We’re delighted to present our second cohort of RADIUS Fellows, who are kicking off their sessions this Tuesday. Every week until June, this band of Radical Doers will gather together, connect with mentors and coaches, and strengthen their skills for creating impactful innovation.
This cohort brings together innovators leading upcycling and permaculture initiatives, pioneering new learning platforms, translating the Haida language, building cooperatives and social enterprises, and creating social commentary through photography and film.
They’ve studied at SFU, across the country, and around the globe, gaining degrees in everything from political science to engineering to cancer research. They’re working with organizations like Kudoz, the Binners’ Project, Renewal Funds, the Vancouver Economic Commission, The Wellbeing Project, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and SFU Vancouver. Read on to read more about them in their own words!
Originally from Texada Island on B.C.’s upper Sunshine Coast, Kamilah Charters-Gabanek moved to Vancouver in 2009 to pursue a post-secondary education. She now holds a BA in Political Science and a Certificate in Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University, with a focus on public policy, voter behaviour and local governance. Always interested in processes and policy, Kamilah completed co-ops at administrations including the U.S. Department of State and SFU during her degree. Kamilah currently works in community engagement for SFU’s Vancouver campus, where she enjoys finding ways to connect the university to the community, facilitating meaningful connections, and showcasing the impact of research on our everyday lives. Follow Kamilah on Twitter: @CoastalKamilah.
Laura Helen Gaaysiigaad Cuthbert
Laura has been working for two years as an Experience Curator, for the startup platform: Kudoz. She is a community mobilizer above all else. Noting that the coolest part of her day is Kudoz Principle #5: Everyone has a passion. She talks, mostly to strangers, about the awesome stuff they like. Then helps them build the most exciting, most immersive, most jam-packed hour long learning experiences they can. Conveniently, Laura has no shortage of her own passions, and likes to be “a little bit bad at as much as possible.” She stretches this philosophy by doing animation, linguistics, playing in a band, stand up comedy, translating Haida, researching BC ghost towns, mechanics on vintage tugboats, and writing. That grin on her face is just the excitement that she is finally getting to use her Museum Studies Degree (like she always told you she would, Mom). As she is (finally) in the position of curator—though this isn’t exactly how she thought the title would come up. Working on the Kudoz team also inspired her to go back to school, and is now close to finishing up her Masters in Linguistic Anthropology.
Jackie Dives is a documentary and portrait photographer living in Vancouver, BC. For four years she photographed women giving birth, sharing these photos to bring attention to this misunderstood topic. She seeks to capture people in their most authentic moments and does this in both her personal and editorial work.
She is a two-time prize winner at the annual 12×12 Film Photo Competition. Her photos have been featured by the CBC, the Tyee, the Huffington Post, Vice, the Daily Mail, and Disney, among others.
Working in digital and film, her current work includes documentation for Pivot Legal Society, of the homeless and marginalized people of the Downtown East Side, one of Canada’s most underprivileged neighbourhoods, and a series under consideration by the National Film Board of Canada, documenting her brother’s recovery from a heroin addiction.
Dennis Fan is a problem solver who enjoys crafting creative /|_↑_|\ (outside the box) solutions to today’s problems and challenges. His passion is equality and his vessel is renewable energy.
Shaped by his past, he seeks to drive impact in two ways: through capital – helping businesses achieve competitive advantage with a green spin and on a personal level – giving back to the community and empowering disadvantaged groups.
Dennis holds a MEng in Clean Energy and a BASc from the University of British Columbia. His past experiences include quantifying LNG employment impacts at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, merging heritage conservation and sustainability as a Greenest City Scholar, and reducing commercial energy consumption as a consultant. Currently, Dennis is a part of the Renewal Funds team and helps investors participate in businesses that are at the forefront of social and environmental innovation.
Kevin Harding is a cooperator, a passionate supporter of art for social change, and someone who is driven by the potential of social enterprise to build a better world. Kevin studied at Simon Fraser University, earning a BA (Hons.) in political science in 2010, and did graduate work culminating in a Master’s degree from York University in 2011.
