Monthly Archives

April 2015

The Final Stretch: Qataliza & teary goodbyes

By | Quito, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

Milica Pavlovic recently returned from three months with RADIUS and Slingshot Venture Youth In Development in Quito, Ecuador. You can read more about her experiences here.

While all of my time in Ecuador flew by way too quickly, the final weeks were especially hectic in preparation for the RADIUS’ & Impacto Quito trail blazing bootcamp: Qataliza. Our 12 hour bootcamp for young, aspiring change-makers was scheduled for April 11th, with my departure date looming on April 14th. Tasked with creating all the resources for the participants’ packages and planning the execution of various other elements of the Qataliza agenda, my last two weeks definitely provided new learning experiences in design, graphics, organizational skills, and team work.84-DSC_9247Based on Human Centered Design and SEEN methodology, Qataliza combined elements of both “ideation” and “social enterprise” bootcamps;  it first compelled participants to seek out their passions and purpose, and then allowed them to explore meaningful solutions using social enterprise tools like rapid prototyping and the social business model canvas. In just 12 hours, Qataliza aimed to turn “ideas into action” by engaging participants in a carefully selected sequence of impactful exercises led by our amazing facilitators David Lamka and Leonello Bertini.

37-DSC_8987Once participants had completed exercises to expose the problems that they were most passionate about, teams were formed based on common interests. For the rest of the bootcamp, the teams and their chosen problem/interest area would serve as an example upon which to apply the social enterprise tools in the second half of Qataliza. The 6 teams formed within Qataliza reflected very diverse problems, including: child labour and informal work, the elderly, neglected animals, the reintegration of ex-convicts into society, recycling and environmental consciousness, and business enhancement.12-DSC_8890For me, one of the most rewarding moments occurred at the very end of the bootcamp, when several participants approached the Impacto team and expressed their gratitude for this opportunity. After a mentally, physically, and emotionally demanding 12 hour day, it was amazing to witness a room full of high-energy participants who were genuinely excited about all they had achieved within Qataliza. This positive feedback was further re-iterated in the next few days when participants submitted formal feedback via e-mail, with many stressing that Qataliza had equipped them with the practical skills and resources to move forward with their ideas! After several long and challenging weeks of work in areas where I previously had very little expertise, I was thrilled that Qataliza had such an incredible impact on our first cohort of bootcampers, and humbled to have played a central role in that experience.

81-DSC_9238In the following three days, my post-Qataliza energy was disrupted by the abrupt realization that I would soon have to leave Quito and all the people I had just spent 3 months with. With a heavy heart, I tearfully said goodbye/see you later to my amazing new friends and a beautiful country. It is only fitting to wrap up this blog with a quick shout-out to the Impacto crew and all the other incredible people I met along the way: thanks for everything, I miss you so much already, and I will see you in the future!


Dr. David Helfand to do opening keynote at ReSchool: transform the future of learning!

By | Events, RADIUS Edu, Social Innovation | No Comments

“If we are to address the daunting problems that face our planet today, we need a radical transformation of our educational system…a student-centered, hands-on, inquiry-based, collaborative model in which all the capacities of the marvelous machines we have in our heads are fully harnessed in an engaging enterprise of discovery…”

 David Helfand, The Globe and Mail, 2014

RADIUS, Groundswell, and Ashoka Canada are proud to announce that Dr. David Helfand, founding president of Quest University Canada will be the opening keynote speaker at ReSchool: transform the future of learning, May 29 & 30 at SFU Surrey.

There are few educators in North America that have done more than Dr. Helfand in moving the needle to not just rethink education, but demonstrate what it could be. Bold and relentless in his pursuit of innovation in education, the New York Times summarized some of his greatest accomplishments in transforming higher education :

Dr. Helfand had his share of crusades at Columbia: he waged a long campaign to have a science class added to the core curriculum (he won); he declined tenure, arguing that senior professors’ performance should be reviewed every five years by an ad hoc faculty committee (he won for himself, but Columbia kept the tenure system for everybody else).

