How do we work together to make our world a better place? Start by asking: What are we going to do and how are we going to do it? These are two questions that have guided us at Uproot from the very beginning. These are two questions we've learned to ask from our time at CityStudio.
A foundation for our work comes from CityStudio 5 S's: staff, site, scaleability, stewardship, and support; mandatory components of every project that comes out of what is called the "CityStudio Challenge". CityStudio has been more than a support system for us at Uproot. In fact, it is where we found our roots and started to grow. Danielle's sister Jennifer Vallee was in CityStudio's Cohort 7 in Spring 2014. Dayna, Joe, Kevin, and I were all part of Cohort 9 in Fall 2014. It is where we met, where three of us worked on the Shareable Neighbourhood project (which formed the basis of Uproot) and where we began to imagine working to create a sustainable world in which there is absolutely zero wasted.
But wait a second...what is CityStudio anyways?
Let me tell you!
CityStudio is an innovation hub partnered with the City of Vancouver. What does that mean? It means students across all six post-secondary institutions in the city can come together to work on real on-the-ground projects where they live, study, work, and play. Whether in small, intensive cohorts or partner courses, students can get university/college credit for doing work that makes a difference and matters to them. It means that the city, which as a status-quo must maintain day-to-day operations, can find ways to innovate services, utilize post-secondaries for their research abilities, and get students involved in public service and possibly retain them in Vancouver. Basically, CityStudio is a place where the city, post-secondary institutions, and students come together to collaborate—and more...like alumni go on to be mayors, found social ventures, and stuff of the sort.
We love CityStudio! It means a lot to us. They have connected us to Vancouver's change-making network, provided mentorship, studio space to put together a giant salmon, and much, much inspiration. Uproot was also able to be a sponsor for CityStudio's Hubbub at City Hall this year. I personally had the opportunity to volunteer at their first-ever, mega-successful Art of Cities conference, which brought together teams from 8 municipalities across Canada to share the CityStudio model and brainstorm how similar initiatives can work elsewhere.
For more information on CityStudio and to get involved with them, visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on social media!
A big thank you and mad props to Janet, Duane, Lena, Heather and the CityStudio team for everything you do!