Summer 2022: Semester in Trust, Money and Power: Funding Change
Youth are often told to be the change they want to see in the world. They get an idea about something they want to change then they start to direct their energies to realizing it. A few months later, exhausted by the hours and hours of unpaid time, they get frustrated and their idea gets relegated to the back burner.
What if that weren’t the case? What if young people learned about how to access funding to support their ideas? What if in the act of learning about how to access this funding, they started to question the way in which funding is raised and allocated? And what if, in questioning the way funding is allocated, they started to design new approaches to it?
Trust, Money and Power: Funding Change was an immersive seven-week student-centered Semester in Dialogue course that explored the different ideas about how to fund social and environmental change including traditional grantmaking, philanthropy, Indigenous approaches to giving and reciprocity, other approaches to giving such as giving circles, and youth centered approaches to crowdsourcing
In addition to learning about funding change, students were introduced to the practice of dialogue. Students learned how to develop keen listening skills and elicit ideas from others by creating a respectful, positive environment. They also learned to develop and express their ideas in a way that other people can readily understand and that connects with their concerns.
Over the seven week period, students:
- Hosted dialogues with foundation CEOs, Indigenous elders, allied professionals, grant recipients, researchers and innovators who are questioning and redefining the philanthropic sector
- Engaged in self-directed learning projects
- Participated in site visits
- Built their skills in workshops
- Reflected weekly on their learnings
- Drafted a fundraising case for support
- Wrote a publishable piece
- Applied their skills in grantmaking as a small group
- Worked as a class to design and deliver a public dialogue on funding the public good
Shauna Sylvester was the lead instructor for the Trust, Money and Power: Funding Change, the Semester in Dialogue Summer 2022 course. Shauna is the former Executive Director of Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, a professor of professional practice in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and has over 35 years of experience working in the charitable sector. Shauna loves supporting students through intense experiential learning opportunities and this is the third time she has co-taught in the Semester in Dialogue program.
Shauna is a passionate changemaker. As a grantmaker, social entrepreneur, foundation advisor, fundraiser, volunteer, philanthropist, charitable law reform advocate and educator, Shauna has seen philanthropy from all sides. As a social entrepreneur, Shauna is the Co-founder and first Executive Director of five pan-Canadian initiatives: SFU Public Square, Renewable Cities, Carbon Talks, Canada’s World and IMPACS – the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world. Each of these initiatives has helped frame her understanding of the strengths and shortcomings of the philanthropic sector in Canada.
Dr. Jacqueline Koerner is a Fellow in the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue where she is exploring philanthropy, specifically issues of power, trust, community and transparency. She is excited about teaching in the Semester in Dialogue, drawing on her academic and work experience with undergraduate students at UBC and in the not-for-profit sector. Dr. Koerner has an extensive background in the non-profit sector and in philanthropy, both professional and voluntary, public and private. She is passionate about learning and community engagement, directed at building dignity and justice broadly. Dr. Koerner is a founder, and current Co-Chair, of Ecotrust Canada, a Vancouver-based enterprising charity that works with rural, remote, and Indigenous communities.
Kris Archie, Ts’qescenemc ell Seme7 is passionate about learning, community and liberation. Kris is the Chief Executive Officer of The Circle, a Fellow at the SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and an instructor in SFU’s Continuing Studies Certificate in Community Engagement Program. As CEO of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, Kris has focused on building a national member based organization that is increasingly focused on moving money from settler philanthropy to Indigenous communities, nations, movements and projects. Prior to joining The Circle, Kris was the project manager for the Vancouver Foundation’s youth homelessness initiative, called Fostering Change. Kris is an experienced facilitator and teacher - serving as an instructor in SFU's Continuing Studies - Dialogue and Civic Engagement Program. She was instrumental in the programming of the 2019 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue with Siila Watt Cloutier and will be teaching in the 2022 Summer Semester in Dialogue on New Approaches to Philanthropy.