At Quest, he is playing out an even bolder agenda: creating a model to attack the ennui that plagues so much of higher education. Quest has no departments, no tenure and no classes larger than 20. It uses the block system, in which students take one course at a time for a month. Students get a grade, plus a faculty assessment of whether they are “contributing to, and benefiting from, the intellectual life of the classroom.” And students spend their last two years focused on a single question of their choosing.

We are thrilled Prof. Helfand will be joining us to share his wisdom, insights and hard won lessons in creating the future of education and learning.

Be sure to join us on May 29 and 30 at ReSchool to be part of a national effort to build 21st century models of learning and doing and connect to an international community of education innovators. Reserve your space now.


About Prof. David Helfand

IMG_7766A leading doer in the radical reform of higher education, David J. Helfand has served on the faculty of Columbia University in New York for thirty-eight years, for nearly half that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy. He has also spent three years at the University of Cambridge, most recently as the Sackler Distinguished Visiting Astronomer, and was a visiting astronomer at the Danish Space Research Institute and the University of Copenhagen. At Columbia, he taught primarily undergraduate courses for non-science majors, including one of his own design that treats the atom as a tool for revealing the quantitative history of everything from human diet and works of art to the Earth’s climate and the Universe; this course was released as a 24-lecture set by The Teaching Company. Ten years ago, he finally succeeded in implementing a vision he began working on in 1982 that has all Columbia first-year students taking a science course as part of Columbia’s famed Core Curriculum. He received the University’s 2001 Presidential Teaching Award and the 2002 Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates.

In 2005, he became involved in the effort to create Canada’s first independent, non-profit, secular university, Quest University Canada. He served as a Visiting Tutor in the University’s inaugural semester in the Fall of 2007 and was appointed President & Vice-Chancellor in the Fall of 2008; he is now on a long-term leave from Columbia to devote full-time to this innovative experiment in higher education.

In 2011, Prof. Helfand was elected President of the American Astronomical Society, the professional organization of astronomers, astrophysicists and planetary scientists in North America.

A decade ago, he appeared weekly on the Discovery Channel’s program Science News, bringing the latest astronomical discoveries to the US television audience. More recently, his television appearances have been limited to more serious matters on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and the National Geographic channel series, The Known Universe. He believes he is a better cook than astronomer and, ambiguously, most of his colleagues who have sampled his gastronomical undertakings agree.

You’re invited to BlastOff with RADIUS Ventures on May 7th!

By | Accelerator, Events, RADIUS Ventures, Social Innovation | No Comments

A Slingshot accelerator Cohort 2 celebration
May 7th | 6 PM
Portside Pub | 7 Alexander Street
Light food provided.

Get your $10 ticket here!
Advance tickets include your first drink. (Otherwise, $10 at the door but no drink ticket!)

Since November, the hard-working ventures in Slingshot 2, RADIUS Ventures’ flagship 6-month accelerator, have learned, tested, grown, challenged, and laughed with each other. Supported by Vancity, the Ventures program finds and amplifies top emerging social ventures. As this second cohort wraps up, you’re invited to a community celebration – part RADIUS family reunion, part social innovation mixer!

Come on out if you:

  • want to learn about and celebrate these 8 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 2 Ventures? Learn more about them here!

2014-5 Slingshot cohort

  • Ethelo – An online software platform that delivers actionable insights to organizations about the needs and desires of groups. Ethelo’s overarching goal is to bring disruptive improvement to a fundamental human activity: how we make collective decisions. We are looking to change the way democracy operates using a technology business strategy.
  • Homesteader’s Emporium – Homesteader’s helps modern folk connect with the world and each other by creating food and household products from scratch. They offer ready access to retail supplies, expertise, and regularly scheduled workshops at their brick-and-mortar space at 649 E Hastings St.
  • LifeSpace Projects – LifeSpace Projects is a thriving landscape design business that seeks to commercialize its proprietary self-watering LifeSpace Gardens.
  • New District – A Vancouver-based technology venture that connects the craft winemaker with the consumer. Combining high-quality content and refined technology, New District enables local winemakers to reach a wide audience of wine-lovers while maintaining focus on their craft.
  • Riipen – An online platform that connects student with companies through short-term, skill-specific projects early on in the students’ post secondary education.
  • Transformation Projects – A special events production company with a specialty in public engagement that fortifies the cultural immune system by curating events that happen in public, experiences for tens, hundreds or thousands. Their contracts focus on the good work of businesses, municipalities and NGOs working with a mandate of transforming community and upholding principles of sustainability, inclusion and creativity.
  • Urban Stream – Founded with the mission to change the local food system through technology solutions, Urban Stream is a Vancouver start-up that is rolling out its proprietary composting unit to restaurants and other Lower Mainland users.
  • Youth in Development – Youth in Development’s mission is to help students, both at the secondary and post-secondary levels, develop a holistic understanding of what it’s really like to live, learn, and work in a developing country.

