• Watch Jane and Steven on the Urban Rush discuss PechaKucha, FUEL and the Brand of Vancouver – May 22, 2014

    Jane and Steven recently chatted about their work, the culture of Vancouver, PechaKucha and FUEL on The Rush.

    Thanks to Fiona Forbes and everyone at The Rush for having us!

  • Listen to Sarah Dickinson of THNK talk about FUEL on CKNW


    Our good friend and FUEL partner, Sarah Dickinson recently had a conversation with Mike Eckford on CKNW about THNK – the School of Creative Leadership that she is bringing to Vancouver – as well as FUEL, which she and THNK have been instrumental in creating.

    Some juicy quotes about FUEL

    “It’s pretty damn exciting. This is a rare, rare lineup of an incredible combination of experiences compiled over two days to really discuss and act – that’s the crucial bit.”

    On what makes FUEL different from other conferences:

    “This isn’t about the sage on stage. Our ambition is to create a platform of regular events and experiences for people in the city, both entrepreneurs, thought leaders and also engaged citizens who want to help shape the future of the city and better understand some of the most pivotal shifts that are changing the way that we work, the way that we live and the way that we lead.”

    On the FUEL themes of food, design, sustainability and technology:

    “FUEL’s not like other conferences where it’s sector-specific. What we’re interested in is what’s happening in the muddy, grey, mashup [that happens in between]”

    On FUEL’s place locally and globally

    “We’re bringing together some incredible global folks – from the UK, from the US – and they’re part of that dialogue with local leaders. This isn’t just about what Vancouverites can tell Vancouverites; this is about what Vancouver can learn from the rest of the world and, equally, what can we show the world.”

    Listen to the interview here!

    And get your tickets to FUEL (if you haven’t yet) here. Day 1 is on May 29, so there’s not much time left!

    THNK will be leading the Day 2 creative leadership workshop on May 30 at the Museum of Vancouver, so if you want to hear more from Sarah and other visionary leaders, get your tickets now!

  • Faces of FUEL

    FUEL is less than 3 weeks away, and tickets are going fast!

    Please remember, Day 1 and Day 2 are different formats and can be purchased separately. We completely understand that 2 days is a lot to ask of our entrepreneurial culture. For that reason, we have designed two very different experiences. Choose what suits you best.

    Here are 3 reasons to join us at FUEL:

    1. We all go to events in our own sectors. Green events, food events, tech events, design events. Its comfortable and we know many of the folks in the room. FUEL is your opportunity to get out of your silo and talk about broader shared issues. Fish folks talking to design folks? Something interesting is bound to happen!
    2. Understanding innovation means understanding creativity, FUEL is the beginning of the C-School State of Mind. This is your chance to immerse yourself in both Day 1 and Day 2 to get the full experience!
    3. If you don’t know the faces on this poster below, you should come out and hear their insights and then join them for a drink at the end of the night!

    Faces of FUEL

    This event is for small businesses, leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate intra-preneurs, and engaged citizens who want to know what’s coming next, harness creativity and drive innovation.
    As Keith Sawyer shows in Group Genius, there is a persistent myth of the lone inventor, of the great genius slaving away in obscurity. But this is, indeed, a myth. Innovation usually comes from group interaction, from cross-fertilization between team-members and from rapid feedback cycles. Creativity happens in teams…

    Want to know more on what expect from FUEL Day 1? Check out these two posts.

    1. FUEL Shifts and Daytime Programming
    2. FUEL Dialogues & Evening Programming

    Friends of FUEL
  • Robin Chase of Zipcar and Alex Gilliam of Public Workshop to deliver keynotes at FUEL


    For us, FUEL is more than an event series. It is a tool to examine the world around us and seek answers to big questions like, “where do we want to go as society?” and “how will we get there?” But most importantly, FUEL is a forum to bring together a community in real physical space and time to share ideas and stories.

    Our FUEL Manifesto:
    Inspiration makes you act

    It is our belief that a community that is inspired will engage creatively and collaboratively to improve the way we live, work and play. Through initiatives like FUEL, we plan to positively affect the future of Vancouver and its citizens by improving public awareness and active participation around important global issues that are locally relevant.

    We also strongly believe that we do not have the answers and it is not our role to provide them. Our role is to collaborate on the creation of a platform and curate its content. After that, an organic process begins that is impossible to predict.

    We knew that we couldn’t build FUEL without your input, so over the last three months we have asked about the issues that matter most to you. We received a generous amount of feedback about the topics that you would like to inform FUEL. The majority of feedback consistently fell into two major topic areas:

    “Innovation through the disruption of traditional business models” 


    “Community engagement and the search for authentic city building”  

    We take your feedback seriously and we were able to secure two incredible speakers to bookend FUEL Day One on May 29.

