What is ChangeCamp like?

Here’s what past attendees say:

“I participated in the Change Camp event at The Hive, in Vancouver a couple of years ago…which brought to Vancouver an exciting new way to think as a group and develop policy and citizen participation ideas that would be hard to draw forth in most other situations. I was impressed with how a room full of curious, yet skeptical people, who had responded to the invitation, were able to gell so quickly, become intimate with their vision and ideas, collaborative in how they merged, aligned, and presented them, and then with the palpable buzz that followed. It was felt not only that day, but for some time afterwards. I heard people talk about it even months later, as a seminal event for them, that prodded them to new thinking and more collaborative and constructive forward motion with their own ideas, as well as engagement and support for others.” - Joel Solomon, Renewal2 & Tides @joelsolomon

“It was an amazing experience to be sharing space and ideas with this amazing group of people. We had organizers from Occupy Vancouver along side members of City Council, consultants and economists, non-profit organizers and other diverse representatives all coming together under the banner of change…” Read More from Elias Arjan

Vancouver ChangeCamp was full of lively discussions recorded visually  and here are some highlights from our hashtag feed to give you a sense of how the day felt:

#vanchange recharged my batteries!
Instead of outreach. Why not try ‘inreach’ : Go out to where people are already meeting. #vanchange
‘build bridges not buildings’ #vanchange” I love this one!
Inspirational discussions with insightful/smart ppl.#vanchange
#vanchange dynamic stimulation for a rainy day. Thank you organizers and attendees. Very valuable.
Let us form a changemaker community nexus in Vancouver by 2015 #vanchange
#vanchange Isolation is killing is – if we want to do good in the world we need to come together!
#vanchange “Take responsibility for what you care about — use your own two feet to move to whatever place you can best contribute
#vanchange You know someone works in a non-profit when they have 3+ job titles & says “slash” in between them.
Top #Vancouver Events | Nov 24-27 | TEDxSFU, #VanChange & Make it!


“Does the word “volunteer” still resonate today? Is there a difference between volunteering and citizen engagement? How do we maintain the spirit of volunteerism that has created (in Canada) one of the world’s largest community benefit sectors, where volunteers outpace paid staff at a ratio of 10:1?”

Topic submitted by Stacy Ashton from volunteerconnections.net. Submit your own topic.

Occupy 2.0

One discussion in the morning of Vancouver ChangeCamp 2011 included three topics – Church Project / From Vancouver to Global / Creative Community Nexus/ Open Source Growth and was called Occupy 2.0.


  • Isolation is killing is – if we want to do good in the world we need to come together!
  • Making a real space hub for innovation (like an underground art space of Scott’s  in east van)
  • Can we get a virtual space going for the discussion – with skills and tools? (like Vancouver tool library – a coop for sharing tools) – or maybe http://www.changemakers.com/ (ashoka)
  • Let’s get together and share – participatory aspects, bring mini version of what we do on the street, bring people in the neighborhood together for a mini changecamp
  • We need to ask the right people – reflective of diversity and all the stakeholders
  • How do we engage people of all ages and ways of life – sometimes things like changecamps feel more alternative – how can they be more mainstream?
  • Catalyzing communities over issues – join like-minded organizations, We spend time talking about problems and 20% of the time talking about solutions
  • How are power & resources are allocated?

Fragmentation vs. Community

Submitted by Elias Arjan (elias[at]eliasarjan.com) for Vancouver ChangeCamp 2011

What would it take for the large number of organizations and individuals who desire to improve the social and environmental conditions in Vancouver to become more unified as we all share common goals? How can we get the public of Vancouver more concerned about the very real challenges that face us as global citizens and get them directly involved in this process.

In essence what would it take to get Vancouver, with it’s diverse cultures and peoples, to behave more like a community as opposed to a collection of people occupying the same general space?

Water issues (like pollution and tanker traffic)

Submited by Roy Mulder (rsmulder[at]shaw.ca) for Vancouver ChangeCamp 2011.

Vancouver has the ocean next to it as well as many creeks and rivers running through it. Often water is overlooked, as it doesn’t fall into the city’s jurisdiction. Land based pollution from up-river and serious threats like oil tankers aren’t discussed enough at a city level. Perhaps it is time to build community around the issues that are affected by the water next to them. There are plans to increase tanker traffic through the Burrard Inlet. This could severely affect the city when something happens.
It seems logical for the people being affected by an activity to participate in having a say in how it is used.

Occupy Yourself

Submitted by Ian MacKenzie (ian[at]ianmack.com) for Vancouver ChangeCamp 2011

The Occupy movement has erupted across North America, and is still struggling to find unity among the diversity of voices. The movement has been very outward focused, yet at the same time, has clearly attempted to build a space of inclusiveness. Occupy is more than a physical occupation, it is a call to embody certain principles in all ways that we make change in the world. I’d love to discuss what those principles are, or can be, and how we can challenge every citizen and politician to adopt them.

What is the role of mainstream media in bridging the gap between social media and the real world while keeping politicians accountable?

Submitted by the Asian Canadian Journalists Association (jyfchen[at]gmail.com) for Vancouver ChangeCamp 2011.

How can mainstream media connect ethnic communities with political issues and help form a political agenda that matters to citizens? How do media direct and shape the municipal agenda? Who drives the issues that get discussed, and how do voices not represented in the mainstream media get their stories out?

This is a topic submitted by the Asian Canadian Journalists Association. We’d like to talk about holding politicians accountable for their promises. How do we make sure the agenda at city hall matches the priorities of citizens? We’d like to explore how the stories told in social media look and sound different than ethnic media, community newspapers, and mainstream news outlets.

Food + Cultural Diversity in Vancouver

What does “Food + Cultural Diversity” Mean to You in Vancouver?

Submitted by Thien Phan for Vancouver ChangeCamp 2011.

The City of Vancouver is bringing together food + cultural diversity to create a more food-friendly city. Your ideas and suggestions matter as the City is now creating an official Vancouver Food Strategy.

What do you love about food + cultural diversity in Vancouver?
What about food + cultural diversity would like to see more of in Vancouver?

Can you envision what an ideal Vancouver would look like to you?
How do envision what an ideal Vancouver would look like surround food + cultural diversity? Let’s discuss food in the city by approaching it from a cultural lens – that means, understanding the specific challenges and opportunities that the City can bring together to create a food strategy that incorporates our diverse needs and challenges.

Child Care

Topic submitted by Tom for Vancouver ChangCamp 2011

Child care is at at the heart of Vancouver. Without loving child care that meets the needs of children and families, the city’s economy could not function and our children would neither survive nor thrive.

This goes beyond issues related to the provision of child care programs, such as expanding spaces at daycare centres and or supporting the provision of care through nannies and family child care providers. In fact, anyone who cares for a child is a child care worker. Most child care is actually unpaid work, as most care is provided by moms, dads, grandparents, neighbours, and friends. And this work is not only unpaid, but it’s also unrecognized and unsupported.

As members of the community, children depend on others to care for them. And as members of the community children also experience the same pressures faced by many adults in the city. This issues include sky-rockecting housing prices, longer and more tiresome commutes, a decline in social spending, increases in economic insecurity, and widening income inequality.

While most children may not recognize or directly face these pressures, children do feel the pressures in the form of less time with care providers, in the lack of quality child care options for families, in stress, in a lack of supports, and in missed educational experiences.

Child care as a city is about how we choose to relate to the youngest members of our community. A whole range of issues intersect with child care, from the future of the planet, to the realization of full potential through early education programs, to pressures and insecurities placed on families. Will we treat children as invisible and silenced members of our community, or recognize and respect children as equally worthy members of the community?

Additionally, child care connects with issues involving adults – especially in terms of gender equity and respect for workers. Lack of affordable, accessible and high quality child care creates barriers for women trying to make ends meet. The low-wage workforce of daycare providers, early childhood educators, nannies, and family care providers is almost entirely composed of immigrant women, who are excluded from economic opportunity in large part because the work they do is considered as “women’s work” and therefore not worthy of adequate or fair wages and resources.

So what are we, as city, prepared to do together with children? Are we prepared to recognize children as members of the community, to include and involve children in decisions that affect children’s lives? Are we prepared to prioritize children’s well-being? Are we going to provide supports for families and ensure that all child care workers are treated with the respect they deserve?

2011 Simple Agenda

8:30 Registration
9:30 Welcome and Kickoff
9:45 Setting the Context
10:00 Pitch Session
10:30 Unconference session 1
11:15 Transition
11:30 Unconference session 2
12:30 Lunch
1:15 Reconvening Activity
1:30 Unconference session 3
2:15 Idea regeneration Activity
2:30 Unconference session 4
3:30 Transition
3:45 Integration
4:30 Close