Surrey City Hall will host the third annual Social Innovation Summit on Nov. 15. (File photo)

Surrey’s Social Innovation Summit sparks ideas

Summit focused on protecting vulnerable, engaging youth and tackling housing, poverty and addiction

CITY CENTRE — In a word, Surrey’s third annual Social Innovation Summit was “amazing,” said Councillor Vera LeFranc.

“Year one was just trying to get a sense of what social innovation really was, year two we built on that and this year people came ready to dive in,” LeFranc told the Now-Leader Thursday.

The sold-out event at Surrey City Hall Wednesday brought together community, business, academic and political leaders to “create economic wealth and inclusive communities for all,” according to a release.

More than 250 people attended.

This year’s one-day summit, called Social and Economic Inclusion: Cities as Solutions, had eight sessions and two workshops focusing on “bringing together business, government, the social services sector and academics to protect our most vulnerable citizens, engage our youth, and deal with housing, unemployment, poverty, addiction and other health and safety issues.”

LeFranc said it’s now time to ask, “where do we go from here?”

“We all want to take a step back and do a debrief and see what the results have been over the last three years, there have been interesting projects arise because of the summit. We want to make sure we capture that and learn how to drive that impact,” she said.

See also: Surrey’s Social Innovation Summit sparks ideas (Nov. 25, 2015)

“One of the most exciting things we did was we hired ambassadors from Semiahmoo House… and having social enterprise provide the food, which had rave reviews. It was a Syrian women’s collective that provided the food,” she added.

LeFranc said she’s excited about a project in the works that came out of last year’s summit.

“The city has applied for funding for an indigenous child poverty innovation lab from the Vancouver Foundation,” she said. “We’re hoping we’ll receive the funding to do that. We are really excited about moving forward on that.”

Surrey has 16,000 Indigenous people in the city, LeFranc noted.

And, nearly half of Indigenous children in Surrey are living in poverty.

“I think that’s the highest number in all of Canada,” she remarked.

Back at this year’s event, LeFranc said there were two “dynamic speakers,” International Affairs Columnist for The Globe and Mail Doug Saunders, and CBC Radio One’s Cross Country Checkup host Duncan McCue.

“Doug Saunders talked about the City of Surrey being an arrival city, or really having a bunch of arrival cities within it,” said LeFranc. “Duncan McCue spoke about indigenizing the city.”

Fred Kent, president of Project for Public Spaces also led a placemaking workshop, “Catalyst for Developing the City of the Future.”

Read more about the Surrey Social Innovation Summit at

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing 37-year-old woman has been found

Cheryl Brovold was last seen June 2 in the 15800-block of 96th Avenue

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JUNE 6: ‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre; B.C. starts to see employment return

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read