    Robin Chase, Founder of Zipcar, Buzzar and Peers Inc.
    From Boston, Massachusetts


    Robin Chase will deliver a keynote on the collaborative economy. Also known as the “sharing economy,” it continues to gather steam both globally and locally. What could be viewed as a return to more traditional values is actually a trend leveraging technology like never before to take advantage of the excess that exist in our society.

    Read a full interview with Robin Chase at Vancouver Is Awesome

    Alex Gilliam, founder of Public Workshop
    From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    FUEL Keynote Speaker Alex Gilliam

    Alex Gilliam is the founder of Public Workshop, an organization dedicated to helping individuals, schools and communities achieve great things through design.

    His keynote will focus on Great Lessons for Inspiring Civic Innovation, something he has developed an expertise on through his work in diverse communities across the United States.

    Read a full interview with Alex Gilliam at Vancouver is Awesome

    More announcements to come!

    We have much, much more planned for FUEL Day One and will be sharing more about our speakers over the next few weeks. Keep up to date with FUEL over Facebook and Twitter.

    Visit our Picatic site for more information about the FUEL program and to buy your tickets before they sell out. We expect a full house based on tickets sales so far so act now while they last!

  • BRAND LAUNCH: Fairware

    Fairware Changemaker Mugs
    58 billion coffee cups are disposed of in the US each year, but use a travel mug 24 times and you can beat the life cycle impacts of a paper cup. 

    SWAG or Stuff We All Get – things like pens, t-shirts, paper cups, flyers –  is everywhere.

    It’s especially found in our landfills and it’s usually made through unethical labour. If we can influence the way companies buy promotional products and change our own behaviour towards swag, we can make a big effect on our environment and supply chain.

    Fairware Cover image

    Enter Fairware – a Vancouver company changing the way we buy and use swag.

    Fairware are North America’s leading experts on promotional products made to the highest ethical and environmental standards. But they do more than just sell good swag: They design custom promotional campaigns for great clients like Aveda, Patagonia, Nature’s Path and MEC as well as help their clients make the most ethical and sustainable sourcing decisions.

    Unfortunately, Fairware’s old brand led people to believe that they were simply an online store for great promo materials. The most important stories were getting buried under all the swag.

    Our Work for Fairware

    We worked with Fairware as equal parts strategic brand consultants and designers to move them beyond an online store to an agency of experts that can help their clients make meaningful connections with their audience through thoughtful promotional materials. We helped them evolve from sustainability advocates to sustainability experts, making them more capable of effecting positive change.

    Fairware Before and After Brand comparison

    Fairware Brand Collateral

    And we made them look damn good too. We updated their entire brand aesthetic to communicate their expertise, sophistication and fun-loving nature. A new logotype and revised supporting mark, colour palette, photo treatment and updated language formed a brand that was about more than just good stuff – it’s about the conversation between people and companies about the products we too often take for granted and banish to our landfills.

    See more on our Project Page

    Read their announcement on their great blog

  • Gold Medal Award for East Van Vodka’s Packaging Design at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

    San Francisco World Spirits Competition Medallion ArtworkWe’re proud to announce that Odd Society Spirits have just won a gold medal for our packaging design for East Van Vodka at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – the world’s most respected spirit competitions.

    East Van Vodka was among 200 entries and the judges paid particular attention to “the creativity of design, detail and overall congruity.”

    East Van Vodka also won a Silver Medal in the blind tasting category, which was judged by 39 of the finest palates from the spirits industry alongside 1,474 other entries judged. We can’t wait to try their next spirit – Wallflower Gin – and to share the packaging design with you. Coming soon!

    In other recognition news, East Van Vodka has been featured on preeminent design packaging blogs – the Dieline and Lovely Package. We are indebted to local artist Shwa Keirstead for contributing his artwork of ‘Cornelius’ the owl.

    Odd Society Spirits


  • GRAY Magazine – My Northwest: Jane and Steven Cox in Bestie

    GRAY Magazine, April 2014photo 2Cause+Affect founders Jane and Steven Cox were recently featured in GRAY magazine with a photoshoot inside Bestie – the little sausage and beer parlour that could in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

    Jane and Steven talked about their motivation in designing popular events for creatives to the city – including Fuse and PechaKucha Night as well as the upcoming premiere of FUEL.

    GRAY celebrates the most exciting and innovative design coming out of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.

