Collaborate to Innovate: Win $10,000 in Development Project Seed Funds

The Innovate: New Approaches to Canadian International Cooperation event is a two-day Symposium and DevLab hosted by SFU International, the British Columbia Council of International Cooperation, and the University of the Fraser Valley. It hopes to unite “academics, entrepreneurs, NGOs, funders, social innovators and technology experts” to collaborate on ideas for advancing Canada’s international assistance and addressing the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Combining the words development and laboratory, a DevLab, expands the possibilities of each! It creates a space where innovation derives from experimentation, and default practices are challenged to create novel approaches to Canada’s international development projects.

Taking place on Wednesday June 6 at SFU Harbour Centre, and Thursday June 7 at SFU Segal Graduate School of Business, the Innovate International DevLab focuses on four key themes. It emphasizes collaborations and partnerships across sectors, engaging the private sector, big data and information technology, and project delivery. The event will hold panel presentations that further articulate each of the four themes. It will also facilitate the formation of collaborative teams that bring together people from diverse sectors to cultivate innovative ideas for international development initiatives. Over the course of the two-day Symposium and DevLab, each team will have the opportunity to transform their ideas into proposals, and present them to a panel of expert judges. The winning team will receive an award of $10,000 to support the fruition of their ideas!

The Symposium and DevLab provide a space “to explore how social innovation and new technologies can enhance the delivery of Canadian aid, transform global development, and fuel further innovation in support of partnerships for sustainable development.” For those who want to participate but are unsure about the structure of a DevLab, the program includes an introduction to this process. The event also uses presentations to discuss topics such as collaborative ideation, and crafting and delivering a winning pitch. If you hope to implement innovative approaches to problems in international development, the Innovate International DevLab is the perfect space to practice the process of planning and presenting a pitch, and it offers the exciting possibility of winning $10,000 that can help translate your ideas into real-world change!

With its focus on creating cross-sector partnerships that advance sustainable development, this event provides opportunities for meaningful networking. If you are passionate about working collaboratively, thinking in novel directions, and transforming your ideas about international development into actionable projects register for the Innovate International DevLab!