Programs

Groundswell programs give you the community support you need to build a social venture that is an authentic representation of yourself.  You don't have to sacrifice your values for your work!

Join the community  Get the skills  Start creating change!

We are looking for people who are ready to put their skills and ideas into action for a better world.  People who feel that there is good work to be done, and just need the support, time and some extra skills to do it! 
Whether you have a specific gift you want to put to good use, one great idea that's been burning inside you for a long time, or a dozen dreams that need to be distilled into an actionable business or community project, the Groundswell Venture programs will take you from idea to action in building a social business that is authentically you, and that is transformative in building a better - healthier, happier, equitable, etc. -  world.


Groundswell Venture
Programs


Curriculum

We are NOW RECRUITING for September 2016 programs!

The core curriculum is made up of two main parts: Foundation + Build.

Foundation

Mapping your resources and identifying your social impact goal

You start with an intensive and intense Kick-Off Weekend of experiences and sharing with your cohort, where bonds forge, co-learning happens, and meaningful connection is made.  We identify, capture and explore resources for social innovation, and connect with the existing community to lay the groundwork for real, reachable, social change and positive impact.

Week by week, in the personal & professional development sessions, you will explore your own story, map your values, skills and experiences, and uncover what really drives you and how you can best make real positive change.  In these initial weeks, you will explore and develop your personal and professional potential so that you can create an authentic venture, and know that you can take it forward.

In a parallel series of foundational learning lectures, dialogues and workshops you will: acquire a sophisticated understanding of how the current economic system works - and doesn't work; do on the ground community research to uncover the working of economic and social systems in your backyard; find the levers of change and explore the creative and innovative methods that drive it; and explore the language and landscape of social entrepreneurship. 

  • Explore social innovation + entrepreneurship and what real, meaningful impact looks like

  • Learn to connect to and build your community

  • Put theories of change into practice

  • Discover alternative economic models for social, economic, and environmental justice

Meanwhile, you will ideate. Whether you have a specific project or venture in mind or not, ideas will be generated, expanded, tossed, combined, dismantled, put through the "washing machine" (as one of our mentors likes to say), examined and tested by your community of mentors and peers.  With creative approaches, your vision will be expanded, before honing in to bring a great project to life over the remainder of the program (and beyond!).


Build

Putting together the elements of a social venture, from feasibility to financing.

Now you have a solid idea for a venture that is authentically you, socially / environmentally valuable and economically just.  With a supportive, creative community around you, you'll get the hard and soft skills necessary to actually build your social venture.  It's time for action!

You will:

  • Turn your idea into a working social enterprise
  • Get hands-on learning with a ready-to-launch project and complete social venture plan as the end objective
  • Get access to a team of mentors and the collective intelligence and creativity of your peers
  • Get ongoing peer and panel reviews and feedback on your pitch and presentations
  • Encounter the chaos and uncertainty of a real startup - with the support of expert mentors and a community of peers!

The Groundswell Method

You will explore, build and plot the journey of your social venture based on five M's.   Although we can identify each one separately, they only work effectively when they’re integrated into your social venture planning and operations.  It is important to appreciate from the start that this is an ongoing process, not merely an outcome. 

Mission – every social venture has to understand and clarify its purpose, the “why” of your social venture. The mission identifies the change - the social, environmental or cultural impact you want to have in the world.

Market – a social venture, whether a business or a program, has to have clarity on what product or service it provides, to whom, and how to produce, promote and deliver it.

Manage – how decisions are made and how our stakeholders are engaged is critical for the effectiveness, efficiency and community building of a social venture. You will explore corporate models (sole proprietorship, co-operatives, non-profit, etc.) and organizational culture.

Money – The start up phase requires financing of various forms and sources…and once operating you must have the tools to report, assess and evaluate financial processes.

Measure – a social venture measures its success with a blended value bottom line. It must understand the data, the metrics, and the process of feedback and improvement on the social impact and the financial progress.