Student MBAs Host the Second Annual SFU Beedie Net Impact Sustainability Challenge

By | Events, Funding, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

The SFU Beedie Sustainability Challenge received funding from the Student Social Innovation seed funding offered by RADIUS and Sustainable SFU; read more here about the SFU MBAs behind the challenge!  This post comes to you from MBA candidate Margaret Ross. Follow the action this weekend via Twitter #SFUNetImpact15.

The SFU Beedie Sustainability Challenge will be held on April 18, 2015 at the SFU Segal building in downtown Vancouver. This case competition presents an opportunity for MBA students from across the country with an interest in sustainability to apply learned skills by diagnosing and presenting solutions to a business issue, obtaining feedback from a panel of industry judges and networking with like-minded individuals and industry leaders. Using a sustainability-focused business case students gain valuable experiences and a chance to win prize money for their team.

This competition is the only one of its kind on the West Coast. It will focus on skill development and knowledge application and put into practice presentation and academic skills. The event will provide the opportunity to draw more thought-leaders to the issues of sustainability and engage with the local business community.

The SFU Net Impact team is thrilled to be welcoming a panel of highly respected judges to the 2015 SFU Beedie Net Impact Sustainability Challenge. Competing teams will have the opportunity to have their case presentations judged by leaders in sustainability:

Net Impact judges

Tod Maffin – President of engageQ digital, Mr. Maffin is one of the country’s go-to commentators on the impact of accellaerated technological change and innovation on the business and economic environment.

Dr. Tim Hargrave – Dr. Hargrave is an organizational sociologist whose research focuses on the emergence and growth of green industries and processes of social and technical change.

Christie Stephenson – Ms. Stephenson has spent the past 15 years involved in impact investing and social enterprise as an investor, board member, mentor, and through her work in the socially responsible investing field.

Ned Georgy – Program Manager at FortisBC, Mr. Georgy currently manages a portfolio of energy efficiency and conservation programs specifically designed to aid low income customers lower their energy bills and their carbon footprint.

Colin Stansfield – Executive Director of Potluck Café, Mr. Stansfield has a passion for social justice, resilient local economies and the hard-fought right to party.

Dr. Stephanie Bertels – Dr. Bertels teaches courses in managing innovation and change; sustainable operations; and managing for sustainability in both the undergraduate and MBA programs. While actively working with firms in a range of industries, much of her work is focused on innovation for sustainability at the start of the value chain in extractive companies.

Net Impact logo

Following successful completion of the day’s event, a networking social will be held at Steamworks Brew Pub. Teams will be visiting Vancouver from across Canada, and the opportunity to network and share experiences with fellow MBAs will add to this exciting and memorable experience.

Join us May 29th & 30th for ReSchool: Transform the Future of Learning

By | Events, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

Presented by RADIUS, Groundswell, and Ashoka

ReSchool is a hands-on conference+design sprint for education innovators of all stripes. We’re working to create community across sector boundaries, push bold thinking, and prototype new models, together.

Whether you are designing a whole new school or independent program, a teacher pursuing innovative curriculum models, or a student or passionate amateur with bold ideas for how to make education better, this is the place to find inspiration, like minds, and collaborators in bringing those ideas to life. Join us!


When – May 29th and May 30th, 2015
Who – Up to 100 innovators and practitioners drawn from institutions, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, and beyond. Project teams will be diverse.

