. The asks can take any number of forms: an introduction, a piece of advice, a connection, a fresh idea or maybe even a collaborator. Audience members will be able to respond to these asks and connect with the Fellows about supporting their work.

concAUCTION is made possible by generous support from:

Event Agenda:

6:00pm – Doors Open
6:00-6:30pm – Networking, Finger Food (provided), Beverages (cash bar)
6:30-6:40pm – Welcome & Kick-off Door Prizes
6:40-7:00pm – Round 1 of Fellows Pitches
7:00-7:15pm – Networking Break
7:15-7:40pm – Round 2 of Fellows Pitches
7:40-9:00pm – Networking & Remaining Door Prizes

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.

ReframeWork: From Insights to Action

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ReframeWork is a national gathering of select thought leaders and innovators on the topic of Future of Work hosted by RADIUS SFU and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Over 1.5 days (Feb. 27-28) we will explore how Canada can lead in forming new systems for good work, and understand where the richest opportunities are to engage Canadians in building the new models we want to see.

The goals of ReframeWork are to:

  • Connect a diverse, cross-sector Canadian network with broad perspective and deep expertise on relevant questions about the present and future of work;
  • Build a shared understanding of areas of greatest opportunity for innovation and solution-building that can influence broader change; and
  • Inform program design and areas of focus for a multi-year national future of work innovation program to launch in 2018.

While space is limited we are still looking for additional perspectives on the future and present of work including business leaders; academics; experts in AI, machine learning and robotics; actors in decentralized economies, platform coops and wealth creation beyond wage earning; and others who see this subject as central to their work.

If you think you should be participating in this event, we would like to hear from you. Please email futureofwork@radiussfu.com.

ReframeWork and the multi-year innovation program launching from it build on the success of the Banff Centre’s 2016 Alt/Now: Economic Inequality innovation program.

Facilitators:
Jennie Winhall, Co-Lead, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Shawn Smith, Co-Lead, RADIUS SFU
Kiri Bird, Program Strategist, RADIUS SFU

 

RADIUS HALLOWEEN OPEN HOUSE

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Join us on October 31st for our annual HALLOWEEN OPEN HOUSE

Social innovation and entrepreneurship can be scary stuff! But you know what’s scarier – ghosts, goblins and vampires!

On Halloween, we’re throwing caution to the wind and throwing open the doors for the ultimate after work mixer. Join us to celebrate the great work we do together, with costumed networking, spooky snacks and scary drinks!

You’re invited to drop by between 4:30-7:30pm. 

Eat, drink and celebrate radically good (and sometimes scary) work with us at the RADIUS Hub in the SFU Charles Chang Innovation Centre. We’re located at 308 West Hastings, on the corner of Hastings and Hamilton. The RADIUS entrance is on Hamilton Street.

Please RSVP to join the free Open House.

We look forward to seeing you!

P.s. Costumers are encouraged, but not necessary. Which means there will definitely be a prize for the best costume….

Adam Kahane in Vancouver – Collaborating With The Enemy

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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 community@radiussfu.com.

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

RADIUS & RECODE present Daniela Papi-Thornton in Vancouver – September 21, 2017

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In partnership with McConnell‘s RECODE program and SFU Innovates, RADIUS SFU is hosting systems change leader and educator Daniela Papi-Thornton for a pair of workshops on September 21st at two of SFU’s downtown campuses.

Former Deputy Director of the Skoll Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, Daniela is an outspoken voice in the fields of social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education. If you’ve caught her most recent TedX Talk, you’re probably as excited as we are that, as part of a cross-Canada tour, Daniela is offering two sessions on Systems Change Leadership for the Vancouver community:  

Attend a Systems Change Leadership workshop with Daniela

For students, changemakers and innovators | Systems change leadership is a critical capacity to develop as a social innovator or entrepreneur. This talk will provide insight and guidance useful for changemakers and innovators seeking to drive systems change.
Join us at for this free event at the Segal Graduate School of Business (Room 1400) from 5-6:00pm. RSVP.

For social impact educators | Educators interested in incorporating systems change leadership into their classes, accelerators, or social entrepreneurship offerings are invited to join this workshop. Daniela will introduce system change leadership tools including the Impact Gaps Canvas and will explore ways to incorporate this work into existing programs.
Join us for this free event at RADIUS SFU from 6:30-8pm on Sept 21. RSVP.

The Impact Gaps Canvas is used by schools around the world as part of Oxford University’s Map the System Challenge. For schools interested in joining the Map the System Challenge, Daniela will also share more information on how to get involved.

RADIUS SFU is excited to be partnering with McConnell’s RECODE program to bring this opportunity to the Vancouver community. Both events are free, but space is limited so please RSVP to join an event.

 

The Art of Impactful Presentations

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Guest blogger Lana Friesen (pictured in the middle above) is a dancer, activist and member of the 2017 RADIUS Fellows. She will be one of the 22 changemakers presenting their “asks” at RADIUS’ signature concAUCTION event on May 16th – get your tickets now! Photograph by Byron Dauncey.  

As systems thinkers, many of us have looked very intensely into a vast web of interconnecting problems, opportunities, and strengths. Part of our challenge as changemakers is to present our proposed interventions and how they address needs within these webs. It can be quite a daunting task to communicate all of this in an impactful capacity when we feel overwhelmed by the amount of information we need to succinctly convey – as if we need to capture an entire galaxy of stars within a 60 second pitch.

One of the most useful tools Simon Goland offered the RADIUS Fellows at our most recent session was the Stepping Stones method. We identified a maximum of 7 different “stepping stones” that make up our presentation, and these stepping stones each consist of one image and one emotion. Rather than memorizing a script which has the tendency towards a cold delivery, presenters remember their intention as well as these stepping stones as a general, fluid path to follow while presenting.

I felt the impact of this method very strongly when Terri Rutty of the Food Trade Game transformed her presentation to a powerful story that grabbed my heart immediately after one sentence. With the help of other fellows in the program, Veronika Bylicki of CityHive shared her story and I could very vividly imagine some of the images she might have used as stepping stones.

When they say ‘a picture tells a thousand words’, I think we underestimate the ability of words to create images that convey an exponentially larger picture than a script alone – particularly if the communicator has an image in their own mind powering their words.

To convey the complex, intricate web of systems that we’re wrestling with as changemakers, it’s quite a relief to realize that we need not fully describe every single star – we simply need to hold the image and emotion in our minds, and let the words flow.

RADIUS Fellows alumnus Jannika Nyberg pitching at concAUCTION

concAUCTION – A Pivotal Moment

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Jannika Nyberg is a 2016 Fellows alumna and youth education superstar. 

This year’s concAUCTION is coming up on May 15th – get your tickets now!

I joined the RADIUS Fellowship because I was in search of my tribe, a community of dope humans who were actively building lives of courageous citizenry. At the time, I was working on a community development fellowship and feeling fairly isolated. I applied to the program, inspired by the promise of personal growth development and social innovation learning.

I left the program connected to a community of dope humans who continue (to this day) to support, challenge and inspire one another.

This collective support came in super handy when preparing for the 2016 concAUCTION, as I was forced to consolidate my complex-systems community development applied to democratic education project into a one minute pitch. Obviously, I need major help.

When I was first told about concAUCTION I was skeptical and nervous. A night to pitch our changemaking projects in one-minute to a room full of local leaders? Sounds scary.

It’s kind of like a live crowdsourcing of ‘asks’ (needed resources, suggestions or mentorship). People raise their hands to indicate they’d like to chat with a numbered Fellow, they get tagged with the corresponding number, and then on the break – BOOM! – idea sparks connection.

The night before the Auction of innovative ideas, I called up my fellow Fellows for pitch-perfecting advice. Thank goodness my cohort is full of concise, critical thinkers who so lovingly cut through my scattered mind.

The night of the event was…… Pivotal.

It was the first time I’d ever put my pitch on auction. It was the first time I’ve ever landed a dream job by pitching my idea live!

Well, almost…

concAUCTION introduced me to my current boss at YELL Canada, who would later hire me to live out my dream job.

Call it synchronicity… call it a happy coincidence… concAUCTION creates the space to connect you to amazing opportunity and above all, amazing people.

You never know who you’ll meet.

I’ll see you there.

The 2016 Fellows get ready to make their asks of the crowd at concAUCTION.

The 2016 Fellows get ready to make their asks of the crowd.

I Like RADIUS So Much, I Don’t Even Want To Pee

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Guest blogger Abeer Yusuf (pictured second from the left above) is a radio producer, scholar and member of the 2017 RADIUS Fellows (to name just a few titles). She will be one of the 22 changemakers presenting their “asks” at RADIUS’ signature concAUCTION event on May 16th – get your tickets now!

It has become such that now there’s an internal sign in my head that says: TGIT – Thank God It’s Tuesday.

I cannot wait to leave work and my home to turn up, say hello to all my friends, grab a glass of water and sink into some serious learning.

Unfortunately this also means I cannot pee for three hours on Tuesday evenings.

I am so in awe of everything everyone has to say, so excited to see how the other 22 minds in the room run – that I am afraid to leave the room for even 2 minutes lest I miss a really important point that someone makes during a session on mindfulness, or lose out on a great book recommendation or a snippet of an interesting conversation on decolonising travel (thanks Erin!).

