Upcoming Course

Summer 2022: Trust, Money and Power: Funding Change

Full-time, 10 credits (DIAL 390W, 391W)
Program dates: May-June 2022
Location: HC 3050
Time: Monday - Friday, 9AM - 4:30PM


*Students who have completed credits for DIAL 393 and DIAL 394 are not eligible to participate in the program.*


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 is an immersive seven-week student-centered Semester in Dialogue course that will explore 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
  • Youth centered approaches to crowdsourcing

The Semester in Dialogue is a unique program at SFU. In addition to learning about funding change, students will be introduced to the practice of dialogue. Students will learn how to develop keen listening skills and elicit ideas from others by creating a respectful, positive environment. They will also learn 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 will:

  • Host dialogues with foundation CEOs, Indigenous elders, allied professionals, grant recipients, researchers and innovators who are questioning and redefining the philanthropic sector
  • Engage in self-directed learning projects
  • Participate in site visits
  • Build their skills in workshops
  • Reflect weekly on their learnings
  • Draft a fundraising case for support
  • Write a publishable piece
  • Apply their skills in grantmaking as a small group
  • Work as a class to design and deliver a public dialogue on funding the public good

Whether you are a changemaker looking for support for your idea, a curious student who wants to better understand how money can be a vehicle for change, a champion of philanthropy, a design thinker who wants to grapple with a difficult issue, a mature student who wants to direct their wealth in a meaningful way,  a critic of private wealth or a young person who wants to learn in a fun and engaging way, you are invited to join us for this exciting and intensive summer course. 

Instructors Bios

Shauna Sylvester

Shauna Sylvester is the lead instructor for the Trust, Money and Power: Funding Change, the Semester in Dialogue Summer 2022 course.

Shauna is the 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.

As the ED of the Centre, Shauna is committed to excellence in public engagement and hosting difficult conversations. She has served as a convenor and facilitator to hundreds of citizen, community and stakeholder dialogues at the local, national and global level. She has written and edited several publications related to dialogue, foreign policy, social equity and environmental issues and has provided advice to governments and foundations on subjects as varied as climate change, racial equity and justice, media and democratic development.  She looks forward to supporting students in developing their skills in dialogue, facilitation and communications. 

Dr. Jacqueline Koerner 

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. 

Dr. Koerner’s doctoral research was carried out in Bangladesh with the world’s largest, non-profit organization, BRAC. She investigated its integrated charitable and social enterprise approach to poverty alleviation, framed in theories of resilience and place in a globalized economy.

Dr. Koerner is a Director of Foundations for Social Change, a Vancouver-based charitable organization that led North America’s first cash transfer to recently homeless persons. She is Vice-Chair of CIFAR, a Canadian-based, global research organization. As well, she is a director/trustee of three private foundations.

Kris Archie

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.

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