SFU Public Square is situated at 312 Main, a centre for social and economic innovation in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. We work across all of SFU’s campuses, supporting faculty, students, staff, alumni and diverse communities to convene accessible, innovative and inclusive programming that brings people together to find ways to meaningfully contribute to the issues that affect our lives.
Every year, we collaboratively program dozens of workshops, debates, public conversations, discussion panels and other gatherings. These spaces encourage different perspectives and ways of knowing to collide and influence each other. The experience is transformative, inspiring deeper conversations, igniting networks, building capacity and catalyzing curiosity and concern into advocacy and action.
Our Community Summit is a multi-day exploration of issues that are confounding in their complexity and scale. Through intensive programming that leverages the research excellence of SFU and the expertise and support of our partners and collaborators, the Community Summit raises the profile of a major challenge and its potential solutions in public discourse.
A Community Summit spotlights emergent issues and it brings people together for diverse programming—from a keynote featuring globally-renowned speakers to capacity-building workshops to student-centred dialogues—all with a throughline that builds upon our understanding of an issue. Participants and partners dive deep together and come out more aware and capable of acting on seemingly intractable challenges.
The work done at Community Summits is extensively documented as a resource itself, presents further opportunities for impact and identifies the next challenges on the horizon.