Refugee Livelihood Lab Trampoline: Ideas Into Action!

What is the Trampoline: Ideas into Action! Program?

Ideas into Action! is a free 12-week program for people who have an idea for a social business or non-profit that will address problems faced by refugee and newcomer communities in Surrey. People with lived experience of forced migration and 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 ARE 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 innovators and entrepreneurs
  • convening informed conversations that support us to identify and interrupt problematic patterns in the refugee settlement/employment services sector and;
  • co-creating new narratives, practices, ventures 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 newcomer communities, with some aspect of your idea that can be expressed through a business or non-profit. 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 newcomer 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, newcomer, 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

Program curriculum

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

  • How to communicate the core purpose and value of the venture to the proper group?

  • Who is the customer base?

  • 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 the venture will work?

  • How to finance the venture?

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

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

Schedule: Tuesdays 5:45pm – 8:45pm, February 12th – April 30th, 2019

Location: Surrey Central Library, Room 402

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 Elmasry

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.

Holden Bonwit

Holden is focused on building and supporting businesses which have a significant, positive, social and environmental impact. He recently returned from 4 years living abroad, starting with an MBA focused in early stage finance and social enterprise at Oxford.  Most recently, he was working with startups and investors in East Africa by providing financial and strategy consulting services to dozens of clients. This work spanned sectors from consumer products, healthcare delivery, clean energy, and agribusiness; generally, the work fell under a social impact mandate. Before the MBA, Holden spent 10 years designing successful military and consumer products and machinery as an R&D engineer. Most of this work comprised clean tech solutions including hybrid power systems, the home charging unit for the Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle, and a grid-scale mechanical energy storage system. A recent arrival (and Permanent Resident) in Vancouver, Holden loves growing his Canadian network of friends, and is thrilled to contribute at RADIUS as a Venture Activator for both the Refugee Livelihood Lab, and the Health Promotion Lab. When he’s not there, you can find him exploring the Coast mountains on foot, and the waterways on his kiteboard!

Ayan Mohamud 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.

Contact

If you have any questions, please email Lab Manager, Refugee Livelihood Lab, Camille Dumond at cdumond@radiussfu.com.