• Watch each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 34 – part of Vancouver Design Week


    As part of the city’s inaugural Vancouver Design Week, we assembled a diverse roster of local designers to the PechaKucha Night stage to speak about their experiences, philosophies, inspirations, stories, victories and follies.

    It was a great night and we are happy to be able to share the presentations with you on our vimeo account.


    Ian Ross McDonald – Architect at Bruce Carscadden Architect
    Watch presentation

    Inge Roecker – Architect at ASIR
    Watch presentation

    James Brittain – Senior Equipment Designer at MEC
    Watch presentation

    Corrine Hunt – Artist, Designer
    Watch presentation

    Jeff Harrison – Founder + Creative Director at 123w
    Watch presentation

    Dr. Ron Burnett – President of Emily Carr University
    Watch presentation

    Becki Chan – Designer, Maker and Curator
    Watch presentation

    Nancy Bendtsen – Owner of Inform Interiors
    Watch presentation

    Isabelle Swiderski – Principal + Creative Director at Seven 25
    Watch presentation

    Ola Volo – Artist + Illustrator
    Watch presentation

    Afshin Mehin – Founder, WOKE
    Watch presentation

    Remember to sign up for the PechaKucha newsletter for the latest information about upcoming events and speakers!

  • Vancouver Sun – Talking and thinking design


    Mayor Gregor Robertson made it official last night, proclaiming September 15 – 28 as THE Vancouver Design Week at the Urban Design Awards. Congratulations to all winners and nominees.

    On the heels of that comes this article in the Vancouver Sun looking at the ideas and events behind Vancouver’s first design week.

    “Vancouver’s first Design Week encompasses architecture, interior design, graphic design, food and fashion

    Design affects us every minute of the day: From the way we feel about a room we’re in, a chair we’re sitting on, a park we’re walking through, or what we’re eating. This intensifies in urban environments, where everything we encounter has been deliberately sculpted in some way.

    To get Vancouverites thinking and talking about the importance of good design, a number of citywide design events begin on Monday, as part of Vancouver Design Week. The festival runs for two weeks (Sept. 15 to 28) opening with the City of Vancouver’s inaugural Urban Design Awards — awarded to 10 projects demonstrating excellence in architecture and urban design — and ends with the 10th annual Interior Design Show West (IDS West), which showcases local and international interior design talent, over four days, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.”

    – Rebecca Keillor

    Check out a full list of events on the Vancouver Design Week website for more details.

    Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun  

  • Announcing the First Annual Vancouver Design Week

    “Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. It influences the outcome of almost everything we do, often without our being aware it has done so. . . yes despite its power, design is frequently treated as if it didn’t matter by being trivialized, misunderstood and undervalued…”

    – Alice Rawsthorn, Design Critic, New York Times

    Vancouver Design Week
    September 15 – 28, 2014

    Vancouver is home to a long list of world-class designers and innovators, and punches far above its weight in terms of creating ideas that have spread across the world.

    An outsider looking into our city would probably assume that we had a bright, vibrant and celebrated design community. Yet many of our great designers are unknown, undervalued and disconnected. 

    Vancouver Design Week was designed to redress this. It’s a city-wide festival to celebrate established and emergent design talent; to spotlight design innovation in all its forms; to cross-pollenate and empower designers across disciplines.

    Programming will be broad and include talks, tours, awards, workshops, open houses, exhibits, parties and pop ups. Some events will be intimate affairs and some will be large scale celebrations.

    Our role in Vancouver Design Week 

    Our very own Jane Cox is a co-director of Vancouver Design Week, working closely with director Jennifer Cutbill, an intern architect at Dialog and Board Member of LoHA who has been leading the charge to create a special week to celebrate design in our city.

    As key partners of Vancouver Design Week, Cause+Affect designed its brand and communications assets including the website alongside the great people at Denim and Steel.

    PechaKucha Night Vol. 34 as part of Vancouver Design Week

    As part of Vancouver Design Week, we are holding a Special Edition PechaKucha Night on Sept 18th. Twelve local design thinkers of diverse backgrounds will share their stories and inspirations as we explore the many ways to consider ‘design’.