    Read the feature

  • Watch each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 32


    Once again, we’ve uploaded each and every single talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 32 to our Vimeo account for your enjoyment.

    Feast upon the ideas and stories to your curiosity’s content. Share them with your friends. Turn some of that inspiration into action. Meet a stranger. Work abroad. Cook a nice meal. Write a short story. Pay for music. Go build a treehouse or something. Enjoy!


    Erin Ireland – Food reporter and owner of To Die For Fine Foods

    Erin talks about her love of food and path to ‘flexitarianism’.
    Watch presentation

    Connor Lowe – Interactive Art Director at Aritzia and Co-Founder at Give

    Connor talks about interaction design (“I make buttons for a living”) and the four trends that inform his recent work with Give, which can allow anyone to give any amount of money to any artist.
    Watch presentation

    Malcolm Levy – Artist, curator and producer of New Forms Festival and Hybridity Media

    Malcolm talks about seeing the world differently.
    Watch presentation

    Alice Jongerden – Co-Owner of Home on the Range Organics and Raw Milk Activist

    Alice talks about her quest to provide local, sustainable, organic foods, specifically milk from grass fed cows ‘unadulterated in any way’.
    Watch presentation

    Colin Easton – Writer, hobby photographer and Creator of The Stranger Project

    Colin talks about The Stranger Project, where he seeks out a stranger every day and writes about it. The connections made and the stories that come out are extraordinary.
    Watch presentation

    Nikolas Badminton – Principal of DesignCultureMind

    Nikolas rails against our over reliance on screens and demands that you put on a banana suit and go to a rave.
    Watch presentation

    Grant Lawrence – Canadian Broadcaster, Author, Musician

    Grant delivers a talk called: “Hamilton Street: 25 Years of Art, Inspiration and Employment”
    Watch presentation 

    Jen Sookfong Lee – Author

    Jen talks about a life of writing stories and the books, people, history and places that inspire her. But not before thanking a woman in the audience for helping her flush the toilet.
    Watch presentation

    Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo – Co-Founders of Capulet Communications

    Darren and Julie do their work from beautiful locations around the world and you can too!
    Watch presentation

    David Long – Co-Founder of The Practice of Everyday Design

    David talks about the process and unexpected, quirky results of his work in collaboration with his partner at The Practice of Everyday Design. Examples include a mobile office made of discarded debris, a logchop bench in collaboration with a lumberjill and a saddle maker, and trying to win a public art installation competition.
    Watch presentation

    Ian Wojtowicz – Miscellaneous Projects Inc.

    Ian is a graduate of MIT, holds a patent in mobile software, was the founding editor of a cultural magazine published online that pre-dates the world wide web, has taught at Emily Carr and MIT, has exhibited art internationally and has been featured in Wired Magazine. In this talk, he gives us the briefest glimpse into the genius behind  some of his fascinating work.
    Watch Presentation


  • BRAND LAUNCH: Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre

    integrative natutopathic medical centre

    Integrative is one of the most respected naturopathic medical centres in Vancouver.

    But you wouldn’t know if from their old brand, which looked just like every other brand in that sector. Generic, flat, boring. A little wishy-washy. A bit hard to take seriously.

    It certainly didn’t express the experience, ideas or warmth that set Integrative apart from the field.

    To be honest, it didn’t have to for a long time.

    Integrative had a strong base of loyal, referral-making clients based on its founders’ impeccable reputation. However, their reputation didn’t extend to the clinic as a whole, which was a problem for two reasons.

    1. Integrative is more than any one practitioner. Integrative is a team of diverse healing practitioners working together to unite as many healing methods as possible to care for their patients from all angles. As with health, it’s the whole, not the individual parts that define Integrative.

    2. Building a brand solely on the reputation of the people at the top is not sustainable. It’s like building a pyramid with a strong point but a weak foundation. It’s bound to crumble.  A sustainable brand is built to stand for the entire organization and what it believes in. Of course, reputation is essential to brand, but it must be the reputation of more than just its most well-known individual units.

    Our goal was to attract a new generation of patients to an Integrative brand that could rise above the fray and speak for the entire Integrative experience. We needed to create something that could sustain Integrative into the future.

    Brand Foundation
    Built upon the Integrative Model

    The new Integrative brand was built upon the Integrative Model – a healing philosophy that incorporates diverse healing methods to treat each interconnected aspects of health. Each asset was designed to connect together to support this healing philosophy.

