Step Right Up! Photos, videos and more!

Daniel-Rotman_SFU-CSCD_25th-041It was exciting to see more than 150 of you at our 25th anniversary party at the Wise Hall on March 13. Thank you so much for celebrating with us!

We are grateful for the contributions of artists Jeremy Loveday, Vanessa Richards and the Woodward’s Community Singers, musicians from Casa Rosa and DJ Dave Biggs. Thanks go out to Cease and Senaqwila Wyss who welcomed us to the territory, Mark Roseland who provided the history of the Centre, Sean Markey who creatively theorized about what leadership for sustainability requires (including acts of weirdness). Kudos to our talk show segment with host Vanessa Timmer, and panelists Nicole Chaland, Rosemary Cooper, and Ian Gill who considered the hard truths about “stepping up” and concluded that facing the dual challenges of inequality and ecological threats means rethinking our concept of “enoughness” and being bold and radical in our response.

And of course right in the middle of everything, under the tent lights, was the incredible arrangement of showcases, demonstrating that sustainable community development is a big and welcoming tent full of creative and passionate changemakers. Thanks to all of them for bringing new ideas and fun to our evening.

Go2Gether: Becoming Multi-Modal – Alice Park/Madelyn Jones
The Sustainable SFU Wacky Waste Sorting Challenge – Mike Soron/Tanya Otero
Still Creek Stories: Still Moon Arts Society – Carmen Rosen
Community Capitals: Unleashing potential through action Gretchen Hernandez
Sharecase: The Sharing Project – Chris Diplock
RADIUS – Build A Social Business NOW! – Miguel Guerrero/Jenn McRae
Common Threads Social Enterprise – Melanie Conn
“Futures Telling” Village Vancouver – Ross Moster
Thanks to SFU Theatre and SCD student June Fukumura, our MC who gently but firmly kept us focused and on time.

Malcolm MacLean captured the talks and the vibe of the event in the videos below. Take a moment and find yourselves!

The evening’s highlights can be seen here:

You can also skip to the full length videos of the talks and performances:
Mark Roseland:…
Jeremy Loveday (performance poet):…
Alumni Reflections:…
“Talk show” segment:…
Sean Markey:…

As well as our congratulatory tribute video:

Take a look at the “Pics for Change” Photo Extravaganza hosted by the Sustainable Community Development programs Student Union.
Daniel Rotman, our official photographer, put together some great photos of the event.

Last but not least, stay in touch with us on LinkedIn:

Now, if you enjoyed yourself at the anniversary event, help us capture your experience by sharing your thoughts on the following question:
What was one moment, connection, or reflection that you experienced at Step Right Up! that left an impression?
We will use these quotes in our legacy document of the event. Email responses to Joanna Ashworth at
Meanwhile, stay well, keep stepping up and we look forward to connecting with you!

Best Regards,
The Step Right Up Anniversary Team at SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development

An amazing evening

Thank you to everyone for attending the Centre’s 25 anniversary last evening.  We ate, we shared, and we were inspired!

Dr. Sean Markey ended the evening with some fun and inspiring words - ’we don’t have a knowledge problem…we have a mobilization problem. ‘

So how do we mobilize?

1. Be weird – change is going to be a bit uncomfortable
2. Challenge tradition
3. Unite communities
4. Be inclusive
5. Have FUN
6. Build allies

Thank you also to our community partners and sponsors, without whom we could not have delivered such an amazing event.


Community Participants

Why Celebrate with Us?


Vanessa w Woodward's Community Singers all rights reserved by jmv from flickr copy

There are a few compelling reasons why you will want to celebrate the 25th birthday of the Centre for Sustainable Community Development.

1. Would you miss your big sister’s or granny’s birthday if you could help it? Of course not. A birthday is a milestone that must be acknowledged. It’s a moment to reflect on the path that has led us to exactly this moment in time and it will never exist again. It’s a time to collectively delight in the existence of the one we celebrate.

2. 25 years ago the world was a different place. We barely had email and cell phones were rare. Some of us were still crawling. Most of us did not know about climate change or think too much about transportation policy, declining biodiversity, or tax shifting. But some of us did, and they have continued to share their vision of how to act in ways that are good for people and the planet. That’s something to celebrate.

3. When we hang out together to talk and enjoy music, song, art, poetry, and storytelling, our spirits are lifted and our capacity to act is better informed and more inspired. Sometimes we just need a break from the day to day hard work of making change. Did I mention there will be cake?

See you at the Wise Hall, 6:30pm on Thursday March 13.

–Joanna Ashworth is a senior research associate at the Centre for Sustainable Community Development who writes on behalf of the organizing group for this event.

Current Students: Incubating Innovation in SCD


Enterprise for Sustainable Community Development Class of ’14

Social Enterprise for Sustainable Community Development is a breeding ground for business ideas. Here are just three of the business ideas that have been developed this semester. Each of these plans identifies a problem and responds with a solution.

Up to thirty percent of fruits and vegetables do not make it onto store shelves because they’re not pretty enough for picky consumers. Not only is it a waste of money, time and energy, unused food that end up in landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gases. Easy Lunch transforms this huge amount of perfectly edible food into a potential business opportunity.By turning these seemingly less desirable foods into soups and stews Easy Lunch can divert this precious resource from the landfill. Income will be generated by selling the nutritious soups and stews to SFU students.

Cider Vancouver will support local artists, farmers and its workers, while producing delicious products to its customers. Fresh local apples all sourced within 100 miles from the cidery will be used. Artists will be given a venue to perform and showcase their work. ‘We really hope this place will become a warm and welcoming gathering space in Vancouver’. Structuring the business as a worker’s co-op to promote the equal treatment and inclusion of the workers will be an integral aspect of their operation.

A common concern among those who are looking to be more involved in their community is a lack of consolidated information and searching through various websites can be tedious and time consuming. LoveOfLocal! Vancouver (LOL!Vancouver) is here to make sustainability easier for Vancouverites. By combining events and information, with job and volunteer positions on one online website, they hope to encourage community engagement and make it more accessible. Revenue generation will come from advertisement space on the website and holding paid online and in-person information workshops. Their focus is on collaboration with local businesses and organizations who also have a social or environmental mission. They create the link between the sustainability-conscious business to a like-spirited consumer.

Vancouver prides itself as a city of great dining culture featuring locally sourced and sustainable ingredients but the experience is incomplete as single-use take-out waste remains a problem in the industry. Within the City of Vancouver’s goal to be the Greenest City in the world by 2020, we must reduce waste by 50% from 2008 levels. The city also has a growing number of environmentally conscious citizens, many of whom who are looking for alternative options to packaging waste. Your Friendly Neighbourhood Box is a container sharing system that allows you to “rent” the container for a small fee and use it amongst a community network of food vendors.

For those with further questions please feel free to contact the Centre for Sustainable Community Development.

Who will be at Step Right Up?

June Fukumura – Master of Ceremonies


June Fukumura is a fourth year theatre performance major who is also pursuing a certificate in SCD at Simon Fraser University. She is interested in fusing physical theatre with her passion for sustainability to create performances that engage the community. She has been working at the Boys and Girls Club for the past two years and has taught drama to children at Urban Promise’s Camp Grace, Burquitlam Childcare Centre, and Tarlington Training. She has recently performed in The Cold War directed by DD Kugler and Donut Holes in Orbit directed by Davey Calderon.

Cease and Senaqwila Wyss – Opening blessing

Cease & Senaqwila Wyss

Cease and Senaqwila Wyss will perform the opening blessing

Dr. Mark Roseland – Opening Keynote Speaker

MarkRMark Roseland joined the Centre in 1995, and has been Director since 1997.  Mark is also Professor of Planning in the SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management, author of the best-selling book Toward Sustainable Communities: Solutions for Citizens and Their Governments, and is the founder of, an online network for sustainable communities researchers and practitioners.  In a previous life Mark was a classical street musician, a folk musician, a violin teacher and an orchestra conductor.  In another previous life he was the editor of an appropriate technology magazine, and then spent several years living in a tent and later a school bus on 40 acres of forestland.  In his current life he is married with children, and lives in a house that looks normal – at least from the outside.


 Dr. Sean Markey – Closing Keynote Speaker

Sean Markey

Sean Markey has been affiliated with the Centre since 1998. He teaches in the undergraduate certificate program and the Certificate Program for CED Professionals. He considers teaching in both programs to be an immense privilege – working with students and practitioners to make their communities, and the world a better place. In his day job, Sean is an Associate Professor with the Resource and Environmental Management Department at Simon Fraser University. His research concerns issues of local and regional economic development, community sustainability, rural development, and sustainable infrastructure. He has published widely and continues to work with municipalities, non-profit organizations, Aboriginal communities and the business community to promote and develop sustainable forms of community economic development. He serves as co-Chair on the Board of Directors with the Vancity Community Foundation, and is on the Board of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation.

Entertainment by:

Casa Rosa Painting 2Casa Rosa blends traditional gypsy jazz music with their own contemporary stylings, Casa Rosa embodies the spirit of the 1930′s and 40′s Parisian jazz scene with an appreciation for rhythms, timings, and melodies that span across musical borders.  Keen on challenging themselves and their listeners, Casa Rosa seeks to create a unique sound from an era of great musicianship and innovation.


Jeremy Loveday is Victoria’s 2010 Individual Slam Champion and a three time member of the Victoria Poetry Slam team. His performances are playful, fierce and fully present and his poetry weaves universal themes into insightful story lines.  He aims to connect with the audience like a deep breath.   Having performed at festivals and shows across Canada and beyond Jeremy has built his reputation on his raw, rhythmic performances.

At the inaugural Vancouver International Poetry Festival, Jeremy’s poem Come Home Canada was chosen as 1 of 2 festival highlights.   In December 2011, Jeremy had the great honour of performing his poem “An Ode to Courage” as the official tribute to Jack Layton at the 50th anniversary BC NDP convention. Jeremy currently serves as the Director of Youth Outreach for Tongues of Fire, Victoria’s spoken word poetry collective. In this role, he organizes and facilitates high school poetry workshops, bringing local performance poets together to introduce the art of spoken word to high school students. He is also the Director of Victorious Voices, Victoria’s Secondary School Slam Championships.

Vanessa w Woodward's Community Singers all rights reserved by jmv from flickr copy Vanessa Richards is an interdisciplinary artist with a foundation in music, performance, writing and collaboration with a focus on socially-engaged arts practices and community arts programming. She is the community engagement manager at the Arts Club and has held this post since 2012 when it was created. She earned her MPhil from Cardiff University.

Woodward’s Community Singers began as a community engagement project while Vanessa Richards, was working with SFU as the director of community engagement through the arts as the university was developing the Woodward’s campus. Originally based at SFU Harbourcentre, the choir began its residency at Woodwards in the PHS Skyroom in Sept 2010. The group has continued to meet weekly since then. You can find out more about them or details of when they meet on Facebook, Woodward’s Community Singers page.

And DJ Dave Biggs! Moonlighting from his day job as an internationally-recognized stakeholder engagement and public outreach strategist focusing on the use of software tools to enhance community participation for transportation, urban and sustainability planning projects. He is also the co-founder of Metro-Quest.


“Un”Common Threads

Melanie receiving a load of banners for upcycling(1)

Common Thread, a non-profit co-operative based in Vancouver upcycles street banners into conference bags and other products. Our network of producers are newcomers to Canada or experience other employment barriers; they thrive in our flexible and supportive training and work environment.  Melanie Conn is the co-founder and Marketing Manager.






Go2Gether: Becoming Multi-Modal

madlyn Go2gethergo2gether is a very simple way for you to instantly find anyone who is going the same way you are. As a result, we make ridesharing seamless, effortless and easy.
go2gether envisions to help people to save time, money and protect the environment, while ultimately creating a community of friendly commuters! Your hosts for the showcase are Alice Park and Madelyn Jones.






RADIUS – Build A Social Business NOW!

Miguel guerreroJennifer McRae

RADIUS is a social innovation lab and venture incubator based at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. Formed to enable SFU’s leadership in building the new economy, RADIUS works to strengthen impact focused businesses and the ecosystem that supports them, develop and test new ideas for an economy that prioritizes people and planet, and build a pipeline of emerging social economy leaders with real world experience. Your hosts for the showcase are Miguel Guerrero and Jenn McRae.



Seann Dory is the Co-Director/Founder of Sole Food Street Farms, a social enterprise that provides jobs and agricultural training for people in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Before starting Sole Food, Seann was a project manager at another DTES social enterprise, United We Can. Seann is a founding member of the Young Agrarians, an initiative to recruit, promote and support young farmers in Canada.

Seann speaks regularly about food,sustainability and inner city development and has presented at The National Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barnes and the Projecting Change Film Festival. Seann is a graduate of the Sustainable Community Development program at Simon Fraser University and a member of the National Farmers Union.


ShareCase: The Sharing Project

Chris DiplockChris Diplock is the lead researcher on The Sharing Project, a multi-staged research project focused on engaging citizens, institutions and organizations in developing Vancouver’s sharing economy.  The research has involved interviews, focus groups, an open survey and a random panel survey.  The report was released October 11th and can be found at . Since the release of the report, The Sharing Project has helped ignite city-wide dialogue about sharing.  With the research complete, The Sharing Project is now working on bringing sharing organizations together in Vancouver and engaging with communities in order to start new sharing initiatives. The Sharing Project understands that when a community shares more, it consumes less, saves money, and creates meaningful social connections.




Community Capitals:  Unleashing potential through action

Gretchen Hernandez

Gretchen Hernandez coordinates international projects at the Centre for Sustainable Community Development. The Community Capital tools were designed to engage local communities and actors in identifying existing and potential assets in their communities and to assess the impacts of their proposed initiatives on sustainable development indicators. The tools were developed by the CSCD at Simon Fraser University and Telos, a centre for sustainable development of Tilburg University, and have been tested in Holland, Guatemala, Canada, and Bolivia to date.  The Balance Sheet is designed to help communities identify their existing assets (capitals) as a basis for planning sustainable development initiatives.  The Scan is a participatory tool that allows community members to pre-assess the impacts of a proposed enterprise or initiative, and to adjust it as needed for the most beneficial results.

Sustainable SFU – The Wacky Waste Sorting Challenge

Tanya Sustainable SFU


Sustainable SFU is an independent, student-led not-for-profit society working toward a sustainable future at Simon Fraser University campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey. We provide sustainability advocacy, programming, and academic and professional development opportunities for our over 35,000 undergraduate and graduate student members.

Tanya Otero is passionate about trash. As Zero Waste Coordinator with Sustainable SFU she is working with students to reduce waste on campus through advocacy and engagement. Mike Soron helps student sustainability leaders at SFU and across BC create safer, healthier and happier communities. He is the Executive Director of Sustainable SFU and an alumus of SFU’s Masters in Urban Studies program.

Still Moon Arts Society

Carmen Rosen

Carmen Rosen from Still Moon Arts Society will share Still Creek Stories


And many more: Sustainable SFU hosts the Wacky Waste Sorting Challenge,

Ross Moster with Village Vancouver takes your on a future search, Brent Mansfield from BC Food Systems Network, Carmen Rosen from the Still Moon Arts Society and the Sustainable Community Development Student Union host a “Pics for Change” Photo Extravaganza (photo booth).



Talk Show

VanessaTimmerGLOBEVanessa Timmer is the Executive Director of One Earth, a Vancouver-based “think and do tank” focused on sustainable consumption and production across scales with partners including The Story of Stuff and The Sustainability Funders. Vanessa is also an Associate with the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University focused on innovation.  She teaches sustainability and systems thinking, and co-hosts the television show, The Sustainable Region.  Vanessa is part of a global campaign to create positive and compelling visions of life in sustainable futures.  One Earth is leading the New Economies theme of the Canada-wide Cities for People, initiated by The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation, which is an experiment in taking collaborative action to create more resilient and livable cities.  Locally, she advises the City and Metro Vancouver and promotes eco-industrial networking. In 2013, Vanessa was named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40. 