You will explore and answer these questions:

  • Idea Exploration: Why me? What is my product/service? Who will use it?
  • Testing the business concept: Is it feasible?
  • Social Venture Business Models: What will work for my purpose and product or service?
  • Financing Options and Opportunities: How do I find and manage the money?
  • Branding, Promotion & Marketing: From theory to design to digital execution - how will you communicate your venture?
  • Business Operations Tools and Skills: What people, products, and processes will you need?
  • Measuring Success: How to blend money and mission?

Outcomes

Groundswell programs are flexible and adaptive to the impact you want to make, to your idea, and to the place you are in your life.  Where you're at after the six month program is personally and situationally determined.  The outcome formula is (what you put in) x (venture complexity), so there are a range of outcomes (not mutually exclusive!):  

  • a ready to launch/already launched enterprise, organization, or community project
  • a complete lean business plan
  • ready for additional resources to take your venture forward
  • ready to find a partner
  • ready for investment
  • a job placement doing what you love (aka intrapreneurism)
  • a clear understanding of your skills and potential and the direction of your journey forward
  • a diverse and productive community of support around you

Regardless of where you're at, you never "finish" the program: the vitality of Groundswell and the ventures created here come from an ongoing support system of people, skills, stories, sharing, services, and ventures that is constantly being created in and around this community.  


Social Venture Showcase Gala

At the end of the program, you'll have the chance to present to potential funders, investors, partners, collaborators and the rest of the greater Groundswell community to continue to build momentum around your venture or project.  But this is not the end.  You are now a lifetime member of the Groundswell community! Watch this video of the 2015 Showcase Gala!


Schedule and Details

Two programs to fit your life:

Daytime

The Groundswell original: a diligent week to week daytime program.

Regular weekly schedule:
Mondays 9:30 am - 4 pm: Lectures, workshops, mentoring.
Tuesdays 3 pm - 7:30 pm: Workshops, mentoring, guest speakers + occasional potlucks.

+ 4 Saturday special topic workshops

+ 1 Kick-Off Weekend

Confirmed dates for 2016 - 2017 program:
Starts in mid September 2016, exact dates TBA

Price:
$2400 ***reduced rate! ***
Limited number of bursaries available!  To apply email: registration@groundswellcommunity.ca
When you are accepted into the program, a $350 deposit is required to hold your spot (included in program fees). 

Groundswell has partnered with CCEC Credit Union to provide financing.  Find out more: registration@groundswellcommunity.ca

Weekend

An eight weekend program over 6 months, tied together with weekly guest speakers and occasional potlucks on Tuesdays.

7 weekends, approximately every 3 weeks:
Fridays 6 pm - 8 pm: Lectures and workshops
Saturdays 9:30 - 4 pm: Lectures, workshops, mentoring.

Weekly:
Monday evenings (flexible): Mentoring.
Tuesdays 5:30 - 7:30: Guest speakers + occasional potlucks.

+ 1 Kick-Off Weekend

Confirmed dates for 2016 - 2017 program:
Starts in mid September 2016, exact dates TBA

Price: 
$2900
When you are accepted into the program, a $350 deposit is required to hold your spot (included in program fees). 

Groundswell has partnered with CCEC Credit Union to provide financing.  Find out more: registration@groundswellcommunity.ca

We are NOW RECRUITING for September 2016 programs!

Location

Groundswell is located at 566 Powell Street, in Vancouver BC, on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people.  Come visit our Cafe & Clubhouse!
Some sessions take place next door at our buzzing neighbours's Bee Space, Hives for Humanity, or at Another Space, 1523 E. Pender, a project of Groundswell alumni Sarah Peacock, and Tad Hozumi.

 Details subject to change.  Any necessary changes will be updated on this web page. 


Mentors & Facilitators

The core team of mentors at Groundswell span a wide range of expertise and experience, from international entrepreneurship to community economic development to personal coaching.  Read their full bios here.


David 2016 headshot.jpg

David LePage, senior mentor, was doing social enterprise back when it was called plain old community economic development.  Bring him your toughest and biggest questions.


gilad.jpg

Gilad Babchuck, co-founder + senior mentor will put your ideas "through the washing machine" and wow you with endless (and brilliant) metaphors to explain complex theories around learning (alternative education) and doing (entrepreneurship).


