Our Work

Since 2015, IdeasXChange has mobilized 1,500+ youth and community members to raise awareness on pressing local and global challenges while fostering spaces for dialogue, critical thinking, ideation, and action. We embrace interdisciplinary + collaborative learning and a systems change approach to our projects.

Our forums feature seminar-style gatherings with industry experts followed by interactive learning workshops, where we challenge participants to discuss and ideate new realities to a variety of socio-economic and environmental issues.

A quick recap from one of our forums

We have moderated 18+ panel discussions with 60+ Canadian leaders from a variety of fields, ranging from social impact, policy, business, advocacy, among many others. As of 2018, we also host an annual case competition aimed at solving a social problem.

This year we will feature new and exciting projects, including Play4Change on September 22 – a 24-hour playwriting competition that will challenge playwriters to explore 6 pressing global issues through threatre and art. For more details on P4C please follow this link.


Tap any of the following for more details on our work

InnoHacks: The Inclusive Innovation Case Competition

InnoHacks is a 10-hour product development case competition that convened youth and students from a wide range of disciplines to come up with scalable solutions to pressing socio-economic and environmental issues using the principles of social innovation. Learn more

Bridging Barriers: A Discussion on Evidence-based Policy

Bridging Barriers is an interdisciplinary discussion to deconstruct and devise solutions to address this challenge in public policy making. Learn more


Tap any of the following for more details on our work

The Psychology of Climate Change: Making the Case for Sustainability

How can civil society, companies, and interest groups effectively compel individuals to be sustainable and ethical in their consumer choices?

On November 15, 2017, IDX hosted a discussion on the psychology of climate change – deconstructing complex questions surrounding  climate action, prosocial consumption and social marketing. A panel of field experts joined the discussion. 

IDX executive members along with two of the aforementioned panel members were later interviewed by Roundhous Radio 98.3 FM by Don Shafer, CEO and programming director and host of the show Impact.

– Stephen Sheppard – UBC Faculty of Forestry – Climate Change Action. Dialogue and Engagement

– Katherine White – Sauder School of Business – Leading expert on prosocial consumption and social marketing

– Ivana Zelenika – PhD candidate at UBC Psychology/IRES. Main focus of research is on what motivated pro-environmental behavioural change.

Event page: psychology-climate-change.eventbrite.ca

Building Sustainable Communities: Taking Action

Do you want want to help create a sustainable Vancouver? Are you looking for a place to meet community leaders, organizations, and fellow peers that want to make a difference? We have the event for you.

On October 25, 2017, IDX hosted a discussion on how community organizations have approached sustainability in Vancouver, and how our mostly-youth audience could join that journey. We were joined by a renowned panel of speakers and facilitators from a variety of community organizations. 

– Andrea Reimer – Vancouver City Councilor; former Deputy Mayor of Vancouver
– Meg O’Shea – Green Economy Coordinator at Vancouver Economic Commission
– Dagmar Timmer – Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives; Co-Founder at OneEarth

Boothing Organizations + Facilitators
– Sustainable Youth Canada
– The HIVE
… and others

Event page: sustainablevancouver.eventbrite.ca

United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Youth Training

Are you interested in climate action, reducing inequalities, peace and justice, eradicating poverty, clean energy, responsible consumption, sustainable economic growth, or working with the United Nations? Do you want to get involved in locally or internationally implementing these sustainable changes to help make the world a better place?

On October 4, 2017 – IDX partnered with the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship to bring SDG Youth Training to students in the Lower Mainland.

IDX also collaborated closely with the UBC International Relations Student Association (SA) – IRSA, Political Science SA (PSSA), Model United Nations SA (MUNSA), and the Asia Pacific Youth Council. 

– UN Dignitary: Christian Courtis is a Human Rights Officer with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, working on economic, social and cultural rights and sustainable development issues. Born in Argentina, he is a former law professor at the University of Buenos Aires Law School (Argentina) and invited professor at ITAM Law School (Mexico). He has been visiting professor and researcher at different universities in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Event page: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sustainable-development-goals-youth-training-university-of-british-columbia-tickets-35605546147

Happiness: The Urban Lens

An investigation of the social sciences and community aspect of what makes urban places happy places to live and work.

On March 22, 2017 – IDX hosted an interdisciplinary discussion with a special focus on students, youth, and civic engagement. Special thanks to the UBC Science Undergraduate Society for hosting us at the Abdul Ladha Science Centre.

– Michael Simpson – Executive Director of the BC International Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) and former Executive Director of One Sky. 

– Dr. Elizabeth Dunn – Professor at the UBC Faculty of Psychology and co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending.

– Aidan Scott – Founder of SpeakBox and motivational speaker.

– Robyn Chan – Project Manager at Evergreen and driving force behind 100In1Day in Vancouver.

Event page: picatic.com/lensofhappiness

Local or Global: The Impact of Purchasing Power

An interactive discussion with students, community leaders and professionals to discuss the impact of our purchasing power.

On March 2, 2017, IDX hosted a discussion to investigate and raise awareness on how our choices can impact local communities and businesses, and how we can instigate change by considering who we support through our consumer choices.

– Alisha Maxfield – Ms. Maxfield has worked in front line social services in Vancouver’s DTES for 7+ years, is currently a member of the Community Economic Development Strategic Action Committee and works with Buy Social Canada.

– Sonny Wong – Mr. Song is an award-winning marketer, creative director and entrepreneur with business interests that span marketing/media, sustainability, and social innovation. He is the founder of the Board of Change.

– Will Jung – Mr. Jung is the President and CEO of Bokoeco Partners Inc., a board member with HiVE Vancouver and a member of the Board of Change.With personal expertise lies in Zero Waste, and the Circular/Blue Economies.

Event page: picatic.com/impactofpurchasing

The Innovative Society: Catalyzing Change

Looking for a place to meet incredibly passionate people, chat about innovation and find meaningful projects? Don’t know where to begin or who to talk to?

On February 8, 2017, IDX hosted an interactive discussion on  innovation in society and how ordinary folks can do be a catalyst for change. This event also took place in partnership with the UBC Social Enterprise Club.

Jim Southcott: Senior strategist for 30+ years, partner at Southcott Strategies and professor at the Sauder School of Business. Mr. Southcott also spoke on the use of LEGO in his work with corporate leadership.

Paola Qualizza: Managing Director of Groundswell Education Society, a social venture community and launchpad in Vancouver. Ms. Qualizza spoke on the importance of fostering the right kind of spaces for positive social change.

Event page: picatic.com/theinnovativesociety


Tap any of the following for more details on our work

Sustainability Forum: Micro and Macro Solutions

Achieving sustainability will require bold leadership and innovation. From climate change to changing our consumption patterns, solutions will come from all fields and people from all walks of life.

On March 30, 2016, IDX hosted two set of panels and interactive workshops on micro and macro approaches to sustainability. It was the flagship event of 2016 featuring a wide range of field experts and a large audience.

– George Heyman – now the BC Minister for the Environment and Climate Change – was for many years the BC Opposition Spokesperson for Green Economy, Technology, Film/TV, and Translink. He’s also a social, environmental and labour activist. He was the former executive director of Sierra Club BC and served three terms as president of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU). He represents the riding of Vancouver-Fairview. Mr. Heyman is 

– Alfred Lam is the Vice President of Chrysalix, a leading sustainable energy venture capital firm. Based in Vancouver, he has 10 years experience in R&D, 3 technology patents and an NSERC Innovation Award for his PhD research in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia.

– Nick Hermes is the founder of Urban Stream, a company that develops sustainable composting systems with the goal of bringing easy composting to businesses, stratas, restaurants and schools. Before Urban Stream, he worked at Angstrom Power as a Facilities Engineer.

– Dana Cooper (BSI Biodegradable Solutions) – Scientist by training, Dana is an expert in composting and recycling solutions. She performs market research on the economics of sustainable recycling, looking at ways to turn its linear economy into a circular one.

– George Benson is a Master’s candidate in the School of Community and Regional Planning. He researches public policy and research communications, and has varied knowledge in climate change/migration, international development, and community engagement. George is a coordinator for SEEDS, which coordinates research between students and faculty to achieve UBC’s sustainability goals.

– Fernanda Tomaseli (Ecological Economics) – Fernanda’s performs research ecological economics communication to the public, focusing on mental model analyses and message framing experiments. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Faculty of Forestry at UBC.

