Bios

Meet the Team

With a diverse background of entrepreneurs, activists, scientists and outspoken citizen advocates, RADIUS is fortunate to work with some of the best & brightest in the social innovation space. 

Shawn Smith

Director

Shawn Smith is the co-founder and Director of RADIUS, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Beedie School of Business and Director of Social Innovation for Simon Fraser University. Having spent the last 15 years working with, in and on social impact organizations on three continents, he is also a founder at several other organizations including IMPAQTO (Ecuador), Global Agents for Change and Education Generation, co-led the ALT/Now Economic Inequality systems change program at the Banff Centre, and speaks and consults regularly on social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Shawn is a top rated educator, Business in Vancouver top 40 under 40 recipient, and completed his MBA at the University of Oxford in 2010 as a Skoll Scholar in Social Entrepreneurship.

Kiri Bird

Director (Interim)

Kiri Bird has been with RADIUS since 2014 as a program designer, strategist and facilitator for award winning social innovation labs and systems change initiatives. Kiri is passionate about RADIUS’ mandate of advancing a more dynamic, just, sustainable, and resilient economy. Kiri has worked for 10 years in communications, social innovation and community development both locally and internationally. Kiri is active in supporting capacity building and network weaving amongst social venture and systems change communities in Canada. She holds a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management and Planning from Simon Fraser University.

Bonnie Borin

General Manager

Bonnie Borin has been RADIUS’ General Manager since 2018, generally managing most of RADIUS’ needs in the fields of HR, finance, operations, and organizational project management. Previously, Bonnie spent 10 years in post-secondary education at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Leadership Programming area, growing from being a shell-shocked administrator to an agent of change and resilience in an ever-growing and chaotic discipline. Bonnie’s introduction to high-paced logistics, communications, and operations came from her days as a licensed aeronautical radio operator with the Government of Alberta, spending several wildfire seasons at the Provincial Forest Fire Centre as an Aircraft Operations Dispatcher, and in the northern boreal forests as a Wildfire Radio Operator when crisis called.

Bonnie is new to these unceded Coast Salish lands, and is grateful to call them home. She has a music degree from Western University and sings with Elektra Women’s Choir.

Tamara Connell

Associate Director, Education & Training

Tamara joined RADIUS in 2016, and she now oversees the Education and Training portfolio (SFU Student Opportunities and Professional Development) wherein individual and group capacity development is fostered to help transition towards a transformed economy. She is a white settler woman who has called British Columbia home for much of her life. She is a partner, friend, daughter, sister, auntie, colleague and enthusiastic pumpkin-carver.

Tamara is a certified personal coach and a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methods facilitator. She has taught at various post-secondary institutions, both in Canada and abroad. Tamara’s background is diverse, but for her, nothing compares to teaching, coaching, and mentoring within educational settings. Through facilitated trainings, games, simulations, and workshops, she helps people to see the interconnectedness of the world and our underlying mental models.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability.

Camille Dumond

Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Camille manages and co-designed the Refugee Livelihood Lab at RADIUS. The lab aims to increase the social, political and economic capital of diverse racialized migrant communities. Camille’s role includes using the lab’s resources to amplify initiatives emerging from communities with lived experience of forced displacement and migration. She also works with an incredible team to surface systemic patterns that cause harm, and support new patterns which value the dignity, experiences, skills, and dreams of racialized migrants. She brings 18+ years experience in community-based facilitation, program design, conflict mediation and healing centered engagement.  

In addition to her work at RADIUS, Camille practices somatic therapy. She has a rich connection to the dreaming world, loves poetry, spontaneous dance parties and her two sisters.

Candice Day

Manager, First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program

Candice is the manager of the RBC First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program (FPEAP). This program works in partnership with Indigenous-led organizations to co-create entrepreneurship programming that will best serve their communities. The FPEAP is committed to delivering entrepreneurship programming with an Indigenous lens, upholding Indigenous knowledge and worldview. Candice believes that an economy that is dynamic, just, sustainable, and resilient is one that supports and is informed by the wisdom of Indigenous entrepreneurs. She wishes to centre this wisdom and strength within the FPEAP, and work with partners who do the same. Candice brings a background in social enterprise development within urban Indigenous organizations to her role, as well as an MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership from the University of Fredericton.

Candice is of Secwepemc, Chinese and European ancestry. Growing up in northern BC has given her a deep appreciation for the wild parts of this province…and within herself 😉 She lives for exploring both while on her DRZ400.

