2020 workshops to be announced.
Check out a sample of workshops offered in 2019 below:

Thursday workshops

Pleasure To Meet You: Being Memorable In The Age of Distraction

Lead by Kahlil Ashanti

It is increasingly rare that we have the chance to introduce ourselves or make a first impression in person. In the midst of our digital economy, opportunities for new introductions can come through a conference call, pitch, email, Skype or a phone call.

With so many digital tools at our disposal and with time at a premium, we often suppress our most valuable human assets in exchange for buzzwords, metrics and facade.

This interactive 60 minute workshop will provide you with tools to cut through the noise and recognize the most compelling parts of your story, your pitch, your gift and your reputation. People treat us the way they meet us, so join us as we set a new course for connection that we can be proud of.

About Kahlil

Kahlil Ashanti is the Founder and CEO of, the first digital pay-after-the-experience platform for arts, culture and entertainment. He created it to scratch his own itch when he wrote a new show and had no idea what to charge the audience for admission, revealing that the perceived value of any event is highest at the end of the experience. As an actor, speaking coach and web developer he is constantly searching for ways to help people share their stories in memorable ways with those they seek to serve. His performance career contains lots of cool accolades which you can find at, but he would rather use this space to thank the SVI team for the opportunity and welcome everyone to his workshop!

Somatic Leadership: How your body impacts your work

Lead by Loretta Laurin

Did you know that your heart sends more signals to your brain than your brain sends to your heart? We all talk about “stress” as if it’s a bad thing, but don’t we also need to be “on and activated” to be energetic, go-getting leaders? How does the body affect our thinking states, creativity, relationship-building, and capacity to engage with our work? Learn some body science and bring your heart and mind into coherence, redefining your relationship to your biggest challenges – in work, and in life. This workshop includes talking and discussion as well as simple physical activities and breathing exercises.

About Loretta

Loretta Laurin is Hollyhock’s dynamic and multi-talented Communications Manager. Founder of Shift Delivery Co-op, a for-profit worker co-operative that is replacing truck deliveries with peddle-powered cargo tricycles, Loretta is experienced with business strategy, marketing, group facilitation, and membership engagement. Loretta has also spent the last decade as a movement and social justice educator. From dance and fitness to yoga and pilates, they have over 10 teaching certifications in embodiment modalities. They are also passionate about and well-versed in many of the nuances and issues surrounding equity. They hold a Bachelors of General Studies with certificates in Applied Human Nutrition, Sustainable Community Development, Liberal Arts, and Religious Studies. This year as SVI’s night producer, Loretta will be supporting all the party vibes!

Strategic Planning for the Nimble Venture

Lead by Mike Rowlands

Leading a venture has never been easy, and it’s only getting more challenging as the business community faces up to complex social and environmental challenges. Traditional approaches to strategy no longer work, and plans aren’t effective if they end up as artifacts on dusty hard drives! Today, they must be living documents, grounded in values, that empower leaders and support the ongoing growth and development of the organization. So how do you build an effective strategy? And how do you translate ideas into impact? In this session Mike Rowlands will share insights into Junxion’s Turning Point™ approach, which blends Agile methodologies, Appreciative Inquiry, stakeholder engagement and systems thinking in an integrated model that’s been implemented by many SVI alumni in their ventures.

About Mike

Mike is President & CEO at Junxion Strategy, an
international social impact consultancy that exists to help the bold visionaries of the next economy to articulate their purpose, plan their positive impact, share their stories, and demonstrate their accountability. Junxion’s clients range from major international companies such as adidas and Natura, global NGOs like Doctors Without Borders and United Nations, and countless entrepreneur-led social ventures and non-profits. Mike is Chair of Hollyhock’s Board of Directors, where he is an Executive Producer of the Social Venture Institute. He also sits on the Board of Directors of Social Venture Circle, serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at RADIUS SFU, and is a B Corp Ambassador.

Relational Leadership: The Art of Conscious Relating

Lead by Tracey Abbott

Whether we are intentional about it or not, we are in constant communication with those around us – verbally and non-verbally. And our success, both personally and professionally, is largely dependent on how well we are able to form deeper connections with others.