 Nicole ChalandNicole Chaland has been the program director for the Certificate Program for Community Economic Development since 2008. Under Nicole’s direction the program has awarded over $70,000 in bursaries, over 40% of participants spearhead new enterprises or projects, and 100% of graduates recommend the program to peers. Prior to her role as program director, Nicole worked as a community organizer and researcher for the Canadian Community Economic Development Network: a national organization with a mandate to build, nurture and grow the community economic development movement in Canada. She also worked at the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy where she honed her skills and appreciation for participatory action research as a method to develop sustainable, local economies.


Rosemary Cooper headshot Feb2014Rosemary Cooper teaches and coordinates curriculum for the Certificate in Sustainable Community Development housed at the SFU City Program.  The courses provide mid-career professionals and interested citizens with the practical skills and perspectives to envision and catalyze more sustainable future for the places where they work or live.



ian-gill Ian Gill is principal of Cause+Effect, a Vancouver-based consulting company specializing in conservation, community development, Indigenous issues, media and social finance. He emigrated to Canada from Australia in 1981 and worked as an editor and senior reporter at The Vancouver Sun. In 1986-87 he spent a year in Paris as a fellow of Journalists in Europe. He joined CBC Television in 1988, where he won a string of awards as a documentary journalist specializing in resource development and First Nations, including a Jack Webster Award as Best Reporter (Television) in 1993. In 1994 he became founding executive director of Ecotrust Canada ( and at one point was President and CEO of Ecotrust in both Canada and the U.S. He served two terms as a director of Vancity credit union. In 2010, he returned to Australia to head Ecotrust there, before resettling in Vancouver in 2012. Ian is the author of three books, including All That We Say Is Ours: Guujaaw and the Reawakening of the Haida Nation. Currently, he is co-directing The Winnipeg Boldness Project, and is a senior associate with The Social Projects Studio. He has been appointed Adjunct Professor at the CSCD as of March 1, 2014. He also writes a column for the on-line journal The Tyee (

Malcolm MacLean – Videographer

Malcolm MacLean Videographer

Malcolm began his filmmaking practice while studying at the University of Victoria in Environmental Studies and Geography. He found short documentary style videos effective educational tools to connect with broad audiences about social and environmental issues. He is now exploring the use of video for enhancing public engagement in the planning process while pursing his masters at UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning.




Daniel Rotman – Photography

Daniel Rotman PhotographyDaniel recently moved to Vancouver to mix his passion for imagery with sustainability. His goal is to make sustainability more visible through photography and consulting. See for contact information.

Alumni Stories: Q & A with Chris Diplock


Chris Diplock at the Vancouver Tool Library

A conversation with Chris Diplock about the Vancouver Tool Library, his experience with the CED program, and what the future holds for Chris.

Hey! Who are you?

I’m Chris Diplock, the co-founder of the Vancouver Tool Library.

A little more about yourself?

I’m originally from Toronto, Ontario, I came out here to do schooling at UBC in Economics but I felt a little disenfranchised with the modern economics perspective, so I took some time off and got involved with the coop sector. I worked with a workers coop and I ended up really liking that experience.  

What is the Vancouver Tool Library?

VTL is a community tool lending resource that was established in 2011. It has been very successful, we now have over 800 members, 1000 tools and 80% of those tools are donated. We have a great member base that is helping create projects in their community. 

What is the connection between sustainability and the VTL?

Back in 2011 people weren’t talking about the collaborative economy, and now I am getting emails everyday about it.  I went on to do some research on the collaborative economy in Vancouver called The Sharing Project, which I was the lead researcher on.  I just finished The Sharing Project tour, in which we communicated the results of our multi-phase research project with different communities in Vancouver.

When we started the VTL we saw the benefit of reduced consumption, the community connection, and our members and community saving money. I think what sets the VTL apart is that we are a coop.  The coop principles aligned with our vision of a community owned resource.  When I was on the Board of Directors we influenced the Toronto Library to become a coop as well.  The VTL incorporates the values of sustainability and community economic development. The organization keeps things local and connects people, it helps them improve their lives. That is the collaborative economy in a nutshell.

What is your connection to the Centre for Sustainable Community Development?

When I found out about the Community Economic Development certificate program at SFU, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Part of the CED program was to look at an organization that you wanted to develop throughout the curriculum, I came in with 2 ideas, 1 of these ideas was a tool lending library. Workshopping my ideas with other students in the program was a great opportunity.  I was in the CED program from 2010 to 2011, and in the spring of 2011 I kicked off of the Vancouver Tool Library. BC has great potential to get its social innovators working together.  I saw my cohort as just that, a group of social innovators that I could talk to and work together with.

What is next?

Taking the principles I learned in the CED program, I’m engaging in a new project around the social sector that engages non-profits.  I’m constantly planning my goals and desired impact.  My lens has always been on coops in the social sector and what they can contribute.

- Interviewer Chris Puzio is on the planning committee for the 25th Anniversary of the Centre of Sustainable Community Development. Come this September Chris hopes to be attending the School for Resource and Environmental Management at SFU for his graduate studies.

Distributing the benefits of CSR

Sean Blog Post

Lafarge cement plant. Photo credit: Rexp2, at

Reflections on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its role in community development by CSCD researcher, PhD student Kristina Welch.

CSR has taken many forms over the last few decades, including risk mitigation and the creation of a social contract, corporate philanthropy and marketing PR, and as a business model for enhanced value. The tangible outcomes of these different strategies are incredibly varied. At its worst CSR becomes a form of green-washing; at its best it creates benefits for communities and consumers. CSR is increasingly being mandated for use in BC’s natural resource sector to build relationships between corporations and the rural communities in which they wish to operate. Companies are seeking to mitigate investment risk and foster support for their resource projects. These rural communities are eager to capture the benefits of resource development since supportive government funding for rural infrastructure and development has been replaced by a reliance on the private sector to develop rural areas and deliver benefits to communities.

Federal and Provincial governments have moved increasingly toward a neoliberal policy agenda, severing traditional bonds of stewardship and investment that once connected rural communities to companies and to senior governments. Rural communities are now in a position where they must negotiate with corporations to derive and capture benefits from resource projects in their regions. The result may be uneven distribution of benefits to communities within a resource region, as corporations selectively apply CSR investments “using a market rationality”[1] rather than a distributional equity approach that would otherwise be applied in a political realm.  In other words, the rising tide does not float all boats, and may even sink some. Even within a given region with overlapping jurisdictions of municipalities, regional districts, and First Nations, “companies negotiate the social license with communities that hold the greatest political power to interrupt operations or threaten investor confidence for new projects”[2]. The remaining communities that are left out of the CSR and benefit negotiations must instead work to capture secondary benefits.

The distribution of provincial revenue sharing is also an uneven patchwork of agreements in BC.  Revenue sharing was previously mandated by the Revenue Sharing Act, which stipulated that 6% of resource revenues and royalties were distributed to local governments in the province. This was repealed in the 1990s, and has since been replaced by collection of revenue sharing agreements.  The Fair Share Agreement (Peace River MOU) provides funding to local governments in the northeastern part of the province, and the BC’s New Relationship with First Nations includes revenue sharing for forestry and mining operations.

To conclude, there is more work that needs to be done to ensure that the Province’s resource wealth is being captured and distributed equally among rural communities in a way that recognizes both the burden and risks that are placed on local infrastructure and also the right for communities to realize benefits from projects in their region.

- Kristina Welch is a researcher with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development and a PhD student with the School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM) at SFU.

[1, 2] Heisler, K., & Markey, S. (2013). Scales of Benefit: Political Leverage in the Negotiation of Corporate Social Responsibility in Mineral Exploration and Mining in Rural British Columbia, Canada. Society & Natural Resources, 26(4), 386–401. doi:10.1080/08941920.2012.695858. Access at


Free carpooling to event!

THIS JUST IN! Too wet to bike? CSCD has partnered with to offer carpools to and from the event! Help make this event greener while saving some money and meeting like-minded people along the way. Sign up for a free account with using your SFU email and share a ride! For easy matching, select the Step Right Up event when posting your trip and you’ll be alerted with potential matches to and from the event.