By: Sonia Sidhu and Laura Lam | Photography: Sonia Sidhu
On May 9, over 200 people gathered at UBC Robson Square in anticipation for a night that we were told was on how empowered entrepreneurship is creating social change.
And we got just that.
It was indeed a night of empowerment. We heard from two alumni ventures of the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub on how they are changing the status quo in our city. Our current cohort took us on a vivid journey of what motivates them to do what they do everyday, instilling upon us many sparks of inspiration.
We are sad you missed it, but if you need a little inspiration for the day, read on.
Change-maker moment of the night
Early in the evening, SheEO founder, Vicki Saunders posed this question:
“If we were radically generous with one another, would we dream differently?”
We saw the kind of radical generosity she spoke of when 20 audience members at Propel 2016 instantly crowd-funded an Alinker with a $100 contribution each for local Vancouverite, Lacy. This was inspiration in action.
Our current cohort of social ventures in the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub each took the stage to deliver powerful presentations on their impact and insights. Here are some of our favourite “quotable” moments:
“Birthing with respect and dignity are not things that women deserve: it’s a fundamental human right.” – Shanti Uganda
Founder Natalie Angell-Besseling told her story of how purpose and meaning are the key driving forces behind Shanti Uganda’s vision for the future. She is an example of entrepreneurs everywhere who strive for something more and dedicate their lives, and ventures, to why they do what they do.
“Before we ask our children to look after our world, let’s help them fall in love with it.” – My Green Space
Mike Moll of My Green Space is on a quest to change the world’s relationship with food – that very relationship is one that we all must build and nurture. My Green Space is dedicated to make it easy for anyone to grow their own food at home, and in turn has the potential to grow a generation of children who are connected to what they eat and where it comes from.
“We have a dream that the dismissed people of today are our leaders of tomorrow.” – The Alinker
Barbara Alink is redefining how we think about disability. She spoke of how The Alinker has the capacity to shift how we approach health and how it can give dignity through movement to an aging population. The Alinker enables people with physical challenges to be socially engaged, and therefore feel empowered and connected to the rest of the world.
“Children with ASD are not a problem to be solved, they deserve to be people to be understood.” – Awake Labs
Paul Fijal demonstrated the power of storytelling when he invited the audience to understand Jacob – a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He shared that children on the autism spectrum see the world differently and collectively we need to tackle how we care for children with ASD by empowering families to understand behaviour.
“Eat less meat, you’ll be healthier for it and the world will be better by it.” - Urban Digs Farm
Julia Smith didn’t set out on telling us to abstain from eating meat, but rather, she challenged the audience to relook at the amount of meat we are eating. Sourcing from local farms that practice sustainable agriculture – we can change the quality of meat that we intake, and reduce the amount of meat our body actually needs.
“Smoothie Veggies can have an impact on a dying local food system.” – Smoothie Veggies
Tonner Jackson shared how the pivotal role of his household blender during childhood would later be the inspiration for Smoothie Veggies. The “aha” moment came in university, when he intended to make a smoothie, but opened the fridge to be greeted by withered vegetables. Tonner and his co-founder, Michael, saw the opportunity to make eating well in the home convenient and easy, all while committing to source local ingredients and reinvigorate local farms.
Make sure you follow Coast Capital Innovation Hub for more news and updates so you don’t miss out. Huge thanks to Coast Capital Savings for supporting our iHub ventures.