Kevin’s academic work introduced him to the power of community-driven alternatives and social enterprises. Since graduation, he has co-founded a progressive, nonprofit consulting firm with a handful of his colleagues, focused on helping nonprofits and social enterprises build their capacity to effect change. He works for the BC Co-operative Association as Director of Co-op Development, helping communities across BC launch and grow co-op businesses. He is also a research associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC office.
Ben is a well-rounded professional, having undertaken a variety of roles in numerous multidisciplinary projects and businesses throughout his career. He holds a Bachelor degree with Honours in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor degree in Commerce from the University of Western Australia.
Whilst growing up amongst the wild landscapes of Western Australia, he developed a deep connection with the natural world and it’s inherent wisdom. A curious character by nature, Ben has always sought a holistic understanding of the world around him. This spirit of enquiry led Ben to travel the world, bestowing him with a wealth of global relationships, experiences and insights.
Ben is passionate about the use of science, innovation and technology to accelerate society’s transition towards regenerative eco-centric economies. Since arriving in Vancouver, he has become focused on additive manufacturing and how the advent of this revolutionary technology is poised to transform global manufacturing ecosystems, delivering with it powerful benefits to the realms of sustainability.
Andrew Heneghan hails from the easternmost reaches of Canada having gradually moved westward in search of adventure, alpine, and alternative perspectives. His professional experiences are broad and geographically disparate but share a unifying essence of understanding essential human systems and seeking ecological efficiencies rooted in simplicity, function, and beauty. Equally hodge-podge are his hobbies and activities. You may find him contemplating in the sauna on Sunday evening, downhill skiing in the coastal mountains on Tuesday afternoon, and on his rooftop, gardening on Friday morning. While nowhere near settled, this individual is eager to build lifelong partnerships with those who share a wonder, fascination, and appreciation for the planet we call home. Someday soon he will live off-the-grid, homesteading and sharing meals with his mother and father.
Yana is a person of community and is very passionate about empowering others to explore strengths within them. She really enjoys achieving unreasonable goals. Yana’s long-term goal is to make Vancouver (and eventually the rest of the world) a more engaged place.
After finishing Business Administration program with majors in Accounting and Financial Planning, Yana worked in investment industry for over 5 years. And in her spare time she kept on developing her skills and ideas in bringing people together, encouraging all around her to be more inclusive of people who are different from them.
Yana is a big believer in creating a healthier and happier society by helping each person focus on self-realization. She is working on a project called Mini-Missions. It promotes self-care, empowerment of others and social interactions through the joy of randomness and simple ‘missions’, while proving that kindness, compassion and fun are contagious.
Darcy is currently an independent contractor for the Vancouver Economic Commission working on the Upcycle Vancouver project. Focusing on construction and demolition waste, Upcycle Vancouver aims to aid in the transition to a more circular economy through education and upcycling initiatives. Darcy grew up on the Island of Maui and after being deprived of snow for all those years, decided she wanted to live somewhere with seasons (which she sometimes semi-regrets on those very cold days). After studying applied mathematics for two years, she was accepted into the environmental design program at UBC and graduated in May of 2015. She enjoys problem solving of any kind, which is why the seemingly different disciplines of math and design called to her, and she is passionate about design thinking as a way to improve our happiness and the health of our environment.
Hilary Kilgour is an innovator, strategist and speaker that has been leading social and environmental change for more than a decade. Among the top 30 under 30 sustainability leaders, Hilary contributed to leading organizations, including Hootsuite, lululemon athletica, and Grouse Mountain. She’s advised for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and brought We Day to Vancouver as regional director for Me to We and Free The Children. Hilary finds joy within spaces that inspire creativity and radical doing. She is re-imagining main streets’ capacity to facilitate growth, meaningful work and deeper connections that people within our new economy need to prosper. Hilary holds an MBA in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University, and completed her BAH from Queen’s University as an All-Canadian athlete. The youngest of five, she’s been knocking on doors to ignite civic action since she was five. Proud to call Vancouver home, Hilary loves to play outside. She’s fueled by smoothies, adventures and design.
Kevin Kimoto is a graduate from Simon Fraser University’s Sociology program and a CityStudio alumni. Over the last year his primary focus has been supporting the development of the circular, green and zero-waste economy in Vancouver through a start-up called Uproot. He is always excited to collaborate with other value-oriented initiatives.
