Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions

Surrey Social Innovation Summit – Wednesday, November 15
Sold out third annual Summit connects community, business, academic and political leaders to create economic wealth and inclusive communities for all

Cities play a significant role in creating their communities, but it takes more than just the efforts of City Hall to truly engage its citizens and build better hometowns for all. The City of Surrey hosts the third annual Surrey Social Innovation Summit on Wednesday, November 15th at Surrey City Hall. Entitled Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions, the one-day Summit has 8 sessions and two workshops on the agenda on how to protect our most vulnerable citizens, engage our youth and deal with housing, unemployment, poverty, addiction and other health and safety issues.

“As Surrey continues to grow, finding solutions that connect individuals, neighbourhoods, and businesses are critical to moving forward with a completely engaged community,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The participants at this summit will help us develop the kinds of practical, effective and innovative solutions that will make all the difference in engaging all citizens in creating a community that serves people first, while building economic prosperity for all.”Cities are increasingly turning toward a “social innovation” approach that connects community, business, academic and political leaders in decision making. Together, they come up with ideas for the economic and social benefit of our city and region – including creating vibrant communities, and generating the kinds of economic opportunities that leave no one marginalized, especially our youth.

“Although the City provides considerable leadership in charting our future direction, we also rely on the creative talents and experience of individuals, businesses, and local neighbourhoods to create the engaged community we all want,” said Councillor Vera LeFranc, Chair of the Surrey Social Innovation Summit. “The inclusion of Surrey residents and neighbourhoods is key to creating the kind of social innovation and workable solutions to pressing issues that incorporates each and every one of us as we build a better community, one that represents every demographic, every neighbourhood and every perspective.”

The morning keynote speaker will be Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist for The Globe and Mail will speak on “Arrival City and How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Surrey and Canada’s Cities” and examine best practices from Europe and North America in using smart investments and interventions to make cities better places for integration, inclusion and prosperity in the coming decades of growth. In the afternoon, CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup host Duncan McCue explores the growing movement to Indigenize our cities by making space for the architecture, languages, and cultures of the first peoples. An afternoon workshop with placemaking expert Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces will examine “Placemaking as a Catalyst for Developing the City of the Future”. (See attached agenda for program details and lists of presenters)

For more information about the Surrey Social Innovation Summit, please click here.


8:45 PM – Opening Keynote

Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail
Arrival City and How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Surrey and Canada’s Cities

How can cities of newcomers like Surrey reshape themselves to ensure the next generation of immigrants is as successful as the last? Doug Saunders examines best practices from Europe and North America.

1:45 PM – Closing Keynote

Duncan McCue, Journalist, Host of CBC Radio One Cross Country Checkup
Indigenizing our City

Exploring the growing movement to Indigenize our cities and connect urban residents to the lands where we live, by making space for the architecture, languages, and cultures of the first peoples.

10:00 am – Concurrent Sessions (Round one)
Diversity = Innovation

Does the value of a great idea matter if it’s said with an accent? Few cities are as culturally diverse as Surrey which is home to virtually every language on earth. How can modern cities harness that diversity as a force for innovative thinking and new ideas, and how do we build bonds and a sense of belonging for new citizens and their contributions to the community?
Moderator: Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

  • Alden E. Habacon, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist
  • Daniel Hiebert, Professor of Geography, UBC
  • Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist, Globe and Mail

Social Procurement: Putting the Economy to Work for Social Innovation

The notion that we can create positive social impacts through existing purchasing isn’t new. It’s something that goes back to Roman times, but its value remains today. This innovative marketbased opportunity to create social impact is as relevant to the private sector as it is to public purchasing by different levels of government.

After all, no single sector, public or private, can solve complex social issues alone. But, blending business values and social impact objectives through social procurement is a tool that offers opportunities for both communities and marginalized citizens. Moderator: Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International, Simon Fraser University.

  • Janice Abbott, CEO, Atira Women’s Resource Society
  • Larry Berglund, Author, Good Planets are Hard to Buy
  • Marcia Nozick, CEO, Embers
  • Jeff Waters, Business Development Coordinator, EllisDon
  • Jeff Scott, President & CEO, Fraser Surrey Docks

Public Participation: Every Voice Matters

Every year, all three levels of government look to public engagement and community consultation as they make decisions that impact all of us. As communities and local issues become more complex, what’s on the minds of residents, neighbours and citizens, how do they want to participate, and which forms of modern public engagement and consultation actually work and provide valuable results? Moderator: Mark Busse, Director of TILT Curiosity Labs, HCMA Architecture and Design.

  • Mario Cansesco, Vice President of Public Affairs, Insights West
  • Susanna Haas Lyons, Civic Engagement Specialist
  • Tim Wolfe, Deputy Director, Seattle Department of Neighbourhoods
  • Kathleen Burke, Senior Lecturer, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

11:30 am – Concurrent Sessions (Round two)
Placemaking with People in Mind

Effective community participation is key to reimagining and reinventing public spaces. So, what is the role of community engagement, and how do we get more and deeper participation, the kind that ensures citizens have more say in the public spaces that often define their neighbourhoods and communities? Moderator: David Laulainen, Director of Communications
and Marketing, Century Group.

  • James Cheng, Architect, James K.M. Cheng Architects
  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces
  • Andy Yan, Director, the City Program, Simon Fraser University
  • Michael Heeney, President and CEO, Surrey City Development Corporation

Our Social Responsibility to Our Youth

Youth who become isolated and marginalized in their own communities are at greater risk of dropping out of school and may eventually become engaged in socially irresponsible activities. Researchers and practitioners agree that connecting schools and their surrounding communities is part of the answer.

How can we develop innovative approaches to help us ensure we build schools and communities in which everyone feels connected, engaged, and therefore protected from those risk factors?

Moderator: Terry Waterhouse, Director of Public Safety, City of Surrey.

  • Sukh Shergill, Manager, Safe Schools, Surrey School District
  • Dr. Wanda Cassidy, Associate Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University
  • Sonja Van Der Putten, Teacher & Graduate Researcher, SD#36 & Simon Fraser University

Youth Leading for Change: Ideas and Approaches from a New Generation We’re in an era of unprecedented social change and today’s youth have a unique take on how they want to live their lives and shape the future of our communities. This session will explore how the next generation will approach the issues they’ll face and find solutions. Moderator: Vi Nguyen, Director of Youth Engagement, Grants and Community Initiatives, Vancouver Foundation.

  • David Cameron, Executive Director, YELL Canada
  • Zoya Jiwa, Education Programs Coordinator, RADIUS SFU
  • Carmen Moreira, Executive Director and Choreographer, SQX Dance Company
  • Jeska Slater, Indigenous Youth Coordinator, Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association

3:00 pm Workshops
Placemaking as a Catalyst for Developing the City of the Future

Rather than sticking to the outdated model of top-down design and designed around cars and building, we should make cities about people and place.

  • Fred Kent, President, Project for Public Spaces

Place-Based Social Innovation Labs

Join RADIUS SFU and the City of Surrey for a workshop on place based social innovation labs as an approach to tackling complex community problems.

  • Kiri Bird, Manager, Local Economic Development Lab (LEDlab)
  • Shawn Smith, Director of Social Innovation, Co-Director of RADIUS, Simon Fraser University
Surrey604 Staff
Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.