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Win one of four passes to day one of FUEL — the Future of Urbanity, the Environment, and Our Lifestyle.

Social Innovation Week (#SIWeekVan) is coming to Vancouver May 26-30, with a mix of free and paid events for the changemaker in all of us.

We're giving away four $250 passes to day one of FUEL -- one of the events during #SIWeekVan.

Social Innovation Week is a connected set of gatherings that aim to connect local and global social innovators and engaged citizens of all stripes to discuss strategies for tackling some of the thorniest challenges of our times. (Full event list and registration info below.)

Here on the west coast, all the local events culminate on Friday May 30th with Connect Vancouver, a day of free, family-friendly inspiration for the changemaker in all of us. Organized by BC Partners for Social Impact, Connect Vancouver includes:

  • An Ideas Jam series of workshops exploring topics such as social entrepreneurship, radical sustainability, art for social change, healthy democracy, and generational inequality
  • An Urban Outdoor Celebration at Vanier Park, featuring local food trucks, robotic sculptures, bubble blowing, First Nations dance and drumming. Children are welcome!

FUEL contest details

Four lucky winners will each get a pass for the first day of FUEL, a dynamic and inspirational two-day forum for leaders, entrepreneurs, designers and engaged citizens committed to co-creating a better world (valued at $250 each.)

This inaugural event — spearheaded by Cause+Affect (Vancouver's Pecha Kucha organizers) in collaboration with THNK — will explore the future of how we live, work and lead across four sectors relevant to our city; Food, Design, Sustainability and Technology.

The contest for tickets to day one of Fuel contest ends midnight, Monday May 12th, 2014.

Enter Now

Fill out my online form.

What is 'social innovation'?

In Vancouver and all around the world, we are facing tough social and environmental problems that are incredibly resistant to change. The growing size of these challenges has ignited a renaissance in problem solving with citizens committed to social change by combining the best knowledge from the past with new thinking and creativity. Many folks call this renaissance 'social innovation.'

A true social innovation is systems-changing — it permanently alters the perceptions, behaviours, relationships and structures that previously gave rise to these challenges.

What is Social Innovation Week?

It's a coming together of local and global social innovators, and an invitation to Vancouverites and visitors to join in exploring solutions for a better world. It's a series of gatherings and conversations that aim to inspire the changemaker in all of us.

Social Innovation Week is hosted by BC Partners for Social Impact in collaboration with the many organizations you see listed to the right. It is also part of a larger national movement, Social Innovation Canada 2014, with parallel events taking place in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal during the month of May.

What happens in Vancouver throughout Social Innovation Week?

So much! Here's the list of events and registration info for each:

RADIUS Social Entrepreneur Failure Wake

Date: May 26, 6-9:30pm
Location: Backstage Lounge, Granville Island

The evening will feature several short stories of failure from brave social entrepreneurs, a lightning round to hear from inspired members of the audience, and an Irish Wake style celebration to help us fete our failed attempts.

After all, in entrepreneurship, failure is the fertile soil in which new ventures grow.

Cost: $15 online, $20 at the door.
Website and registration:

An Introduction to the Power of Narrative workshop

Date: May 27, 9-1pm
Location: Park Room, Christ Church Cathedral

Join South African author and narrative expert, Chené Swart for an engaging half-day workshop. Chené will share a powerful framework and explore a series of questions including "How do we change and challenge popular beliefs and the way we do things?" and "How do we re-author our individual and communal narratives?"

Cost: $150
Register: Contact Roberta Hardie

Social Innovation Exchange (SIX)

This invitational summit brings local and global social innovation leaders (theoreticians, policy makers, grass roots activists and other practitioners) together to share insights and current thinking about where social innovation is headed.

Global leaders attending this invite-only experts' summit will also be invited to participate in the rest of the week's festivities. Social Innovation Week participants will have the exceptional opportunity of learning from visionaries like Geoff Mulgan of Nesta and Adam Kahane of Reos Partners.

Bring Your Boomers: The Power of Culture

Date: May 28, 8:30-10pm
Location: Backstage Lounge, Granville Island

At a time when humanity is going through accelerating change driven by factors like the expansion of international commerce, networked communication, climate change and the human population explosion, why does culture matter?

Join us for an intimate, casual, reflective evening filled with musical performance from Buckman Coe and a facilitated cross-generational dialogue on the theme of culture shifting.

Event produced by Gen Why Media in collaboration with Social Innovation Generation

Cost: Free!
RSVP: On Eventbrite!

FUEL: the Future of Urbanity, the Environment & our Lifestyle

Dates: May 29 – 30
Locations: Vancouver Playhouse and Museum of Vancouver

FUEL is a future forum that will explore the global issues of our time by encouraging conversation and understanding of how we can collectively create a better world.

Over the course of two full days and evenings, FUEL will connect innovators from around the globe with local entrepreneurs, designers, engaged citizens and leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors in a dynamic and inspirational experience.

Cost: Day one sessions & evening dialogues ($250); Day two workshops ($500.) Full forum ($700.) All costs include food & entertainment.
Register here:

Connect Vancouver: Ideas Jam and Urban Outdoor Festival

What new ideas will move us forward? Solve our toughest challenges like poverty, homelessness, social isolation while creating a vibrant future for the next generation.

That question is at the heart of Connect Vancouver, a festival of new thinking and practice to improve the social and economic well being for all, taking place Friday May 30, 2014.

The festival will bring together Vancouver citizens and innovators with social change champions from around the world.

Connect Vancouver is made up of two parts:

  • Connect Vancouver Afternoon: From 1-6pm join the Ideas Jam featuring concurrent sessions with Table Talks and Social Change Exchange
  • Connect Vancouver Evening: From 6pm onwards, get outside to the Urban Outdoor Festival in Vanier Park

Ideas Jam

Date: May 30, 1-6pm
Location: Museum of Vancouver and Space Centre

Through an afternoon Ideas Jam, we will explore big questions on social innovation themes that are important to the citizens of Vancouver. The jam will explore topics such as social entrepreneurship, radical sustainability, art for social change, healthy democracy, belonging, and generational inequality.

Cost: Free!
RSVP: On Eventbrite

Urban Outdoor Festival

Date: May 30, 6pm until late
Location: Vanier Park

Gen Why Media and CityStudio present an evening celebrating the integration of culture, creativity, ingenuity and social innovation. An outdoor celebration kicks off at 6pm, featuring local food trucks, eatART (energy awareness through art) robotic sculptures, bubble blowing, First Nations dance and drumming, and other cultural performances. Children are welcome!

Cost: Free!
RSVP: On Eventbrite

In this Tyee Presents series


Museum of Vancouver

Calling All Creative Changemakers! Don't Miss Social Innovation Week

Vancouver events to tackle tough global challenges with a fresh approach.

By David P. Ball, 13 May 2014



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By David P. Ball, 23 May 2014


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Can We Innovate a Way out of the War on Drugs?

At Social Innovation Week, a call to rethink our framing and solutions for drug abuse.

By David P. Ball, 27 May 2014