    Brand Identity
    The Endless Knot

    Integrative’s new logo is an adaptation of their previous one. The endless knot is an ancient symbol and powerful visual metaphor of the interconnectedness of all things, which drives the Integrative Model. We would have been foolish to discard it, but it did need an upgrade to move the brand out of the spirituality camp and towards the medical authority camp that divides the alternative healing sector.

    We designed a modern aesthetic to communicate the medical expertise of Integrative’s practitioners that also injected the colour, joy and compassion found within the Integrative clinic. This aesthetic extended to the logo, icons, website and print materials.


    When you’re sick, do you call a doctor or an artist?

    The infusion of authority into the Integrative’s aesthetics also extended to its renaming.

    Even though they apply artistry in their care, Integrative’s practitioners are medical professionals, not artists. Therefore, we recommended that they change their name from ‘Integrative Healing Arts’ to Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre to attract serious patients.

    Real care, real people

    We replaced the stock images of smiling senior citizen models holding hands on the beach in white linens with photos by Gwenael Lewis of real people and practitioners in the Integrative clinic to show potential patients something real.

    integrative photography

    Website and Print Materials
    Designed to be a source of knowledge

    The new Integrative site is focused on eight health programs we helped Integrative structure based on the most common health concerns they receive. Bright colours and icons serve to differentiate these programs that bring together many healing practices to give patients full Integrative care.

    integrative programs rack cards

    We also did a lot of copywriting for the site in deep collaboration with the medical personnel to create a rich resource of information for Integrative’s patients.

    We learned a lot through this rebranding process and thank the entire Integrative team for sharing their knowledge with us. We welcome the new Integrative brand into the world and are excited to see it attract the next generation of Integrative patients.

    integrative website

  • Watch each presentation from PechKucha Night Vol. 31

    Overview_Vol31_CA_BlogWe’ve uploaded each talk from PechaKucha Night Vol. 31 to our Vimeo page for your viewing pleasure.

    Watching these talks online doesn’t convey that special feeling you experience as the speakers’ ideas and experiences boil off the stage and arc across 1,200 conscious minds in the Vogue Theatre to ignite a tornado of inspiration. But you can watch them in your underwear. So you’ve got that going for you.

    Enjoy and share.


    Arno Kopecky

    Environmental journalist and travel writer whose latest book, The Oil Man and the Sea recounts his 2012 sailing expedition through BC’s Great Bear Rain Forest where he and photographer Ilja Herb explored the oil tanker routes proposed by the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.
    Watch Presentation

    Ken Tsui

    Ken creates events. In the summer of 2013, he led the cultural rejuvenation of the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market as its program director.
    Watch Presentation

    Dane Brown and Clinton McDougall

    The Co-Founders of Bestie talk about the dreaming, planning, crowd-funding, construction and funny stories that went into creating a German sausage and beer joint in Chinatown.
    Watch Presentation

    Lucia Frangione

    An internationally-produced, award-winning playwright and actor. Vancouverites can catch Lucia performing in Espresso at the Pacific Theatre in May, the Georgia Straight called it: “one of the best scripts ever written by a Vancouver playwright”.
    Watch Presentation

    Judith Marcuse

    Founder and Co-Director of International Centre of Art for Social Change, Judith’s career spans over 40 years of professional work as a dancer, choreographer, director, producer, teacher, writer, consultant and lecturer in Canada and abroad.
    Watch Presentation

    Jenna Herbut

    Jenna Herbut and her brother Chandler are the producers of Make It Productions, which has grown to be one of the largest indie craft shows in Canada with bi annual events in Edmonton and Vancouver.
    Watch Presentation

    Chad Brealey

    An outdoorsman, conservationist and passing grade cook, Chad Brealey created Salt, Fresh & Field in order to discover and share the adventures behind putting food on the table.
    Watch Presentation

    Malcolm Parry

    Malcolm Parry is a professional photographer, has been a Vancouver Sun columnist since 1991 and was editor and/or executive editor of 10 business and general-interest publications, including Vancouver and Western Living magazines.
    Watch Presentation

    Navida Nuraney

    The Executive Director of ArtStarts in School – an organization that promotes art and creativity among British Columbia’s young people.
    Watch Presentation

    Mia Kohout

    CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that celebrates the growing urban transportation cycling movement, with an emphasis on women and families.
    Watch Presentation

    Brady Dahmer and Katie Schaeffers

    Brady and Katie are the dynamic curatorial team behind the Projecting Change Film Festival, a documentary film + speaker series that asks the question: why?
    Watch Presentation

    Devon Boorman

    The Director and Master Instructor of Academie Duello the largest centre for European swordplay and martial arts in the world.
    Watch Presentation