What's this all about?

SFU’s Vision makes it our mission to be Canada’s most community-engaged research university. Building on the foundation of the 2013 Community Engagement Strategy, our work to integrate community engagement with our academic and research missions has earned local and global recognition. It has created strong partnerships and networks that have produced rigorous scholarship and achieved community impact.

Building on the 2017 Engaging the Vision consultations and extensive conversations among SFU’s faculties and departments, SFU’s renewed Strategic Community Engagement Plan now encourages us to deepen that integration. We are challenged to find ways to localize strategic conversations so that community partners and networks can help guide community engagement in an ongoing way. 

Thoughtexchange is one way to do that. By openly sharing our diverse and concrete thoughts about community engagement with each other and with our partners, we can identify key issues and build mechanisms of continuous improvement for community engagement, together.

Why should I participate?

Deepening SFU's integration of community engagement rests on our ability to develop authentic relationships. Thoughtexchange gives us an innovative opportunity to connect with each other – students, staff, faculty, alumni and partners – in a collective discussion about what works and what needs to be improved. 


  • Enable SFU to better respect your unique needs and constraints in our work together.
  • Join your voice to other partners working with SFU to suggest and discover ways to better include partners like (and unlike) you in decision-making, planning and partnership development.
  • Suggest ways to make working with SFU easier and more enjoyable.
  • Enjoy a unique opportunity to discover what students, staff, faculty and other partners are thinking about how we work together.


  • If you enjoy opportunities to get real experience working on real issues with real communities, this is your chance to tell SFU how to make those experiences better
  • Want more social innovation in your education? This is your chance to join the conversation with SFU staff, faculty, alumni, and partners, and let them all know what matters to you.
  • Do you want to connect your education directly to your neighbourhood, family, and community? Tell us what that should look like, and help us shape the way your community is invited into your education at SFU.

Faculty & staff

  • You have deep knowledge about the hard work it takes to build and sustain community partnerships for research, teaching, learning and community impact. This is an opportunity to share that knowledge, and add to a catalytic conversation that will inspire and expand institutional support for community engagement at SFU.
  • Weigh in on the conversation about how we blend communities and classrooms.
  • Provide anonymous input about how SFU can strengthen and better support your work with your community partners.
  • Help improve the way we manage the “little things” that affect partnership work.
  • Offer your partners this chance to provide anonymous, candid input on the question of what’s working well, and what isn’t, in their work with you.


  • Join a conversation with SFU students, staff, faculty and community partners (you may be several of those, yourself) to shape how SFU works with communities in the classroom and on the ground.
  • Tell us how community engagement should represent the SFU you care about.
  • What would SFU’s approach to community engagement look like if it represented your passion for what SFU can and should become? 

Members of the general public

  • Whether you attend SFU events or not, this is a unique opportunity to tell your local university how to better invite your voice and priorities into its work, especially around projects impacting your neighbourhood or community.

What will be done with the information?

SFU is committed to working collaboratively with you to build the necessary mechanisms, resources, and supports that will keep you connected to a shared vision for community engagement, and that will amplify the success and impact of your efforts. 

Thoughts shared to the exchange will be used to identify opportunities to initiate, deepen, and expand institutional support for community engagement at SFU. When the exchange is over, a summary report will be made available, and invitations to any next steps will be shared.

What is Thoughtexchange ?

Thoughtexchange is an online consultation app built and managed by Fulcrum Management Systems, Ltd., a company based in B.C. The platform is designed to let us respectfully share critical, concrete thoughts with each other and rate them in real time, giving all of us nuanced and immediate feedback about the ideas and experiences we have in common, the ones we don’t, and the areas of community engagement we need to do a better job of supporting.

To learn more about Thoughtexchange, please visit their website: www.thoughtexchange.com