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Voor (dutch, preposition) /voːr/, [vʊːr]  1. for,
2. before, 3. in front of

Voor Urban Labs gathers people together to co-design and build creative solutions to complex social challenges. We believe everyone has a right to healthy communities, creative spaces and meaningful work and we support all the parties to bring their best effort to the table. We believe complex problems require authentic conversations that are informed by diverse experiences to work for your specific solutions.

WHAT we’re best at

Our core team builds lovely ambitious solutions to complex challenges and along the way we employ planners, designers and sector leaders where we need additional specific intelligence.  As critical urbanists we know that it takes everyone to show up to participate. 

Our Approach

Our ethical framework means community work is all about “nothing without us” and our research is non-extractive because solutions must be rooted in education and empowerment of all parties. Each initiative we support is grounded in our decades of experience breaking down silos to ensure equity and imagination are foundation principles for community solutions.

What we have done 

Voor is designed as a people and strategy hub that leverages our experiences in research, design, engagement and building solutions – from building community infrastructure and housing, delivering thousands of events, festivals and publications, developing social policy, securing millions in public and private funds, designing research studies, and scaling up social enterprise and traditional business models.


Meet the Voor Team

Irwin Oostindie

Research Lead, Strategy & Business Lead

Passionate about working in community to build ambitious solutions to complicated challenges. Irwin is in his element connecting public policy, decision makers, and communities to design paths forward for enduring solutions. Through social research, engagement, policy writing, and building organisational infrastructures inclusive neighbourhoods and cities are created. 

With more than three decades track record in complex cross-cultural environments, Irwin has worked for multiple local governments, First Nations, public sites, as Executive Director for multiple non-profits, and founded multiple community formations in Vancouver’s inner-city and suburbs. An expert in urban planning, social procurement, community cultural and economic development, he is also a thought leader on redress and reconciliation in Canada. He is happiest at work co-designing multi-stakeholder solutions to complex problems facing impacted communities.

David Laulainen

Research Partner

With a reputation for being highly collaborative, effective, and socially-responsible in business, David has been recognized for leadership over many disciplines with multiple stakeholders. With a specialty in placemaking, cultural literacy, and strategic planning, David places a high value on the idea that business is about relationships, and that organizations succeed when they are people-centred and  accountable to their communities. (60 words)

Professional Experience
  • CCEC Credit Union, Board of Directors – community economic development, finance
  • Surrey Cares Foundation, Advisory Council – endowment funds growth strategy
  • Congress for the New Urbanism, Cascadia Chapter, Board of Directors – communications

Honey Mae Caffin

Research Assistant, Communications & Marketing

Honey Mae is a creative technologist who practices design thinking in communications design, conservation advocacy, and in community-level food security literacy through regenerative agriculture. She has worked in academic publishing and in the non-profit sector.

She advocates for grassroots, community-level issues around ecological restoration, indigenous rights, open access to ICT (knowledge economy) and regenerative agriculture (food security) literacy for marginalized communities. She is currently the communications director at Wild Bird Trust of BC. 

Tell us how we can help move you to your next shared success. 

c/o Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University
#2100 - 515 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC  V6B 5K3
+01 604 644-4349