    PK34_Web_finalTickets for PechaKucha Night Vol. 34 will go on sale Thursday, August 21 at 10:00AM at the Vogue Theatre and Northern Tickets.

    Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Twitter to get the latest news, including the announcement of speakers and band.

  • INTRODUCING: Wallflower Gin from Odd Society Spirits

    Allow us to introduce the newest spirit from Odd Society Spirits: Wallflower Gin is now ready to imbibe and we are very proud to have provided its name, packaging design and copywriting.

    Like East Van Vodka and Odd Society’s Crème de Cassis, Wallflower Gin turned out to be one of the most interesting spirits of its kind and we can’t recommend it enough.

    About the name and design

    The name Wallflower comes from two concepts. The first is the gin’s floral nature given the botanicals selected by distillers Gordon Glanz and Joshua Beach, including its namesake the coastal wallflower.

    The second concept revolves around Wallflower as a character we imagined the gin to represent. A shy coastal beauty, Wallflower prefers intimate conversations over being the centre of attention. She quietly observes rather than brashly acts. Wallflower is wise, elegant and enigmatic. Think Athena at a dinner party.

    We expressed the Wallflower character through a shapely vessel with a rich and regal purple and silver label with floral embellishments to evoke the classic flourishes of Old World designs, but with a modern take ­to tell the story of Odd Society’s commitment to tradition in the face of its need to innovate.

    This complex story is told in full when you bring the gin to your lips.

    About Wallflower Gin

    You have not tasted gin like this before.

    Unlike most gins which are made by adding botanicals to neutral grain spirit, Wallflower is made from the grain up with a BC-grown barley spirit infused with botanicals from around the world and our own back yard through a combination of two gin-making methods – called maceration and vapour extraction, if you want to get technical.

    It’s a complicated process that took a lot of research and trial and error to develop, but one that is well worth it.

    “Because we make our gin from scratch, we have a greater understanding of each ingredient,” says distiller Joshua Beach. “Making this gin took a great amount of research, patience and care as we wanted to distinguish the delicate nuances of each floral component.” (From Scout Magazine)

    Early reviews of Wallflower Gin have been wildly positive, and we can attest that it is sensational, especially in a gin and tonic. According to its creators, Wallflower ‘starts with a floral nose, followed by a strong juniper body and ends with a slight spicy, peppery finish.’

    Get your bottle at Odd Society Spirits’ distillery and lounge as well as select liquor stores. Don’t forget to ask for it at your favourite bars and restaurants and be on the lookout for Odd Society at your local farmer’s market. 

    Read about the packaging design and copywriting for all of Odd Society Spirits




  • BRAND LAUNCH: Fresh Roots

    Fresh Roots brand

    Fresh Roots grows communities by growing food. They use urban agriculture to turn underused spaces into places where everyone can gather to enjoy the foods that unite us.

    You may have heard of their schoolyard market gardens, the first of their kind in Canada and a big reason why Fresh Roots received the Vancouver Award of Excellence in Greenest City Leadership this year out of over 130 other organizations.

    Developed with the Vancouver School Board, the schoolyard market gardens are commercially productive gardens on school grounds. The food they produce goes to the school cafeteria, local restaurants and the community through on-site markets and a veggie box program. The market gardens themselves also serve as outdoor, hands-on classrooms with professional development for teachers hosted by Fresh Roots.

    We were lucky enough to work with Fresh Roots to develop their brand strategy and visual identity to elevate their awareness and credibility to help them attract more partners so they can create more community market gardens.

    The Fresh Roots brand was built on three core concepts:

    People before plants

    The most important thing to understand about Fresh Roots is that growing community is the end goal. Food and gardens are just the best means to get there.

    Therefore, the brand had to lead with human life interacting with food. Photos of veggies popping up out of neatly planted rows may be beautiful, but they don’t tell the Fresh Roots story. Fresh Roots is hands in the dirt, people sharing food, cooking together, telling stories. It’s the relationship around the growing of food that counts, not the act of growing.


    Earthworms, bookworms and … boardroom worms

    Another thing that sets Fresh Roots apart is their incredible capability in many different fields. They’re not just great farmers, they’re community builders, educational programmers, facilitators, policy makers and social entrepreneurs.

    They’re making change at all levels and the brand had to communicate this broad competence as one package in its language and imagery.

    Joie de vivre

    The Fresh Roots brand also had to be fun. It had to be passionate. It had to represent the deep, deep joy that the Fresh Roots team brings to all it takes on. We wanted the colours to smile and laugh just like the people it stands for.

    Joy of Fresh Roots

    Fresh Roots is an incredible organization and we can’t say enough good things about their work. Now that they’re equipped with a brand that reflects their values and personality, they can tell their story to more people and bring more communities together through the the joys of growing food.

    See the project page for more images.


  • Watch each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 33


    Once again, we’ve uploaded each and every single talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 33 to our Vimeo account for your enjoyment.

    It was a hot summer’s eve, but the Vogue Theatre was packed with hungry minds who feasted on ideas and concepts such as hacking as a mindset, experimentation and failure, the power of music to connect us, looking at earth from a different perspective, working out loud, urban agriculture, Canadian cuisine and the legacy of Shakespeare.

    Get to know the speakers

    Sam Chandola – Founder and CEO of Victory Square Games
    He has spearheaded the production of 30 ultra casual games for Microsoft and BlackBerry and earned his company a Top 10 Small Business BC award for Best Workplace.

    Watch Presentation

    Sandra Singh – Chief Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library
    Since joining the library in late 2010, Sandra has been leading VPL as it re-imagines its services and enhances the community’s access to information and learning opportunities.

    Watch Presentation

    Laura Barron – Director of Instruments of Change
    Instruments of Change is a Vancouver non-profit that teaches rock music to women in prison, leads dance workshops with seniors and facilitates writing and theatre projects with immigrants and youth.

    Watch Presentation

    Scott Larson – CEO and Co-Founder of Urthecast
    Urthecast operates two cameras onboard the International Space Station that streams imagery in realtime for uses ranging from humanitarian relief to resource monitoring.

    Watch Presentation

    Kevin Lee Royes – Soulcial-Preneur
    Also an inventor, Kevin has launched businesses and had customers such as Nike, Home Depot and the Museum of Modern Art and aired a historic episode on Dragons’ Den where he was called “…the best business ever…” on the show.

    Watch Presentation

    Lital Marom – Co-Founder and CEO of Beyond
    Beyond is Lital’s platform to use human-centred design to break the silos between those who make games and those that play them. The result is sandbox experiences to foster children’s creative confidence, moving beyond current stereotypes and limiting narratives.

    Watch Presentation

    Christopher Gaze – Actor and the Artistic Director of Bard on the Beach
    Bard on the Beach is one of the most successful not-for-profit arts organizations in North America, with attendance exceeding 91,000.

    Watch Presentation

    Emerson Lim – Founder of Karma Teachers
    Karma Teachers is a first of its kind, non-profit Yoga studio and movement that makes Yoga accessible to all, bringing local Yoga teachers together to offer free or by donation yoga classes.

    Watch Presentation

    Jonathan Anthony – Corporate Disorganizer at Teekay Corporation and blogs about personal branding, social business and the future of work at This Much We Know.

    Watch Presentation

    Seann Dory – Co-Director and Co-Founder of Sole Food Street Farms
    Sole Food Street Farms is a social enterprise that provides jobs and agricultural training for people in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

    Watch Presentation

    David Pay – Artistic Director of Music on Main
    The UK’s Gramophone Magazine writes that Music on Main “provides western Canada with one of the finest windows onto the post-classical scene” and the Huffington Post says David’s programming has “spanned the range of human experience.”

    Watch Presentation

    Jimmy Stewart – Chef of Blacktail Florist
    Jimmy was raised in North Vancouver and has cooked at Lumière, at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, the lauded 2 Michelin-starred Ledbury and the Bearfoot Bistro where he began to create his concept of Canadian Cuisine. He is now the Chef at Blacktail Florist.

    Watch Presentation

  • CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: Protect Our Great Bear Sea

    We are proud to announce the launch of the Protect Our Great Bear Sea campaign we created for the David Suzuki Foundation, WWF Canada, Living Oceans Society and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

    It’s our first opportunity to work with these incredible organizations and we’re honoured to help them with a cause we deeply believe in – the conservation of our oceans.