Opening Keynote – Prof. David Helfand, President, Quest University Canada

Day 2 KeynoteCharles Tsai: From Excellent Sheep to Motivated Elephants – A New Vision for Mass Education

Cases: Include Compass Community School, Tiny Home School, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s RECODE initiative, CityStudio Vancouver, SKY: No Limits, and Oak and Orca Bioregional School. Read more here.

Where – SFU Surrey (across the street from the Surrey Central skytrain)
250-13450 102nd Avenue, Surrey, B.C., Canada V3T 0A3

Ticket Info
Institutional participant – $400
Individual participant – $225
Student participant – $100
Get your ticket here!

There are a limited number of bursaries available for participants who face financial barriers. Please apply here; applications considered on a rolling basis until bursary funding is gone.

Once you have registered, please scroll to the bottom of this page for participant information.

Program details
A very hands on and very full 2-day event designed to inspire, practice, and prototype:

Day 1
o   provocation and inspiration on education innovation;
o   community building;
o   unearthing key design principles for the future of learning, through building your dream program with a small team over an afternoon;
o   community debrief; and
o   design sprint pitches.

Day 2
o   deep dive case studies of emerging models drawn from participants;
o   training in design sprints for innovation;
o   forming teams to build prototypes for the future of education (new independent schools, innovation school prototype concepts, new local or national programs etc.); and
o   a wrap-up showcase of prototypes.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who Should Participate?  

Anyone who has a passion for learning and education is invited to participate. Even more specifically, anyone who is interested in the revitalization, reformation and reinvention of education as we know it today, will be keenly interested in this experience.

This might mean you are an educator or administrator working in the formal K – 12 or post-secondary system. Or, it might mean you are a practitioner or informal educator who builds your own curricula. It might even mean you are a student — a passionate amateur — who has big bold ideas for what you wish your education could be. We want you there too. In fact you’re central to this process.

 This doesn’t look like a typical conference: What will I get out of participating?

A central goal of ReSchool is to move from just talking about what education could be to actually creating the models we wish existed. We notice a pretty strong correlation between the style of traditional conferences and current mainstream models of education: Sit. Listen. Repeat.

How can we innovate education when our convening models are structured in the exact same way? To innovate education we must innovate the processes we use to gather. ReSchool is our attempt to do this.

When we first conceived of the idea, we summarized it as StartUp Weekend for Schools! Its evolved since then, and we’ve kept some elements that will be familiar to conference goers: A keynote speaker and a few other short Pecha Kucha/TED style talks; networking; coffee breaks, for example. All those things will be there. We might even sit in a lecture hall or two.

But, the energy, process innovation and outcomes of a StartUp Weekend are the experiential twists we’ve injected into the same old conference experience. The two days will both move you toward prototypes for new courses, programs and learning experiences, as well as provide you training in design methods. You can expect to leave these two days with:

*experience in human centered design methods and rapid prototyping tools — bring them back to your work! Use these processes again!

*bold new ideas to integrate into your work and/or a ready-to-implement prototype of the new course, program, school or experience you seek to build

*a community of collaborators — we’re going beyond networking to deepen relationships among education innovators

*a deeper understanding of current trends and futures forecasts affecting education

 What is a Design Sprint?

A design sprint is a process that enables teams to rapidly create new products (at least in the Google context where this particular term was coined). It is part of the suite of tools and processes associated with design thinking methodologies, in particular popularized through the work of Ideo.

We will be using an adapted design sprint process that we’ve created especially for ReSchool to move teams of participants from ideas to prototypes.

(While you’re looking at links, check out this great toolkit Ideo built just for educators wanting to use design thinking!)

 What is a Case Study? What kinds of ideas will be considered as Cases?  

A Case Study is what we’re calling the ideas that will go through the design sprint process. They will be pitched by team leads, and then design teams comprised of ReSchool participants will work together to move from idea to prototype.

A group of participants will be selected to present their ideas as case studies. More details on the case study selection process is forthcoming.

What if I do not have an idea I want to work on? Can I still come?


