Monthly Archives

November 2017

Humanitarians in Training Awarded SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Funding!

By | Funding, Social Innovation | No Comments

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of Embark Sustainability and RADIUS that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. The Fund allocates sums ranging from $200-$1,500 to SFU undergraduate and graduate student social innovators.

One remarkable student initiative called Humanitarians in Training, an initiative of the Red Cross Student Movement (RCSM), was awarded funding in the first cycle of the 2017-2018 Seed Fund. Read about them in their own words below:

What is the Red Cross Student Movement, and what is Humanitarians in Training? 

The Red Cross Student Movement (RCSM) is an independent and student-led initiative that strives to support the Canadian Red Cross within the community. We are a coalition of students spanning Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and various high schools across the lower mainland. Our mission is to engage the public with humanitarian issues and improve the lives of vulnerable members in our community. Humanitarians in Training is a day-long conference aimed to engage, educate, and empower youth interested in humanitarian issues. By providing training, resources, and a peer network, our aim is to prepare motivated youth to make an impact both within and beyond the Greater Vancouver region. Following the Humanitarians in Training conference on November 18th, there will be follow up events planned where participants will have opportunities to network, form collaborations, brainstorm event ideas, and learn about effective club leadership and event planning.

Who is on your team? 

We are a team of motivated university students who come from a diverse variety of backgrounds. Each of us are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable members of our community through spreading awareness and taking initiative both locally and globally. Each team member brings valuable leadership and humanitarian engagement experience to the event. Through becoming involved in our communities through educational and volunteer experiences, we have each experienced immense personal growth and development. We wish to provide that same opportunity to many more youth from across Metro Vancouver. We acknowledge that we are not experts on the humanitarian issues that we are discussing and we are committed to constantly learning, growing, and challenging our personal perspectives. You can read more about each of us on our website!

Connect with Humanitarians in Training online:

We’re Hiring! Program Design Lead: Refugee & Newcomer Livelihood Lab

By | Jobs, RADIUS Lab | No Comments

RADIUS is currently seeking a part-time Program Design Lead to support the Scoping phase of the Refugee and Newcomer Livelihood Lab. This position will be responsible for ethnographic research and interviews with refugees and newcomers, as well as interviewing and convening stakeholder groups to support mapping of problem space, existing actors and solutions, and opportunities for innovation, leading the design of the full program, and co-leading fundraising.

View the full job posting here. [CLOSED]

Interested candidates, submit a resume, cover letter, and references to ssmith[at] by midnight Saturday, December 2, 2017.


Map the System Challenge 2017-2018: Register by January 22nd!

By | Community, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

After winning both the national and global competitions last year, SFU is participating in the annual Map the System Challenge (formerly the ‘Oxford Global Challenge’) along with other top schools from around the world! Unlike most business and case competitions, Map the System is focused on deeply understanding social problems before trying to solve them. Register your team now to participate around an issue you care about! 

  1. What is Map the System?

An initiative of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, Map the System encourages students and educators to think differently about social, environmental, and economic challenges by mapping out the landscape of current problems and solutions while identifying missed opportunities for change. In teams of up to five people, SFU students and recent alumni choose a problem space to thoroughly research on a systems level. Then, they present their findings to their peers, community members, and influencers.

  1.  What problem should I or my team work on?

Any problem you are passionate about, whether it’s a local or global issue – all the better if you have already been working on something! You can take a look at some of the research focus areas from last year’s international competition.

Last year, the successful SFU team won both the national and global Map the System Challenge competition with their extensive research project about solid medical waste from Vancouver hospitals. Check out their final pitch at the global finals!

  1. Do I need a solution idea for my problem?

Nope! You just need a thorough understanding of the problem and current gaps or opportunities. A helpful framework to start with is Daniela Papi-Thornton’s Impact Gaps Canvas, which offers a comprehensive approach to mapping out a social problem.

  1. Who is eligible to apply?

Individuals or teams of up to five people. You must have at least one SFU student (undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral) OR a recent alumni (i.e. within 1 year of the registration date, January 22nd, 2018), and may include community members.