    BC Needs a Plan for Our Ocean 

    The campaign asks British Columbians to support the plan to protect the Great Bear Sea, one of the richest marine ecosystems left on the planet.

    Over the past few years, the Province of B.C and 18 First Nations have been working in partnership to make plans to protect the Great Bear Sea, creating zones of wildlife protection, ecosystem protection as well as ecotourism, aquaculture and renewable energy zones.

    It’s a desperately needed plan, particularly given the recent Enbridge approval. Currently only 3% of the Great Bear Sea is protected and without a plan this world treasure could be spoiled by overfishing, ocean acidification, climate change and pollution.

    This summer, the B.C. Provincial Government will meet to decide whether to adopt these plans to protect our Great Bear Sea. This campaign seizes on a historic opportunity to hold our elected officials to their commitments and put a long-lasting plan in place for our ocean ecosystems.

    Send a message to the Government of B.C. that British Columbians want a planned and protected Great Bear Sea.

    Make Leonardo DiCaprio proud. He just pledged $7 million towards the establishment of marine reserves on the same day President Obama announced he would expand marine sanctuary protections in the Pacific.

    About the Campaign

    You are likely inundated with environmental campaigns. We know we are. Not that we’re complaining. We are in a important fight – one that will define our times. But sometimes the fervour, the negativity, the doom and gloom can all blur together.

    The Protect Our Great Bear Sea campaign was designed to be positive and fun to differentiate it from the crowd. The plan to protect our Great Bear Sea has been developed already – we just want to make sure it goes through with the proper amount of ecosystem protection. With a slight nudge, we think British Columbians would be eager to let their elected officials know that they care and that they’re paying attention.

    To encourage that, we wanted people to think about the future of our ocean not in the abstract, but through the love they have for their children and their own emotional attachment to the Great Bear Sea.

    The ocean provides so much for British Columbians. It shapes our culture, fuels our economy, is a source of joy and inspiration. It defines who we are.

    We felt that the ‘Kids’ dreams for our future’ ads tapped into that. They’re being shared widely over social media by our clients and can be seen on billboards, buses and bus shelters in Vancouver and Victoria so they’ll be seen by key decision makers.

    In late July, we’ll release a video component to the campaign, which we’re currently working on with the talented men of Salazar.

    Stay tuned for more to come and Send a message to Protect Our Great Bear Sea.

  • Listen to Jane talk about Cause+Affect, PechaKucha, FUEL and the culture of Vancouver with Mike Eckford on CKNW


    Just a few days before our very first FUEL event, Jane sat down with Mike Eckford of The Shift on CKNW to talk about her work at Cause+Affect, the production of PechaKucha Night, the future of FUEL and the culture of Vancouver.

    On Vancouver as a project:

    “When we came to Vancouver [from London, England] we saw it as a blank canvas of opportunity. I think a lot of the initiatives and work that we’ve done and the clients we’ve worked with … .the work we’ve done is very much based on the idea that we can create the society we want to live in. We’ve almost felt that Vancouver is a project in itself”

    On how Cause+Affect tackles branding:

    “We are a brand consultancy so we do help large organizations and smaller entrepreneurs create their brand and what that is is really helping their culture – really ‘who are we?’ and ‘what do we stand for?’ and ‘what are our values and principles?’ – often it’s very interesting from an outside perspective looking in and saying ‘who are you guys?’ and they say ‘we don’t really know!?’

    On FUEL and how it differs from PechaKucha Night:

    “FUEL is a forum to examine, as a society, where do we want to go and how are we going to get there? We’re bringing together not only local leaders and innovators but also global innovators to Vancouver and I think that’s very different from PechaKucha, which is local for local. This is now connecting Vancouver to the rest of the world.”

    “When we are speaking at FUEL about the entrepreneurial spirit and culture, we’re not just talking about small business owners, we’re actually speaking about that spirit that is innovative and creative. I think this is new force of change makers that exist in the city.”

