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Social Innovation Summit brings local and national experts to Surrey

July 12, 2018

For immediate release: Thursday, July 12, 2018

Surrey, B.C. – Nearly fifty local and national experts will gather at the Surrey Social Innovation Summit on September 6th to explore how organizations are using social innovation to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Canadian cities. Among the issues and topics that will be explored are Indigenous reconciliation, housing, social inclusion and mental health.

Presented by Century Group, the theme of the 2018 Social Innovation Summit is Social Innovation Leadership: From Thought to Action. The theme recognizes that when it comes to social innovation, getting from “thought to action” is critical if good ideas are going to move from the drawing board to reality. Innovative ideas alone are not enough to make the kind of progressive change that builds a better city.

To that end, the Summit will include 10 breakout sessions and four workshops that emphasize the need for thoughtful and passionate leadership, project and program partnerships, capacity building, and the practical “how to” tools needed to generate social innovation in organizations, neighbourhoods and cities.

“As a city that is committed to inclusivity, diversity, reconciliation and innovation, we recognize the power of collaboration and welcome the opportunity to bring new ideas and voices to bear on issues facing our city,” said Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “With over half a million people living in Surrey and 1,000 more arriving every month, we need to harness our collective creativity and expertise to ensure everyone shares the benefits of living in such a diverse, fast-growing and exciting city.”

Among the panelists coming to British Columbia for the Summit are Diane Roussin, Project Director of The Winnipeg Boldness Project and Ben Weinlick, Senior Leader of Research and Social Innovation of Edmonton’s Action Lab and Think Jar Collective. The Winnipeg Boldness Project is an initiative that is working alongside the Winnipeg’s North End community to improve outcomes for young children. The Think Jar Collective is an organization focused on exploring how to problem solve better and help people, organizations and systems enhance their creative capacity.

“We have another exciting agenda this year that builds on the success of the first three summits,” said Councillor and Summit Chair Vera LeFranc. “This year, we have more experts and more sessions than ever before, and we’re excited to welcome social innovation leaders from other provinces that will share how they’re successfully tackling key issues in their communities. Having sold out last year, we encourage everyone to register as soon as they can for this important event.”

Delivering the opening keynote address at the Summit will be Angela Sterritt, a reporter for CBC and the Globe and Mail and the host of CBC’s “Reconcile This” column. Entitled Reconcile This: The Power of Story, Indigenous Voice and the Truth, Sterritt’s address will share how her column has amplified Indigenous voices and tackled uncomfortable truths to create important changes in B.C.

Delivering the closing keynote will be Portland-based Steve Patty, a teacher, consultant and author who leads Dialogues in Action, a consulting firm dedicated to helping people and organizations evaluate their impact, multiply their influence through leadership, and design strategies to make progress on their mission. Patty will explore two of the most common approaches to developing leaders, and then propose a third that promises to nurture the kind of leaders that communities need going forward.

Learn more about the Surrey Social Innovation Summit.


To arrange interviews with Summit panellists before or during the Summit, please contact:

Greg Descantes
Pace Group

Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey