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Ideas to Action: Future Strategies + Leverage Lab Notes

Ideas to Action notes recorded by Terry Sidhu on 2013-05-31.

Session 1

Q: In your opinion, how is the economy changing?

“I work from home now and am able to make a global impact”

“There is a shift of consumption from resources to information”

“I am now seeing a different bunch of job opportunities”

Q: What is the biggest complex sustainability challenge you would like to see leverage lab take on?

  • transportation problems
  • Environmental Health

○      “Public Art being good for health”

○      “NYU project turning old chimneys into carbon capture systems, and using the carbon for pencils”

  • Carbon Reduction

○      working with businesses and groups to make them carbon neutral

○      tracking solid waste that affect a company’s carbon footprint

○      SOLUTION: “Build a performance matrix. Track carbon output for certain activities and compare to other similar companies.”

Q: How to get businesses/persons to complete a full survey?

  • 50 questions to burdensome for completion
  • Consider doing a meetup with selected businesses and polling through multiple other ways. (by phone, interview, panelling, focus groups, etc.)
  • Introduce innovator businesses to others and share their ideas
  • Incentivize completion with food
  • Narrow down and combine questions
  • “Model questions so that you can build commitment in the beginning, then drive your key questions home.”
  • Free coffee at the end of discussions


Session 2

Q: What are your biggest business challenges? (sustainability challenges in BORROW-USE-RETURN model)

“How do we deal with the competitiveness of businesses? How do you get competing businesses to work together and share sustainability initiatives?”

  • Make leverage lab a safe space, and get approval for confidentiality within the group

Q: How to create effective pods/cohorts?

  • Circular Economy Concept. Where one business’ waste becomes another’s input?
  • Can we create the cohorts where one business unit will fit into the next?
  • If one of your problems is establishing cohorts, then maybe it would best to make them self organizing.

○      Create a roster of similar companies, and what their common business problems are

  • Create a common challenge among a group of companies and allow them to self-organize this way.

○      IE: companies wanting to reduce waste

  • “Get people together on common challenges, then survey and break them down into cohorts”

Q: How can I scale up? How can I run a successful event?

  • “In my volunteer experience, you need to structure your evening…”
  • “You can’t just ask people to go into a room and to socialize…it makes them more protective and uncomfortable”
  • “Partner with AISEC or a Rotary organization that are already established internationally”
  • Differentiate yourself from PetchaKucha nights and TED talks

Ideas to Action: May 30, 2013

RSVP now.

Join three of the projects from Vancouver Changecamp 2013 as they explore how they turn their ideas into action.

Date: Thursday, May 30. 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Location:  HiVE Vancouver


5:30-6:00 Registration and mingling
6:00-6:15 Welcome and intros
6:15-6:30 5 minute pitches from each group – who you are, where you are, what you need, how people can help
6:30-7:30 Breakout into three facilitated groups to work in detail on projects


Project: Leverage Labs

Project driver: Sara Blenkhorn
Project description: Ever imagined what could be possible when you put a group of progressive values based businesses in one room and facilitated a conversation about what is possible together?  These progressive values based businesses are doing as much as they can to advance sustainable business practices, however, they are limited by what they can do alone. Together, they have the potential to do so much more. The value of the Leverage Lab is to host a facilitated dialogue that provides support to its participants in discussing challenges and finding opportunities to collaborate for leverage and velocity towards sustainability.
Looking for help with: I have been given an opportunity to work with The Natural Step to get some funding for this project and I’d really like to nail it.

Project: Team Hastings Trade Association

Project driver: Darryl Simmons
Project description: Team Hastings Trade Association’s Vision is to provide skilled trades career and business opportunities to those that face labour market challenges. Team Hastings goal is to create Red Sealed ticketed journey persons and indentured apprentices.
Looking for help with:
  • What is the best way to create a team of like minded members, social enterprises and non profits?
  • How to build trust and cooperation within the community?
  • Getting to the next level of detail and refining our concept into something concrete.
  • What is the growth/financial potential for the social enterprise sector within the skilled trades sector?

Project: Change Everything Day

Project drivers: Krisandra Reid & Mike Kang
Project description: Change Everything Day is an opportunity to bring communities together with the idea of embracing change as a good thing in life.  We want people to expand their comfort zones, either by taking a big step or even just changing one small thing in their lives.  Perhaps not wearing a tie to work is enough change for one person.  Perhaps for someone else, this is an opportunity to make move towards a healthier lifestyle or environment.  Maybe change is introducing yourself to your neighbour.  Change is relative, and change is good.  Embrace change; expand your comfort zones.
Looking for help with: Getting to the next level, project implementation plan, funding, volunteers, progress reporting – are all things we would like to work on and gain feedback for.  In addition, we would like to gain some input from the group on what date we should finalize for our official event.  We have a few dates that are currently being tossed around, each with their own pros and cons, but we highly value the collective input of a larger group in making this decision.