Paola Qualizza, managing director wears all sorts of hats. She will help you figure it all out with care, from how to talk to people about your crazy ideas, to where to focus your next push.


Andrea Woodhouse, Personal Development facilitator helps you map yourself, giving you questions to ask yourselves that you've never asked before.  Cryptic?  Actually, never!


Ran is a technology entrepreneur at heart. He is passionate about starting new businesses and helping them grow. Ran was the founder and CEO of Kidaro (acquired by Microsoft, 2008). Prior to Kidaro, he was on the founding team and served as director of product management for Kashya (acquired by EMC, 2006). Lately, Ran enjoys building a portfolio of technology companies he incubates. He also serves on various advisory roles for technology startups, investors and founders. Ran was born in Israel, and moved from Seattle to Vancouver three years ago with his family. He enjoys hiking, sailing, snowboarding and quantitative finance as hobbies.


Jim Barker, co-founder + senior mentor sees the world in a unique way that puts his heart at the front of every business decision...and he's had years of experience to share doing just that!


Amanda Kai, café manager treats the cafe and all her colleagues like a love worth fighting for: with hard work and happiness that spreads to everyone around her.


Community

Check out Groundswell alumni and their  projects here

Read our blog to hear about people's Groundswell experience first hand and see what we're up to.

Follow us on Twitter and see events and updates on Facebook!

Join us!  We are NOW RECRUITING for Groundswell's 2016 programs


Other currently running programs...

Stream

Evening and weekend program

February 2016 - June 2016

At Groundswell, we believe positive social change and transformative personal experiences are created when individuals work together in an inclusive, supportive social ecosystem – what we call the Groundswell community.  Our community includes an ever-growing groundswell of alumni, experts in social change action and community development, serial social entrepreneurs, a team of legal and financial advisors, tech innovators, and others that are part of this movement working towards a better world. 

Here is your chance to join us!

In the Stream evening & weekend program  you will be joining our core program’s full day Saturday workshops, which cover the pillars of social venture development with experts in the field.  The workshops are supported by Professional Development sessions on Friday evenings with one-on-one mentoring to bring your best self into your project aspirations, and find a greater chance of success.   Plus, Stream includes eighteen Tuesday evening sessions featuring guest speakers, social potlucks with Groundswell members, special pitch feedback panels, and more.  

Schedule

Tuesdays - weekly
February 23rd to June 14th
5:30 pm - 7/8 pm (or later…until the fun stops!)
Each week get the opportunity to experience guest speakers, network with the Groundswell community, and feast in occasional potlucks.  Stay connected between the weekend workshops and build community in a social environment with Groundswell’s other cohorts and staff.

Fridays x 4 (dates below)
6:30 - 8:00 pm - Professional Development
8:00 - 9:00 pm - One-on-one mentoring (scheduled prior to program start)
Facilitator: Andrea Fiscal-Woodhouse
Andrea is passionate about the relation between personal development and sustainability.  She is an entrepreneur with a successful intuitive life coaching practice and works to promote social entrepreneurship and a new economy.  

 Saturdays x 4 (dates below)
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Full day workshops to take you through social enterprise foundational knowledge, experience from expert facilitators, and tools, tricks and tips for successful venture development.  Facilitators include Groundswell core staff and community experts. 

Dates & Topics - Fridays & Saturdays

Fri. February 26th - Your Lifeline - know what motivates and moves you
Sat. February 27th - Ethics & Contemporary capitalism

Fri. April 1st - Ideation and Creative Techniques for project development
Sat. April 2nd - Validation: how to test the feasibility of your project, and find and use valuable feedback

Fri. May 13th - Your Strengths and Assets - mapping yourself
Sat.May 14th - Finance: Loans 101 with Vancity

Fri.June 3th - Finding your Leadership Style
Sat. June 4th - How to communicate your project idea: message, pitch, presentation.

