Category Archives: Change Makers

A Story of Hollyhock

By Joel Solomon

Just past the end of the gravel road, at the end of the highway, on the left coast of the continent, across a short body of water, is a place where I was fortunate to find myself. There are many sacred places on the planet. In fact, the whole planet underneath what humans have built, changed and affected over time, is sacred. However, at this time in history, places like I have just described have special qualities that still are radiant and can be felt. That is the geography of Hollyhock, and I consider it a very unique one.

N2670748986_1c8ba14093_zorth of Hollyhock and the end of that road is one of the few remaining vast, natural areas on the planet that is still relatively intact. Indigenous people on their land live better here than in most places in the world. In this area, there remains the possibility of a great, green place, with large species and vast areas that are underdeveloped by humans. Continue reading A Story of Hollyhock

Joel Solomon: The Conscientious Capitalist

By Richard Littlemore via BC Business
Feature Image by Peter Holst

While he’s best known as the money behind Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Joel Solomon has been quietly building a reputation as one of the city’s smartest financiers

The 180-degree outlook from Joel Solomon’s 10th-floor patio deck is a perfect metaphor for his complicated and sometimes controversial world view. Solomon’s condo is in Railtown, boxed between the tracks along the Vancouver harbour and some boarded-up, light-industrial spaces in what is inevitably known as Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. But the view is spectacular. Directly to the north lies the brightly lit Meccano-land of Port Metro Vancouver—strangely beautiful, especially at night. The giant cranes are constantly in motion, sweeping and dancing, loading and stacking steel containers like so many colourful blocks—all in the service of what Solomon describes as “shipping off rocks that come back as televisions.”

Look past the port and your eyes are caught by the sparkle of lights on snow, on Grouse Mountain and Cypress. And to the left, there is the twinkling lace of yet more lights on the Lions Gate Bridge. Continue reading Joel Solomon: The Conscientious Capitalist

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Christopher Roy

Via Junxion

“If you’re conscious at all about what’s going on in the world and the changes that are needed, it’s obvious to me that business has a tremendous role to play in the transformation to a more equitable, social and environmental world.”

That’s what gets Christopher Roy out of bed every morning. Christopher runs Marketworks, his own consulting agency that provides digital marketing for a growing number of businesses that consider societal benefits, social change and environmental sustainability to be essential parts of their business offering. His clients are the kinds of enterprises that are doing business differently, operating more in relationship with the natural world, lead by people putting social and environmental benefits ahead of profit. “That’s pretty powerful to me,” he says, with a wise twinkle in his eye.

Continue reading Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Christopher Roy

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner

via Junxion 

Mary Waldner had been sick most of her life without knowing why. When she was finally diagnosed with Celiac disease in 1994, it was a life-changing relief—and was soon to be the ‘aha moment’ that sparked an entrepreneurial journey.

“I developed a cracker recipe for myself so that I could have something to eat, especially when going out. And then I saw other people eating them and I watched how much they loved them!”

So in 2004, not knowing she was going to hit the wave of consciousness that was beginning to sweep the food industry and consumers, Mary launched her company. Since then, poetically, “it’s taken off like crazy!” Today, Mary’s Gone Crackers ships its  organic and vegan crackers, cookies and pretzels across the US from their plant in California, and north to Canada. Continue reading Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Mary Waldner

Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Sharon Gregson

Via Junxion

Having had four kids as a working mother while struggling to finish university, Sharon Gregson knows first-hand “there aren’t enough quality childcare spaces for children, fees are too high for many families, and wages of early childhood educators are below a living wage.”

Since she was a young single mom in the late 80s, Sharon Gregson has been a longstanding childcare advocate, focused on women’s and children’s rights, and the need for a high quality and affordable childcare system in Canada.

“Access to quality childcare shouldn’t be a matter of luck!”

Continue reading Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Sharon Gregson