FaithTech’s Vancouver Hackathon (and others) take faith into the workplace

FaithTech’s first local Hackathon will take place at the Network Hub November 17 – 19.

Several conferences and gatherings are exploring the relationship between work and faith this fall.

FaithTech: Vancouver Hackathon

The new kid on the block is FaithTech, which will be running Vancouver Hackathon, a free three-day conference November 17 – 19 at the Network Hub on Richards Street in the downtown core.

Here is a description of the event:

This is where faith meets action. Hackathons are an exciting, short-term community environment, where we can tackle challenges and find solutions using technology to move the mission of Jesus forward. Join us for a weekend where you’ll meet other passionate developers and creators seeking to make an impact in Vancouver and the world. Come on your own or bring a team!

Starting at 6 pm on Friday, these panelists will discuss innovation, start-ups and tech from a Christian worldview:

As founder James Kelly says in the accompanying video, FaithTech has three major thrusts: hosting events (Innovation Talks, Hackathons . . .), hosting FaithTech LABS and creating Faith@Work communities.

There have been a couple of local get togethers this year to introduce the FaithTech concept, but the Hackathon will be their first major Vancouver event.

Nigel Gutzmann and Chris Bowal – both software developers with Lumen5 – are spearheading FaithTech in the Vancouver area. Gutzmann says:

I’m personally involved in FaithTech because I’m excited about the opportunity to integrate my faith and work. The hackathon is an obvious opportunity for me to use my professional skills to contribute to solutions to broader challenges in society.

FaithTech is great because it not only offers that opportunity to reach out and engage the world through the lenses of faith and technology, but also helps me internally understand how my work can be directed and informed by faith.

The Hackathon should be well worth checking out – even the meals will be free!

MEDA: Business as a Calling

MEDA just met (November 2 – 5) at the Westin Bayshore for their Business as a Calling Convention. This is how the group describes itself:

MEDA is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. Founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite business professionals, we partner with the poor to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions around the world.

The head office of the international organization is in Waterloo, Ontario.

JustWork: A Taste of Dignity

JustWork just held A Taste of Dignity November 8, allowing supporters and donors an opportunity to become better acquainted with their work. Here is how they describe it:

JustWork Economic Initiative is a registered non-profit organization that offers dignified, meaningful employment to people who face barriers to work in the traditional workforce.

Our social enterprises provide gainful employment opportunities while fostering relationships, teaching skills, enhancing self-esteem and contributing to the health and well-being of our city.

JustWork emerged in 2004 from the life and ministry of Grandview Calvary Baptist Church.

Entrepreneurial Leaders: Called to Lead

Dr. John Izzo will be the keynote speaker at Called to Lead.

The Entrepreneurial Leaders Organization (ELO) will hold their annual conference at Vancouver Convention November 29. Here is how they describe Called to Lead:

Christian entrepreneurial leaders have the potential to positively impact the marketplace, churches and communities on a global basis. Innovation is at the heart of entrepreneurship: doing something new, different and creative. An entrepreneur can innovate and turn an idea into action.

Entrepreneurs are leaders – they are people of influence. They can influence all they touch, in all dimensions of life. A Christian value system provides a foundation and focus for entrepreneurial initiative. You either are an entrepreneurial leader or can become one – you can be creative, action-oriented and expand your sphere of influence. How do you do so? That’s what the Entrepreneurial Leader Conference is about.

Dr. John Izzo will be the keynote speaker. The Vancouver resident began his work life as an ordained Presbyterian minister and then became an organizational consultant and speaker. He has authored six bestselling books and his clients have included IBM, Qantas, the Mayo Clinic, Verizon, RBC, TELUS, Westjet, DuPont, Humana, Microsoft and McDonalds.

Mission Possible Gala

The annual Mission Possible Gala (November 29) comes at the relationship of faith and work from another angle entirely:

For over 25 years Mission Possible has walked alongside people challenged by homelessness and poverty. Every day we provide street-level care for those with immediate and critical needs as well as create jobs that build a bridge to stability through a variety of enterprising ventures. Mission Possible is helping people renew a sense of dignity and purpose through meaningful work.

A recent post on the ministry’s site describes how life-giving it can be for people in the business community to volunteer with a ministry such as Mission Possible. Sarah Swanson, a purchasing manager for DP World, one of Vancouver’s largest container companies, says, “It makes a huge shift to get to know people from the neighbourhood,” Go here for the full story.

Other ministries

Several other ministries link faith and business. Here are a couple of the most prominent:

Business By the Book holds monthly talks by business leaders at the Law Courts Inn Restaurant.

City in Focus hosts regular breakfasts which focus on topics relevant to the business community at the Vancouver Club – not to mention the annual BC Leadership Prayer Breakfast.

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