  1. How do I apply? What’s the timeline?
  • November 16th, 2017: Map the System Info Session for SFU students, alumni, and community interested in Map the System.
  • January 22nd, 2018: Complete the short registration form; all SFU teams are required to complete this quick registration form to confirm their involvement and chosen problem area.
  • January 27th, 2018: Problem Mapping 101 – a workshop hosted in collaboration with UBC. Present your problem space and research ideas to peers and community experts, and receive feedback and connections to deepen your work. Register here!
  • March 26th, 2018: full submission for the SFU local competition round, including three documents, to present your findings: a visual map or other creative representation of the issue; research analysis (max. 2000 words); and a bibliography of resources.
  • April 11th, 2018: SFU-wide competition for top 8 teams. The winning team from this round will move on to the national finals.
  • May 4th-5th, 2018: Map the System National Finals, hosted by SFU at the Segal Graduate School of Business.
  1. What can we win?

Prize money, trips to Oxford and the Emerge Conference 2018, access to further funds and support, fame and glory, and the opportunity to learn about a problem you’re curious about. SFU will provide at least $1,000 for the top SFU individual or team, and $500 for two runners up.

  1. What support is there from SFU?

We’re hosting several workshops for participants in the Map the System Challenge prior to the March 26th, 2018 final project submission deadline (see timeline above). We will do our best to support and advise teams with narrowing down their problem area, sparking community connections to experts in their chosen fields, 1-on-1 coaching, and offering presentation guidance. Sign up for our mailing list to register for our next workshop on January 27th, 2018.

Additionally, there are already lots of great resources available by the global host, the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford.

More questions? Check out the Map the System FAQ first! Should you have further questions, feel free to contact Amy Farahbakhsh at afarahba[a] To receive updates about Map the System, you can sign up for our mailing list.

The Map the System Challenge at SFU is coordinated by RADIUS SFU and Student Engagement and Retention at SFU with support from the SFU Alumni Association and SFU Innovates. This opportunity is offered in partnership with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at The University of Oxford, RECODE at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, and the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Don’t Miss Your Chance – Apply to the RADIUS Fellowship!

By | Fellows, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

Community blogger Laura Mannix is a 2017 RADIUS Fellows alumnus and Manager of Refugee and Specialized Programs at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society.

The RADIUS Fellowship is Metro Vancouver’s preeminent professional development opportunity for top emerging social innovators from across the region. Applications for the 2018 Fellowship are open until 11:59pm on November 4th. To learn more about this opportunity, visit our Fellowship page or attend the Information Session on November 2nd

My experience in the RADIUS Fellowship enabled a journey that was significant, providing many experiences and opportunities that were fundamentally life altering. Going in, I wasn’t entirely sure what RADIUS was, or if I could be considered an actual  “change maker”  but I wanted the opportunity to be provided with insight into possible theoretical approaches, other perspectives and practices necessary to fully engage in meaningful community development. The Fellowship program offered a curriculum to enhance my capacity to make more impactful actions while connecting me to mentors, friends and peers that would inspire, strengthen and motivate me to continue the work I was doing.

As a newcomer to Vancouver, I had struggled to meet like-minded people and to foster authentic and deep friendships. As a young professional without established relationships or a forum like university to meet new people, it was an isolating and disenfranchising experience. The Fellowship provided me an entry into a vibrant community of diverse perspectives, ideas and lived experiences, some of whom I am now fortunate to call some of my closest friends. These are people I can rely on to have deep, open and meaningful dialogue. They are folks who have opened up their hearts and homes to me.

As someone who is away from their family, this kind of community is invaluable, and for this alone I am truly grateful for this journey.

2017 Fellow Laura Mannix at RADIUS’ annual concAUCTION event

The network I developed through the program (the Fellows, the RADIUS team and the wonderful people I was able to meet  as connections to RADIUS) have also contributed to the work I do in the community. I came into the program with a desire to build my personal leadership capacity, increase my knowledge and grow my network. Through participation in the program I was able to create partnerships to implement innovative refugee youth programming and recruit a key specialized advocate and facilitator to launch a pilot program for sexual and gender diverse newcomers.

I now feel immersed in a community and movement of people who are trying to create positive change and advance a more inclusive future in the Lower Mainland.

My exploration of the social innovation space continues. Thanks to the connection with RADIUS, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Social Innovation Certificate offered through SFU. I plan to continue collaborating with RADIUS and others in the network to help advance refugee and newcomer settlement and integration.

I am filled with gratitude to RADIUS for all of the opportunities and relationships that have emerged from the Fellowship program. Don’t miss your chance to participate if the Fellowship appeals to you! Application close this weekend.

The RADIUS Fellowship is currently accepting applications for the 2018 cohort. If you want to learn more, please review our website, join the Info Session on Nov. 2nd, and/or drop a line to the Fellowship Manager, Tamara Connell (tconnell[at]