Monthly Archives

March 2017

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

By | Community, Fellows | No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brielle Morgan with Storywise participant Elaine Benson

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

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

Join our Team: Seeking a RADIUS Program Coordinator

By | Change Lab, Community | No Comments

RADIUS seeks an organized, creative, and diligent Program Coordinator to support our suite of programs for SFU based changemakers and our RADIUS Fellowship Program.

Reporting to the SFU Programs and Fellowship Manager and working closely with the rest of the RADIUS team, this role will play an integral role in supporting a number of key initiatives for early stage changemakers.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on April 7th (see application details below).

About RADIUS Social Innovation Lab & Venture Incubator

RADIUS delivers cohort-based programs to Radical Doers at various phases of exploration, launch, and growth. All of our programs build from a core focus on:

  • developing personal leadership,
  • creating peer-based learning and doing environments,
  • bringing Doers from broad perspectives and backgrounds into the innovation and entrepreneurship community; and
  • cultivating connections between the Radical Doers we work with and the broader ecosystem of partners, mentors, investors, lenders, learned ones, and other kick-ass doers.

Job Description: SFU Programs and Fellowship Coordinator

The SFU Programs and Fellowship Coordinator will provide support to the following program areas:

  • SFU Changemaker Campus process
  • The RADIUS Fellowship
  • External training programs delivered by RADIUS
  • SFU student focused programs run by RADIUS including:
    • SFU Change Lab – a flagship studio program for SFU students interested in working deeply with community build social venture responses to pressing social challenges.
    • SFU student Social Innovation Activators program, working with a team of students to identify and respond to opportunities for advancing the social innovation at SFU.
    • The Student Social Innovation Seed Fund: in partnership with Embark, this program provides small grants for student social innovation initiatives across SFU.
    • Competitions, events and workshops supporting the advancement of social innovation and changemaking at SFU.

Responsibilities will include but not be limited to:

  • program promotion and recruitment
  • supporting participant screening and intake processes
  • program delivery coordination (securing speakers, coordinating content, etc)
  • co-chairing the Seed Fund selection committee
  • coordination and production of related events
  • metrics tracking and reporting
  • day to day meeting planning, logistics
  • writing and communications related to programs, including report production
  • meetings with program stakeholders and coordination of related networks
  • on an ad hoc basis and coordinated within work plan, supporting other RADIUS initiatives

Are you our SFU Programs and Fellowship Coordinator?

The ideal candidate is likely early in their own career as a Radical Doer and will:

  • see themselves as a change maker
  • be excited about creating opportunities for students, learnings and early career radical doers to thrive and grow
  • have experience working with students in a university or related learning environment
  • be comfortable meeting respectfully and effectively with people in a variety of positions of influence, from first year students to those leading change from various positions within and outside the university
  • have a clear track record of delivering projects on time and with strong outcomes
  • work well in a self-directed fashion and be comfortable making decisions, and responding to emerging opportunities and a changing environment
  • be motivated to help build a transformed economy, one geared to be both inclusive and innovative, and one that is more just, sustainable, resilient and healthy
  • be a strong writer and communicator, in person, on social media, and in more formal written reports
  • be comfortable giving, receiving and asking for feedback and;
  • be comfortable with performing a variety of logistical and planning tasks within their role, from taking minutes, to planning event and meeting logistics, and processing paperwork

Strong assets include:

  • familiarity with RADIUS SFU programming models
  • experience as a facilitator
  • networks in social innovation and entrepreneurship either at SFU or in the broader community
  • comfort with the language, approaches and mindsets of entrepreneurship and innovation
  • experience as a changemaker or entrepreneur

Contract and Compensation

This is a 1 year contract position with a 3 month mutual assessment for fit, and projected to be renewable pending funding. RADIUS is a living wage employer and the compensation range for this role is from $40,500 to $50,500 commensurate with experience.

RADIUS strives to build a team that reflects the diversity of the communities we work in, and encourages applications from traditionally under-represented groups such as women, visible minorities, First Nations, people identifying as LGBT*QI, and people with disabilities.

How to apply

To apply, send your resume and cover letter in one file to Tamara Connell at by April 7th at 11:59pm with the subject line “Application: RADIUS Program Coordinator.”

In your cover letter, please concisely address the following in no more than two pages:

  • Why are you interested in the position?
  • Why do your experience and skills make you a good fit?
  • What would be the one question you would ask to better understand whether this job is a fit?
  • Tell us about a time you built something awesome (program, project, event, organization, etc!).

We thank all applicants for their interest in joining the RADIUS team. We expect to hold interviews between April 11th and 24th.

Four Projects Awarded SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Funding

By | Social Innovation | No Comments

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

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

Soap for Hope

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

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

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

Bright Ideas

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

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

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

Find Bright Ideas online:

Team Phantom

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

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

Find Team Phantom online: 


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

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

Find Refresh online:

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

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

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

By | Community, Social Innovation | No Comments

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

About Social Venture Institute Vancouver

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

Discount code for RADIUS Members

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

And a full scholarship to SVI Vancouver too

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

Join the RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network!

By | Community, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

Image: Slingshot 3 venture Zero Wast Market holding a pop-up shop at Patagonia.

Are you or your organization interested in supporting social businesses in Vancouver? RADIUS Ventures is focused on finding and amplifying top emerging impact ventures. The RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network gives you an opportunity to make a significant impact on social entrepreneurs and the trajectory of their ventures. 

Wondering what that looks like?  Here’s an example:

One of the ventures from our third Slingshot cohort, Zero Waste Market, teamed up with interior design firm service partner ZAS Architects to build out their first brick and mortar store. “We’ve been working with them for just under a year,”  Zero Waste Market founder Brianne Miller shared with us. “It’s been a great opportunity for us to work with partners that are well established and looking to get more involved in the community and build new expertise.”

