Upcoming Events

May 2022

Social Purpose in Business: Transforming Business and Communities

The Burnaby Festival of Learning is proud to present Social Purpose in Business: Transforming Business & Communities!

The United Way Social Purpose Institute (UW SPI), the Burnaby Board of Trade, and the City of Burnaby entered into a strategic partnership to make Burnaby a hub for the growth and acceleration of social purpose-led organizations. The SPI collaboration marks the first-ever tripartite partnership between a chamber of commerce, a municipal government and the Social Purpose Institute, and opens the door to an acceleration of the movement and adoption of social purpose practices within Burnaby.

BCIT recently launched a new course in social purpose business in its Bachelor of Business Administration program and has seen significant growth in its Sustainable Business Leadership Advanced Diploma, a credential focused entirely on using business as a tool to address the interlocking crises of climate change, growing inequality, and systemic racism.

Join Social Purpose and Sustainable Business experts for a discussion about what the UW SPI’s historic partnership and BCIT’s purpose-focused educational programming mean for the City of Burnaby, and beyond!

Date and time

Tue, May 10, 2022

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM PDT


Online event

Speakers include:

Tessa Jordan – Program Head for BCIT’s Sustainable Business Leadership programs and Faculty in BCIT’s Communication Department

Tessa Vanderkop – Social Purpose Strategist with the United Way Social Purpose Institute

Amanda Chor – Sustainability Manager at Hemlock Printers

Krista Loewen – Community Investment Associate at Vancity

Moderated By:

Loreen Catubay – Sustainable Business Leadership student at BCIT and the Administrative Assistant for the United Way Social Purpose Institute

Recurring Events

Social Purpose Hot Seat: Apply to participate as a “Critical Friend”

Recurring Event. Apply for an invitation to attend on the next available date

There is accelerating momentum around businesses becoming a force for good. If you are as passionate about this subject as we are, apply to be a Critical Friend and help businesses define the humanitarian reason they exist. As a Critical Friend, you will have the opportunity to provide valuable insights “at a Hot Seat”, where emerging social purpose businesses will present their draft social purpose for feedback and advice on how to improve it.

Past Events

Propelling Purpose: The Road to the Purposeful Economy

November 17-18, 2021 

We are very excited to be hosting the first-ever Canadian Purpose Economy Summit on November 17 – 18, 2021.

The Virtual Summit is an opportunity to learn, be inspired, and connect with others who are advancing social purpose in business. Attend to have your say in building the roadmap to the Purpose Economy. Join leaders of business, government, academia, government, and NGOs, along with investors, incubators, and accelerators to co-create strategies to scale social purpose in business and design an economy powered by purpose.

Social Purpose: What is it? Why do I need one? How do I get one?

October 7, 2021 

What is it? Why do I need one? How do I get one?

Purpose is the buzzword of the moment — but what is it, really? Isn’t it the same as CSR? If we give to charities and support our local sports team, do we already have one? What would a Social Purpose do for my company? Will it help or hinder our profits? Do we really need one? Do our customers or employees care? How do you even get one?

If you aren’t sure about the answer to these questions, this workshop is for you!

How to Build an Authentic Social Purpose Company, Avoid Purpose-Washing and Drive a Purpose Economy!

October 4, 2021 

The Purpose Partnership between GLOBE Series, Social Purpose Institute at United Way and Junxion is excited to bring you our third interactive workshop on social purpose in business. On Oct 4, 2021, the social purpose community will gather for a virtual session to learn from two social purpose pioneers, be inspired and make connections with purpose peers. The session opens with reflections from leaders in the purpose space, followed by a brainstorming activity on what it means to commit authentically to social purpose in business as we build-back-better in Canada.

If we are going to build a Purpose Economy, what practices should we expect from businesses and how can we distinguish between businesses that are purpose-authentic and those that are purpose-washing? Register today and join us in creating an authentic and accountable Purpose Economy in Canada!

Social Purpose In Business

May 12, 2021 

Hardly a whisper a few short years ago, Social Purpose is now quickly on its way to becoming table stakes for running a successful business—a trend that has only been amplified by the current pandemic

How does a business harness this movement and itself become an engine for positive social impact? Can defining a societal ambition as the reason a business exists really increase customer loyalty, employee engagement, product innovation and ultimately the bottom line?

Learn how you can unleash your company’s full potential: