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Social Innovation Summit 2018

Social Innovation Summit 2018

Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave

Date & Time:

September 5:
6-8pm (Reception)

September 6:
7:45am-3pm (Summit)
3:15-4:45pm (Workshops)


Business Public Meetings and Open Houses


Information to come for Surrey Social Innovation Summit 2019.

Social Innovation Leadership: From Thought to Action

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. This fundamental benchmark reinforces the theme of the fourth annual Surrey Social Innovation Summit on September 6, and emphasizes good ideas alone are not enough to make the kind of progressive change that builds a better city.

Building on the success of the first three summits, this year’s exciting agenda emphasizes 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.

Presented by the City of Surrey, and a range of committed community and business partners, the annual Social Innovation Summit is a work-in-progress approach to finding creative and workable solutions for the complex social issues facing modern communities, particularly one like Surrey with a population that’s growing by 1,000 new residents every month.


The Surrey Social Innovation Summit 2018 is now sold out!

If you have a discount code for the event or would like to be placed on the waiting list, please email for registration.

Registration for Workshops Only ($39) is still available.

Agenda Overview

Opening Keynote (9:10 - 9:55am)

Reconcile This: The Power of Story, Indigenous Voice and the Truth

Angela Sterritt, Reporter and Guest Host, CBC Vancouver from the Gitxsan Nation

The media is powerful. It tells stories and can shape narratives. Indigenous people’s relationship with the media has struggled especially when it comes to sensitive stories like Indigenous child welfare and missing and murdered Indigenous women. Angela Sterritt will share how her CBC ‘Reconcile This’ column has amplified Indigenous voices and tackled uncomfortable truths and created important changes in B.C.

Closing Keynote (2:15 - 2:55pm)

Leading to Develop People

Steve Patty, Ph.D., Dialogues in Action

The future of our communities will be shaped by individuals and organizations with the capacity and skills to lead. That future depends on the ability of people to lead in the ways that matter most.  How do we raise leaders who are courageous, adaptive, innovative, and effective? Steve 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.

Breakout Sessions 1 (10:15 - 11:30am)

1. Social Innovation Leadership: The Changemaker’s Journey

It starts with the “moment of obligation,” that often inward awareness that you have a passion for change. Going forward, the changemaker’s journey includes exploration, decision, action and ultimately transformation. It is seldom easy. So, what drives social innovation leadership to take on a cause or issue, and see it through to completion? Our four community leaders will share their leadership journey and the skills they have developed along the way.

Moderator: Danica Straith, Director, Venture and Strategic Partnerships, Ashoka Canada


  • Katheren Szabo, Grassroots Leadership, People Placemaking, Friends of the Grove
  • Neelam Sahota, CEO, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Shilpa Narayan, Mental Health and Social Justice Activist

2. Social Enterprises: Economic Strategies for Social Good

Presented by:

In our fast-changing world, some organizations are looking to have a positive social impact by blending economic and social goals. As a result, it’s essential to think about new and innovative economic models such as social entrepreneurship, an opportunity to design and deliver cost effectiveness and high impact as pillars for sustainable development. These hybrid economic models combine philanthropy, subsidies, and income generating activities that drive “win-win-win” collaboration with other players, such as the private sector or government. The result is tremendous opportunities for organizations interested in new forms of entrepreneurship.

Moderator: Brenda Fernie, Vice-President, Seyem Qwantlen Business Group


  • Karine Smith, COO, Inspire Nunavut
  • Sean Condon, Social Enterprise Development Advisor, Vancity Community Foundation
  • Robert Byers, President and CEO, Namerind Housing Corporation

3. Suburbanization and the Compounding of the Housing Challenge

Presented by:

Mention “the suburbs” and a very specific type of place and demographic spring to mind, including a history of home ownership. But, is that the new reality for urban centres and the families that call them home?  The suburbs and their neighbourhoods still conjure up a very stereotypical view of middle-class affluence. But, when it comes to housing in our cities, new and innovative solutions, including renting, are key, and that means a change in expectations and attitudes.

Moderator: Frances Bula, Freelance Journalist, Urban Issues and City Politics


  • Councillor Vera LeFranc, City Councillor, City of Surrey
  • Michael Geller, Architect and Property Developer, The Geller Group
  • Patrick Meehan, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Capilano Students’ Union
  • David Hutniak, CEO, LandlordBC

4. Social Innovation: Beyond the Buzz

Panelists will discuss social innovation approaches and the importance of clearly analyzing, understanding the problem and issues being addressed before testing new approaches. They will talk about the challenge of building organizational capacity to deliver increased outcomes and scaled impact. The significance of adopting technology and its impact will be highlighted.  Finally, the panel will discuss the need for good measurement and telling your story.

Moderator: Bruce Dewar, President and CEO, LIFT Philanthropy Partners


  • Dan Kershaw, Executive Director, Furniture Bank
  • Claudia Hepburn, CEO, Windmill Microlending

5. Designing for Social Inclusion: Purposeful Cities

Presented by:

In the age of social innovation, designing “with, not for” reinforces the necessary interaction between designers and communities. Today, designers want social and civic projects that have a mission to serve the common good. Part of this growing trend stems from the desire to use creative and design skills to promote inclusion and sense of belong in our highly diverse community. But, the real payoff is the ability to use these design tools and approaches to bolster social solutions from the ground up, including the use of social spaces on a human scale.

Moderator: Michael Heeney, President and CEO, Surrey City Centre Development Corporation (SCDC)


  • Valentina Branada, Senior Service Designer, InWithForward
  • Darryl Condon, Managing Principal, HCMA Architecture + Design
  • Am Johal, Director, Simon Fraser University ’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement
  • Dr. David Sadoway, Instructor, Department of Geography & The Environment, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey)

Breakout Sessions 2 (12:45 - 2:00pm)

6. Nurturing and Building Social Innovation Leadership

At its core, social innovation is about creating a trajectory for change. It can often be a long and arduous trek, so what does it take to attract, hold, and generate socially innovative talent across a community or organization, and what role can public institutions play in ensuring individuals are equipped with the right tools? At the same time, when it comes to creating or finding social innovation leaders is it nature or nurture that makes individuals go the distance?

Moderator: Joanne Curry, Vice-President, External Relations, Simon Fraser University


  • Kathleen Burke, Senior Lecturer, Beedie School of Business SFU, Envision Financial CLIC
  • Tina Strehlke, CEO, Minerva BC
  • Kim van der Woerd, Principal, Reciprocal Consulting
  • Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Special Advisor to the Provost on Open Education & Psychology Instructor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

7. Innovating Through Crisis: Challenging the Opioid Epidemic

Has the size and scope of the crisis changed attitudes to the point that we’re now open to new ideas and unconventional solutions? The pervasive nature of the opioid epidemic, and its reach across all demographics and neighbourhoods is an opportunity for even greater innovation as we search for new solutions and the testing, prototyping and scaling of better approaches and treatment.

Moderator: Michelle Ninow, M.C.P. and Principal, M. Ninow Consulting


  • Sarah Blyth, Co-Founder, Overdose Prevention Society
  • Keir Macdonald, Deputy Executive Director, Lookout Housing and Health Society
  • Victoria Lee, Vice-President Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer, Fraser Health Authority
  • Curtis Carter, Peer Support Worker, Lookout Housing and Health Society

8. Thinking Inside the Circle: 10,000 Years of Indigenous Innovation

When it comes to improving lives and building an inclusive and resilient society, indigenous Canadians are endowed with generations of experience and traditional wisdom. If any group of Canadians knows how to evaluate the usefulness of social innovation tools, technology or methodology, indigenous people do. In fact, Canada has a heritage of aboriginal innovation that offers valuable and practical lessons for today’s modern social innovators.

Moderator: Diane Roussin, Project Director, The Winnipeg Boldness Project


  • Dr. Lyn Daniels (Cree), Director of Instruction, Aboriginal Learning Surrey Schools
  • Angela Sterritt, Reporter and Guest Host, CBC Vancouver from the Gitxsan Nation
  • Jeska Slater, Indigenous Youth Coordinator, Fraser Health Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association (FRAFCA)
  • Jessica Bolduc, Executive Director, 4Rs Youth Movement

9. Social Innovation Labs: From Drawing Board to Reality

At home and around the world, social innovation labs have emerged as promising platforms for generating new solutions to complex social and environmental challenges. Prototypes close to home are part of a new league of labs that provide a structured process for approaching sometimes messy and complex challenges, and a safe and creative environment to experiment with radical innovations. While relatively new, what are the keys to creating a successful social innovation lab, and which social issues are best solved in the lab environment?

Moderator: Cheryl Rose, Associate Director, Social Innovation Residency, Banff Centre


  • Ben Weinlick, Senior Leader of Research and Social Innovation, Action Lab and Think Jar Collective
  • Sheldon Tetreault, Lead Consultant, Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC)
  • Camille Dumond, Program Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab, RADIUS SFU
  • Dr. Fiona Whittington-Walsh, Chair, Department of Sociology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and President, Inclusion BC

10. Creating A Culture of Commitment

Creating a culture of commitment has come a long way in a single generation, particularly as businesses assess and take responsibility for their impacts on environmental and social wellbeing. This contact with their community and customers tends to go beyond what may be required and for the most successful organizations it becomes embedded in their company culture. As times change, creating a culture of commitment also changes. What does it look like today and what part does it play alongside social innovation and the leadership that’s needed to change for the better?

Moderator: Marsha D’Angelo, Faculty, School of Business, Kwantlen Polytechnic University


  • Steve Veinot, Director, Supply Management Vancouver Airport Authority
  • David Lanphear, President, Envision Financial
  • Jody Rechenmacher, Community Catalyst, Urban Matters CCC
  • Mary Ellen Schaafsma, Director, Social Innovation and Research, Social Purpose Institute at United Way

Workshop Sessions (3:15 - 4:45pm)

1. The Practice of Social Innovation Labs

Diane Roussin, Project Director, The Winnipeg Boldness Project
Ben Weinlick, Senior Leader of Research and Social Innovation, Action Lab and Think Jar Collective

Social innovation labs are a promising approach that draws on the strengths, empathy, creativity, and wisdom of a diverse collective to explore new ways of making progress on a complex challenge. The process of labs involves convening, gaining insight, facilitating ideation, building and testing prototypes and scaling solutions to impact systemic change. A lab creates a safe zone to explore, question assumptions, be bold, be agile enough to adapt as learning emerges and to experiment with solutions. In this workshop Diane Roussin of Winnipeg Boldness Project and Ben Weinlick of Action Lab and Shift Lab in Edmonton will share their learning, insights and challenges in striving to steward labs.

2. Getting to What Matters: How to Evaluate and Communicate your Impact

Steve Patty, Ph.D., Dialogues in Action

All of us who work with people need a way both to prove and to improve our impact in the lives of those we serve.  We need data to demonstrate what we are doing is making a difference. We also need data to illuminate areas where we can get better and to show us how to get better. Based on the work of over a decade of capacity-building with hundreds of programs and agencies across North America, this workshop will offer innovative thinking and proven technique to help us prove and improve our impact.

3. How a Struggle Became a Journey: The Importance of Connection & Conversation for Youth and Mental Wellness

Shilpa Narayan, Mental Health and Social Justice Activist

In which ways can we as social service providers, educators, and caregivers be inclusive and foster diversity in our communities? In this interactive social justice workshop, participants will be taken through Shilpa's lived experience with mental health challenges. We will discuss what techniques can be applied to create safe spaces for youth experiencing barriers in regard to their mental health and gender identity. How can we as citizens foster a social justice framework in our social practises so youth can be safe and secure to disclose if they are struggling? There is a great intersection between mental health and LGBTQ+ topics. We must assure that youth are being taken care of and that no child's voice is unheard in our mental health system.

4. ‘Afterschool for All’: A Shift in Planning, Policy, and Leadership Potential

Daljit Gill-Badesha, Middle Childhood and Healthy Communities Manager, City of Surrey
Hanieh Khataee, Strategy Consultant

One bold idea can make all the difference for your community. The Community & Recreation Services division of the City of Surrey launched a new strategy framework to drive innovation and engagement on efforts critical to the wellbeing of children. The result? A commitment to ensuring all children in Surrey have the opportunity to participate in afterschool programs where they need them most. Our systems approach, fueled by strong executive leadership and staff buy-in is already yielding positive results, reaching key audiences and charging them to act with us. Our practices have great potential for replication. This workshop demonstrates how.


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