In this interactive workshop, you will:

  • Better understand your impact on others
  • Practice fun ways to develop rapport and engage others
  • Increase your capacity for authentic & vulnerable communication

About Tracey

Tracey is a leadership coach & organizational consultant, hailing from the Rock and now living in both Asia & Canada. Her passion lies at the intersection of psychology, leadership, and social change. Tracey’s career has been in a helping profession as a Psychologist, coach, professor and trainer specialized in leadership development. She has provided executive coaching, counselling, and consulting for over a decade to more than 800 impact leaders, teams, and organizations across the globe.

As the founder of On Purpose Leadership, she provides coaching and training to conscious leaders so they can feel more resilient and have greater influence and impact. She also assists businesses to create a compelling workplace culture to build high trust and high performing teams. When she’s not geeking out on work, you’ll either find her adventuring, striking up conversations with strangers, or petting the nearest dog.

Money Matters: Turning Bankers into Allies

Lead by Vancity

(Carrie Wertheim, David Huynh, Elvy del Bianco & Yvette Wu)

Take the fear out of talking about finance and make friends with bankers. All questions welcome about what lenders look for when they lend money.

Recruitment: Diversity and Excellence in the Workplace

Lead by Parker Johnson

Description to come

About Parker

Parker Johnson is a group facilitator, mediator, intercultural educator, and organizational change specialist who is committed to building inclusive, equitable and just organizations. With his diverse array of interests, skills and experiences, he brings an understanding of intersectionality.

Parker studied administration, planning and social policy at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and rounds out his education with practical application in mediation, coaching, intercultural communication and anti-oppression work. Parker’s graduate work in diversity and inclusion focused on research, teaching, policy, curriculum development and organizational change. While Parker enjoys the rich, creative and transformative nature of theory and research, it’s their application which interests him most.

His understanding of organizational change and organizational effectiveness expanded in his employment equity role with the City of Vancouver. Over the course of 10 years at the City, he delivered inclusive and respectful workplace workshops, conflict mediation and investigations, along with employment outreach to diverse communities and various special projects.​

Saturday workshops

Smart Tools for Better Planning

Lead by Rachel Flood

Learn about the types of project management software that are available and how to best choose and use these tools to support your strategic planning and project management.
In this hands-on workshop you will:
  • Review project management best practices
  • Learn tips, tricks and hacks to help you better leverage your project management tools
  • Start your plan for any projects or strategic planning you are looking to manage or implement

About Rachel

Rachel Flood is a technology and operations consultant who believes that what you do is only as good as how you do it. Rachel loves to find ways to minimize redundancy, design automations, and centralize data. With 20 years of experience, she has key insights into the software and technology market, is adept at managing technology implementations, and can support your organization through any manner of operations or technology improvement project.
Rachel has a background in operations management and systems administration; as well as non-profit arts management, event production, and youth organizing. She is an adept systems thinker with a passion for operational design who regularly geeks out researching best practices, management software, platform integrations, and other super geeky stuff that bores most people to tears.
The Legal Pitfalls of Hiring Employees: Top Ten Tips for Avoiding Liability

Lead by Stephanie Vellins

How many of you have paid proper attention to what you need to consider before hiring your employees, rather than trying to pick up the pieces after things go wrong?

In this workshop, Stephanie Vellins will take you through her ‘Top Ten Tips’, aka invaluable lessons employers should know in order to avoid blunders and legal liability throughout the hiring and interview process, and beyond. For new or novice employers (or for employers who keep getting themselves in trouble…) this workshop is for you.

About Stephanie

Stephanie acts for a broad range of clients, both provincial and federal, in the public and private sectors. She advocates on behalf of clients and provides strategic advice on all aspects of workplace law, including human rights.

Stephanie regularly represents clients at arbitration, before the BC Labour Relations Board and the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Her advocacy brings her before the British Columbia Courts (both levels) and various federal tribunals. She is frequently asked to conduct bullying/harassment investigations.

