Beyond Borders

What is the Beyond Borders program?

Beyond Borders of the Refugee Livelihood Lab is an applied learning experience that takes place over the course of 5 months. The program is for change-makers, new and experienced leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs who are passionate about breaking through boundaries to create practical solutions for refugee livelihoods. Our cohort of 20 participants will radically reimagine and prototype ventures that enhance refugee social and economic inclusion in Surrey, BC.

The Goals

What will participants do?

Beyond Borders will be facilitated in English with interpretation supports as required. There will be a participation fee for those who have institutional support, and a scholarship program available.

Participants will receive support and training in systems thinking, user-centered design, ideation and prototyping in order to co-create new ventures. Together we will:



Map the exisiting system, sensing and exploring with new tools, new eyes


Re-imagine refugee social and economic inclusion in Surrey beyond survival, transforming limiting structures towards a life of meaning


Break down boundaries between people with access to institutional power and people with the power of lived experience being a refugee


Address challenges which may include credential recognition, poverty, trauma, English acquisition, transportation, reactive funding cycles & systemic discrimination


Draw on opportunities including a growing refugee youth population who believe they can make a difference, cultural pride and identity, existing skills, desire to contribute, and expanding markets in Surrey.


Go beyond what is known, cope with the uncertainty, let wise solutions emerge, and then act fast to put practical initiatives on the ground

BENEFITS & Eligibility

Is Beyond Borders for you?

Applications are now closed for the 2018-2019 Beyond Borders cohort. If you’re intersted in participating in the future, please check back for updates on the next application period.

Can you answer YES to these questions?

  • Do you have a passion to address challenges such as credential recognition,
    English language barriers, discrimination, poverty, social and economic exclusion
    of refugee communities?
  • Do you have ideas about refugee communities social/economic inclusion you
    want to put in action but have not yet found a way?
  • Do you believe in the value of collaboration with people most affected by the
    issues AND people with access to institutional power?
  • Are you willing to invest in your personal leadership and growth?
  • Are you able to commit a minimum of 11 days over 5 months to the process?

Ultimately, we are looking for ‘social entrepreneurs without portfolio’; these are people who are willing to dream big, try new things, and experiment to bring an idea into fruition. These people are do-ers with an innovative mindset, who are not afraid to fail fast, and who see value in collaboration.

Participants of this program will benefit from:

  • Building networks and transformative learning with a diverse group
  • Developing prototypes which will provide deeper insight to the current problem and solution landscape
  • Engaging with organizational leaders, communities, and policy makers who want to affect systemic change
  • Actively contributing to an area of personal passion


How to apply for Beyond Borders

We invite people with different experiences and perspectives to apply including people
with lived experience as refugees and other racialized newcomers who are: leaders;
entrepreneurs; academics; students; settlement workers (both frontline and
/management); advocates; policy makers; employers and business service leaders;
and others who see refugee economic and social inclusion as central to their work.

If you have questions, email Camille Dumond, the Program Manager at