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Cities as Solutions: Surrey Social Innovation Summit

Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions; Surrey Social Innovation Summit – Wednesday, November 15

November 9, 2017

Surrey, BC –  Cities play a significant role in creating their communities, but it takes more than just the efforts of City Hall to truly engage its citizens and build better hometowns for all.

The City of Surrey hosts the third annual Surrey Social Innovation Summit on Wednesday, November 15th at Surrey City Hall. Entitled Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions, the one-day Summit has eight sessions and two workshops on the agenda on how to protect our most vulnerable citizens, engage our youth and deal with housing, unemployment, poverty, addiction and other health and safety issues.

“As Surrey continues to grow, finding solutions that connect individuals, neighbourhoods, and businesses are critical to moving forward with a completely engaged community,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The participants at this summit will help us develop the kinds of practical, effective and innovative solutions that will make all the difference in engaging all citizens in creating a community that serves people first, and creates economic prosperity for all.”

Cities are increasingly turning toward a “social innovation” approach that connects community, business, academic and political leaders in decision making. Together, they come up with ideas for the economic and social benefit of our city and region - including creating vibrant communities, and generating the kinds of economic opportunities that leave no one marginalized, especially our youth.

“While the City provides considerable leadership in charting our future direction, we also rely on the creative talents and diversity of experience of individuals, businesses, and local neighbourhoods to create the engaged community we all want,” said Councillor Vera LeFranc, Chair of the Surrey Social Innovation Summit. “True inclusion of Surrey residents’ and neighbourhoods’ perspectives, with an emphasis on reaching under-represented voices, is key to creating the kind of social innovation and workable solutions needed to build community, connectedness, and improve quality of life in our city.” 

The morning keynote speaker will be Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist for The Globe and Mail will speak on “Arrival City and How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Surrey and Canada’s Cities” and examine best practices from Europe and North America in using smart investments and interventions to make cities better places for integration, inclusion and prosperity in the coming decades of growth.

In the afternoon, CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup host Duncan McCue explores the growing movement to Indigenize our cities by making space for the architecture, languages, and cultures of the first peoples.

An afternoon workshop with placemaking expert Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces will examine “Placemaking as a Catalyst for Developing the City of the Future”.


Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey