So you want to be an SFU Public Square volunteer!

So you want to be an SFU Public Square volunteer!

By: Sophie Ni
  7272 reads

Volunteering can be an amazing experience where you get to branch out and meet new people, develop new skills, and give back to the community. However, picking an organization can be hard, as you likely want volunteer work where you can develop skills for your career, but do so with an organization that you feel connected to. Does this sound like you? Are you actively seeking volunteer work, but just don’t know which organization to work with? Why not consider volunteering for SFU Public Square

As an office volunteer for SFU Public Square, one of my most memorable experiences was doing social media promotion for the RISE competition using Twitter. I researched local organizations that might be interested in the event, and tweeted to those groups to promote the competition. At the end of my four-hour shift, I ended up finding over 30 different groups, with many replying and re-tweeting! One of my biggest accomplishments was having an organization with 50,000 followers retweet my message! If you spend a lot of time on social media like me, you'll find tasks like this fun and rewarding. I got to target different audiences, ranging from environmental groups to educational institutions, challenging myself to find bigger and better!

SFU Public Square brings together the community, inspiring people to engage about serious public issues in British Columbia and Canada. Throughout the year, they hold events that explore varying issues in the community, and their weeklong Community Summit takes place every fall. Below are examples of events from the 2014 Community Summit, Innovation: The Shock of the Possible.

1. RISE – An Ideas Competition Addressing Sea Level Rise
In partnership with Vancouver Foundation, RISE was an idea competition addressing sea level rise in Metro Vancouver where reports predicts a 1m sea level rise by 2100. Over 45 teams registered, and 30 teams completed their plan, competing with each other for the grand prize of $35,000. Teams were also recognized with other awards, including the best environmental, economic, social idea, and a people’s choice award with a prize of $10,000 in each category.

2. Innovations in Undergraduate Learning  - International Conference
This was a one-day conference led by leading academics, to explore the idea of student learning, as well as innovations in technology, pedagogy and programming. Academic speakers include Dr. William Lindsay and Dr. Joe Driver from Simon Fraser University and Dr. Tony Chambers from University of Toronto. The day also involves peer-to-peer learning and introduction of new ideas and case studies.

3. Will Innovation Save Us?  - 2014 Community Summit Signature Event

Will Innovation Save Us? was an evening of open discussion lead by guest speakers Ray Kurzwel (a leading futurist that was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc.magazine) and Richard Florida (an influential thinker and author of award winning book titled The Rise of the Creative Class), moderated by CBC’s Amanda Lang (co-host of CBC TV’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange) on the topic of innovation and the future.


Volunteers have a chance to support SFU Public Square through various roles including: volunteer program support, event coordination, photographer, or as communications support. There is also behind the scenes work where office volunteers can get involved and help by contributing to event planning and coordination, design and communications, administrative support, and event promotion. 

For more information on volunteering with SFU Public Square or to submit our volunteer application, please visit:

Posted on February 05, 2015