The Cohort

Vikki Moore

For the past 14 years I have been involved with Early Childhood Education, with my interest being in how and what educators are teaching our future citizens. I have watched the current childcare crisis evolve into what it is today and there has never been a better time to tackle the major issues of unaffordability and quality in early years education settings. I have come to Groundswell with the aim to evolve and clarify some creative ideas to give both families and educators more options as to how we care for our young children. With the focus on sustainability, the importance of community and ensuring children have access to nature I believe we can evolve childcare in to more meaningful care and education programs. It is my passion to bring more quality care to the field of early education rather than make profit on the already deepening childcare crisis.  I am excited to work with Groundswell to start a pathway to develop the future of our community.

Tania Alexis Clarke

Art and music have been an integral part of my life since I was a child. My parents encouraged me to do what I was drawn to and supported my decision to eventually complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts at UBC.

I grew up in Vancouver and had a love/hate relationship with the city for quite some time. I used travel as an escape, counting the days until I could take my next trip, feeling that everywhere was more interesting than here. More recently I have learned to love it, and accepted it as my home and where I want to make a difference. As the saying goes, "Be the change you want to see”.

For the past decade I have been freelancing as a graphic designer along with part-time employment. For years I’ve dreamed of launching my own creative, community focused business, but trying to make ends meet with day to day work has left me going in circles. Whenever I’ve started to plan a business, I end up feeling overwhelmed by the process, or get too busy with other work, and go back to old routines.

I realized that I needed to stop trying to go at it alone, and eventually found Groundswell.

I am looking forward to the journey I am about to embark on with the Social Venture Program. I’m ready to dive in, connect with new people, and acquire the tools and knowledge I need to move forward into this next chapter of my life. Here we go!

Tammy Lea Meyer

I’m deeply inspired by people, and how we respond so beautifully and creatively to the challenges of our time. All my life I’ve felt a sense of a deeper purpose that wants to emerge from the collective. My compass is tuned to the whisper of right action and progression towards a collectively designed and activated world.

Over the last decade and a half, I’ve had the opportunity to work within organizations, often in a public outreach role. In that time I’ve managed and developed canvassing and fundraising programs, knocked on over 70,000 doors, developed training programs for community outreach, and done a deep dive into the economy, with a special focus on innovative and transformative economic practices.

At Groundswell, I’m excited to bring my life experience, and design and test scalable models that serve social and economic change.

Stefania Indelicato

I am an actress who works in theatre, film & television; an independent producer; an emerging writer; a daughter; a sister; an aunt; a friend; a lover of food, wine, and chocolate; a server; a thinker; and a sharer. I grew up in an Italian Immigrant household on Vancouver Island, and have since lived in Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, and Rome. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Toronto in Arts & Culture with a Multidisciplinary focus, and an Acting Certificate from Victoria Motion Picture School. I am an eternal student of life, humanity, and art, and strive towards living day to day with compassion, empathy, kindness and love.

I regularly seek out new ways to expand upon my education and grow my mind, body and soul - constantly questioning myself and the world around me. This, in part, is due to my analytical nature but also is a bi-product of the expectations that are put on actors to constantly be reevaluating their motivations, intentions, goals and objectives, whether it be within the context of a character or themselves. I am a creative, resourceful and capable individual who thrives off communication, and has a desire to make a larger contribution via what I have to offer the world. I was introduced to Groundswell by one of my best friend’s from university and am so excited to have this opportunity to explore an idea with the support of such a diversely qualified and inspiring group of individuals.

Ryan Downey

Bio coming soon!

Joey Zhang

As a SFU alumni who graduated with a degree in psychology more than a year ago, I have been looking for ways to better engage the local community to bring individuals together for common causes. Taking the lessons I learned from SFU Change Lab (via which I had my first exposure to Groundswell), I spent much of the past two years doing work related to community outreach. Having worked with the SFU Sustainability Office, the Langley Green-Cart Outreach Program, and the Ancient Forest Alliance, I want to play a role in making BC a more sustainable and livable community than it already is. With interests ranging from gender equality to environmental sustainability, I wish to carve out a career through which I can treat work like play and- at the same time- give back to this community someday.