Absolutely. If you are interested in the future of education, in seeing current education models innovated, we absolutely want you to be there. A key part of the design sprint process is forming teams to work on ideas. As a participant not looking to build an idea, you will be an invaluable member of someone else’s team.


Information for Participants

Agenda & Programming

Friday: 8:30am-6pm (Registration begins at 8:15; please arrive by 8:30 latest)

Morning: Welcome, David Helfand Keynote, Education 2025 – Imagine
Afternoon: Education 2025 – Build, Lightning Pitches
Optional: Dinner at Surrey Central Brewpub (sign up at registration)

Saturday: 8:30am-6pm

Morning: Open, Charles Tsai Keynote, Innovation Talks, Case Workshops
Afternoon: Innovation Design Sprints, Showcase, Closing

The facilitation team asks that you plan to be fully present for all sessions. ReSchool is a hands-on event where sessions flow together and build on one another, with a variety of session formats and interaction styles.

Please bring a watch or phone for timekeeping. SFU Surrey guest wifi will be available.


Morning coffee + light snacks, mid-morning coffee, lunch, and mid-afternoon coffee + snack will be provided from John Volken Academy. There will be vegan and vegetarian options. If you have a severe allergy and require more details about food options, please contact events[at]

Please bring your own water bottle.

Friday evening we have a reservation for 40 people at Central City Brew Pub for those who want to stay and socialize after the formal programming ends (each of us pays for our own meal + gratuity). There will be sign-up available at registration, first come first served. We will attempt to increase the reservation size if needed.

Dress code: comfortable

There will be lots of moving around and a healthy mix of sitting, walking and standing — be comfortable!

Videorecording & Social Media

We have a team of videographers taking footage of the event, including roving interviews, to help us share the experience and insights with those not in the room. Please let us know in advance (preferably) or at registration if you have concerns about being on video or featured in social media.

We’re using the hashtag #ReSchool2015 and have started a Twitter list of organizations and individuals who are attending. If you’d like to be added to the list in advance, please tweet at @RADIUS_SFU (or be old school and email us at mknight[at] with your Twitter handle).

Transportation & Directions

Morning registration and coffee is in the SFU Surrey Dale B Regehr Grand Hall (a.k.a. mezzanine or atrium), outside the Registrar & Information Services Office.

Campus Map & Area Map

Directions to SFU Surrey by car, bus, and skytrain

Please note that there have recently been service disruptions on the Skytrain route and give yourself a bit of extra time.


SFU Surrey has an arrangement with The Sheraton Guildford nearby, for 15% off the rate, with free parking, internet and shuttle service to SFU. The rates do still come in at about $145 per night. When you book you ask for the “CAUBO rates, set #377098″. Other nearby hotels include the Coast Surrey Guildford Hotel, Sandman, and Days Inn.

Alternatively, any hotel or AirBnB along the “Expo Line” skytrain will be quite convenient to the conference, as SFU Surrey is immediately beside Surrey Central Station. The commute from Vancouver is about 45 minutes once on the skytrain.


 This event is hosted by RADIUS, Groundswell, and Ashoka in partnership with RECODE, SFU Surrey, and the BC Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation. We thank the Vancouver Foundation, RBC Foundation, and Bombardier Foundation for their contributions to the event’s success and their continued support for changemaking in education.

Building a culture of generosity at ConcAUCTION: Ask. Source. Connect.

By | Events, Fellows, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

RADIUS Fellow Brielle Morgan reports back on the Fellowship program’s packed public event ConcAUCTION: Ask. Source. Connect., hosted this Monday at the HiVE. You can also check out how it went down on Twitter.

You wouldn’t know it by the way I dropped an expletive (twice) and sort of pranced about on the spot (twice), but I actually practiced my ‘ask’ quite a few times. I was nervous. And not because I worried everyone would wah-wah my idea and tomato my face, but because I could feel this supportive energy in the room and I didn’t want to disappoint.

