Students outside library

SLM 604 – Vancouver Learning Lab (VLL) December 2015 Report

Sustainability needs to become a unifying story of hope,
a useful myth foretelling the arrival of a new kind of human community.

- ChrisTurner, The Geography of Hope

The SLM 604 course provides “an opportunity for learners to understand how to influence change towards sustainability in communities and organizations.” As part of that course, the Vancouver Learning Lab (VLL) is designed to provide learners with an opportunity to experience the applied dimensions of course theories and concepts. Through activities such as speakers and presentations, visits and tours of social and other change-oriented enterprises, mapping exercises, group discussions and debriefings, we examine diverse aspects of leisure in relation to (positive, social, transformational) change, stakeholders, planning, innovation and sustainability. Learners are provided with opportunities to synthesize in-class learning and reading through experiential education activities and presentations by Vancouver-based social innovators and changemakers.  From December 9-11, 2015, 24 students and VLL designer and faculty member, Dr. Suzanne de la Barre, travelled to Vancouver from Nanaimo to explore course themes with diverse changemakers. We were pleased also to have accompany us, two co-facilitators: The World Leisure Centre of Excellence at VIU,Guest Scholar Dr. Betty Weiler, and PhD student in Social Innovation, Fiona Friesen.

Participating changemakers for this years’ VLL include: YWCA Hotel Vancouver (Arthur Mills), Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) (Elyse Curley, Vanadis Oviedo and Khoi Chau), Roundhouse Community Centre (Cindy Chwelos and Maria Lopes), Edible Canada(Eric Pateman), Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives(Paola Qualizza and Emily Huynh), SkwachàysLodge and Aboriginal Art Gallery (Maggie Edwards and David Eddy), City of Vancouver (Non-Profit and Community Capacity Building, Social Policy and Projects Division) (Annie Burkes), and The Hive – Sweet Social Impact (Maya Goodwill).  Thanks also to Potluck Café and Catering and The Post at 750. The MA SLM program greatly appreciates your example of positive change, and thanks each and every one of you for your support to our program and students, and for your willingness to share your perspectives, vision, and experiences with us.

What do you get when you cross a bunch of graduate students of leisure, change and innovation with waiting time outside MEC head office in Vancouver? A spontaneous line dance class, of course!!!!!

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