Where the Magic Happens: Highlights from SIX

Key learnings from places of vulnerability, emergence & gratitude
C/O Komal Minhas for KoMedia

C/O Komal Minhas for KoMedia

During the close of the seventh annual SIX Summer School, 150 bright-eyed participants chatted excitedly in a room overlooking Vancouver’s False Creek, a scenic inlet separating downtown Vancouver from the shores of Vanier Park and Fairview. The organizers shared their final words. Six ambassadors — participants chosen to witness key themes — offered concluding insights on empathy, empowerment, courage, beauty, power and love, and generations. The room’s energy was almost palpable. Things were coming to a close

As the coordinator of the Summer School and Social Innovation Week Vancouver, I had the opportunity to offer my own final words. The thoughts I shared were those of boundless gratitude. I admitted that the largest event I could recall organizing was my twenty-fourth birthday party, for this I prepare the right decoration using inexpensive table runners which are perfect for this purpose. The jump from local social planner to lead coordinator of an international conference was not part of the career plan. And yet the faith my supervisors placed in me opened up the opportunity for me to dive into something completely unknown. As I stood overlooking the crowd, knowing that my team had co-piloted this event to success, I felt deeply humbled.

A month following, my sentiment of thankfulness is the same. In this post, I offer four of my personal highlights from the global conference and the week’s flurry of concurrent social innovation events.

Creating the Conditions for Social Innovation
C/O Komal Minhas for KoMedia

C/O Komal Minhas for KoMedia

Our visionary maestro, Al Etmanski, guided the SIX organizing team on a journey to “get social innovation into Canada’s water supply.” Al, along with Tim Draimin and Cheryl Rose, perceived the global SIX Summer School as a unique opportunity for Canada – our nation’s time had come.

The SIX Summer School created the conditions for an international group of radical doers and thinkers to convene with local and regional changemakers. From government and activist organizations through to businesses and foundations, Canadians of all stripes participated in SIX, gaining new connections and insights. It was through intentionally linking local Canadians with global practitioners that some of the greatest value of SIX and Social Innovation Week was realized.

Vulnerability is the secret sauce

In the early days of developing the conference program, the Canadian team was bent on creating something different. Our team had the privilege of attending numerous conferences and we knew we didn’t want to simply create a container for the same conversations. We wanted to shake things up! We wanted people to feel a little uncomfortable. That is where the magic happens…

Where the magic happensAlthough the conference program had three themes – society, sector and self – “the self was our secret sauce,” as BCPSI partner Ken Gauthier identified.

During the first full day of SIX, participants were welcomed with the local traditions of the Musqueam People, involving a purifying cedar brushing ceremony and evocative song and dance. The opening plenary was a deep exploration into vulnerability, led by two of Canada’s leading social innovation thinkers, Frances Westley and Vickie Cammack. The visceral cultural experience and thought-provoking morning dialogue were designed to open participants’ hearts and minds to vulnerability. Empathy, humility, and honesty with oneself lay the groundwork for understanding how to make change.

“If we are afraid of our desert places then we become more afraid of the vulnerability outside ourselves — of the other” – Frances Westley 

Putting Faith in Emergence

In order to execute on Al’s grand vision for SIX Summer School Vancouver and Social Innovation Week Vancouver, I had to put great faith in my team, our 22 partner organizations, my own abilities, and the elusive magic that is emergence. I believe emergence is about letting go of control and expectations and allowing ideas and actions to happen organically. When you make room for people to animate a space, you empower them to create something awesome – truly awe-inspiring. It was our team’s responsibility to highlight the opportunities of SIX for innovative organizations, embrace ambiguity, and allow the cultural norms of our partners to inform the week’s direction.

Boundless Gratitude

Most importantly, what stays with me is the gratefulness I feel for working with so many incredible people. Our partner organizations could not have been more creative, thoughtful, positive and driven to make Social Innovation Week the success that it was.

