It takes a village: The incubation and birth of Empowerwriting Social Ventures

by M. Marcel, Lead Instructor, Empowerwriting Memoir Writing Programs

February 3, 2019

Groundswell Marcel Sangsari Empowerwriting Memoir Writing Lifewriting Workshop Community Vancouver Canada British Columbia Course Class Program

Intent to make a dent in the world, I launched Pangaea, an intergenerational Lifewriters’ community [forerunner of Empowerwriting Social Ventures]. Working through my ideas, testing and revising approaches, hosting writing workshops, and validating the business with the support of the Groundswell social business school in Vancouver, B.C. over the past 4 months has helped me find clarity in what I’m doing as a Memoirist & Lifewriting teacher and why I am doing it.

Groundswell Marcel Sangsari Empowerwriting Memoir Writing Lifewriting Workshop Community Vancouver Canada British Columbia Course Class Program

My journey in building a social business has received wonderful support from Groundswell. Learning and growth have come in turtle steps and bunny leaps. One step forward, two steps back; three steps forward, one step sideways. Slow and steady. Coinciding with a string of serious personal and family struggles that nearly crushed my spirit – not will – Groundswell offered much needed medicine that one cannot find in a pharmacy. Personal reflections and realizations – reinforced by Groundswell – have enabled me to see these obstacles in a different light and re-ignite a hibernating flame that resides deep within. One profound personal realization has been the need to acknowledge and release weight from the past to allow for self-care, breathing space, and to re-build a creative reservoir, a blank canvas, for starting fresh.

Lifewriting Pauline Tolan EmpowerWriting Workshop Community Memoir Vancouver

Groundswell’s ecosystem of community-minded individuals cannot be understated. It is a magical place where each person is encouraged to explore who they are and to align who they are with what they do in work and life. All I have met are a part of me, said poet Lord Tennyson. My ‘Self’ begins to become whole; with each encounter, there is a transformation, a little ripple being sent across the universe unfolding before one’s eyes.

Gilad gave me a hug and showed me a path forward with a funnel.


Madeleine’s word and visual play empowered me to take action.


Emily motivated me to be my best even on the worst of days.


Jim carefully listened for a round person and shared his wisdom.


Ran sparked discovery with his business models and intangibles.


Lenard introduced practical tools for online success.


Noud de Rover gave his precious time to help me realize my dreams.


David invited me think differently on structure and metrics.


Paola’s radiant energy and quirky smarts touched my heart.


Peers at community potlucks and classmates brought restorative nourishment.


Thanks a million to you all for your generosity of spirit! I’m eternally grateful for your gracious support, and forever reminded: One can go much farther, together.

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