Join us for our speaker next month as we welcome Shauna Sylvester to our virtual stage.


Shauna Sylvester - Social entrepreneur, facilitator, commentator, and educator


Service to community, to friends and family has always been at the core of Shauna Sylvester’s life. Her resume reads like a great novel, filled with intrigue from overseas stints in conflict zones to the Vancouver “girl next door” who sidestepped becoming a nun to found several non-profits and eventually run for mayor.

Those who know her well will tell you that you can’t describe Shauna in conventional terms. While she is a Professor of Professional Practice and the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, she isn’t an academic. She rejects the ivory tower and works to bring the university into community and the community into the university.

Shauna started out in high school as a peace activist, worked overseas in Bolivia, Ecuador and Indonesia and then shifted her focus in her late twenties to create the kind of work she thought was needed in the world. She then went on to launch and lead five initiatives (IMPACS - the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, Canada’s World, Carbon Talks, Renewable Cities, and the SFU Public Square) while raising kids and caring for elderly parents. She has also served on corporate and non-profit boards along the way - from Vancity, Vancity Capital Corp., Mountain Equipment Cooperative, to the Voluntary Sector Initiative and Tamarack Institute.

Shauna’s feels most at home when she is convening difficult conversations. She is an award-winning facilitator who has designed and hosted hundreds of dialogues related to transportation, housing, land-use planning, democracy, climate change and human rights. She has a passion for cities, a hard-wire commitment to justice and a capacity to create abundance where others see scarcity.