The Cansbridge Effect

I’ve had the privilege to work with 50 Cansbridge Fellows over the past three years, and have begun to see how some of the dots are connecting for their personal narratives since their experience in Asia.

Putting the right person in a cycle of experience, reflection, and experimentation allows them to explore areas of their head which they may not have known otherwise exist.Our goal is to get your head spinning, and allow you to open yourself up to be in a state of change.

The earlier an individual adopts this type of growth model the more impact it can have, as their mind is less formed than in their later years (try changing a 70 year old habit….)

Our examples speak for themselves….

Like Layne’s experience soul searching in Asia — “The first day there were tears. The silence of only my own thoughts made soul searching much more dangerous business than I could’ve foreseen.[…]The thing I needed to learn about myself was this: the quality of my life will entirely depend on those around me and how my work affects them.

Layne’s habitat for soul searching

Nicole pushing herself past loneliness and isolation in Hong Kong — “A month ago, alone time was a commodity. Now, it’s a perpetual reality. And that changes things.Crowds stop being spectacles and become obstacles, snatches of overheard conversation stop being bits of a storyline and become noise. The magic, to a certain extent, is lost and it really began to take a toll on me.

One of Nicole’s favorite spots in Hong Kong

Or the shift in John’s relationship with Tokyo — “Your extremely low crime rate has made me so careless with my belongings in other countries. Your bullet train is too fast and convenient. And the architecture of your buildings, shrines, and temples … why did you have to make them so beautiful?”

John eating an apple on Mt. Fuji

The important lessons aren’t those that happen in the office, they’re the ones that happen in your head.

The changes Fellows go through in their experience often sets them on a path they would not have otherwise discovered— like Rayner creating a smart kitchen company, Elena starting a for-profit social enterprise, or my own journey into 3D printing and digital manufacturing.

Cansbridge only exists because of its results — the entire organization has been built by Fellows because of the effect Cansbridge has had on their lives.

The internal struggles and shifts you see illustrated in Layne, Nicole, and John’s posts often flip a switch in these individual’s minds to give them access to a new range of possibilities. They’ve earned and discovered the tools they need to trust themselves, take risks, and find the silver lining when things don’t go exactly to plan.

When sent to the other side of the world

Being out of your normal environment forces you to adapt to a new set of rules. You are forced to rely on your intuition more, as you understand signals from the external world less. You are forced to adopt uncertainty and the unknown. By trusting yourself and surviving in an environment that initially scared you, you’re able to remove self-doubt and fear.

By learning from the examples set by Layne, Nicole and John, you can begin to understand the type of experience you should be working to put yourself through. You begin to learn the ability to manage and know yourself, as well as what you are capable of. You see the type of thinking need to adopt in order to find your own version of ‘success.’

Or, you can work with us and we can help bring our model of learning and individual development to you.

Our goal is to create the type of change you see above in as many people as we can, and to support these individuals as they grow into the next phase of their lives.

If you’re a Canadian undergrad student, you can apply to the Cansbridge Fellowship here (and get paid to change your life). If you’re not, use these examples to challenge yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s something you think we can do to help.


If you’re interested in learning more about Cansbridge, where we’re headed, and what we’re working on please follow for more content.