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
“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
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
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
Content & Feature Photo Via Junxion
“Here in Yellowknife, we’re over 2º warmer than we were in the 1940s. My patient population is already affected by the changing climate—the ice is more dangerous to travel on, so people fall through; caribou herds are dwindling; permafrost is heaving and making buildings less stable; and we spent the whole summer of 2014 cloaked in wildfire smoke.”
Climate change is here. And Dr. Courtney Howard’s patients are feeling the effects: “As you can imagine, change this rapid is stressful, particularly because many aboriginal people in the north still live very close to the land. It has real effects on culture and on people’s way of life.” Continue reading Social Change Institute Impact Bio: Dr. Courtney Howard