Brielle Morgan makes her pitch. Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

Brielle Morgan makes her pitch. Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

All in all, I believe 37 people got up on stage to deliver a 45-second project elevator pitch / ask combo. I asked RADIUS fellow Patrick Lee how he was feeling prior to getting up to share his big idea.

“I’m feeling good about making an ask because I’m looking for help with a project and I could really use the help, so I’m optimistic that hopefully somebody in the audience will respond.”

And respond they did. With every new speaker, hands shot up and volunteers shot out with stickers in hand. By the end of the night, the room was full of people with 4s, 7s, 22s and 30s on their shirts. The numbers corresponded with an asker’s number, indicating they connected with the idea shared and/or wanted to support the asker in some way.

MC Wayne Stewart tees up RADIUS Fellow Patrick Lee to make his ask.  Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

MC Wayne Stewart tees up RADIUS Fellow Patrick Lee to make his ask.
Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

It felt great to be approached by someone interested in supporting my project. I was especially touched by people who came up to me to say that while they didn’t really know how they could help, they just wanted to tell me they like my idea.

I asked RADIUS fellow Debbie Yeh what she thought of the asks she’d heard.

“There’s lots of need in the community and it’s inspiring to see that there’s people out there that recognize that need and have really innovative ways of wanting to work with other people to solve them.”

Our charismatic host, actor and emcee Wayne Stewart, was equally inspired.

“I’m glad that there are so many people trying to do stuff… doing stuff is better than not doing stuff and complaining about stuff not being done.”

Exactly, I thought. The ideas we heard were wide-ranging. We heard from someone working with marginalized women on a soap-making / story-sharing initiative, someone planning a cooking competition for street-involved youth, someone working to combat underemployment by connecting students with employers to work on short-term projects, and someone working to build capacities for post-conflict societies.

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

It was interesting to hear why everyone had come to the event.

“I came to this event to connect with interesting people who live in Vancouver who are doing cool things and so far I’m enjoying the event. I like the vibe,” said Roohi Sahajpal. She was one of the volunteers running around and sticker-ing people.

Sophie Major, a soon-to-be grad student, said, “I’m really excited about how the event went. I have met way more people than I expected to that are doing great things.”

Business student Anna Migicovsky told me, “I volunteer at RADIUS and I believe that RADIUS is such an important community enterprise for Vancouver.”

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

By the end of the evening, a distinct kumbaya-feeling had officially taken hold. RADIUS fellow Maya Goodwill articulated it well.

“I feel like a big goal of the [RADIUS Fellows] program is just for all of us to be really good friends. People are maybe in a little bit of a different sector, but they’re right there with you – friendship and belonging and deep connection. I think it’s great.”

It was Maya who lead the group in collectively embarrassing RADIUS Fellowship program leader Jennifer McRae, who in turn lead us in collectively embarrassing RADIUS founder Shawn Smith – by singing happy birthday. This moment of throwing-US-a-big-thing-on-THEIR-birthdays was indicative of these leaders’ generosity.

Paola Qualizza of Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives makes her ask.  Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

Paola Qualizza of Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives makes her ask.
Photo credit: Ash Tanasiychuk @FormatNoAuto @VANDOCUMENT

Dana Stephenson of RADIUS Slingshot venture Riipen makes his ask. Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Dana Stephenson of RADIUS Slingshot venture Riipen makes his ask.
Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

At our weekly Monday meetings, Jenn is the last to leave – packing up the giant flipchart, stacking chairs and tidying the kitchen. And Shawn always has an ear for you – whether you bump into him at an East Van coffee shop or at an official RADIUS event.

It’s this spirit of generosity that made concAUCTION work. And it’s this spirit of generosity that makes our weekly Monday fellowship meetings so rewarding. Thank you to everyone who has shown support for the RADIUS fellowship program.

(Now come ride the train with us and we can idea-jam into the wee hours together…)

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Photo credit: Pravin Narsing

Huge kudos to RECODE and the SFU Sustainability Office for making the RADIUS Fellows Program possible, to the HiVE for hosting, and to Persephone Brewing for being so tasty! Photo credit: Maggie Knight

Huge kudos to RECODE and the SFU Sustainability Office for making the RADIUS Fellows Program possible, to the HiVE for hosting, and to Persephone Brewing for being so tasty!
Photo credit: Maggie Knight

All Aboard! RADIUS is hosting Canada’s first Cascadia Social Innovation Train Tour! YVR-SEA-PDX

By | Events, Fellows, Social Innovation | No Comments

We’ve got some big news to share! We’re hosting a train tour to Seattle and Portland and we want you to join us!