– Dr. Jiaying Zhao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and IRES. Dr. Zhao’s research focuses on the financial and environmental factors and how these affect behaviors impacting consumption and allocation of environmental resources.

Changing Landscapes in the Middle East

From the Arab Spring to the Syrian conflict, the Middle East is changing. It is important to foster spaces talk about the issues happening in the ground, humanizing the conflict, and what can be done to alleviate the suffering.

On March 10, 2016, IDX hosted an interactive discussion with guest speakers who shared their perspectives and stories on the conflicts taking place in the Middle East, particularly in Syria.

– Don Wright – Acting Manager for Western Canada and the Territories for Amnesty International (AI). 

– Laila Telawi – Syrian-born student at UBC and advocate pursuing a degree in International Relations.

Interdisciplinary Solutions to International Development

interdisciplinary solutions are to achieving effective international development.

On February 25, 2016, IDX hosted a discussion open to people of all disciplines and backgrounds to inspire and empower anyone that wants to make a difference on an international scale. It featured a line of exciting speakers who interacted closely with participants.

– Darren Schemmer – Over 25 years in international development and diplomacy experience. Schemmer has worked in CIDA and has served abroad as a diplomat in Nicaragua, Honduras, USA, Egypt, and was most recently as the High Commissioner to Ghana and Ambassador to Togo.

– Scott Nelson – Mr. Nelson has been an activist and entrepreneur in Vancouver for over 25 years. He is the founder of various startups and has been a consultant for Environment Canada, Greenpeace, BCCIC and many others. Nelson shared the role of technology/non profits in international development.

– Malaika Kapur – Ms. Kapur is an active UBC student and the founding president of the Tanzania Heart Babies Project. An initiative that raises awareness about pediatric cardiac surgery in Tanzania. She is also a director at the UBC African Business Club. Kapur will highlight changing the African conversation and the opportunities there are within Africa to alleviate poverty.

Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities

How can we foster communities that promote happiness and supersede the home/work/sleep routine.
How can we build sustainable and resilient communities?

On February 11, 2016 for a lively discussion and interactive workshop with some of Vancouver’s most accomplished community leaders and visionaries.

– Ross Moster – President of Village Vancouver
– Ericka Stephens Rennie – Spokesperson and Resident at Vancouver Cohousing
– Elvy del Bianco – Program Manager for Co-operative Partnerships at Vancity Credit Union

The workshop will be facilitated by graduate students from the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP)

– Maria Trujillo – Maria Trujillo is a Masters student at UBC SCARP. She enjoys using creative facilitation techniques. On the side, she enjoys creating art!
– Aaron Lau – Aaron Lao is a Master’s student at UBC SCARP, specializing in social planning and Urban’s design.
– Emmy Ann Lee – Emmy works at SCARP and has also worked at Vancouver Board of Parks, and Recreation & Metro Vancouver.

Meet & Greet Evening with Peter Klein

On January 28, 2016, IDX hosted a special talk by Peter Klein, an Emmy-Award journalist. His 2010 class’ Frontline/WORLD documentary investigating the international electronic waste trade, earned him the Emmy for Best Investigative Newsmagazine.

Mr. Klein is also a former producer of CBS News 60 Minutes, and is now growing the IRP into a major non-profit Global Reporting Centre, which produces major works of journalism on under-covered issues around the world.


Tap any of the following for more details on our work

Green Tech & the Green Economy

IdeasXChange’s final workshop of 2015 discusses technologies and the way we mobilize human activities will also allow for development to occur in a more responsible manner. Learn More

Redefining International Aid Workshop

This workshop is a discussion on supporting international development by supporting sustainable models and local talent. Learn more

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Workshop

On March 24, 2015, IdeasXChange fielded a panel for a discussion on corporate social responsibility from the local, national and international perspective, along with views on best practices to achieve sustainability at home and accountability for corporate behaviour at the international scale. Learn more

Ecological Economics Workshop

This workshop explores alternative views on how to achieve economic prosperity while being mindful of planetary boundaries. Learn more

Social Sustainability Workshop

IdeasXChange’s inaugural panel and workshop focused on the theme of social sustainability featuring the following community leaders. The panel was followed by an interactive and action-oriented workshop on empowering marginalized groups. Learn more