Registration closed

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 12.40.13 PM.png

Programs

Program Details — Groundswell

Programs

Groundswell programs give you the community support you need to build a social venture that is an authentic representation of yourself.  You don't have to sacrifice your values for your work!

Join the community  Get the skills  Start creating change!

We are looking for people who are ready to put their skills and ideas into action for a better world.  People who feel that there is good work to be done, and just need the support, time and some extra skills to do it! 
Whether you have a specific gift you want to put to good use, one great idea that's been burning inside you for a long time, or a dozen dreams that need to be distilled into an actionable business or community project, the Groundswell Venture programs will take you from idea to action in building a social business that is authentically you, and that is transformative in building a better - healthier, happier, equitable, etc. -  world.


Groundswell Venture
Programs


Curriculum

We are NOW RECRUITING for September 2016 programs!

The core curriculum is made up of two main parts: Foundation + Build.

Foundation

Mapping your resources and identifying your social impact goal

You start with an intensive and intense Kick-Off Weekend of experiences and sharing with your cohort, where bonds forge, co-learning happens, and meaningful connection is made.  We identify, capture and explore resources for social innovation, and connect with the existing community to lay the groundwork for real, reachable, social change and positive impact.

Week by week, in the personal & professional development sessions, you will explore your own story, map your values, skills and experiences, and uncover what really drives you and how you can best make real positive change.  In these initial weeks, you will explore and develop your personal and professional potential so that you can create an authentic venture, and know that you can take it forward.

In a parallel series of foundational learning lectures, dialogues and workshops you will: acquire a sophisticated understanding of how the current economic system works - and doesn't work; do on the ground community research to uncover the working of economic and social systems in your backyard; find the levers of change and explore the creative and innovative methods that drive it; and explore the language and landscape of social entrepreneurship. 

  • Explore social innovation + entrepreneurship and what real, meaningful impact looks like

  • Learn to connect to and build your community

  • Put theories of change into practice

  • Discover alternative economic models for social, economic, and environmental justice

Meanwhile, you will ideate. Whether you have a specific project or venture in mind or not, ideas will be generated, expanded, tossed, combined, dismantled, put through the "washing machine" (as one of our mentors likes to say), examined and tested by your community of mentors and peers.  With creative approaches, your vision will be expanded, before honing in to bring a great project to life over the remainder of the program (and beyond!).


Build

Putting together the elements of a social venture, from feasibility to financing.

Now you have a solid idea for a venture that is authentically you, socially / environmentally valuable and economically just.  With a supportive, creative community around you, you'll get the hard and soft skills necessary to actually build your social venture.  It's time for action!

You will:

  • Turn your idea into a working social enterprise
  • Get hands-on learning with a ready-to-launch project and complete social venture plan as the end objective
  • Get access to a team of mentors and the collective intelligence and creativity of your peers
  • Get ongoing peer and panel reviews and feedback on your pitch and presentations
  • Encounter the chaos and uncertainty of a real startup - with the support of expert mentors and a community of peers!

The Groundswell Method

You will explore, build and plot the journey of your social venture based on five M's.   Although we can identify each one separately, they only work effectively when they’re integrated into your social venture planning and operations.  It is important to appreciate from the start that this is an ongoing process, not merely an outcome. 

Mission – every social venture has to understand and clarify its purpose, the “why” of your social venture. The mission identifies the change - the social, environmental or cultural impact you want to have in the world.

Market – a social venture, whether a business or a program, has to have clarity on what product or service it provides, to whom, and how to produce, promote and deliver it.

Manage – how decisions are made and how our stakeholders are engaged is critical for the effectiveness, efficiency and community building of a social venture. You will explore corporate models (sole proprietorship, co-operatives, non-profit, etc.) and organizational culture.

Money – The start up phase requires financing of various forms and sources…and once operating you must have the tools to report, assess and evaluate financial processes.

Measure – a social venture measures its success with a blended value bottom line. It must understand the data, the metrics, and the process of feedback and improvement on the social impact and the financial progress.