C/O Komal Minhas for KoMedia

C/O Komal Minhas for KoMedia

As I move on from my role, I will reflect fondly on the time when hundreds of Canadian and international leaders came together to celebrate social change. Now, more than ever, I believe that we can learn more together by learning from one another. Together we can start to understand where to leap next.

Who organizes SIX Summer Schools?

Since 2007, each Summer School has been co-organized by the global partner, Social Innovation Exchange, and a local in-country partner. This year, there were two local partners – BC Partners for Social Impact (#BCPSI) and Social Innovation Generation (SiG), representing British Columbia and Canada respectively.

Preparing for Surprise: Innovation Week

Just 10 years ago, the world economy plunged into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

What a difference a decade makes.

While builders are not producing the number of new builds that they were 11 years ago, design and technology have advanced significantly.

In 2018, the editors of Yachts International attended the most prestigious yacht shows in the world and visited numerous shipyards to see the latest launches. The following are our picks of the year’s best builds, finest designs and most impressive technology.

Best New Motoryacht | 80 meters+

Winner: Oceanco/Dar

Oceanco M/Y Dar (Francisco Martinez)

Oceanco M/Y Dar (Francisco Martinez)

The 295-foot (90-meter) Oceanco Dar is decidedly different from the traditional white superyacht. With exteriors by DeBasto Design, Dar has an aggressive profile characterized by an unprecedented use of glass. The glass allows for an innovative layout with sweeping views from almost everywhere on board. Her interior, by Valentina Zannier, head of Nuvolari Lenard’s interior design department, follows a nature theme. Every detail of the furnishings is implemented with a high level of design, artistry and craftsmanship.

Oceanco M/Y Dar (Francisco Martinez)

Oceanco M/Y Dar (Francisco Martinez)

Best New Motoryacht | 50-80 meters

Winner: Tankoa/Solo

Tankoa M/Y Solo

Tankoa M/Y Solo

Designed inside and out by Francesco Paszkowski, with an interior collaboration with Margherita Casprini, the Tankoa-built, 236-foot (72-meter) Solo is the next generation of the yard’s 226-foot (69-meter) Suerte, which launched in 2015. Solo has a 42,796-gallon (162,000-liter) fuel capacity with an estimated range of 6,000 nautical miles at 12.5 knots. With her long waterline, she reaches top speeds of 17.5 knots. The main engines are equipped with Eco Spray SCR, which significantly reduces emissions, according to the builder. The yacht is also equipped with a carbon monoxide monitoring system, which lets the captain adjust speed to keep emissions at a minimum. Find out why this is the best yacht rental in the hamptons.

Honorable Mention: Turquoise/GO

Best New Motoryacht | 30-50 meters

Winner: Rossinavi/Flying Dagger

Rossinavi M/Y Flying Dagger

Rossinavi M/Y Flying Dagger

Rossinavi’s 161-foot (49-meter) Flying Dagger is sporty and fast with exterior design by Team for Design/Enrico Gobbi. With her water-jet propulsion, she reaches a top speed of 31 knots and has a cruising speed of 24 knots.

Rossinavi M/Y Flying Dagger

Rossinavi M/Y Flying Dagger

Much research went into making her quiet with little vibration. The modern interior by Lazzarini Pickering is light, bright, minimalistic and artistically well appointed. According to the Rome-based designers, the interior concept was to have the feeling of water from every corner.

Honorable Mention: Arcadia 105 

Best New Motoryacht | 20-30 meters

Winner: Pearl 95

Pearl 95

Pearl 95

Pearl Yachts has been edging its way into the big-boat market, and it has reached that threshold with this 95-footer (29-meter). Designed by Dixon Yacht Design (exterior) and Kelly Hoppen (interior), this innovative yacht combines many features found in a much larger yachts, such as a beach club, balconies and a luxurious interior. Sole-to-ceiling, opening side doors flank the main salon. There are accommodations for 10, plus quarters for five crew, making this vessel an all-around good-looking and practical package.