FUEL Vancouver

The Future of Urbanity, the Environment
and our Lifestyle

What to Expect

Uncover new insights about the global and local issues shaping our world across sectors including Design, Technology, Health and Sustainability.

Hear from influential, future‐forward speakers as they share insights, discuss challenges, and describe what’s coming next in a uniquely moderated forum that is bound to shift personal understanding of how we should live, work, and lead.

Immerse yourself in a variety of thought provoking learning labs that will give you real tools for innovation, impact, and success. Connect with others in a dynamic experience and leave armed with inspired clarity.

Exploring the Capitalism + Culture Shift

Each year we explore a macro social, environmental and technological shift as an overarching theme to frame the forum presentations and discussions. For 2015, all of our global keynotes will respond to the shift from ‘Capitalism to Culture’, asking questions like; Is capitalism evolving away from consumption and excess toward a renewal of culture and community?

Learning Labs

The FUEL Learning Labs will give you access to a deeper learning environment with a wide diversity of knowledge, techniques and tools that can be used in your work and life.

The following four learning tracks will be explored: Storytelling, Creative Leadership, Community Engagement and Mind+Body.


Storytelling is critical for distilling complex ideas into meaningful narratives. Learn how storytelling can drive change, shape culture, shift behaviours and engage audiences through a variety of influential media and techniques.

Creative Leadership

The pace of change and the complex issues we face mean that we must to learn how to work and lead comfortably within uncertainty and ambiguity.

Community Engagement

As citizens, businesses and organizations, we need to shift the focus away from our own self interest so we can better shape and serve the kind of community we want live and work in.


In our search for happiness, creativity, performance and leadership, we often leave out one of our most important tools – our own bodies. Expand your mind, transform your experience and make decisions more intuitively by engaging with your body and senses.


We have curated a diverse range of Global innovators and Local experts to participate, present and dicuss the underlying ideas behind the environmental, technological and social shifts affecting our future.

Alexa Clay

Writer. Speaker. Hustler.

Alexa is an expert on subculture and innovation from unlikely places. She is the co-author of The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity from Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs, a book that explores the underground economy and informal innovation. Alexa works to create bridges and opportunities for misfit subcultures within the formal economy.


Matthew Stinchcomb

VP of Values & Impact at Etsy.com

Matt has been an employee of Etsy since its earliest days and oversees their social responsibility programs and works to maximize the positive social, economic and ecological impact Etsy can have in the world. Presently, he is focused on reimagining entrepreneurial education. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and two sons.


Tim Matsui

Emmy-nominated visual journalist and filmmaker

Tim is an Emmy‐nominated visual journalist and filmmaker focusing on human trafficking, alternative energy, and the environment.


Andrew DeVigal

Co-founder of A Fourth Act

Former multimedia editor at The New York Times, Andrew DeVigal is a chair in journalism innovation and civic engagement at University of Oregon School of Journalism & Communication’s Agora Journalism Center. He lives in Portland with his life and business partner, Laura Lo Forti.


Denise Taschereau

CEO/Founder of Fairware

Denise is the co-founder of Fairware, a Vancouver based B-Corp that provides sustainable promotional merchandise to brands that care. She’s passionate about making products and the supply chains that produce them, better.


Dr. Trevor Hancock

Professor + Senior Scholar
University of Victoria

Trevor has been committed to improving health in a socially just and ecologically sustainable manner for more than 40 years. He is a founder of the global Healthy Cities movement and as the first leader of the Green Party of Canada gained a good insight into ecological economics. He is also a keen Morris dancer!


Wesley Regan

Nominee, Green Party of Canada, Vancouver East

Wes Regan is a social entrepreneur, community economic development consultant, and educator. He is fascinated and inspired by the prospects of a new economy emerging within western societies, and the many ideas and practices being put forward by entrepreneurs and activists alike to address our current challenges.


Sebastian Prange

Assistant Professor, Department of History at UBC

Sebastian is a historian working on the intersections of trade, faith, and violence in the medieval Indian Ocean world. At UBC, he teaches courses on the history of India, Islam, and global capitalism.