You will explore and answer these questions:

  • Idea Exploration: Why me? What is my product/service? Who will use it?
  • Testing the business concept: Is it feasible?
  • Social Venture Business Models: What will work for my purpose and product or service?
  • Financing Options and Opportunities: How do I find and manage the money?
  • Branding, Promotion & Marketing: From theory to design to digital execution - how will you communicate your venture?
  • Business Operations Tools and Skills: What people, products, and processes will you need?
  • Measuring Success: How to blend money and mission?

Outcomes

Groundswell programs are flexible and adaptive to the impact you want to make, to your idea, and to the place you are in your life.  Where you're at after the six month program is personally and situationally determined.  The outcome formula is (what you put in) x (venture complexity), so there are a range of outcomes (not mutually exclusive!):  

  • a ready to launch/already launched enterprise, organization, or community project
  • a complete lean business plan
  • ready for additional resources to take your venture forward
  • ready to find a partner
  • ready for investment
  • a job placement doing what you love (aka intrapreneurism)
  • a clear understanding of your skills and potential and the direction of your journey forward
  • a diverse and productive community of support around you

Regardless of where you're at, you never "finish" the program: the vitality of Groundswell and the ventures created here come from an ongoing support system of people, skills, stories, sharing, services, and ventures that is constantly being created in and around this community.  


Social Venture Showcase Gala

At the end of the program, you'll have the chance to present to potential funders, investors, partners, collaborators and the rest of the greater Groundswell community to continue to build momentum around your venture or project.  But this is not the end.  You are now a lifetime member of the Groundswell community! Watch this video of the 2015 Showcase Gala!


Schedule and Details

Two programs to fit your life:

Daytime

The Groundswell original: a diligent week to week daytime program.

Regular weekly schedule:
Mondays 9:30 am - 4 pm: Lectures, workshops, mentoring.
Tuesdays 3 pm - 7:30 pm: Workshops, mentoring, guest speakers + occasional potlucks.

+ 4 Saturday special topic workshops

+ 1 Kick-Off Weekend

Confirmed dates for 2016 - 2017 program:
Starts in mid September 2016, exact dates TBA

Price:
$2400 ***reduced rate! ***
Limited number of bursaries available!  To apply email: registration@groundswellcommunity.ca
When you are accepted into the program, a $350 deposit is required to hold your spot (included in program fees). 

Groundswell has partnered with CCEC Credit Union to provide financing.  Find out more: registration@groundswellcommunity.ca

Weekend

An eight weekend program over 6 months, tied together with weekly guest speakers and occasional potlucks on Tuesdays.

7 weekends, approximately every 3 weeks:
Fridays 6 pm - 8 pm: Lectures and workshops
Saturdays 9:30 - 4 pm: Lectures, workshops, mentoring.

Weekly:
Monday evenings (flexible): Mentoring.
Tuesdays 5:30 - 7:30: Guest speakers + occasional potlucks.

+ 1 Kick-Off Weekend

Confirmed dates for 2016 - 2017 program:
Starts in mid September 2016, exact dates TBA

Price: 
$2900
When you are accepted into the program, a $350 deposit is required to hold your spot (included in program fees). 

Groundswell has partnered with CCEC Credit Union to provide financing.  Find out more: registration@groundswellcommunity.ca

We are NOW RECRUITING for September 2016 programs!

Location

Groundswell is located at 566 Powell Street, in Vancouver BC, on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish people.  Come visit our Cafe & Clubhouse!
Some sessions take place next door at our buzzing neighbours's Bee Space, Hives for Humanity, or at Another Space, 1523 E. Pender, a project of Groundswell alumni Sarah Peacock, and Tad Hozumi.

 Details subject to change.  Any necessary changes will be updated on this web page. 


Mentors & Facilitators

The core team of mentors at Groundswell span a wide range of expertise and experience, from international entrepreneurship to community economic development to personal coaching.  Read their full bios here.


David 2016 headshot.jpg

David LePage, senior mentor, was doing social enterprise back when it was called plain old community economic development.  Bring him your toughest and biggest questions.


gilad.jpg

Gilad Babchuck, co-founder + senior mentor will put your ideas "through the washing machine" and wow you with endless (and brilliant) metaphors to explain complex theories around learning (alternative education) and doing (entrepreneurship).