Ilhan Abdullahi

Manager, Health Promotion Lab

Ilhan is a Somali-Canadian whose parents’ migration journey brought her to these unceded Coast Salish Lands at a very young age. Stemming from her family’s experience of being racialized newcomers, Ilhan has been passionate in addressing social and health inequities and developed a commitment to social justice. Having spent some time in community activism, youth work and health promotion in the Lower Mainlands of Vancouver, Ilhan then moved to Toronto to pursue her Masters in Public Health and gain a critical intersectional analysis on what promotes vulnerability to health inequities. She has recently returned to BC and is ecstatic to get involved in health equity and community work. When she’s not working, you can find her embarking on solo travels somewhere in the world

Leah Sanford

Education and Training Programs Manager

Leah manages the Education and Training Programs at RADIUS. Her background, research & publication areas, education, and passions all lie in the fields of equity, social-justice, intersectionality, and anti-racism. With over 20 years in the business, community, and educational sectors, Leah’s big-picture dream is to see justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion embedded into every community, education, and organizational sphere. Leah is a bi-racial, cis-gendered woman who has spent the past 10 years raising her amazing daughter and working on the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) peoples. Her career and family has brought her back to the unceded Coast Salish Lands, and when she is not working, you can find her spending time with her daughter, exploring the beautiful lands on which we live, and continuing her research and learnings on all things social justice!

Alica Forneret

Communications, Engagement, and Recruitment Officer

Alica Forneret is the Communications, Engagement, and Recruitment Officer at RADIUS. She joined the team in 2018 following 10+ years of experience working in the editorial and marketing fields. Her role at RADIUS involves managing recruitment for all RADIUS programs, as well as communications with the internal SFU team, the RADIUS cohorts and alumni, and external international members of the wider social innovation ecosystem.

In addition to her work at RADIUS, Alica works in the mental health field through her projects focused on grief. She is a member of the BC Women’s Health Foundation Young Women’s Council and a published author in The US and Canada.

Vanja (VJ) Terzic

Incubation Programs Manager

Vanja (VJ) Terzic is the Incubation Programs Manager at RADIUS. He is accountable for the successful delivery of entrepreneurial education programs, promoting RADIUS’ work of “venturing in service of systems change” and ensuring a strong presence for RADIUS in the broader social venture ecosystem. VJ joins RADIUS after nearly ten years of experience in the energy sector followed by two years working with social enterprises in various capacities; as educator, facilitator, and strategist. VJ holds designations as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng), Project Management Professional (PMP), and has completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA).

While completing his MBA, he piloted a program delivering entrepreneurship business training to Indigenous communities in BC. He also volunteers as a business instructor with Junior Achievement BC to develop financial literacy skills in youth across BC. When not hard at work, he can be found playing basketball at Kits beach, conquering the local mountains, or getting lost in a book.

Nada El Masry

Project Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Nada is a Libyan-born Palestinian who came to the unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples just over 10 years ago. Due to her life experiences and education, Nada has fostered a deep passion for social justice and has shaped her life goals around values rooted in that field. She has been working with and engaging newcomers for several years, and is currently the project manager at RADIUS Refugee Livelihood Lab, which aims to build social, economic, and political capital for racialized refugee and migrant communities.

In addition to working with RADIUS, Nada is also involved in other programs and initiatives including the Inner Activist, World University Services of Canada, SFU CCMS Muslim Fellowship and the Fresh Voices Initiative.Nada is also pursuing a Master’s in Equity Studies in Education at SFU. In her free time, Nada enjoys playing, watching and talking about soccer.

Khayla Almonte-Davila

Office and Special Projects Coordinator

Khayla has been part of the RADIUS community since 2016. As a student, she took part in the first cohort of Health Change Lab, Map the Systems, and the Trampoline program, where she focused on aiding in refugee resettlement. She also worked with RADIUS as an Entrepreneurship & Changemaking Activator, helping to increase student engagement with E&C opportunities, and as a Lab Coordinator alongside the Refugee Livelihood Lab. She now works as the Office and Special Projects Coordinator, where she focuses largely on student engagement initiatives and opportunities. Some of her special projects include creating and managing RADIUS’s internship program, and co-chairing the Social Innovation Seed Fund.

Outside of RADIUS, Khayla’s experience in the social innovation community is diverse. From working abroad at social enterprise in Uganda, to a nation-wide impact investment firm, to sitting on a board of directors for an international non-profit, Khayla is gaining experience working at different types of organizations that have varying scopes of work. She enjoys system design and strategic planning, catchy music, and a genuine laugh.

Melanie Matining

HR Advisor

Melanie Matining is a queer pinay activist, community organizer, and settler on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Her work focuses on the importance of social spaces in movement building and the necessary intersections of community-determined access, placemaking, and solidarity building. She convenes communities to create platforms for celebration, healing, and just dancing it all out. Melanie makes up one half of the duo that brings us Denim Vest, a queer sweaty dance party for the people. In the recent past, she also worked as the Community Development Manager at Heartwood, a social space that was centred on community and movement building. Amidst the towering cranes, she continues her work in advocating for accessible and inclusive spaces in the city. Melanie walks everyday in love and liberation alongside her communities working towards queer rights, Indigenous solidarity, and migrant justice.

