Social Entrepreneur | Restaurateur
Mark Brand is one of North America’s foremost social entrepreneurs. With 11 businesses under his belt, he is an example of a new form of leadership that encompasses good in every step. Determined to breathe new life into our struggling and disjointed communities through his work in social impact business, Brand shares his message on the importance of sustainable business models that make a difference, while also creating successful bottom lines.
Eight years ago, Brand took over Save On Meats, a Vancouver-based institution that has provided food security and access since 1957. In 2013, he created The Token Program, an alternate currency to feed those in need without a cash exchange. Since then, more than 125,000 tokens have been redeemed, filling 125,000 empty stomachs, and creating a quarter million interactions between those who have and those in need in Vancouver. The Token Program has launched with partners from San Francisco to Nova Scotia.
In addition, in partnership with his charity A Better Life Foundation (ABLF), more than 2.1 million meals have left Save On’s doors to feed those who struggle. Additionally, dozens of people who were formerly homeless have found a home. ABLF works with community agencies, marginalized individuals, and governments to create tangible waves of change.
Along with overseeing the five impact companies under the MB Inc. umbrella, Brand is a Stanford fellow, professor of innovation at the University of Southern California, and an executive chef for The American Refugee Committee. It’s through his cooking, advocacy, systems design, and love for his community that he’s found a unique balance in business and purpose.
Brand leads audiences through real life examples coupled with emergent practices in design thinking and systems innovation. Mixing storytelling and engagement, Brand helps groups understand how to use their own passion and purpose to make the world a better place through their own work. He is also a certified integral facilitator and helps to unstick groups facing deep challenges through design.