Our group is a varied bunch – and each person, from the worlds they are connected to, brings something totally different to the circle we congregate in. I have really come to admire what each person has to say, what perspectives people contribute, and also just the learning I get to be a part of because of an insightful question a peer asks.

TRADITIONS

I really enjoy the small traditions that are evolving and developing. I make it a point to have an early dinner with someone different each Tuesday before our session begins; Randall, Lana and I engage in debriefs while walking back to the Skytrains on our respective ways home – which I know others in the group do too.

I am learning more and more about what people do, the value of checking with your heart and not just stopping at your head and the importance of different perspectives in solution-thinking.

Thanks to my growing RADIUS community and the friendships I’m developing, I feel a little more validated in my daily battles, I feel a little more at ease knowing that there are honest, genuine humans like me who are also up against similar challenges and issues, I feel a little more happy that I can take away pieces of knowledge and learnings from others and I feel completely overwhelmed at one of the best things to happen to me in a little while – RADIUS.

So what if I have to hold my bladder from 6-9pm on Tuesday evenings?

2017 Fellows with RADIUS Lead Educator Tamara Connell. All images by Byron Dauncey.

SFU Changemakers are in Oxford for the Global Challenge Finals!

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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.

MEET THE SPEAKERS AT RADIUS’ FAILURE WAKE!

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 (ThisTable.com), 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.

Join RADIUS at FAILURE WAKE

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

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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!

RADIUS Spring Workshop Survey

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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!

October 19th: RADIUS Open House

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RADIUS has a new place in the world!

Join us on October 19th for an OPEN HOUSE in our new home.

You are the energy that drives our work. You are the community that creates impact and inspires us daily. You are why we are here.

You’re invited to drop by between 4:00-7:00pm. 

Eat, drink and celebrate with us at the new RADIUS hub in the SFU Charles Chang Innovation Centre. We’re located at 308 West Hastings, on the corner of Hastings and Hamilton. The RADIUS entrance is on Hamilton Street.

Please RSVP to join the free Open House.

We look forward to seeing you!

Charles Chang Innovation Centre: No better place to build solutions

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The following is an amended version of the speech delivered by Shawn Smith, Director of RADIUS, at the opening of RADIUS’ new office at the Charles Chang Innovation Centre on September 27th 2016:

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to be here, and of course to Charles for his commitment to the next generation of changemakers at SFU. We are incredibly excited to call this inspiring space our new home.

Founded in 2013 at the Beedie School of Business, and serving SFU’s broad community, RADIUS works with social innovators and entrepreneurs to build a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive economy.

Complex problems from ecosystem degradation to economic inequality become more urgent by the day, and ideas about how things could be different are plentiful, but to build breakthrough solutions we must work across sectors and silos, creating permeable boundaries and rich collisions of perspectives. This space is that, manifest – a bridge between a world class business school at Canada’s leading engaged university, and a rich community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and everyday citizens working hard to put new ideas into action.

We are a place for these Radical Doers, from explorers in undergraduate classrooms to established entrepreneurs, developing, testing and growing new models for the better economy we all wish to see. Many are here today, and three you see displayed around the room:

  • The first, Knack, is a startup initiative of Potluck Cafe Society that connects employers who want to achieve community impact with a labour force that is experiencing barriers to employment.
  • Riipen is a web-based platform that enables Higher Education Institutions to provide meaningful project-based experiential learning at scale.
  • And Coast Protein uses modern sustainable processes to cultivate crickets for use in protein powder-based products.

There is, with all sincerity, no better place in the world to be doing this work. At this school and university, in a city and province known as global leaders in social innovation, in a country that remains open and curious while much of the world grows closed and fearful, and has the resources, and on our best days, the imagination to ask what the good life really is, and how we might all get there.

We are in a moment in time when so much feels broken or breaking, and yet everything is possible. Today will go a long way to helping us ensure we unleash that potential.

The Charles Chang Innovation Centre (located at West Hastings and Hamilton) is an open concept hub where we offer workspace and amenities to RADIUS cohorts, rent desks and hotdesk space to innovators and mission-aligned professionals, and support the development of a dynamic and impactful social innovation network within SFU and beyond. Join the RADIUS community or email General Manager Tovah Paglaro at tpaglaro[at]radiussfu.com to learn more.  

RADIUS has moved to the SFU Charles Chang Innovation Centre

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RADIUS has moved! As of September 1st, RADIUS calls the second floor of the brand new SFU Charles Chang Innovation Centre home.

Our new office at the corner of West Hastings and Hamilton is an open concept hub where we offer workspace and amenities to RADIUS cohorts; support alumni and community with events and hot desk access; and continue to foster the development of a dynamic and impactful social innovation network within SFU and beyond.