Eliane Bowden

Digital Communications & Engagement Coordinator

Eliane joined the RADIUS community when she participated in the first cohort of the their Civic Innovation Change Lab – a program that focuses on building economic resilience in Vancouver. The following year she joined the team as one of their first interns, specializing in product-market validation consulting for start ups in RADIUS’ Slingshot Accelerator. Now no longer an intern, she wears many hats at RADIUS as a graphic designer, social media and special projects assistant coordinator.

Outside of RADIUS, Eliane manages social media and consults on business strategy for Public Disco, an organization that curates free, all-ages, outdoor disco parties in under-utilized spaces. With her own project, Get Out There, Eliane is exploring how to use social media to disseminate information about the social enterprise ecosystem in BC to young people.

Laura Gaaysiigad Cuthbert

Social Innovation Canada Weaver

Gaaysiigad hín uu díi kya’áang

I’m from the sands of Brunette Creek in New Westminster, where I learned to skip stones, catch fish, and tread lightly on unceded land of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, sc̓əwaθenaɁɬ təməxʷ, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ, S’ólh Téméxw, Stz’uminus, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm. The creek bed and city have been a connecting place for thousands of years, and I feel a part of those connections.

Those connections have been best felt when organizing in community around sense of place, isolation, language preservation, heritage reform, and Indigenous sovereignty. These connections have also woven themselves into roles and opportunities: as Curator and Co-Founder of Kudoz, Director of Organize BC, and Director of Populous Map.

I learned to use my Masters of Anthropology to document these connections, but I honour and evaluate them by sinking back into the creek’s soft sand. Reciprocity in community and home are what I innovate for.

Thanks, I’m happy to be here.

Hawa’a! Aatl’an hl is ahl díi guudangáay ‘láagang.

Vidya Crawley

Design & Development Lead – Future of Work Lab

Vidya leads the design of RADIUS’ Future of Work lab, exploring how we respond to the big societal & technological shifts in a way that helps people build more resilient and purposeful livelihoods.

She brings 15+ years of global experience at the intersection of business, innovation and sustainable human development. Wearing multiple hats as strategist, facilitator, designer, marketer and entrepreneur, Vidya has helped numerous companies and communities rise to the challenges of our time: climate change, poverty reduction, food security, mental health and community development.

Vidya is a sought-after advisor for purpose-led entrepreneurs with her unique blend of human-centred design, lean startup, strengths-based coaching and marketing savvy. After building an award-winning impact business in the UK, she returned to Canada to lead an entrepreneur accelerator that supported over 100 diverse businesses, and currently teaches at Groundswell Social Ventures in Vancouver. As a second-generation Indo-Canadian, Vidya enjoys the privilege to live, work, play and contribute in the V6A postcode on unceded Coast Salish lands.

Aslam Bulbulia

Fellowship Co-Host

Aslam is a South African-Canadian Muslim, husband, brother and son new to unceded Coast Salish lands. He has been engaged in building community, hosting dialogues and reflecting on the links between decolonial practices in Vancouver and South Africa over the last 2 years.

Aslam is driven by a desire to see systems change happening at multiple levels for a more just future. His current work attempts to co-create containers that can hold multiple ideas of what that change could look like. He also enjoys stand-up comedy, hip-hop (in all its essence and real) and a good book.

Jacqueline Jennings

Venture Activator

Jacqueline is an entrepreneur and leadership coach, group facilitator and business consultant of mixed Cree, Anishnaabe, Métis and European heritage and she was born and raised between the mountains and the ocean in the unceded territory of Squamish territory of coastal B.C. Jacqueline is a Venture Activator, co-designing and facilitating the RADIUS, First Peoples Enterprise Accelerator Program & EntrepreNorth, a hands on accelerator program support Indigenous entrepreneurs in YK, NWT and Nunavut. 

With a background in retail, fashion and tech she has worked closely with entrepreneurial leadership in organizations including Microsoft, Aritzia, Lululemon. With over 10 years of industry leadership and management experience, Jacqueline uses her extensive knowledge of best practices and forward-thinking leadership development theory to create custom decolonizing leadership experiences and facilitate high-impact dialogues, workshops, retreats and programs. 

Joining the EntrepreNorth team in June 2019, brings experience developing and leading programming for industry agnostic venture accelerators serving both youth founders and Indigenous entrepreneurs over the past 4 years. She is a traditional & herbal medicine enthusiast (witch), forest bather, avid dinner party host and a horse person. 