    Listen to the full interview:

  • Vancouver Sun – Food, design, tech, green sectors collide at conference

    Great coverage of FUEL just a few days before its premiere in the Vancouver Sun:

    “The two-day conference, to be held Thursday at Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and Friday at Museum of Vancouver, will bring together leaders and innovators from all over the world and people from the local food, design, technology and green economy sectors, to see where sparks fly. Planning the structure and content of the event was a collaborative exercise that allowed potential attendees to tell organizers what they wanted to talk about.

    The top priority topic identified by the process was “innovation through the disruption of traditional business models”, according to conference organizer Jane Cox.

    Power used to flow from the top — governments or old-school highly capitalized businesses — but there are indications that a new class of consumers is no longer prepared to play ball by the old rules. And they are supporting collaborative business models and co-creative product development by the millions, said Cox, co-founder of the brand management firm Cause+Affect and the urban salon series Pechakucha Vancouver.”
    -Randy Shore

    Read the full article

  • The Creation of FUEL, The Future of Urbanity, the Environment and our Lifestyle. For-profit, Non-Profit, Social Enterprise? Our search for the model that works for us.

    Jane and I founded Cause+Affect 10 years ago and our work has always fallen in two different but overlapping categories.

    On one hand, there is the brand, design and communications work we do for private clients. This is how we pay the bills and are lucky enough to work with clients we admire, on projects we believe in.

    On the other hand, we create our own initiatives and projects to fulfill our own creative desires. These projects – such as Movers and Shapers, KeytoVan, PechaKucha Night and, most recently, FUEL – have focused on adding to the culture of Vancouver, highlighting the people that are doing good work and, most importantly, physically bringing people together to inspire community.

    These projects have always fallen under the Cause+Affect corporate brand as they support our overall vision and values. The big difference between these and our other projects is that they have a very different client – the general public.

    Can you do good work as a for-profit entity?

    In our early days, we discussed the creation of a not-for-profit arm of Cause+Affect to take on these public-facing projects. It seemed like the right thing to do based on our limited understanding of business models and our belief that these projects were for the greater good, not profit.

    We quickly discovered that the not-for-profit structure was actually quite time consuming and didn’t match the entrepreneurial “just do it and see what happens” nature of our agency. Long lead-time grant applications, committees, boards and other bureaucracy challenged the way we liked to do things and we found that we could do more and do it more efficiently under our existing business structure.

    But this meant that we were doing “good work” in an entrepreneurial fashion, which brings its own set of challenges – mostly risk.

    What if you build it and they don’t come?

    See, there is little risk when you have a grant in place. Yes, there is the risk that you won’t get it ever again, but you have certain guarantees in the meantime. With our work, the only way we survive is if people show up to our events. This means that we have challenged ourselves to satisfy two different objectives: satisfy the needs of the client (the audience) AND our own personal goals of making change.

    Another challenge is that our corporate structure can distract people from our good intentions with discussions around profit-making. The success of PechaKucha night, for example, has led people to suspect that we are generating vast sums of money from what is intended to be a non-profit event.

    The reality is quite different. We actually calculate our production costs based on 1/2 rate fees of our staff, with Jane and I volunteering our time. At these rates, only a sell out event will allow us to break even with those costs or run the event non-profit.

    This is only possible if we sell every single ticket. If we fill just half the seats, we absorb the cost.

    The success of PechaKucha Night has been a wonderful opportunity for us and we have greatly benefited from it and are grateful. But it is not a profit-making venture.

    Could FUEL turn profit into fuel for social innovation?

    With the launch of FUEL, we are thinking differently. We want FUEL to be a vehicle for action. That action needs funding and we want FUEL to be able to provide that funding.

    Therefore, we have structured FUEL as a social enterprise – an undertaking that can be for-profit, but focuses on addressing social issues and seeks to provide systemic solutions to achieve a sustainable, social objective.

    While a business entrepreneur measures performance in profit and return, we will measure FUEL’s success in terms of the impact we have and its ability to use profit and return for the greater good.

    As FUEL grows and eventually (hopefully) makes a profit, we want to work with our community to put that profit to use. We envision a FUEL fund to distribute funding across initiatives developed through the event series.

    But for now, we are concentrating on trying to build a sustainable business model….walking before we can run.

    We hope to see you May 29 at the Vancouver Playhouse for FUEL Day 1 and at the many events to come.