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Connect and Catalyze for Change with

We have seen many positive actions arise during the COVID-19 pandemic as people come together to support one another and lessen hardships in our communities. Some projects and movements have been focused on making lasting change for the better, and one of them that I was able to participate in is called Pivot19. I had the pleasure of meeting the organization’s founder and lead, Vince Verlaan and was interviewed by him as one of the Changemakers featured in this project that aims to be a catalyst for lasting change.

A Natural Turning Point

It is clear that positive social, economic, and environmental changes must be made in order to work towards a better future for all. The sudden impact of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, should be regarded as a natural turning point for many of the environmental, social, and economic issues that have not only plagued our cities and countries for years, but have been exacerbated by the virus. Pivot19 is a grassroots movement that aims to drive these changes that are necessary in order for us to advance as a society. The Pivot19 movement is focused on connecting people with 57 global and local changemakers interviewed by Pivot19 between June and December of 2020. Pivot19’s goal is to reach 100,000 people overall with these inspiring interviews and catalyze 57,000 of them (1000 per changemaker interviewed) into direct support of the changemakers featured in this project. Creating these connections is important in order to encourage people to become inspired, informed, and involved with these initiatives that have the ability to make a positive difference! 

Mass movement in the making

Pivot19 was started in Western Canada by Vince Verlaan, who viewed the sudden impacts of COVID-19 as an opportunity to create a mass movement for change. His experience volunteering and working for social change initiatives was helpful in creating the Pivot19 movement which is comprised of volunteers and professionals who have experience working in sustainable development, non-profit organizations, education, and social change movements. This project takes place across Canada and the United States as Vince travels across the content in order to interview a diverse group of changemakers.

Impact for good

This journey is a zero-waste trip and 190% of the greenhouse gas emissions offset! The Pivot19 Carbon Neutral Strategy has accounted for all emissions throughout the cross-continent journey, including ferry trips, ground transportation, air travel, and camping cooking. With the total emissions calculated, gold standard offsets are purchased from reputable providers. As for waste, all food scraps are composted, glass containers recycled, reusable containers are being used, and food which comes in excessive packaging is avoided at all costs. According to Vince, the biggest challenge by far is having to abide by store requirements that disposable cups must be used for coffee. Just as environmental health is essential, the health and safety of interviewers, interviewees, and communities is of utmost importance. Safety protocols in each province/state visited are adhered to and travel plans will be altered and adjusted depending on the most recent developments regarding COVID-19. 

Changemakers local and global

There are a wide variety of individuals who will be interviewed as changemakers for the Pivot19 project. Of the 57 changemakers, 19 of them are globally focused, while the others are dedicated to local issues in Canada and the United States. A changemaker can be thought of as someone who is dedicated to a topic or issue and makes it a priority to address this issue at a local or global level. This level of passion and dedication is essential in order to make changes for the better. Some of the changemakers in this project include individuals who advocate for environmental justice, are involved in policy making, create sustainability solutions, work towards reconciliation, partake in innovative farming practices, and educate others on how to live green.

You can get involved too!

How can you get involved with the Pivot19 movement? The first step is to register for emails from in order to stay up to date on the progress of Vince’s journey, as well as receive information about what the interview changemakers are doing and how you can get involved with their work. The Pivot19 website is another great place to stay updated, as blog posts, podcasts, interview summaries, discussion forums, and changemaker websites are made available here. Additionally, donations can be made in order to support Vince on his journey and uplift the Pivot19 movement. Another useful way of getting involved is by supporting the changemakers featured in the Pivot19 project. If your interest is sparked by any of the changemaker’s interviews, ideas, and actions, make sure to check out their websites and platforms in order to contribute and connect to the positive actions that are occurring around the world. Follow along with this special project in order to see what kind of connections and change can be made during these extraordinary times.


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