Mothers as a Catalyst of Change: Inspiration from Around the World              

A conference presented by HIPPY Canada and the BC Association of Family Resource Programs

BannerDate: November 25 – 27, 2015

Location: Please note the two different locations for the conference:

Opening Night, Nov. 25th at 6pm at the SFU Segal School of Business – 500 Granville St. Vancouver (map)

Thurs. Nov. 26th and Fri. Nov 27th at SFU Harbour Centre – 515 West Hastings St. Vancouver. (map)

This conference is a rare chance to learn from a wide variety of inspiring people who work every day to empower women and families, to learn practical skills, and to meet influential thinkers and actors who are leading the way towards rapid advancements and social innovations in the field of women’s equality and family well-being.

The role of mothers in helping to change the world for the better should not be undervalued, as it is this place of change where exponential impacts are being felt in politics, economics, sustainability, early childhood development, community health, and family well-being.

Thought leaders everywhere are noticing a sea change in the status and role of women around the world. Issues and challenges once thought to be unchangeable are being broken open and shifted in ways that would not have been possible even a few years ago. Indeed, many now believe that the best way to combat the toughest challenges of our time –  poverty, violence, and environmental destruction – lies with empowering and engaging women in the process of change.

See the full program here:   Mothers Conference Program

To attend the Sally Armstrong keynote address ONLY: Sally Armstrong Tickets

The conference features:

  • Four outstanding keynote addressesfeb
  • 10 practical and skills-building workshops and panel discussions
  • Plenty of opportunities for networking and creating valuable connections

Opening night

A special opening night event on November 25th, with MC Pamela Martin, will feature a keynote address by award-winning journalist Sally Armstrong and a “Because Mothers Matter” award ceremony for Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, BC’s First Representative for Children and Youth.


Who should attend?

Staff and Board members from social service agencies, family service programs, aboriginal agencies, newcomer settlement agencies and women’s programs, government, anti-poverty agencies, media and academia.


Register now! Register for the “Mothers as a Catalyst of Change” Conference

Cancellation Policy: Please note that we will not be issuing refunds after November 24th, 2015 at 5pm PST.


Keynote Speakers

Wed Nov. 25th:


Sally Armstrong

Keynote Address: “Uprising: A new age is dawning for every mother’s daughter”

The earth is shifting under the status of women. This shift is affecting intractable files such as poverty, conflict and violence. The role you play in the shift is pivotal for your daughters and your sons.

Human rights activist, journalist and award-winning author Sally Armstrong has covered stories about women and girls in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to the Middle East, Rwanda, Congo and Afghanistan, her eye witness reports have earned her awards including the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation and the Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters.

Sally has received the Amnesty International Media Award three times, was a member of the International Women’s Commission, a recipient of eight honorary doctorate degrees and is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Her new book, Ascent of Women: Our turn, our way – a remarkable story of world-wide change, was published by Random House in March 2013. A revised version called Uprising: A new age is dawning for every mother’s daughter was published in March 2014 by St. Martins Press in New York. Buy a copy of Sally’s book here.


Thurs Nov. 26th:

judge buller pictureThe Honourable Judge Marion Buller

Keynote Address: “Moving Forward”

We need to know our histories in order to understand how we got here and to avoid making the same mistakes. Building on the strength and courage of those who have gone before us, let’s talk about new visions for our families and communities.  Let’s find real opportunities for change.

Judge Buller was appointed the first woman First Nations judge in British Columbia in 1994. She spearheaded the First Nations Court in B.C., and is now advancing the approach of restorative justice for sentencing on criminal and family court matters.

Prior to being appointed to the Provincial Court bench, Judge Buller worked as a civil and criminal lawyer (1988 – 1994). She served as both a director and president of Canada’s Indigenous Bar Association and has been a member of the B.C. Police Commission and the Law Court Education Society. She was also the Commission Counsel for the Caribou- Chilcotin Justice Inquiry and published reports and articles dealing with Aboriginal rights.


Fri Nov. 27th:

Head Cerezo 2015Dr. Adrián Cerezo

Keynote Address: “Breastfeeding the Biosphere: How Nurturing Young Children Drives Global Sustainable Development”

Policies and programs intended to ensure that young children reach their full potential, also have an immediate, cost-effective, long-term impact on the sustainable development of a community. Using innovative tools such as visual analytics, translational research and policy sciences, Dr. Cerezo maps these complex interrelations in order to provide insights that support the field of early childhood development, as well as international sustainable development.

For more than two decades Dr. Adrián Cerezo has explored the question: How do we develop ever-more sustainable communities? Currently, his work focuses on the nexus between early childhood and sustainable development.

Dr. Cerezo holds a Doctorate of Philosophy, with a focus on Social Ecology and Developmental Science from Yale University (School of Forestry and Environmental Studies). He is Chief Constructive Innovation Officer for, a translational research and institutional innovation hub. He is also, consultant for UNICEF early childhood programs, fellow at Yale University’s Zigler Center, trustee for HIPPY USA, and, Adjunct Professor of International Sustainability Policy at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis.


Al Etmanski photo

Al Etmanski

Keynote Address: “The Sacred Headwaters of Social Change”

Women who spring into action when someone or something they care deeply about is threatened are the source of some of the most powerful and enduring solutions to injustice. These “passionate amateurs” are an extraordinary force for change. Al’s stories of women he encountered while researching his latest book will provoke, delight and inspire you.

Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author. His new book, Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation has just been published.

He is co-founder of Social innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact.

Previously he co-founded the family led Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) which has spread to more than 40 locations around the world. He proposed and led the successful campaign to establish the world’s only savings plan for people with disabilities – the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Al is an Ashoka fellow, and most recently was awarded the Order of Canada. Visit Al’s blog.



Click here to see the list of workshops and facilitators.

Conference delegates can choose from these workshops on the actual day of the event.





Out of town participants are encouraged to take advantage of special hotel rates at the Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront, which is conveniently located within a short walking distance of the conference venue at SFU Harbour Centre. Follow this link for a lower rate:


Conference Partners

BC Council for Families, YWCA Crabtree Corner, MOSAIC, Vancouver Native Health Society, Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Services Society, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre


Conference Sponsors

SFU Lifelong Learning
Port of Metro Vancouver
SNC Lavalin
US Embassy Ottawa
Harbour Centre Printing
Art One Translations

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