Fascinated with the natural world since he was child, he works to mitigate the pressures of urban living through creative ventures. On the side, Kevin enjoys creating visual, high-impact installations that help the public re-imagine what is possible with reclaimed resources. In his down-time, he enjoys exploring discussions of intersections of identity, community and purpose.
Gabby is currently the Programs Manager for the Binners’ Project, a grassroots group of binners in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside dedicated to improving their economic opportunities and reducing the stigma they face as informal recyclables collectors.
Combining an interest in community engagement with social inclusivity and how it relates to marginalized populations, she is passionate and deeply motivated by the intersection of environmental, economic, and social justice issues currently at play in the Binners’ Project.
Gabby holds a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. Her past work experiences include the UBC Learning Exchange and UBC Access and Diversity, where she first developed her interest in positive social change, equity, and innovative approaches to education.
A curious scientist, Amy Lubik studied microbiology/ biochemistry at SFU, earning an honours degree in HIV research before traveling to Ukraine to help design and implement an HIV education course for high schools and universities.
She earned a PhD in cancer research at Queensland University of Technology where, always passionate about social justice outreach, she founded a chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, making sure drugs and technology founded at the university would be available to low income countries.
While working as a cancer researcher, Amy was activated as an environmental justice advocate following threats to local endangered habit (and climate), and has been volunteering as a local organizer for Leadnow, working to educate/ engage her community around the values of fair economy, fair democracy, and climate justice. She is currently working to find her passion in the intersection between her scientific background and the social/environmental determinants of health.
Jenna is a promoter of systems change, and takes care to remain curious and act with a “beginner’s mind”. She is most motivated by a desire to bring inclusivity and dignity to urban dwellers. Jenna co-founded Unleash, a co-evolutionary consulting platform that aims to enable organizations to operate from a high level of consciousness. Jenna works for Dillon Consulting Ltd, is a member of The HiVE and is a circle member of an online magazine for next-stage organizations called Enlivening Edge. She recently completed her Master of Science in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability in Karlskrona, Sweden. Previously, she earned an Advanced Specialty Certificate in Sustainable Business Leadership and a B.A. in Human Geography. She is now expanding her toolbox to include societal learning, organizational change, positive leadership methodologies, and gift economy principles. She is always looking for her next challenge – get in touch if you have any ideas!
Follow Jenna on Twitter: @jennalmcneil
Jannika is a connector–a relationship builder. She is driven by the belief that resilient communities are produced as a result of strong, interconnected relationships. As a community educator and facilitator, currently working within the Burnaby school district, she works to connect youth with the resources necessary to be stakeholders in their education. She holds a BA in Political Science and Canadian History from McGill University. While on exchange at SFU, she also studied dialogue through the Semester in Dialogue program.Jannika brings years of experience working within the non-profit sector as a youth facilitator and program designer through her role with ArtQuake. When she is not working on social innovation projects she can often be found in the dance studio. She hopes to transition her current training in community development into a career in social planning. Currently, she is one of twelve OceanPath fellows, a contract outdoor educator with the Vancouver Outdoor School and the treasurer of ArtQuake.
Connect with Jannika on LinkedIn
Deeply interested in health, inequality, and structures of power, Milica holds a BA in Health Sciences and Minor in International Studies, graduating with First Class Distinction from SFU in the summer of 2015. For several years, Milica has been involved with Insight Global Education (an international education organization) in various capacities, most recently taking on the role of program coordinator. In her spare time, Milica likes to train in long distance running, volunteer with various projects for the Canadian Red Cross, and keep up to date on intersecting public policy issues. With a passion for gaining new experiences and perspectives, Milica’s work and independent travels over the years have allowed her to explore diverse places spanning four continents. Last year, Milica spent 3 months in Ecuador interning with Impacto Quito through RADIUS, and is thrilled to continue her involvement in this network through the RADIUS fellowship.
Chris is a purpose-driven young professional and changemaker. He believes in business and innovation as tools for social change and sustainable development.
He is actively engaged in the impact community in Vancouver and wears many hats. He works for the Social Enterprise Cleanstart BC as a Quality Assurance Lead. In his role as mentor for Connecting Environmental Professionals (CEP) he guides students in planning a career in the sustainability sector.
