Monthly Archives

March 2016

SFU Change Lab (Fall 2016)

By | Change Lab, RADIUS Edu | No Comments


While intending to accept a max. of 20 students, we ended up with over 30 wonderful participants from a wide variety of departments and faculties.

 Interested in getting on the wait list, or questions about a future Change Lab? Email instructors Paola Ardiles and Shawn Smith at

More information? Read on!

The general format of the class is working in teams to understand a health related challenge, then develop and test an innovative, venture based response. The course is a full day studio experience Tuesday of each week, where sessions will be a mix of limited lecture, guest speakers, hands on workshops, and open work time in your teams to advance your ideas. Teams will present to community panels for feedback mid term, and be given the opportunity to connect with community partners and leaders to help ensure they build ideas connected to the realities of our communities, and possibly to see those ideas proceed in the real world.

Commensurate with the 7 credits, you should expect this to be an intensive experience. While this is the first Change Lab focused on health solutions, the experience has run in 5 previous years with a focus on environmental and sustainability challenges, and many students have described the course as the most transformative of their undergraduate degree – but you have to be interested in and committed to developing and testing real ideas, getting out of the classroom and talking to people, and taking responsibility for the direction of your learning during the term (there isn’t a lot of mandatory reading or information to memorize – you work with us to figure out what you need to learn to effectively advance your project).

Some of the topics you will learn about are  social entrepreneurship, systems thinking, health/community health, business model development, personal development, effective teams, and more.

Thank you Maggie Knight – and good luck!

By | RADIUS Edu, RADIUS Lab, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

We’re sad (for us!) and happy (for her!) to announce that the inimitable Maggie Knight is leaving the RADIUS team at the end of her contract this month, to take on a new challenge working with the BC Civil Liberties Association. For anyone that knows Maggie’s passion, integrity and intelligence, and the deep social justice streak that runs to her core, their work to “…preserve, defend, maintain and extend civil liberties and human rights in Canada” is about to get a serious boost.

Maggie joined RADIUS at a time when we were doubling our budget and programming for the second year in a row, and showing strains at the seams as we raced to keep up. Her original brief was to help stabilize our core operations, and position us for more sustainable growth. She did this and much more. In her time here she brought tighter processes to our organization, a rhythm to our team’s functioning, a powerful and consistent voice to our communications, and heart and soul to the RADIUS community.

She quickly became the driving force of how we work as a team and we will miss her dearly – we’re also deeply thankful as her work to entrench all of the above has left us far more capable of navigating these inevitable transitions in a growing organization.

Maggie is loved by many, so we thought we’d share a few thoughts from others she’s worked with in our community! Read More

RADIUS delivers inaugural First People’s Enterprise Accelerator Program venture cohort

By | First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

RADIUS Ventures kicks off our inaugural RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program cohort this week in partnership with Reconciliation Canada.  This cohort brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants for the Cormorant Island Entrepreneur Support Program in Alert Bay, BC.

Running through March and April 2016, the program is adapted from RADIUS’ eight-session Trampoline incubator program and is being delivered by Denise Williams and RADIUS Ventures Director Donovan Woollard. Denise is the Executive Director of the First Nations Technology Council and a graduate of the Aboriginal EMBA program at SFU’s Beedie School of Business.

Entrepreneurs in the program are building a range of ventures, including: Read More

Second cohort of RADIUS Fellows in Radical Doing holds opening retreat at Crescent Beach

By | Fellows, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

A sunny weekend in February brought together the 22 RADIUS Fellows in Radical Doing for their opening retreat at Camp Alexandra. An opportunity to take a step out of their busy day-to-day lives and to dive into building deep connections with each other, the weekend retreat hosted the Fellows to share their stories and develop their personal goals for the program. Read on for reflections from two of the Fellows; photographs are by award-winning photographer and Fellow Jackie Dives.

Fellows 2016 - 2

Fellow Natasha Thom writes:

“We come from incredibly diverse backgrounds: upcycling, building cooperatives and social enterprises, and photography just to name a few.  Our diversity is what makes this program so special, and I can’t wait to learn more about everyone’s perspectives and the amazing projects on the go!

This past weekend we had our opening retreat at Camp Alexandra, and it was such a welcome opportunity to disconnect from the outside world.  It was short, but I’m ready to dive in with both feet and see where this journey takes us. Read More

We’re letting go our Connected Kitchens collaboration: here’s why

By | Food for thought, RADIUS Lab | No Comments

How do you know when to pivot an ambitious idea to something more realistic? How do you let go of an idea that inspires you? LEDlab Program Manager Kiri Bird explores lessons learned from our Connected Kitchens project with Carnegie Community Centre and shares audio clips from a recorded project debrief. 

In September 2015, LEDlab launched with four graduate students matched to community partners seeking to accelerate community-driven social enterprise projects that would put money in the pockets of DTES residents. One of these  projects, Connected Kitchens — in collaboration with Carnegie Community Centre –was framed as an ‘inquiry-based project’ which would test the assumption that there is untapped potential for food startups in the DTES, specifically in the community kitchens programs of SRO (single room occupancy) hotels.

Carnegie and LEDlab planned to spend one semester (four months) in this inquiry phase and then decide if there was enough traction or uptake to continue the work into in the new year. Three months into Connected Kitchens, all the partners were disappointed with what had been accomplished.

We hadn’t been able to pin down a core team of DTES residents that would help lead the project, and we hadn’t started using community kitchens to produce food to sell. When we couldn’t find traction or community buy-in, we trusted ourselves enough to take a step back and reexamine our commitments and priorities. After careful discussion, the Carnegie team and LEDlab decided not to continue with the Connected Kitchens project for a second semester.

Read more and listen to clips from the team’s conversation on the LEDlab’s blog.

LEDlab is an initiative of RADIUS and Ecotrust Canada, and the current expression of RADIUS Lab