Stephanie is highly effective on her feet. She is a persuasive advocate for her clients, adept at drilling down to identify a case’s winning argument, which has resulted in an impressive track record of successful outcomes. Stephanie is also a skillful negotiator and creative problem solver. A categorical people person, Stephanie’s clients know her to be collaborative, attentive, and emotionally intelligent.

Stephanie started her labour and employment law career at Taylor Jordan Chafetz (TJC) in 2001, becoming a partner in January 2008. Together with her colleagues from TJC, Stephanie joined Harris in December 2014.

Bootstrapping a Kick-Butt Digital Marketing Program While Avoiding Team Burnout, Money Wastage, Vendor Bafflegab, and Other Common Pitfalls

Lead by Jill Thomas

This workshop is for entrepreneurs who are building their first digital marketing initiative, and seasoned operators who want pratical tips for improving an existing digital marketing program.

Building a kick-ass digital marketing program can be overwhelming and expensive. Digital marketing initiatives are unwieldy machines with hundreds of moving parts that must be continuously fed. Building an efficient digital team with the required creativity and technological savvy is hard. The struggle is real for operators managing vendor bafflegab, endless software choices and ballooning expenses.

In this session, Jill Thomas will deliver a fast-paced, hands-on presentation offering ‘boots on gravel’ tips for building and executing a kick-ass digital marketing program. She’ll cover basics such as digital project management and communication, choosing marketing software, how to structure an in-house team, attract creative talent, and how to manage vendors and agencies. She’ll also offer practical tips for executing fundamentals such as website management, email marketing, social media management, search engine marketing, digital advertising and more.

There will be ample time for questions!

About Jill

Jill was the Chief Marketing Officer at Innisfree Hotels from 2010-2019 (Innisfree has $130 million in annual hotel and restaurant revenue). While at Innisfree, Jill built a full-service, in-house digital marketing agency that managed 65 social media channels, 32 websites, 14 blogs, sent out 17 weekly email newsletters and spent $1.5 million annually on digital advertising.

She’s currently building e-commerce stores and a digital marketing program for two successful brick and mortar retail operations – Twang & Pearl Trading and Cedar Mountain & Co.

She’s also launching a new venture called Tin Can Digital that will take on a small number of the perfect clients and will collaborate with them on long-term projects to help them build and launch kick-ass digital programs.

Integrity: The power of your word

Lead by Chloe Gow-Jarrett

Integrity is a necessary condition for maximum performance in your personal and professional life. During this reflective workshop we will discuss what it looks like to honour your word (what you say you will do) and explore areas where you are in and out of integrity with yourself and with others. Together we will explore the practice of how to maintain and restore integrity anywhere and anytime you choose.

About Chloe

Chloe Gow-Jarrett is Founder/CEO of 3Fold Partners, in Vancouver, Canada. 3Fold supports leaders in scaling the culture and leadership of their enterprise as it matures. 3Fold’s products and services support a broad range of progressive, not-for-profit, investment, and philanthropic enterprises and networks in Vancouver and across the globe. Celebrated for her ability to develop powerful, purposeful leaders and deliver results-driven programming, Chloe expertly crafts and facilitates transformational learning and growth experiences. Chloe is co-chairperson of the Vancouver Waldorf School Board of Trustees, is the mother of two energetic young boys, and is happiest when eating guacamole.

Raising Capital

Panelists to be announced, Moderated by Mary Lou Miles

Join this open session and ask your questions about raising capital. A panel of experienced financiers and entrepreneurs will share from their knowledge and own experiences.

About Mary Lou

Mary Lou has been in the investment and banking business since 1976. She joined Genus from Maxima Investment Management in 2005 and has held senior positions with the Bank of British Columbia and HSBC. Mary Lou has also been involved in women’s, children’s and families’ issues for many years. As Past President of the Canadian Federation of University Women (Richmond chapter), her role involved advocacy work in all manner of local and national policy issues affecting families, with a focus on women. She also participates in the Vancouver Foundation Giving Well Circle that is focussed on improving the lives of women and children. Through her twelve years at Genus, she has increased her involvement in social justice through attending and supporting the Board of Change, the Responsible Investing Association, and now as a corporate sponsor of Hollyhock.