Refugee Livelihood Lab Trampoline: Ideas Into Action!

What is the Trampoline: Ideas into Action! Program?

Trampoline: Ideas into Action! is a free 12 week program for people who have an idea for a collective, business or non-profit that will address problems faced by refugee and migrant communities in Surrey. People with lived experience of forced migration or displacement and/or with deep networks in these communities are welcome to apply.

Your ideas matter. Join a group of people helping to move your ideas into action through building networks, connecting you to resources, asking tough questions, and celebrating your vision.  Please reach out to us if you have any questions!

Applications now closed

Trampoline: Ideas Into Action! is part of RADIUS’ Refugee Livelihood Lab, which uses a community learning process that generates new insights to barriers and opportunities for thriving refugee livelihoods in Surrey.

In the program, we do this through:

  • amplifying the voices, stories and wisdom of migrant change-makers
  • convening informed conversations that support us to identify and interrupt problematic patterns facing refugee and migrant communities and;
  • co-creating new narratives, practices and ways of being together that reflect a vision of justice, dignity, and economic empowerment for all.

Who should apply?

We are looking for people who have ideas for addressing problems faced by refugee and migrant communities. We invite you to apply if…

You want to:

  • Test your ideas for addressing a community problem, validate what works, and change what doesn’t work;
  • Change the story about who refugees are, supporting stories of dignity and agency;
  • Create solutions that support justice and social and economic inclusion of all people.

You have:

  • An initial idea for a business that could address a difficulty faced by diverse migrant and refugee communities;
  • Lived experience of the issues faced by migrant and refugee communities;
  • Ability to commit to 3 hours/week for 12 weeks of group learning time, plus (approximately) 5 hours/week of independent work;
  • Openness to learning and getting practical.

You would like:

  • Structure and support to test your idea;
  • To widen your networks and get connected to people who can help move your idea forward;
  • Be inspired by other Black, Indigenous, migrant, and refugee people who have started their own businesses or initiatives that contribute to addressing barriers faced by their communities;
  • To be part of a community asking how to shift the root causes of these barriers.

Program overview

Program information

What do participants learn and do?

Refugee Livelihood Lab Trampoline: Ideas Into Action! focuses on providing individuals a safe place to test three critical success factors:

  1. The Problem: Are you addressing a real and impactful problem?

  2. The Solution: Is your potential solution viable and effective?

  3. The Team: Are you the right team, and ready to move this project forward now?

This program emphasizes the importance of learning from the people engaging with your venture. Participants will conduct weekly interviews to test their assumptions, shape their product or service offering based on feedback. We will work on communications best practices to reach the population you serve, determine the most appropriate finance methods, and assess the market to see if there is demand for your offering. We will also examine the project through a migrant justice lens – asking about models that support democratic ownership, profit-sharing, and freedom from exploitation.

Program benefits

Through this 12-week community building and business model validation program you will have:

  • A clear and tested way to communicate about your idea
  • Feedback from the communities you are serving about your idea
  • An action plan with next steps to move your idea forward
  • Prioritized and learned your key revenue opportunities
  • Increased confidence
  • A community of people and networks to support you
  • A deeper understanding of principles of migrant justice

Program curriculum

Refugee Livelihood Lab Trampoline: Ideas Into Action! will dive into their chosen topic areas by asking:

  • How do I talk about the core purpose and value of my project to the proper groups?
  • Who am I serving? How are their voices central in the decision making and benefit of this work?
  • Are there people willing to buy the product or use the service?
  • Are there other people already doing this work?
  • What is the first thing that needs to be done to test if this will work?
  • How do I finance this?
  • How do I build justice, solidarity and dignity into my work?

In addition to the focuses above, the program emphasizes and helps with personal and team leadership, community building, and supporting a critical analysis of how to address social and economic barriers faced by migrant communities.

Schedule and details

12 weeks, 3 hour weekly, plus (approximately) 5 hours per week of take-home work. 

Program Start: March 3rd, 2020 

Program End: May 20th, 2020

Session 1 – Wed March 4

Session 2 – Wed March 11

Session 3 – Wed March 18

Session 4 – Wed March 25

Session 5 – Wed April 1st

Session 6 – Tues April 7

Session  7 – Wed April 15

Session 8 – Wed April 22

Session 9 – Wed April 29

Session 10 – Wed May 6

Session 11 – Wed May 13

Session 12 – Wed May 20

Time: 5:30pm—8:30pm

Location: Surrey Central Library, room TBD

Cohort: Limited to 15 people

Cost: Thanks to the generous support of The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and the Mowafaghian Foundation, there is no cost to participate in this experience.

The Program Team

The Refugee Livelihood Lab Trampoline: Ideas Into Action! will be stewarded by the following team of individuals. This team will also invite in a variety of guests from the local community.


Nada El Masry

Nada is a Libyan-born Palestinian. Prior to coming to Canada as a landed immigrant, Nada and her family were among the millions forced out of their country and deemed stateless. Due to her experiences and education, Nada has shaped her life goals around values rooted in social justice. Nada currently oversees the refugee and new Canadian support programs at SFU. Nada is also currently involved in Beyond Borders: Refugee Livelihood Lab at RADIUS, The Inner Activist, and Fresh Voices Initiative of The Vancouver Foundation, which offers a way for racialized youth across B.C. to engage in dialogue and action to remove barriers to their success. Nada has been active in the BC Muslim community and a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion. She is pursuing a Master’s in Equity Studies in Education at SFU.

Alia Sunderji

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.

Ayan Ismail

Ayan is a Black, African, Muslim woman and is in her third year at SFU studying International Studies and Sociology. She enjoys reading, writing, and playing basketball. She is passionate about photography, film making, and supporting vulnerable people. Ayan adores her mother because she has been her role model all her life. She works with newcomer immigrant and refugee youth and supports them in their process of integration into the new society.

Camille Dumond

Camille is a facilitator, poet and healer who helps groups find the radical heart of change. For the past 20 years, she has used popular education, conflict facilitation, and relationship building to support communities to critically engage with their own experiences. Her priority these days is creating institutional platforms where equity-seeking communities can take action together to shape the systems that shape their lives. Camille co-led the collaborative design of the Refugee Livelihood Lab at RADIUS SFU with her colleague and friend Nada Elmasry. Currently, Camille manages the Refugee Livelihood Lab.


If you have any questions, please email Project Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab, Nada El Masry at