This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
Today is the first of three days I’ll be spending at the Social Venture Institute (SVI) Women conference. While the SVI conference at the Hollyhock Centre on Cortes Island has been running for many years, this is the second conference in Vancouver held just for women in businesses or non-profits related to social venture. Needless to say I am SUPER excited to join close to 80 other amazing women for 2 1/2 days of jam packed learning. I also wanted to profile a few of the other attendees, so here is the first of two: Lisa Giroday of Victory Gardens.
Is this your first time at SVI Women?
This is my first time at SVI Women. I’ve heard about SVI many times and have wanted to go ever since the conception of Victory Gardens in March 2012. SVI Women was brought to my attention through the Coast Capital Innovation Hub, which Victory Gardens works out of as one of the 7 social ventures in the program.
Victory Gardens is a Vancouver based worker co-operative that Helps You Grow Food. The business launched in March, 2012 with a keen interest in transforming urban space, as well as to participate in a new food system where we provided the tools to empower people to grow what they eat.
We are a team of urban growers for hire, who build gardens, teach you how to grow in them and grow food for you. All of our work is done in your space, whether it’s a home balcony or yard, restaurant rooftop or school playground and all of the food grown and harvested is for your consumption.
How does Victory Gardens create social change through business?
Victory Gardens loves the idea of helping people connect to our food source and for some, for the first time. We speak about how growing food is a lost art. Gardens, having existed in many homes for generations and generations, became a thing of the past, no longer a part of suburbia or urban environments.
What does food look like? What does food taste like? Why does our food system have to look like this? As the importance of supporting sustainable food systems increase, in both popularity and necessity, Victory Gardens found an opportunity to participate in the change needed to help end the perpetuation of our broken global food system.
We believe that the simple action of food growing has the capacity to change the way people consume in general, as a result of participating in production. The tendency to waste, or to compromise on purchasing organic and locally, or to spend dollars on food that can be grown right at your fingertips, tends to decrease.
Are there any highlights you’re looking forward to at the conference?
I’m very much looking forward to hearing Ratana & Jyoti Stephens from Nature’s Path speak at the conference. The journey from small start-up with very little capital to the successful and socially motivated business they are today, is very compelling to me, at the early stages of growth within Victory Gardens.
What are you hoping to get out of attending SVI Women?
I’m hoping to meet other women in business, who may be or have possible connections to those in need or interest of Victory Gardens’ work. I am also exploring potential collaborative opportunities to further expand the reach of our business.
Join the conversation on Twitter #SVIWomen to see what we are learning!