Claudia Li

Co-founder of Hua Foundation

Hua Foundation, is dedicated to propelling Hua (ethnic Chinese) youth to become social change leaders. It’s home to the food security intitiative, The Choi Project, and the Hua Ren Environmental Network. Claudia founded Shark Truth, a project that used positive reinforcement to redefine cultural values for shark conservation. In 2014, Claudia was awarded the prestigious Global Ashoka Fellowship and this year, has been listed as a BC Business Top 30 Under 30.


Kate Armstrong

Director of the SIM Centre at Emily Carr

Kate has has 15 years experience producing exhibitions, events and publications in contemporary art and technology in Vancouver and internationally. She founded Upgrade Vancouver, and is past acting Executive Director and President of the board of the Western Front (2007-2014). Kate serves on the Inspiration Lab Advisory Council for the VPL and has acted on juries for SIGGRAPH, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Creative BC. Armstrong is an Artistic Director of the 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), which will partner with 15 galleries and organizations to present the work of over 150 artists in Vancouver in 2015.


Jeff Topham

Photographer + Documentary Filmmaker

Jeff has battled bugs in the Amazon, ridden camels in Timbuktu, talked African politics with George Clooney, fished with David Suzuki, and tailed William Shatner around a Star Trek convention. The director of the award-winning documentary Liberia'77, his photographs have been featured in numerous publications and productions around the world. Recent television credits he’s proud of include Eat St. for the Food Network; Border Security for National Geographic Channel and the CTV Olympics documentary series The Difference Makers.


Geoff Dembicki

Lead Sustainability Reporter for TheTyee.ca

Geoff has reported from Beijing, Hawaii, San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. In addition to The Tyee his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, Vice, Salon, Walrus and the Toronto Star.


Matt O'Grady

Editor-in-Chief of BCBusiness

Matt O’Grady has served as Editor-in-Chief of BCBusiness twice, between 2008 and 2011 and since January of 2014. He has also worked for The Globe and Mail in both Toronto and Vancouver, mostly recently running their west coast operations as British Columbia Bureau Chief. Matt has deep ties within the local media industry, having served as a senior editor at Vancouver magazine and Western Living, worked as an online editor for CBC British Columbia, and taught non-fiction writing and editing courses at Langara College and Capilano University.


Daniel Dubois

Founder of ShareShed

Daniel is the founder of ShareShed and a passionate social entrepreneur. In the last year, Daniel spoke on stage at We Day, directed a film series on the collaborative economy, received a monthly grant from the Austrian government to conduct research on the European sharing economy, and traveled to over 25 countries. In his spare time you can find Daniel coaching basketball to the children of False Creek and snowboarding the local mountains.


Trevor Meier

Director of Domain7 Studios

Trevor is a documentary filmmaker from Vancouver, currently occupied with questions of cooperation and reciprocity in our economic system.


Calder Cheverie

Director/Creator of The Peel Project

Calder is a filmmaker and outdoor educator. He is the director of The Peel Project, founder of The Canadian Wilderness Residency Program & co-founder of the Vancouver Outdoor School. He has spent nearly a decade paddling across Canada with a passion for stories, people, and landscape.


Kat Dodds

Founder/Creative Director of Hello Cool World

Katherine Dodds, AKA “Kat”, got her start in advertising at Adbusters, and is most known for her work on the award-winning documentary The Corporation for which she had the ironic title "director of corporate communications." Master mind of both the film’s brand and social impact audience engagement campaign, she recently helped produce a shorter version of the film and spearheaded a crowd-funding campaign to get it free to 1000 schools. Hello Cool World is known for bringing a documentary approach to their effective and heartfelt campaigns in many media, often in the health sector, including campaigning around the film 65_RedRoses.


Laura Lo Forti

Co-founder of A Fourth Act

Laura is a “story midwife”, supporting others through the transformative journey of bringing their personal narratives to life. As a participatory media practitioner, she works with marginalized communities to tell more inclusive stories that spark civic engagement and encourage systemic change. She co-founded A Fourth Act to turn compassion into action, and passive audiences into engaged communities.


Joe Tankersley

Storyteller + Futurist

For over two decades Joe has created stories that educate, enlighten and empower audiences around the world. First as a writer and filmmaker, then as a creator of 3-dimensional story spaces for Walt Disney Imagineering and now as an independent designer of strategic narratives, Joe helps organizations imagine and create better tomorrows.


