Everything you need to know about the World Cafe Series

We believe there are few things more transformative than people and their stories. This fascination and love for people combined with our absolute passion for coffee, tea and all things cafe, has led to this very simple but hopefully exciting little series.

So what’s it all about?


In a nutshell, the World Cafe series is an online collection of interviews and stories from various inspiring change makers and innovative organizations in a given local community.  In an online age, we want to bring back the face-to-face and a commitment to community and good conversation.

PS: The concept of the “World Cafe” is actually a thing! It comes from participatory community development processes which you can learn more about here.

What kind of interviews/stories/conversations do we want to feature?

We want to celebrate and learn about the people and organizations that put “extra” in the ordinary.  They don’t have to be big – they simply must do small things in big ways.

We want to know about the people who have aligned their passion with a greater sense of purpose – a purpose that in some way reaches beyond the individual and extends to a community of others.  In short, how are these individuals or organizations adding value to others and the community?

We want stories on social change, creative leadership, big ideas, and reflective learning

We want stories of local change and impact.  While individuals can submit posts from any corner of this wild world, it’s important that the organizations and individuals you choose to interview are creating impact near you.

We want to support you in cultivating a spirit of curiosity.

We want to find magic in all the places people forget to look.

Remember, there are two components to this little series:

We not only want to capture great conversations but we want to discover with you the coolest cafes in your town or city.  There’s something fun about venturing beyond the Starbucks at the corner to that family-run, hole in the wall that somehow serves up the best americanos.  What about your experience at this cafe makes it a special space? What is the cafe’s story of tea/coffee/croissants that makes them so unique?

nuts+bolts on how to submit a post

Any interview must be prefaced with a brief introduction of who you are and WHY you decided to approach this particular person or organization.  What drew you to invite him/her? What about the organization stood out to you?

Posts must be submitted to tarini@thepassionproj.org as either a Microsoft Word document or Pages Publication.  Any edits made to your submitted post will be sent back to you to review and confirm prior to the Passion Project posting your interview online.  We do however, reserve the right to refuse your submission if it does not align with the criteria discussed above.

We leave it to you to decide what questions to ask your coffee guest but here are just 3 questions we’d like you to ask them:

  1. favourite cafe in your city and why? 
  2. what’s your go-to drink?
  3. what 3 principles do you live by?

We encourage (and very nicely request) that each post include a picture of the cafe, your food/beverage of choice, the organization office space, and/or guest of honour etc. Pictures must be a minimum of 72 pixels per inch.  If for some reason you absolutely don’t have a relevant picture, don’t stress! We’re still interested in hearing from you.

What’s next up on the series?

In the next two weeks, we will be introducing you to two of our new World Cafe series point persons in Vancouver and Edmonton.  Again, we welcome posts and submissions from everyone but these folks will be providing some consistency in content.  We’ll tell you exactly when you should be tuning in to check-out their posts.

If you have any questions or are interested in being a point person in your city, please feel free to get in touch with Tarini at tarini[at]thepassionproj.org.

Thanks ya’ll! Let the coffee consumption and conversations roll.









A new SHIFT: Passion HQ is moving online, with more CONTENT than ever  

We started the PP in 2009 out of a desire to help the university students around us develop and invest in their passions and at the same time, help them to see they could make a difference in their communities with the tools they had on hand.

Over the past several years, we’ve seen the project grow bigger than (at times, we’ll admit,) we were ready for. We’ve read your emails, though been slow to respond as we were re-imagining this next season for the project!

As we (E+T) have transitioned in our own personal lives, graduating from university and graduating even from Vancouver (though Vancouver will always be home for both of us!), we have also wanted the project to grow with us. We came to realize however, that the project must always serve people before people serve the project! This is not about growing the project, but rather growing our ability to serve and respond to the needs we see of people like you. As soon as this ceases to be the case, we’re not afraid to rethink why we’re here and what we should be doing differently.    

So what does this mean? We’ve been back in the incubator for hours on end dreaming and deliberating. We’ve decided that instead of being based out of our alma mater (UBC), we will be shifting to an online home. What will this look like? We will still maintain our ol stomping grounds at UBC (thanks to an incredible team out there!), but we will be making this online forum our home.

What can you look forward to?

1. A new book club starting up in September with our favourite reads and teachers that have inspired us over the years in creating this organization and will no doubt, help mold your time wherever you are dreaming. We will be starting with an oldie but a goodie entitled ‘The Art of Possibility.’ 

2. A new ‘WORLD CAFÉ’ series – starting up in mid-august, this will be an online collection of interviews and stories from various inspiring changemakers and innovative organizations across the globe

Thanks to our girl @sagalk for this pic!

Thanks to our girl @sagalk for this pic!

3. A home-grown ever-evolving tool-kit designed to support individuals and groups in starting up their own passion projects.

We will be posting more details about all of these projects in the near future, but wanted to give you just a little taste of what to expect. In the meantime, feel free to email us contact[at]thepassionproj.org if you are interested in these opportunities. 

We are so excited for what is in store. We are eternally indebted to Ritika, Efua, Vita and Joy for taking and raising this baby at our UBC location over these past 3 years of change.

Stay passionate.


T & E

Reflections and summer!

Hi there!

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to write a blog post for The Passion Proj. So many changes and yet so many things are the same!

Wrapping up final year

First things first, graduation happened! It was a whirlwind fourth year. I promised myself at the end of third year that I wouldn’t get involved in any more clubs or organizations and focus on graduating but look how that turned out- EXTREMELY WELL. All the MUNs I was involved in or led since my last blog post were amazing. We got Outstanding Delegation in both New York and Portland- the former I’m especially proud of given the caliber of the competition, the newness of the team and how hard we trained for it.

I was immensely lucky to be able to travel to London in February and catch two musicals: Wicked and Matilda. Both of which were spectacular. The free entry to all the museums I visited resulted in viewing breathtaking artworks. All those late nights working at the Burger Bar during the school time were worth it=)

Finals came and went by in a jiffy and I actually missed my last week of undergrad classes because I was competing in New York- WHAT? New York was spectacular as always. So many people. So many stories. So many aspirations. Somehow the dream people have coming to NYC is quite different than other major cities.

And then suddenly I was on a stage, accepting my degree, smiling for a camera, and whoosh, I was officially a graduate of the fine establishment we know as UBC. It was surreal. All those late nights, angst over grades, involvement outside of class boiled down to approximately 10 seconds on a stage. But here’s the bigger picture: I had grown so much as a person and learned how much I knew, didn’t know and didn’t know I didn’t know. My beliefs about the world were realigned.

A Reality Check

People always said a university degree was essential to survive in today’s economy. But for a fresh graduate, the meaning of that piece of paper became blurred. In the months and days counting down towards the congregation ceremonies, a common phrase you would hear was “you need experience to get the experience.”

So many people had and have high expectations for someone they view as a high achiever and they saw going far. It is hard to believe in yourself when there is so much pressure to be a certain person.

What now?

I’ve never been afraid of hard work. Nor setbacks. What frightens me is settling for something less than what I know I can achieve, whatever that might be. Having friends and family to remind me to never settle and always pursue my dreams has been helpful in a way that words cannot describe. A support network helps so much. One thing I realized is this. You HAVE to believe in yourself. Or surround yourself with people that do. Life is an open-ended ocean of opportunities. Every day I am reminded that what I have could disappear very easily. Be more grateful for what you have. And stop making excuses. Start working towards becoming that person you want to be.


Enjoy the sunshine!