We gratefully acknowledge the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University for supporting RADIUS with this space. Big thanks go out to MODO car share and to Frogbox – two superb community partners – who made the move easy for us!

RADIUS hot desk and workplace amenities rentals will become available to community October 1st.  Join the RADIUS community to learn more or email tpaglaro[at]radiussfu.com.

The 3rd annual RADIUS Blastoff Celebrated Seven Radical Food and Beverage Ventures

By | Events, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

Written by Sonam Swarup | All photos by Jackie Dives Photo

The Slingshot program at RADIUS Ventures wrapped up its 3rd cohort of radical ventures at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island on June 6th.  Hosted by RADIUS Ventures Director Donovan Woollard and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Mike Rowlands, the evening was part social innovation mixer, part demo-day and part kick-off to Startup City: Impact. 

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Over the last six months, the Slingshot entrepreneurs had the opportunity to test, challenge, learn and grow their venture alongside one another. The program is designed to deepen their business knowledge, expand their networks, provide hands-on coaching, and to establish a peer community of Doers moving forward.  Based upon the number of BlastOff guests that stated that their favourite part of the event was watching the entrepreneurs support and congratulate each other, we are proud of the results.  Thanks to everyone who came out, and check out how it went down on Twitter! Read More

Filling in the gaps: a concAUCTION of entrepreneurs, citizens, nerds, designers, + educators

By | Events, Fellows, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

Laura Cuthbert is one of the 22 RADIUS Fellows in Radical Doing in our second cohort. Here she reports back from last week’s concAUCTION: Ask. Source. Connect. All photos by Fellow Jackie Dives.

Growing up, my Dad was an auctioneer: a deal making, cash in hand, all-business, fast talking auctioneer. Deal making, because he’d trade fixtures when someone couldn’t afford what they needed. Cash in hand, but no guarantee of how much. All-business, because anyone was welcome. And fast talking, because he was afraid to miss out on anything. It’s genetic.

Five months ago, when I had first applied for the RADIUS Fellowship in Radical Doing, I was most concerned about competition. I wondered about meeting 21 other changemakers—young and ambitious. But those fears subsided.

Every Fellow is doing something I’m proud of; everyone is worth being proud of. Where I thought RADIUS was going to build up my professional connections, it’s instead done more: built those connections into friends. concAUCTION was the best of our team: unique, funny, and insightful requests. All pitched to an engaged and diverse audience.

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Before starting this post, I googled the meaning of “concoction,” half because I just kept picturing witches brewing a potion, and half because I wanted the exact definition: “a mixture of various ingredients or elements.” So, although my witches brewing idea definitely applies, so too do the RADIUS fellows—in all of the experience we meld together. The emcees, Tamara and Ajay, there to stir the pot, reduce, and simmer. And us, all there to add the eyes of various newts, wings of bats, and other witchy stuff. Metaphors have never really been my thing.

We had one minute to pitch our projects and needs. concAUCTION created space for us all to “Ask. Source. Connect.” So what could people really ask for in one minute? Read More

June 6th: BlastOff with RADIUS Ventures! A Slingshot celebration + Startup City: Impact Kickoff

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Get your ticket now! | Invite your friends on Facebook

Since December, the hard-working ventures in Slingshot 3, RADIUS Ventures’ flagship 6-month accelerator, have learned, tested, grown, challenged, and laughed with (and at) each other.

Supported by Vancity and the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Ventures program finds and amplifies top emerging social ventures and helps them to become investment ready and growth ready.

As this 3rd Slingshot cohort wraps up, you’re invited to a community celebration – part demo-day, part social innovation mixer, part kick-off to Startup City: Impact!

Come on out if you:

  • want to learn about and celebrate these 7 food and beverage social impact 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 Slingshot 3 Ventures? Read More

Join us on May 10th for the 2nd annual concAUCTION: Ask. Source. Connect.

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RADIUS is pumped to announce the second 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. We’ve borrowed from the best of our favourite pitch events to bring you our newest #socinn and #socent celebration: one part Marketplace of Ideas; one part Lightning Pitch; one part Mentor Speed Dating, one part social mixer, combined with a twist of the RADIUS Way.

We’re experimenting in the art of connection.

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

Tuesday May 10th
Doors at 6pm ~ Action at 6:30pm
Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, 549 Howe Street (map)

Advance tickets $10-$30

Tasty finger foods will be provided
Refreshments will be available (cash only)
Invite your friends on Facebook

Don’t miss out – get your ticket now!

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The Asks: Our Fellows and others in the RADIUS Family 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.

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This event is made possible with the generous contributions from RECODE, the BC Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation, the SFU Sustainability Office, and SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

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.

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