Practivism 4: Collaboration in Sustainable Design

The 4th annual Practivism event casts a spotlight on how interdisciplinary teams are collaborating to mobilize sustainability initiatives. The Society of Graphic Designers Canada, BC Chapter (GDC/BC) has invited local speakers to illustrate how graphic designers, clients, researchers and businesses are working together to reach their social, economic and environmental goals.

Join us for an interactive evening of dialogue about taking design to the next level. Our speakers will share their unique sustainability stories followed by a lively round table discussion. As always there will be plenty of networking possibilities. 

Learn about how graphic design is adding value, supporting and activating sustainability within our own community. Get inspired to connect with others to make change happen! 


Speakers & Roundtable:

Neal Maher

Activating Thisfish.info with Ecotrust Canada

Bio Andrea

Neal Maher is the design lead at Biro Creative in Vancouver, working exclusively on projects for sustainability and social change. He has designed identities, websites, and online campaigns for international clients such as Greenpeace, Avaaz, Global Zero, and the Clinton Foundation, and more locally for The Tyee, Granville Island, and Ecotrust Canada. He studied Design and Printmaking at the University of Alberta in Edmonton before moving to Vancouver to live by the ocean, which makes him feel guilty that he doesn't visit the water more often. Apart from being a part-time letterpress printer and avid cyclist, Neal is extremely uncomfortable writing about himself in the third person (or in any person, for that matter).


Sarah Hay + Kierstin De West

Conscientious Research

Bio Nathan

Sarah Hay and Kierstin De West have been collaborating to make change since 2007.

Sarah Hay is a Vancouver based designer of graphics, objects, experiences and communication strategies for Breavo Creative. Trained as an industrial designer, she works independently in areas spanning graphic communication design, industrial design and creative strategy where her clients/collaborators are involved in protecting and restoring our creative, environmental and local economies. Her graduate work at Emily Carr University explored how the slow movement along with a heightened awareness of time can influence and enrich the design process. She is co-director and communications lead for the Vancouver Design Nerds Society. As Ci’s lead designer and creative strategist, she has worked on numerous projects – translating insights into engaging design narratives for leading brands.

Kierstin De West is the key research + strategic mind at Ci: Conscientious Innovation, a strategic research and information company focused on insight for innovation + business success + positive change. She is an expert and pioneer on the relationship between sustainability, people, culture and brands, how to uncover relevant insights and then translate this insight into business and innovation opportunities for leading brands and organizations. In 2003 she founded Ci with the publication of a white paper called “Integrity: The New Brand Currency that Can’t be Bought or Spun”. Thought leaders such as Coda Automotive, The Oprah Winfrey Network, NBC Universal, Vancity, Global Television, the Advanced Innovation Team (AIT) at Adidas Global, World Changing, Nike Inc, KEEN Footwear, The North Face and more leverage the insight and brand opportunity frameworks of The SHIFT Report.

Kierstin and her team at Ci are passionate about the relationship between people, culture and brands and leveraging that understanding to drive positive change, innovation and business success.

Tobias Ottahal: Learning Karachi

Design, Aid, Culture, Adaptation

Bio KaraIn the fall of 2010, designers Hamza Vora and Tobias Ottahal anticipated teaching a design course at Karachi University, Pakistan. A week before their arrival, the worst floods in Pakistani history broke out, completely changing the premises of the trip. This talk is about what it's like to live and design during the event of a catastrophe and what was learned, both professionally and privately.

Hamza Vora completed his degree in Industrial Design at Emily Carr University, Vancouver in 2009. His recent work explores the value and application of design thinking in cross-community development, cultural identity and its preservation. Cooking is an integral part of his routine. Past projects emphasize his relationship with food, innovation and interactivity at the dining table.

Tobias Ottahal graduated from Emily Carr University in 2009 with a degree in Communication Design. He began designing for social causes by serving as art director for Canada's largest public transit campaign for students, the One Pass Now campaign. He has also been involved with researching the needs of students in post-secondary educations, improving the structure, services and brands of the students' union of Vancouver Community College and the Emily Carr Student's Union.




Reception, Drinks and Networking


Opening Words by Alberto Cayuela, CIRS


Jim Rimmer Community Scholarship Announcement by Hemlock Printers




Break, Drinks and Food




Round table discussion (Moderated by Amanda Gibbs)


Drinks & Networking


Event Details