Paola Ardiles

Senior Lecturer Social Innovation and Community Partnerships

Health Sciences

Paola Ardiles

Senior Lecturer, Social Innovation and Community Partnerships

Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Community-Engaged Education and Research; Knowledge Mobilization; Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Experiential Learning and Teaching; Health Promoting Universities; Organizational Development; Justice, Equity and Inclusion.


  • BSc (Honours), Psychology, University of Toronto
  • MHSc, Health Promotion, University of Toronto
  • Diploma, Investment for Health: Integrating Health in All Policies, University of Padova & WHO European Office for Investment in Health & Development
  • Diploma, Global Health Diplomacy, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
  • MBA, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University
  • PhD (c), Faculty of Health, Torrens University


Paola Ardiles (she/her) is a practitioner scholar focusing on building innovative, collaborative, and inter-sectoral approaches in health promotion policy, practice, research and education. Paola’s passion is to create partnerships and facilitate dialogue in order to foster the development of practical and creative upstream solutions to tackle complex public health challenges.

Ardiles founded Bridge for Health in 2013 as a local and global self-organized network promoting public engagement and community health. In 2016, Bridge for Health became a cooperative association with the mission to advance social innovation as it relates to health equity. Bridge for Health Cooperative received SFU’s 2017 Coast Capital Savings Venture-Social Impact prize for its efforts to advance wellbeing practices in the workplace. Ardiles continues to lead the co-op, which now focuses on building equity-centered practices in workplace health, engaging racialized youth in policy making regarding health, and using arts-based approaches as a decolonizing practice in health promotion.

In 2021, Ardiles was recognized as a long-standing faculty champion for the SFU Healthy Campus, supporting the creation of an inclusive and safe learning environment that promotes student and community wellbeing. Recently in her role as the Faculty Teaching Fellow, Paola co-led various research projects to strengthen community-engaged learning and teaching at SFU, as well as the co-development of an anti-racism capacity building initiative for faculty and staff. Currently, Ardiles is an Associate with the SFU's Wosk Centre for Dialogue and the Co-chair of Participedia Teaching Training & Mentoring Committee, a global network focused on public participation & democratic innovations.


Since 2015, Ardiles has been developing and teaching participatory and community-based experiential courses at Simon Fraser University (HSC 855: Health Promotion in Practice; HSC 449-Community and Health Service; HSC 495: Applied Health Science Project; HSC 897: MPH Capstone) including the co-design of the Health Change Lab, in collaboration with SFU RADIUS and the Beedie School of Business, City of Surrey, Fraser Health and many community-based organizations. The Health Change Lab is an experiential program to help students identify community health challenges and co-design innovative and entrepreneurial solutions.

In 2021, Ardiles co-designed the new Capstone course of the Master of Public Health; where interdisciplinary student teams work with community partners to address complex and pressing public health challenges. All of the courses have been built on the foundations of equity centered design and community participation.

Research & Knowledge Mobilization

Ardiles has both led and collaborated in various knowledge mobilization and research initiatives related to health promotion, education, policy and social innovation. Currently, Ardiles is the principal investigator of an arts-based community-based research project Art on the Go to promote newcomer youth engagement in policy making related to improving road safety in Surrey. She is also the co-principal investigator of a community-based study understanding experiences of exclusion for foreign trained health professionals.

Ardiles’ educational research spans from studies aimed to strengthen democratic practices in teaching and learning at SFU, by understanding systems level policies and practices impacting student learning; to peer reviewed studies assessing student experiences of educational innovations she has co-designed such as the Health Change Lab and the Surrey CityLab, working alongside diverse community partners in Surrey.

Honours & Awards

Mar 2021 – Simon Fraser University
SFU Healthy Campus Community Champion Award, Faculty of Health Sciences 

Sep 2019 – Simon Fraser University
Excellence in Undergraduate Studies Teaching Award, Faculty of Health Sciences 

Feb 2018 – Simon Fraser University
SFU’s Inaugural Award-President’s Social Media Newsmaker of the Year

Dec 2017 – Health Promotion Canada
Inaugural National Health Promotion Mid-Career Award

Nov 2017 – TD Bank Latinos in Leadership and the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance
TD’s 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians for 2017

Mar 2017 – Surrey Board of Trade
Women in Business-Social Trailblazer Award   

Sep 2012 – Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division
Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award of Distinction                            


View Paola Ardiles' publications here.