Annelies Tjebbes

Venture Activator

Annelies is a RADIUS Venture Activator supporting the Health Promotion Lab, First People’s Enterprise Accelerator Program, and the dozens of incredible entrepreneurs that take part in RADIUS’ accelerator and business launch programs. She has a passion and drive to enable positive systems change and is fired up about improving livelihoods in her local and global community through entrepreneurship. She loves working with and investing in people, and collaborates across race, age, gender, culture, religion and class boundaries.

Annelies’ background includes designing medical technology as a biomedical engineer with StarFish Medical, leading community engagement strategies with Engineers Without Borders and providing strategic oversight to several boards and advisory committees globally. She believes in a world where everyone has access to the services and supports to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, and works tirelessly to enact this vision. In her spare time Annelies loves staying active playing soccer and cycle touring!

Holden Bonwit

Venture Activator

Holden is a Venture Activator, leading early-stage business validation courses across RADIUS’ disparate Lab focus areas. He joined RADIUS after 5 years of finance and strategy consulting to dozens of entrepreneurs, management teams, and investors across North America and East Africa. His work broadly focuses on scaling up innovative business models with positive social impact.

Focusing on finance, operation, and talent, Holden’s problem-solving approach relies on learning unique aspects of new environments quickly, clinically dissecting potential challenges, and designing, testing, and validating possible solutions.

Holden’s mechanical engineering background includes a decade of successful project delivery in diverse sectors including clean energy, consumer products, military, and machinery design and manufacture. His focus on these projects was taking concepts through prototype stage to early production environments. On sunny days, Holden is likely kitesurfing around Vancouver or raising his son (to kitesurf around Vancouver).

Ayan Ismail

Evaluations Research Assistant, Refugee Livelihood Lab

Ayan is a Black, African, Muslim woman who is grateful to live, learn, and work on the Unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. She works directly with the Refugee Livelihood Lab and is responsible for conducting interviews with participants of the Beyond Borders Program and collecting feedback and evaluations regarding the program. She is also involved with supporting different Lab workshops and gatherings along with events associated with the Lab.

Ayan is a third-year SFU student pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Sociology. Her passion of wanting to see and bring change to her immediate community and the larger global community made her pursue this field. She is also invested in facilitation and programs that support meaningful youth engagement, specifically racialized voices.

When not deeply intrigued in decolonial poetry and African literature books, you can find Ayan gushing about basketball, acting + filmmaking, and organizing the Afrocentrism Conference 2019!

Tim Ames

Instructor

Tim is responsible for the implementation of the collaborative strategic direction of both Plan Institute & PLAN, a role that he has held for five years. Tim has also served as a community connector for PLAN, sat on the board of Plan Institute and worked for three years as General Manager for Tyze—an online personal networking service and a certified B-Corp Social Enterprise developed by PLAN. Tim also teaches Sustainable Innovation and is a Mentor in Residence at Simon Fraser University and the Venture Connection. Before working In the Not for Profit sector Tim was the Managing Director and Vice President of an International technology company and worked in Canada, the USA and Europe. Tim brings over 25 years of experience in business, sales, management, and personal development and is passionate about helping people and organizations create success and sustainability.

Alia Sunderji

Instructor

Alia is a social entrepreneur and lecturer at Simon Fraser University where she teaches Sustainable Innovation and Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Passionate about the fields of sustainability, poverty alleviation and impact investing, Alia is the Founder of Luv The Grub an emerging social enterprise that operates at a number of levels in the food system by capturing produce seconds that would otherwise go to waste, hires newcomer refugees and immigrants through a paid employment training program and produces delicious chutneys and spreads for the local market. In addition, Alia is also the Co-Founder of Liv & Lola; a fair trade home decor business which works with artisans in rural areas of Nicaragua, Guatemala and Thailand where employment opportunities are scarce in an effort to lift them, their families and their communities out of poverty.

Pegah Djamzad

Changemaker Campus Manager

Pegah is an intrapreneur with a passion for changemaking and social innovation. Her work focuses on activating transformational change within large organizations by bringing together stakeholders, taking risks, and building a trusting relationship with the community. As SFU’s Changemaker Campus Manager, she is keen on amplifying opportunities for students to contribute to changemaking within their community and beyond and to further SFU’s vision of being Canada’s leading engaged university.

Originally from Iran, Pegah spent the first 18 years of her life in Japan before moving to Toronto to complete her undergraduate and later her Master’s degree in environment and sustainability. Following her co-op at an environmental consulting firm, she moved to Calgary for a year and where she spent her time volunteering, before moving to Vancouver and joining the SFU community.

She is an avid Michigan Wolverines football fan and in her free time she enjoys reading, practicing yoga and spending time with her family and tabby cat Taro.