Photo credit: Ecstaticist on Flickr

RISE is an open ideas competition addressing sea level rise in Metro Vancouver. It’s a way for anyone in our diverse community to develop innovative ideas that will help us to adapt and thrive – faster than the waters that surround us. SFU Public Square is proud to host RISE through the generous support of Vancouver Foundation’s Smart and Caring Communities Initiative. Our aim is to raise awareness of this important issue and provide the space for innovative ideas to emerge.

Sea level rise is a problem we can’t afford to ignore in Metro Vancouver. Recent reports predict the ocean that surrounds our communities will rise by 1metre by 2100(1), putting housing, transportation and ecosystems at major risk while causing significant economic losses(2). Adapting and thriving in the future will rely on putting our best creative and practical minds together. That’s where you come in.


1. Accept the challenge

There are lots of ways to think about sea level rise. The ideas competition is designed to be broad enough to allow for multiple perspectives on the issue, rewarding ideas that deliver balanced and meaningful benefits. Head over to the challenge for all the details on your brief, and read more about the judging criteria to find out how your ideas will be scored. 

2. Register your team

Sea level rise is a big problem in more ways than one. So having some friends on board will help. You’ll need a handle on the science, the policy, some creativity, and some technical know-how. A flair for communication and a sense of humour wouldn’t hurt either. Read more about how to register, and sign up quickly to avoid missing out.

3. Submit an idea

You’ve got some ideas. Hopefully you’ve checked out how it could work and come up with an interesting way to communicate it to the judges and the public. Now it’s time to wrap those ideas up into your competition entry. Check out the information on how to submit and make sure it’s in by the deadline.

4. Get votes

Once all the entries are in, public voting begins. We will create a project page for you to share via email and social media to your network, and your network’s network. The most voted entry by the end of the competition will win the 'People’s Choice’ prize.

5. Pitch to the judges

On Sunday October 19th 2014 we invite all competition participants to exhibit their ideas and pitch them in person to a diverse group of experts from the worlds of government, media, and yes – you guessed it – sea level rise. Find out more about exhibition day and ensure your entry meets the judging criteria.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU ($$$ in prizes)

SFU Public Square is offering several prizes including $35,000 for the Grand Idea Winner, and $10,000 each for our Social, Economic, Environmental, and People's Choice category prizes.

Need more inspiration? How about the chance to rub shoulders with key figures in government and climate science, potential recognition for your ideas via media coverage, and networking opportunities to move your idea forward towards implementation.



Like the issue of sea level rise itself, there is no time to waste. Following some or all of the steps below is a great way to get started.

  • Sign up for email and don’t miss out when registration opens
  • Get your team together and register
  • Familiarise yourself with the competition timeline
  • Follow the #RISEIDEAS hashtag if you use Twitter
  • Start thinking about how you will solve the challenge
  • Get in contact - we can answer your questions!


Supported by Vancouver Foundation

Vancouver Foundation is pleased to provide support for the RISE Competition through the Smart and Caring Communities Initiative - a fund designed to support programs focused on connecting and engaging residents at the neighbourhood level, and that harness the gifts of energy, ideas, time, and money to make meaningful and lasting impacts in communities.


1. BC Ministry of Environment (2011) / Climate Change Adaption Guidelines for Sea Dikes and Coastal Flood Hazard Land Use: Draft Policy Discussion Paper

2. Hallegatte, S, Green, C, Nicholls, RJ, Corfee-Morlot, J, (2013) Future flood losses in major coastal cities, Nature Climate Change, Vol 3, pp802–806 doi:10.1038/nclimate1979

Community Summit Premier Sponsor

SFU Public Square Founding Council Member

Stephen A. Jarislowsky

Community Summit Media Sponsor

Community Summit Supporting Sponsors


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