Jeff Ku, [community superhero and changemaker] is one of Roundhouse’s earliest and keenest supporters. He has hosted and attended events in our space, is a member of our Changemaker Volunteer Committee, joins us for free coworking and encouraged his workplace, Urban Matters, to pursue an Organizational Membership.
We’re pretty sure he has some great ideas of his own brewing, but Jeff often talks about how he finds his role as a changemaker in his ability to support others and bring together like-minded people to take action. We might not all be ready to jump into the world of entrepreneurship, but we can definitely all make an impact on the world – to learn a bit more about Jeff’s Roundhouse experience, check out our interview with him below!
R: What sparked your interest in Roundhouse?
J: I got interested in Roundhouse because I loved the idea of a hub with the goal for creating and encouraging social change. I’ve been very fortunate to meet a great network of individuals from across the country working in social change that highlighted similar spaces in their respective cities, but not having found that here in Edmonton, until now.
R: What is your favourite spot to work in our space?
J: By the high tables near the kitchen. I really like coffee, food, the open feel, and seeing familiar faces.
R: Who’s one of the most interesting people you met in Roundhouse (we know they’re all pretty neat, so maybe somebody you think deserves some kudos/spotlight)?
J: This is the most difficult question. Like you said, everyone has a fascinating story! And Roundhouse has already started becoming the collision space that it has promised it would be. If I had to pick one individual, I think I would have to note Ian Howatt from the City of Edmonton. He has been great to work with, and learn from, on the committee we are both on.
R: Can you tell us more about why an Organizational Membership made sense for Urban Matters?
J: Urban Matters (the social innovation and enterprise arm of the broader company I work for, Urban Systems) has only been around for the past five years, mostly active in British Columbia. It has recently been more active in the Edmonton metropolitan area. I thought it would be a good opportunity to connect the organization to the social innovation and enterprise sector in the city and hopefully connect and accelerate us to new partnerships and collaboration opportunities to local changemakers.
R: You’re on the Changemaker Volunteer Committee! Tell us what excites you about the work you do.
J: I’m really excited that we’re moving along in figuring out how we can best provide support to organizations in Edmonton right now. This exploration phase has been fascinating and has really provided a lot of learning for myself.
R: What new development or projects are you most excited about in #yegdt?
J: I’m most excited about the work that EndPoverty Edmonton, RECOVER, and the Edmonton Community Development Company have been doing in downtown Edmonton. Not one big development necessarily, but the overall contributions of engagement and pilot projects is starting to feel like it is making some impact in the overall system, which is amazing to see.
R: If given a grant to kick off your dream enterprise, what would it be?
J: I have done a lot of volunteering and work focused on youth in the past and present, and I’ve heard of some amazing programs and ideas in other Canadian cities. I would love to start up an enterprise that connects youth to education and employment opportunities. What that is exactly, I’m not sure yet!