Collaboration is Key

It is important to remember those who have helped you along your way. At Uproot, we are humbled by the greater community of activists, entrepreneurs and change-makers in our city. Doing breakthrough work is never easy, it always seems we are either up against a bureaucratic system or ourselves. Having a community of inspirational people around us has been a tremendous gift in renewing inspiration for the vision of Uproot.

What first brought the Uproot team together was a shared concern: we wanted to address the problem of waste in our city. What initially eluded us was how to make this concern something that’s actionable. Enter CityStudio: an innovation lab within City Hall that exists as a partnership between interdisciplinary students, Vancouver city-staff, instructors and professionals to share ideas and design solutions to the issues facing our modern communities. It was during our immersion in CityStudio’s collaborative atmosphere that we learned just how powerful people can be when they come together to share and investigate their legitimate anxieties about the world. It provided us with a sense of direction and gave us ideas of transforming challenges into opportunities.

We want to give particular thanks to two women: Lena Soots and Heather O’Hara. Both change-makers, storytellers and visionaries who have been instrumental in designing and delivering the mission and vision of CityStudio. They helped guide the uproot team in our emergence and taught us to be resourceful in the face of challenges, to share stories and mobilize others to inspire change. They are now moving on and we want to congratulate them for their contribution to the future of our city and the world!

Outcome of a discussion facilitied by the Uproot team at the 2015 Vines Art Festival

Our work with other inspirational people throughout the city has cemented two of Uproot’s foundational values: sharing and collaboration. We strive to spread our initiatives in order to shift current perspectives on waste.

To do this, we run workshops to teach people about how they can contribute to a healthy city, facilitate discussions that encourage creativity and collaboration, and create unique projects to connect people with our vision of a healthy city. One such project was our transformation of waste into sharing libraries; in these, neighbours can store and share their underutilized recreational items. We hope that providing access over ownership will generate a feeling of abundance in the city and encourage people to connect and reduce waste in their neighbourhood.


This week, the founding partners will be headed to the Social Venture Institute (SVI) at Hollyhock on Cortes Island BC. SVI is a meetup of mission-based entrepreneurs in a beautiful, rugged setting, to share challenges and breakthroughs in the world of social change. Within our commitment to transform cities to centres of innovation, where waste is dealt with as a resource, we are happy to have the opportunity to share and collaborate with other passionate professionals. Check back next week for part 2 of this series, where we will discuss the powerful learning from our adVENTURE on Cortes and how Hollyhock has become an institution of collaboration!