media release

Competition seeks innovative ideas to address rising sea levels

September 03, 2014

Jon Garner, SFU Public Square, 778.782.9442,
Kamilah Charters-Gabanek, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

As part of its annual Community Summit, Simon Fraser University’s Public Square is hosting RISE, an ideas competition calling for solutions to Metro Vancouver’s rising sea levels. Online registration for the competition, which is open to the public and offers a grand prize of $35,000, begins Sept. 8.

Based on recent reports that predict Metro Vancouver will face a one-metre rise in sea level by 2100, the competition gives participating teams approximately four weeks to develop high-level ideas and designs to address this local challenge.

Up to 100 teams will have the opportunity to present their concepts to both judges and the public at an exhibition on Oct. 19, launching SFU Public Square’s 2014 Community Summit, Innovation: The Shock of the Possible.

In addition to the grand prize of $35,000, prizes of $10,000 each will be awarded for social, economic, and environmental category winners, as well as a secret cash prize for the People’s Choice Award Winner. Winners will be announced Oct. 22 at an evening of discussion with Richard Florida, Ray Kurzweil, and Amanda Lang at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Support for the RISE Competition is provided by Vancouver Foundation through the Smart and Caring Communities Initiative. The fund is 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.

Registration for RISE is free, and is open to residents of B.C. The deadline for teams to submit their innovative ideas is Oct. 6, 5 p.m. Full application details are available online.

Now in its third year, SFU Public Square’s Community Summit brings British Columbians together to investigate and discuss pressing local, national and global issues.

Innovation: The Shock of the Possible explores both the opportunities and challenges presented by innovation, and the role of innovation in Canada’s education, environment, health, and economic sectors. The Community Summit takes place Oct. 19-24 and includes a series of events and dialogues throughout Metro Vancouver.

SFU Public Square is designed to put SFU’s physical, intellectual and virtual capacities to work to support public engagement and deliberation on issues of public concern.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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