Session notes: Place Speak and Helping Politicians Communicate

Notes shared by Andrea Sanchez.

Session I: Place Speak and Helping Politicians Communicate (Rnold and Allison)

–        Place Speak is an online Platform to create goals for the government

–        How do we engage citizens? Not everyone can go to a public consultation. Lots of people want to have a say in decision making

–        Challenges of online consultation:

¨     Anonymity builds contempt. Place Speak verifies you by location so that you can tap on members and verify what area they are from

¨     You have to create a user base

¨     Social media is not the best because your target population may not be valid for what you are researching. Do you know who they are?

¨     Need to keep reaching out to get the word out

–        Place Speak:

¨     Identifying what’s important to you and find out what people in your area really care about

¨     Vancouver School Board started using it

¨     $200/year for non-politicians

¨     Participants can see the results (in accordance to the standard in public consultations)

¨     Andrea suggested the incorporation of enabling the general public to have access to certain types of data pertaining to their area, even if they didn’t participate.


–        Politicians (progressive ones in particular) need help. They are very accessible

–        Change is about communicating with politicians. More so than just voting

–        Things happen after politicians get elected, that can be unexpected

–        A legislation can be influenced in a lot of different ways before it gets approved

–        Some politicians think that if an issue is not on the media (or a letter addressed to them), then it’s not really an issue. So they need to be more open.

–        How do you get a more diverse group that’s not just the typical group that always gets engaged

–        Being told you are important, while being told you are stupid at the same time, may drive some politicians to simply stop listening

–        Do we need an ombudsman? Someone who’s solely dedicated to listening..

–        Where can we find information about our political structure and how to get engaged politically?

¨     Booklet for Citizenship is a very good resource

¨     West Coast LEAF(for women’s issues): 2 day workshop in “Transforming your future”

–        Get politicians to make public promises to hold them accountable

–        Write to your MP. They like having constituents and community feedback

–        Politicians also need to be told what they did good too. Successes are important for their development. Otherwise insensitivity can build up and it makes them numb. Don’t let the scabs form.


–        Final question: How do I engage politically, and what would inspire me to get engaged?

Vertality: discounted tickets for Vancouver Changecamp attendees

Already have a ticket for Vancouver Changecamp? Then you can get member pricing for the Board of Change’s Vertality on March 14.

Just bring a proof of purchase from Vancouver Changecamp 2013 (like your eventbrite receipt) and your ticket will be $5.00 at the door (vs. $12 general admission.) Find our more about the event on the Board of Change website.

Vertality 3 Eblast Header V2

Vertality3 is just over one week away! Bringing together the best in business, sustainability, and innovation, Vertality is Vancouver’s social change bash for getting the Spring started.

On Thursday, March 14, join hundreds of Vancover’s top changemakers in a first-class celebration of of new beginnings and everything green at Club 560. Sample mouth-watering local organic food, be amazed by gravity-defying acts, express yourself in the costume photo-booth, challenge your tastebuds in the organic taste test, and get ready for more delicious surprises… and of course, polish your dancing shoes for an evening of fine tunes. Whether you want to hit the dancefloor or network in the corner booth, on March 14th, Vertality3 is where you’ll want to be.

Special offer: buy a Board of Change membership before March 12 and get 2 free tickets to Vertality3!

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Where: Club 560, 560 Seymour Street

When: Thursday March 14, 6:00-10:00

WhatConnect – Mix – Innovate- Dance

Click here to register!

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Presenting Sponsors:


Supporting Sponsor:


Friend of the Board of Change

©2013 Board of Change | | | 1551 Johnston St. Suite 301 Vancouver BC V6H 3R9 Canada

Session proposal: Social innovation Centre for community groups

Net Tuesday organizer Elijah van der Giessen will be pitching a discussion that discusses next steps with the potential closure of W2 Woodwards.

The recent difficulties experienced by W2 Woodwards highlights Vancouver’s need for a community event and work space that will serve as a cross-sectoral incubator for digitally-delivered social and economic innovation.

This community space will bring together artists, hackers, nonprofits and other creators so that they can support each other’s work and co-create the next big ideas.

What’s your idea for a shared amenity space?

It could be modeled on Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation.

What ideas will you bring? Submit a topic of discussion.

Session proposal: Advocacy Frameworks

Steve Williams of Constructive Public Engagement will be bringing the idea of “Advocacy Frameworks” to the pitch session of Vancouver Changecamp.

I recently had a chance to hear from Tanya Beer from Center for Evaluation Innovation in DC. She has an amazingly useful “Advocacy Framework” that can help get really clear on who we are targeting with our advocacy efforts and what our goal is. In this session, I would like to share more about the framework and facilitate a discussion with the group about where we are currently targeting our efforts, is that the most effective and how we might position ourselves – and collaborate – to make the impact we are looking for. Bonus – expect to move around!

What ideas will you bring? Submit a topic of discussion.