The motivation for ZAS Architects to work on this project – in addition to their interest in supporting emerging talent – was to create a case study on green building to present to their team. Green building and interior design is seen as a growth area for the firm and, according to Brianne, “ZAS has helped us with everything from doing the architectural drawings of our space to design consultation and working with us to incorporate elements of brand into our store design”.

If this sounds like an opportunity that you or your firm would like to pursue, keep scrolling to learn more about the RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network.

The RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network

Our ventures tap into the passion and business expertise of our service partners. The RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network is a network of organizations and individuals looking to support impact-focused businesses in Vancouver. There are three tiers of partners in our network: Program Delivery Partner, Service Contributor, and Perks Provider. By sharing their time and knowledge, our service partners make a significant impact on the entrepreneurs in our programs and meaningfully influence the trajectory of their ventures.

Service Partner Tiers Description
Program Delivery Partner Program Delivery Partners provide in-kind services to RADIUS Venture program participants in addition to facilitating program sessions on topic areas of expertise. Program Delivery Partners provide a minimum of five in-kind hours of service per program participant and facilitate a minimum of two program sessions per cycle.

Our existing Program Delivery Partners include:

Service Contributor Our Service Contributors come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and pledge an average of 10 to 15 hours over the course of a year. Service Contributors provide a 50% discount on their rates to program participants and work with the participant to coordinate project scope, estimated number of hours, and expectations of the engagement.
Perks Partners  Perks Partners provide complimentary or discounted access to productivity tools and softwares, point-of-sale systems and cloud services, etc. for ventures in the RADIUS Ventures programs.

Joining the RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network

By joining the RADIUS Ventures Service Partner Network, you and your organization will be able to meaningfully impact social businesses, tap into the RADIUS network of changemakers and be showcased on our website and via our social media channels.

Interested in joining the RADIUS Venture Service Partner Network as a Service Contributor? Please take 15 minutes to fill out our Service Contributor Survey on behalf of yourself or your organization. We will ask you to provide a bit of information about yourself and your organization, the skills and services that you would be able to provide, any past CSR initiatives or work experience you’ve had with impact-focused companies and 1-2 professional references. If your organization is selected to move forward, we will ask that you share 2-3 typical projects that you or your organization can deliver on, with the estimated number of hours to complete each and the number of hours you would be able to pledge to our program participants.

Interested in in joining the RADIUS Venture Service Partner Network as a Program Delivery Partner, Perks Partner or Mentor? Get in touch here

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

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

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

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

Meet the winners of the Oxford Global Challenge at SFU

By | Social Innovation | No Comments

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

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

WINNER | HealthShare

Team Members
Alec Yu, Iman Baharmand, Kimberly Venn

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

Visual Map | Report | Bibliography

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

Team Members
Kim Mackenzie, Anna Migicovsky

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

Visual Map | Report | Bibliography


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

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

Visual Map | Report | Bibliography

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

RADIUS Ventures Community Health Survey

By | Community, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments

RADIUS Ventures wants to know what community health means to you.

RADIUS Ventures is exploring a new focus area in community health and we’re looking to you – our community – to help us chart this path.  What aspects of community health do you feel are important, and who is doing valuable work in these areas?

We’ve created a short, nine question survey to allow you to have input and share your perspective with us. You won’t need more than 10-15 minutes to fill it out, and you’ll be helping us better understand our community’s priorities.

Click here to get started!


Fellows showcasing the characteristics of a 21st Century leader

Thought Leadership: Building your leadership capacity by building your inner capacities

By | Fellows, Thought Leadership | No Comments

At RADIUS, we have the hypothesis that we can play a meaningful role in shifting towards a more just, sustainable and resilient economy. The RADIUS Fellowship in Radical Doing is one of our programmatic interventions towards this desired outcome. The Fellowship brings together a cohort of radical doers, untamed social entrepreneurs and innovators who are early on their changemaking journey, demonstrating remarkable accomplishment and a relentless dedication to creating positive, sustainable impact in all they do. We meet weekly over the course of 4 ½ months, and work towards three concurrent goals:

  •      Personal leadership development
  •      Project development
  •      Network development

Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing some of our thinking behind each of those three developmental areas. This week, I begin with reflecting on the first goal listed above, personal leadership development.

“The success of an intervention depends on the interior state of the intervener.” –Bill O’Brien

Personal leadership development for changemakers

This quote was introduced to me in 2011 by three students of mine in the Master’s in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability (MSLS) Programme, and it’s forever impacted the way in which I think about and structure my leadership development. It illuminated the distinction between the inner space of a changemaker – an intervener – and the more visible, tangible actions taken by that changemaker. If you’ve been introduced to the iceberg model or Integral Theory, you’ll be familiar with this focus on the interior as distinct (yet connected) to the exterior, visible actions one takes.

So what DOES it take for emerging changemakers to make successful, positive interventions in society? How does one build and maintain personal resiliency, strength, and wisdom in the face of all the challenges barraging us today?

Much of the past decade of my career has been devoted to helping foster increased confidence and competence in sustainability and social innovation leaders. Early in this journey, I admittedly built programming from a sensed place more than from any kind of framework. Then in 2011, these three aforementioned students (Christopher Baan, Dana Pearlman, and Phil Long) embarked on a thesis that asked, “If our work requires us to motivate and assist others in making transformational change towards a more sustainable society, what are the inner capacities that are needed to allow for our success?” Their five month long thesis culminated in the production of a model and practice guide called The Lotus, and it has since deeply informed my thinking and design of leadership sessions, including that of the RADIUS Fellowship. Read More