Erika Gregory

Director of the N Square

Erika is responsible for catalyzing innovation in the nuclear security and non-proliferation arena. Part R&D lab, part venture fund, N Square brings a cross-disciplinary, collaborative approach that reflects Erika’s 20+ years of experience building companies and leading innovation programs for clients in philanthropy, education, government and the private sector in the US, Asia, and Europe.


Sarah Dickinson

Director at THNK

Sarah Dickinson is Director at THNK Vancouver. Sarah is a determined dreamer who helps individuals, brands, and non-profits to design, behave, and lead creatively in her role as Director of THNK Vancouver.


Magda Dominik

Experience Designer + Facilitator

Magda is a voracious innovator committed to designing experiences that provoke and awaken human potential. As an educator, consultant, and experience designer, she is interested in the educational utility of immersive narrative and play. Whether doing leadership development, designing search and rescue training, building immersive games, or as faculty at THINK Vancouver, she is fuelled by serious play.


Kate Sutherland

Executive Leadership Coach at THNK

Kate Sutherland is on a lifelong search for ways to quicken peace and joy. Key threads have been alternative education, economics, community, inner work, and a geeky fascination with group dynamics – groups being a doorway to win-win-win breakthroughs. An author, Kate’s latest book is Make Light Work in Groups: 10 Tools to Transform Meetings, Companies and Communities.


Kari Marken

Educational Designer at UBC

Kari Marken is an Educational Designer at the University of British Columbia, and is also a teacher, consultant, theatre director, and avid city cyclist. She lives in Vancouver, BC.


Amy Robinson + Katja Macura

Founders of LOCO BC

As Co-Directors of LOCO, Katja and Amy implement economic and social sustainability in business. They increase the market share for local business, connect businesses to support each other, and work to even the playing field between local business and their multinational competitors.


Justin Langlois

Artist, Educator + Assistant Professor at ECUAD

Artist, educator, and organizer working across media and social practices. Co-founder of Broken City Lab, an interdisciplinary research collective exploring the complexities of locality, infrastructures, and participation in relation to civic engagement and social change. His practice explores collaborative structures, critical pedagogy, and custodial frameworks as tools for enacting divergent possibilities for gathering, learning, and making.


Emerson Lim

Founder of Karma Teachers

Emerson is a revolutionary karma yogi, a radical yoga philosopher, an ecstatic empowerment leader for at-risk youth and former gang members. He is the founder of Karma Teachers and Karma Teachers College. Currently he is working on his first book set to be published in 2016 and busy spreading #karmarevolution all across Canada.


Mara Branscombe

Dancer. Choreographer. Yogi.

Dancer, choreographer, producer, yogi, nature lover, shamanic healer and mama. Mara leads people in movement and breath techniques to become more balanced, joyful and conscious/connected human beings.


Vanessa Richards

Choir Director for Woodward's Community Choir

Vanessa Richards, MPhil, works as an interdisciplinary arts-based community engagement facilitator. In collaboration with progressive organizations and businesses, or for special events, she develops participatory processes that build the civic imagination and social sustainability. She is the founder and song leader of the Woodward’s Community Singers, a non-auditioned, drop-in choir open to all voices at no cost, established 2009.


Lee Rose

Sherpa at Community Knowledge Exchange

Do-gooder. Canoe-tipper. Dad. Lee is the Sherpa for the Community Knowledge Exchange, an iterative and open approach to building and sharing community knowledge. When not at work, you're likely to find Lee spending time with his three kids, chasing after his runaway dog, or wishing he was paddling a canoe on Lake Temagami.



The Vancouver Playhouse, at 668 seats, is the city’s prime venue for dance, chamber music, film events, and theatre. An intimate performance venue, the Playhouse is the only proscenium theatre of its size in Vancouver.

600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver BC. Entrance at the corner of Hamilton Street and Dunsmuir Street.

FUEL shakes up the conversation, bringing voices in from different sectors and perspectives – to reimagine the future and its possibilities.

Michelle Osry, Deloitte