Announcing ALL Cycle 5 SI Seed Fund Recipients

The SFU Student Social Innovation Seed Fund is a joint initiative of RADIUS and Embark Sustainability that supports radical change endeavours with social and environmental impact at their core. The Fund allocates sums ranging from $200-$2000 to SFU graduate and undergraduate student social innovators.

Read more about the amazing student initiatives were awarded funding Cycle 5 of SI Seed Fund.

If you’re inspired to apply to upcoming rounds, keep your eye out for updates here.

Round 1

The Neighbourhood Hub

Project Lead: Leah Karlberg

Amount Funded: $1600

Project Description: The Neighbour Hub is a structure and public art piece designed to engage the City of Vancouver and local residents in disaster preparedness. The structure responds to the implications of a crisis by offering energy, water, and communications – all independent of the city’s existing power and water supply. The Neighbour Hub’s features, accessible for daily use, familiarize residents with the resources available to them and spark conversations in the neighbourhood around disaster preparedness. The Neighbourhood Hub will be equipped with these major components:

  • 2 bike docking stations and a hand crank where people can pedal to generate electricity and charge their cell phones
  • A catchment area for water that can collect 1,600 gallons of rainwater each year, which is stored in an underground cistern. A  full Neighbour Hub cistern has the capacity to provide one gallon of water for 3 days for 473 people
  • A one-way radio that is powered by the structure’s three solar panels and kinetic energy to combat the potential loss of communication infrastructure such as cell towers and internet
  • A community bulletin board for information sharing between community members, and the City of Vancouver to disseminate important information post-disaster

Round 2

Populous Map Teaching Packs

Project Lead: Laura Gaaysiigad’7 Cuthbert

Amount Funded: $2000

Project Description: Populous Map works tirelessly to combat historical erasure and make British Columbia’s oral, folk, private, and undigitized histories more available to those looking for a place to start. They exist as a general timeline and mapping website and as an in person digitization studio. They’ve work with over 400 volunteers across BC to document and archive stories that you won’t hear otherwise and have met 93 Knowledge Keepers and Elders who help us keep on track. They’ve either documented stories over the years or are familial sequugsua’als (history keepers) and have  collected over 150000 points of data. Their next step is to create pay what you can, open source curriculum for BC Teachers as well as a paid model that school districts can opt into. Their funding will support our larger project and keep us afloat. Populous Map is entirely volunteer run, which gives us little overhead and a huge amount of community.


Project Lead: Tony Shen

Amount Funded: $1500

Project Description: PodSpace leases apartment units from property owners and retrofits the space into sleep capsule residence. These residences are meant to be a low-cost alternative to traditional apartment units or dorms. A typical residence will have workstations, stocked kitchen, common area with Netflix and a quiet sleeping quarter. (A bedroom with 3 sleep capsules.) We maintain and clean the space regularly. Students can afford to live in new buildings in on campus locations that is typically out of their reach. It’s cheaper because sleep capsule is designed to allow more students to live in the space comfortably. In addition, PodSpace fuels more connections between students, as 4-5 students live together in a relaxed and maintained environment. Co-living is nothing new – it’s simply a modern way of living well together. They create weekly meals together, and make meaningful connections in a maintained space.

Round 3

Do It Yourself Terrarium Event

Project Lead: Elise Burgert

Amount Funded: $140, Change Lab

Project Description: Do It Yourself Terrarium was a workshop educated attendees on ecosystems and environmentally friendly practices that they can implement themselves in their everyday lives. The event allowed attendees to create their own terrarium to take home to make their own personal living spaces more “green”. The purpose of this project was to help students better understand and appreciate the complexity and components of nature, and to help students learn new skills to create terrarium by themselves.

GenAi – Immigrant Youth of Colour Dialogue Series

Project Lead: Stephanie Lam

Amount Funded: $750, Change Lab

Project Description: The purpose of GenAi is to bring second generation immigrant youth, their family, and associated community members together to engage in conversations surrounding how the intersections of culture, family, school, and the social services available to us shape the struggles, stressors, and lived experiences that affect mental well-being. The team wants to decrease the stigma of discussing our personal mental health experiences, and open an internal and external discussion of how the layering of cultures, family dynamics, and unique imposed stressors relating to dominant narratives of success and happiness can be detrimental to our well-being. These events are meant to start the conversation and begin to normalize conversation for second generation immigrant youth of colour.

Zero Waste Fest

Project Lead: Christina Lei

Amount Funded: $500

Project Description: The Zero Waste Fest is a 4-hour, fair-type event that took place on SFU’s Burnaby campus during mid-March. It featured approximately 10 sustainable vendors who hold zero waste values, such as stores that focus on zero-waste initiatives or nonprofits educating the public on waste. It also included 4 booths hosting sustainable workshops such as t-shirt upcycling and community gardeners facilitated by volunteers that will teach students methods to reduce their waste. The purpose of this project is to encourage SFU students/staff to reduce their waste while teaching them that a lighter living style is just as important as waste diversion.

Round 4

Coast Cards

Project Lead: Verna Tran

Amount Funded: $950

Project Description: Coast Cards is a social enterprise that upcycles used restaurant coasters into beautiful handmade greeting cards. Their team employs clients at the Vancouver Recovery Club and Together We Can Addiction Recovery and Education Society to make these cards. The purpose of Coast Cards is to educate restaurant owners about their waste management, while also increasing public awareness on the incorrect stigma surrounding recovering individuals.

Reconciliation Calls

Project Lead: Domunique Booker

Amount Funded: $2000, Change Lab

Project Description: Reconciliation Calls is a product service system designed in consultation with Indigenous communities to educate and empower incoming SFU students to be more civically engaged in Truth and Reconciliation within Vancouver. Reconciliation Calls has 3 main stages:

  • Education (Indigenous awareness): Students go through a digital learning module where they are educated on ‘Important Terms’, ‘Canadian History’, ‘Current Issues’, ‘Faculty Specific Knowledge’.
  • Self: Students are introduced to the importance of individual self-reconciliation and self-decolonization. Students take part in specific personal exercises created to dismantled individual biases, assumptions, imbalances, especially problematic colonial ways of thinking and beliefs.
  • Action: They provide students an easy avenue to be civically engaged in Truth and Reconciliation.

SmartMeat App

Project Lead: Munifa Nasser

Amount Funded: $750

Project Description: SmartMeat is a web application that will help combat further climate change through easily calculating and tracking the emissions produced from meat product consumption. By raising those facts to the public, it will create eConsciousness; that will empower individuals and communities to have sustainable daily life choices.  By providing features and services that facilitate 1% behavioural change in the user diet.


Get Out There

Project Lead: Eliane Bowden

Amount Funded: $2000, Change Lab

Project Description: Get Out There is a multimedia organization that inspires and enables future young leaders to address civic, environmental, and economic issues by creating entry points into these complex spaces. They create top-of-the-funnel awareness by producing educational and entertaining YouTube videos that cover social innovation, civic engagement, and environmental movements. Our videos aim to increase engagement on these topics and drive interest towards local/international programs, degrees, and opportunities that are focused on social innovation and systems change.

Congratulations to all of these projects! Keep your eyes peeled for Cycle 6.