Clear your calendars and pull our your favourite west coast plaid, because from Friday June 19 through Sunday June 21, you’ll be on a private train car* with the RADIUS Fellows and team touring the best of Cascadian social innovation and entrepreneurship. We’ll be hosted for a night in Seattle and a night in Portland, with tours during the day and local food and drink in the evening.

We anticipate spots on this tour will go quickly. Be sure to reserve your space. Pre-Registration with a non-refundable $100 deposit is required to secure your spot. Deadline to pre-register is April 14th, 2015 at 4pm. Full payment will be due by June 1st, 2015.


Tickets (includes: round trip train (YVR>SEA>PDX>YVR), local transit, and accommodation in both cities):
$375 (student/emerging young leader)
$450 (senior leaders and professionals)

Departure (from Pacific Central Station): 6am Friday June 19
Return (to Pacific Central Station): 11pm Sunday June 21

Registration: Reserve your ticket here!
Invite your friends
on Facebook.

Please note that all participants are responsible for their own health insurance and any required visas or other documentation they require to travel to the USA.

*Seriously, Amtrak is hitching up extra cars just for us. You won’t want to miss this.

This trip is made possible by RECODE, SFU Sustainability Office, and the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.


What is the Cascadia Social Innovation Tour?

The Cascadia Social Innovation Tour is a journey through the Cascadia region to connect, learn, and shift our thinking towards new approaches within the social innovation sphere. We’re packing up our excitement and enthusiasm to build some cross-border connections!

This tour is being hosted by the RADIUS Fellows, a group of 20 high potential emerging changemakers living and working in greater Vancouver. It is open to the entire social innovation community in Vancouver. If you’d like to know more about our fellows, you can check them out here.

We hope that upon our return we continue to rethink our own approaches and continue to foster and strengthen the connections that have been formed.

Our goals for this tour are threefold:  

  1. To connect young social entrepreneurs from Vancouver to other like minded individuals and communities in Seattle and Portland.
  2. To discover similarities and differences between and within the changemaking communities in Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland.
  3. To host a meaningful experience, that is both fun and memorable, and deepens connections between the Fellows and within Vancouver’s social innovation community.


Why do you need my passport number in the registration form?
Amtrak regulations and American border crossing requirements stipulate that we must pre-submit traveller’s information for all international train travel. You can read more about Amtrak’s policy here. This is the only reason we are collecting this information.

Why do you need me to register by April 14 if the trip isn’t until June 19?
Because we are renting entire train cars exclusively for our use, Amtrak requires confirmation of attendees in advance of travel. If we do not sell out the cars, they require us to cancel the reservation and we lose the right to ‘exclusive occupancy’. They have provided the final deadline to confirm how many seats we need.

Can my deposit be refunded if I pay it but can no longer come on the trip?
No, deposits are non-refundable.

Am I required to go on the tours you are arranging for us?
No. Once we are in Seattle and Portland, you are welcome to choose your own adventure. We will be working with local hosts to coordinate a number of different tour options, but if there is something else you would like to see or do, that is entirely up to you.

Am I required to stay in the accommodations you arrange?
No, you are not required to stay with us, but the ticket price does include accommodations. We will not refund you if you choose to stay elsewhere.

Am I required to take the return train trip back to Vancouver with you, or can I make my own way home at a later date/time?
Absolutely! Stay and enjoy Portland or carry on elsewhere. However, like accommodation, the costs are fixed for a return trip and we will not be providing refunds should you choose a different way home.

Who else is coming on the trip?
This trip is open to the general public, and we are specifically inviting the broader social innovation community in Vancouver. The RADIUS fellows and the core RADIUS team will be on the trip and we invite any of you who are interested to join us!