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 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. Our team members have experience in building social community infrastructure, producing digital and print publications, developing social and organizational policy, securing millions in public and private funds, designing and implementing research studies, and scaling up social enterprise and traditional business models.
Meet the Voor Team
(In alphabetical order)
Design, Communications & Marketing
Honey Mae is a creative technologist, with expertise in graphic design and creative, digital technologies. Her work experience spans tech-for-good projects, to academic publishing, and the non-profit sector. She is a passionate advocate for ecological restoration, indigenous rights, open access (ICT & research), and small-scale agriculture in an increasingly food-insecure world. Committed to creating lasting change, her creative approach is an asset to any organization. She is currently the communications manager at the Wild Bird Trust of BC.
Lisa CavvicHia, B.A.
Planner, Project Manager
Lisa is an urban planner and project manager with more than 25 years of experience managing community development projects and city-building initiatives in communities in Canada and internationally. Lisa has developed partnerships that connect individuals and organizations to plan, fund and deliver initiatives that strengthen local economies, improve social and environmental conditions, and create jobs for youth, women and men. As a team leader in the non-profit sector, she has a track record for leading teams and managing projects that bring about transformational change, deliver on donor objectives and achieve organizational goals.
Community Engagement Specialist
Research Associate, Strategy Co-Lead
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.
David has served the community locally on community economic development and finance fronts as a member of the CCEC Credit Union Board of Directors. He was an Advisory Council member, Surrey Cares Foundation, supporting endowment funds growth strategy. David also served the Board of Directors of the Congress for the New Urbanism, Cascadia Chapter. David has Finnish/American family roots.
Irwin Oostindie, Director
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.
Isabela Ortiz Orozco B.A., GDip
Research Associate, Project Coordinator
As a graduate student in Urban Studies, with a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, Isabela has had the opportunity to work with non-profit organisations in projects focusing in rural Indigenous communities in Panama and since her arrival in Vancouver, she has made it her mission to focus her research in urban Indigenous Peoples. Some areas of study include the cultural and environmental battles among the Guna Peoples in the caribbean region of Panama, these being one of the first communities facing displacement caused by, among others, climate change; a forest governance and trade advisory program with the Emberá Peoples in the Darien region; and the economic discrimination among urban Indigenous Peoples in Canada, its history and repercussions.
Isabela wishes to focus her future work in community development in which concrete solutions for inclusion, representation and justice supporting vulnerable communities of the urban spaces.
Researcher, Indigenous Design, Landscape Design, Engagement
Chelsey has extensive planning and environmental design experience with Indigenous communities.
For the past seven years, Chelsey has worked on projects involving intensive, multi- stakeholder and community consultation where she has created interpretive strategies for a variety of unique site needs and constraints, including parks and recreation master plans. Chelsey led Voor’s recent community capital project engagement planning. Chelsey also supports Indigenous health communication and event planning.
Chelsey is a member of Bigstone Cree Nation (Treaty 8, Northern Alberta) and an Indigenous person of mixed heritage.
Kamala Todd is a Métis-Cree, German community planner and filmmaker dedicated to building bridges between Indigenous communities and local government. With over two decades of experience in urban geography, Kamala has made significant contributions to policy and culture shifts in the City of Vancouver. She is the founder of Indigenous City Media and has worked with clients such as Translink, West Coast Environmental Law, and Heritage BC. She is currently the City of Vancouver’s Indigenous Arts and Culture Planner and is a respected speaker and advisor on Indigenous city relations.
Tell us how we can collaborate in your next shared success.
VooR Urban Labs
#507 - 239 East Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6A 4J7