Drawing much inspirations from hockey players and stories, my favourite motto over the past several years has been “people before professional”. As both a responsible citizen of this community and as an aspiring professional who wishes to bring forth constructive innovations and values, my motto will continue to motivate me and help me stay true to myself no matter where I go!

Evelyne Young

“If you suffer, it is because of you. If you feel blissful, it is because of you. Nobody else is responsible, only you and you alone. You are your hell and your heaven too.”  Osho

I, like everyone else, want a quality life. I’m a recent graduate from the University of Victoria, with a BA in Environmental and Indigenous studies. It’s been difficult for me to find opportunities in the workforce that align well with what I wish to contribute to the world.

I want to develop entrepreneurial skills so that I have the chance to share my skills and passion with the world on my own terms. I want to support others in this same endeavor to the best of my abilities.

I love all things design, and am excited about the Makers communities that are popping up all over the Lower Mainland. I look forward to an active local economy, where the lineage of constructed products can be traced back to their original form, as a tree or whatever else.  

I believe that strong communities are the foundation of any change movement. I look forward to learn about what business ideas can help change our world for the better. I’m excited to work with the Groundswell community.

Eliza Boyce

Bio coming soon!

Debbie Krull

I am a Groundswell co-student with Michael Jerome Jacko we are both active on the Board of Directors of the Aboriginal Front Door Society.   I participate in community development and social justice within my community. I currently do this as a charity board director that has a passion for social housing.  My goal within the Groundswell BUILD Program is to build a community social enterprise engine for social housing through collective working partnerships that will generate dollars for housing capital accounts. I'm very excited to be mentored  at Groundswell because a) I have no idea where to begin other than identifying my goal, and b) 'a' is good enough for me.  I look forward to our journey together!


See the following participants present their ventures at the Groundswell Showcase Gala on March 7th!

Daphne Woo

For most of my career life, I’ve been involved in the apparel industry as a sportswear garment developer for international companies.  As years progressed, I’ve increasingly felt that this has been masking how I truly want to contribute to the world.  Upon connecting with Groundswell earlier this year, I realized that people – often referred to as, “Changemakers” were doing great things for the community...  really meaningful things.  This has been inspiring and I look forward to being a part of this community as I transition from having quit my full-time job.  I aim to pursue ventures aligned with sustainability, Permaculture, and working collectively with other entrepreneurs and artists. Some ideas I will be focusing on will include building an art studio/ community garden, natural dye workshops, developing my graphic recording skills, and projects that explore ways we can minimize the environmental impacts of the garment & textile industry.  I am excited to unravel the ideas.

Karen Tomkins

My academic background is in ecosystem management and ecology. This is definitely part of my passion but I became tired of working as a field technician for wildlife studies and even though I got to spend a lot of time outside, having some pretty incredible adventures, it all felt a bit fruitless. So I quit and spent several years wandering and exploring topics like permaculture, wilderness survival skills, community building, ceremony, and naturalist studies.

I have no shortage of ideas as I see many ways my interests can intertwine, but over the years it has been challenging for me to act on any of them. I feel like I have been spinning my wheels. So I have come to Groundswell to gain clarity on how to bring them together in a meaningful way and to acquire the hard skills and support to make it happen.

Joel Spooner

The people in your life are more important than the money you make. However, in order to operate in today's world there is a need to earn money. I am actively living, but also working towards creating a space where I can earn money through positive business that does more than turn a profit. I am asking a lot of myself and whatever business(s) I create in order to meet my goals both current and future.

I live by the ethos that, I will not forego my freedom and time to spend with friends/family, doing the things that make me and others smile and feel good for the purpose of earning money for some future purpose (that may inevitably not turn out how I expect). However, I am a forward thinker and aware that as time passes, life changes, I am not one to sit still and wait. In order to progress in the life I want, I have to play an active part and work hard at it. I have never been willing to lay down as a slave to society and "get a job" but want to be an active and positive person in my society. 

 

Renee Michaud

 

Tyler McKinnon

Hi there! My name is Tye McKinnon and I'm looking to become a special event producer, focusing on gaming and geek culture over the next few years. I plan to launch a lean startup with an iterative process focused on validated learning and agile project management principles for my greater community. I want to create a hub for the general public to find live local content and to help other organizers and leaders produce high quality events and meet customer demand in this emergent market. 

 

 

Gina Marrelli

I have had a passion to create things and to help others for as long as I can remember. But after graduating from UVic with Sociology and Professional Writing in 2015, I only knew I wanted to work for a non-profit of some sort. Instead, I ended up at a startup digital marketing company and eventually realized I too could design my dream job. I love to write and to solve problems, but as of now I only have a vague idea of how I could use these skills. I'm excited to figure out at Groundswell how to start on a path that means something to me and to others.

 

Candace LeBeuf

As the oldest of four siblings and an avid world traveller, my dual passions for childcare and the planet began at a very early age. During my Early Childhood Education program, I realized that there is a sore lack of programs teaching children about the environment in a significant manner. I believe that children need to grow with nature to be happier and healthier. Put simply, I would like to create a childcare program that aims to connect children, regardless of their economic status, to nature. My vision is to provide an affordable, eco-based curriculum through gardening, a wholesome food program, and learning through nature, as well as using socially aware organizations and people within our community as mentors and educators to the children in our care. My husband will also be an integral part of our venture with his physical education skills and his natural ease with children of all ages. I am excited to collaborate with Groundswell to build a strong and diverse program that will make a positive and lasting impact on our future generations and their relationship to the planet.

Dima Itskovich

A music lover, entrepreneur, adventure seeker and philanthropist at heart. Dima has a unique way of seeing opportunities and creating lasting win/win relationships. You will find Dima at a jam party he organized behind a smoking BBQ enjoying the vibes. Dima takes pleasure in bringing together local music artists and community and feeding dozens of people.

Following a Civil Engineering degree at UBC Dima continues to work in the development and construction industry. Dima has built a reputation for delivering projects on time, on budget, and of the highest quality. Being involved in construction projects as large as $160M, Dima brings business mindset, structure, execution, organization and just like the rest of the Dance of Hope team he dreams BIG. Dance of Hope can be described as a sail boat sailing to a world of opportunities with 2 sails. First sail is music and second sail is passion. Dance of Hope mission is to educate and empower youth to become independent global citizens through art and music. 

Kim Hamilton

The central theme of my life has been to protect and support all things vulnerable; I want to make change happen, make a difference in peoples’ lives, positively impact our planet. I believe my early years, growing up in challenging circumstances were the catalyst in developing my desire to transform and heal. My initial employment was in social service and community-based settings.

I have lived in Vancouver for the past 14 years; I've worked in vocational rehab with injured workers; with adults in their personal development; with youth in employment readiness and with youth in international cultural development. I am a keen volunteer, a skilled counsellor and have cultivated business acumen.

I am currently learning about what makes soil viable.

I’m at a cross-roads in my life. I have a few business ideas and feel ready for more learning. I’m excited to collaborate with like-minds; using creativity and innovation to make a sustainable difference for others and myself.

 

Selma van Halder

I believe that most of the food related problems in this world, from obesity to food ‘waste’, from shortages to deforestation and pollution can be traced back to a massive disrespect for food. The gaping hole in our minds between what we put in our mouths and what is grown on a field is shocking. The chain has become too long, the disconnect between the consumer and the product is so great that we’ve lost understanding of what is literally the most important thing in our lives: food.

A true understanding of what it takes to grow food, harvest, and process it into something that not only sustains us but enables us to thrive is hard to find. Something needs to change, and it needs to change now. I want to do my part to fill the gap, to raise awareness and make the world a better place by doing what I do best: teach and cook. 

Groundswell provides me with Community. A group of people to ask me the hard questions, help me structure my thoughts, and encourage me to take action where I’d otherwise might hesitate to.