Paola Qualizza, managing director wears all sorts of hats. She will help you figure it all out with care, from how to talk to people about your crazy ideas, to where to focus your next push.


Andrea Woodhouse, Personal Development facilitator helps you map yourself, giving you questions to ask yourselves that you've never asked before.  Cryptic?  Actually, never!


Ran is a technology entrepreneur at heart. He is passionate about starting new businesses and helping them grow. Ran was the founder and CEO of Kidaro (acquired by Microsoft, 2008). Prior to Kidaro, he was on the founding team and served as director of product management for Kashya (acquired by EMC, 2006). Lately, Ran enjoys building a portfolio of technology companies he incubates. He also serves on various advisory roles for technology startups, investors and founders. Ran was born in Israel, and moved from Seattle to Vancouver three years ago with his family. He enjoys hiking, sailing, snowboarding and quantitative finance as hobbies.


Jim Barker, co-founder + senior mentor sees the world in a unique way that puts his heart at the front of every business decision...and he's had years of experience to share doing just that!


Amanda Kai, café manager treats the cafe and all her colleagues like a love worth fighting for: with hard work and happiness that spreads to everyone around her.


Community

Check out Groundswell alumni and their  projects here

Read our blog to hear about people's Groundswell experience first hand and see what we're up to.

Follow us on Twitter and see events and updates on Facebook!

Join us!  We are NOW RECRUITING for Groundswell's 2016 programs


Other currently running programs...

Stream

Evening and weekend program

February 2016 - June 2016

At Groundswell, we believe positive social change and transformative personal experiences are created when individuals work together in an inclusive, supportive social ecosystem – what we call the Groundswell community.  Our community includes an ever-growing groundswell of alumni, experts in social change action and community development, serial social entrepreneurs, a team of legal and financial advisors, tech innovators, and others that are part of this movement working towards a better world. 

Here is your chance to join us!

In the Stream evening & weekend program  you will be joining our core program’s full day Saturday workshops, which cover the pillars of social venture development with experts in the field.  The workshops are supported by Professional Development sessions on Friday evenings with one-on-one mentoring to bring your best self into your project aspirations, and find a greater chance of success.   Plus, Stream includes eighteen Tuesday evening sessions featuring guest speakers, social potlucks with Groundswell members, special pitch feedback panels, and more.  

Schedule

Tuesdays - weekly
February 23rd to June 14th
5:30 pm - 7/8 pm (or later…until the fun stops!)
Each week get the opportunity to experience guest speakers, network with the Groundswell community, and feast in occasional potlucks.  Stay connected between the weekend workshops and build community in a social environment with Groundswell’s other cohorts and staff.

Fridays x 4 (dates below)
6:30 - 8:00 pm - Professional Development
8:00 - 9:00 pm - One-on-one mentoring (scheduled prior to program start)
Facilitator: Andrea Fiscal-Woodhouse
Andrea is passionate about the relation between personal development and sustainability.  She is an entrepreneur with a successful intuitive life coaching practice and works to promote social entrepreneurship and a new economy.  

 Saturdays x 4 (dates below)
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Full day workshops to take you through social enterprise foundational knowledge, experience from expert facilitators, and tools, tricks and tips for successful venture development.  Facilitators include Groundswell core staff and community experts. 

Dates & Topics - Fridays & Saturdays

Fri. February 26th - Your Lifeline - know what motivates and moves you
Sat. February 27th - Ethics & Contemporary capitalism

Fri. April 1st - Ideation and Creative Techniques for project development
Sat. April 2nd - Validation: how to test the feasibility of your project, and find and use valuable feedback

Fri. May 13th - Your Strengths and Assets - mapping yourself
Sat.May 14th - Finance: Loans 101 with Vancity

Fri.June 3th - Finding your Leadership Style
Sat. June 4th - How to communicate your project idea: message, pitch, presentation.

Registration closed