He is also a workshop facilitator and speaker and talks about soft skills development, social entrepreneurship and Career planning. Furthermore, Besides being a Radius, he also is a participant in the Groundswell Social Venture Program is currently starting a social venture himself.
Chris is originally from the Netherlands and moved to Vancouver after his graduation in the summer of 2015. The outdoor lifestyle and well-developed social impact community are the main attractors for Chris.
While studying in university, Brent experienced serious mental health challenges, which led him to connect with thousands of young people around British Columbia and across Canada, graduate from his SFU Business Class as Valedictorian, and start running ultramarathons.
Brent dedicates his time to supporting and educating people of the value of mental health and wellness and exploring the outdoors – rock climbing, trail running and mountaineering around British Columbia throughout North America.
Brent is the Founder of Mavrixx – a social enterprise dedicated to supporting and inspiring young people to live great lives through wellness and adventure.
Brent believes that anyone can turn their biggest challenges into their biggest opportunities and build a great life through wellness. With Mavrixx programs, Consulting, Speaking and his Adventures, he tries to inspire people to do just that.
Ivy is an equal ratio of curiosity, action, and contemplation. Her fascination with people – how they think, how they act, and how they make sense of the world– lead her to pursue an honours degree in social anthropology at Dalhousie University. Still curious, and still enamoured with the sleepy charm and thriving arts scene in Halifax, she stuck around to pursue her MA, eventually heading to East Africa to study the lived experience of autism in Moshi, Tanzania. She’s been thriving in Vancouver ever since, writing her thesis while working as a multisensory learning tutor for children with learning differences. As she completed her writing, she became frustrated; she’d gathered local perspectives and co-produced several recommendations for targeted change, but knew these ideas were likely to remain entombed in the (incredibly verbose) grave of her thesis. Determined to find a different approach, she sought out new learning opportunities, linking up with the Kudoz team, getting excited about human-centered design, and solidifying social innovation as her passion Ivy has high hopes that this fellowship will help her channel the fruits of her curiosity and contemplation into meaningful, powerful, and radical action.
Sonam is driven by good storytelling, big picture thinking and doing things with a socially conscious mind. Currently, she is a coordinator at The Wellbeing Project – a 3-year project focused on both modeling support to social change leaders and cultivating a shift in the culture of the field toward one that is healthier and supportive of inner wellbeing. Previously, she co-founded a social venture that employed immigrant women to teach cultural cooking classes. She has received multiple awards for her work including HSBC Women Leader of the Tomorrow for Western Canada and an AMEX Emerging Innovator. She earned her BA from Simon Fraser University in Communications and has studied internationally at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
After overcoming a health scare just over 5 years ago, Natasha realizes that it was a catalyst for many experiences to follow. She is currently a third year student at Capilano University in the faculty of Global and Community Studies. She is passionate about community development and engagement, always looking for new and exciting ways to get involved and give back. You’ll usually find her seeking out moments to connect with others, and trying to be present in each day.
Outside of school, Natasha is also the Director of Operations for The Lipstick Project, an organization that provides free, professional spa services to men, women and children facing significant health challenges. It is a story of humanity restored, and dignity returned to people.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Natasha spends her free time hiking the North Shore trails, being a foodie in her own city, and enjoying girl time with her nieces.
Follow Natasha on Twitter: @natashathom
Jasmine Wing graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Global Resource Systems and a minor in Commerce. She hopes to pursue a career in education. Throughout her University experience, two major events stuck out to her and created a new outlook for her on education. The two experiential learning programs were called Redfish School of Change and CityStudio. Through these experiences, Jasmine learned the importance of experiential learning, environmental education, the encouragement of failure, and self-reflection.
Jasmine loves to speak new languages, learn about different cultures and study the history of countries through traveling and staying with locals. In her spare time she enjoys backpacking, cycle touring, climbing, yoga, meditation and singing.
Jasmine’s main goal is to help build models for education that provide children with relevant, experiential education, in safe and compassionate environments! Jasmine also encourages individuals to tune into their innate curiosities to help guide their learning.