Mark Brand

Entrepreneur | Pioneering Chef | Founder, A Better Life Foundation

Mark Brand is a pioneering chef and entrepreneur in the field of Social Impact and Community Development. Along with leading his five organizations, Brand is a Stanford fellow, Professor of Innovation and Design Thinking, has served as executive chef for the American Refugee Committee and Pope Francis’s Climate Challenge, served as Entrepreneur in Residence for The City of Sydney, Australia,  and received Canada’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service to his country and community.


Brand also leads the United Nations Catalyst team focusing on food waste, poverty, and the impacts of current systemic structures on the most marginalized, travelling globally to learn and share best real-world practices and solutions from kitchens and stages alike.


Most recently, he launched “BETTER,” an iHeart Original radio show and podcast, bringing tools for us all to live better lives through stories of lived experiences from our most beloved citizens.


At the root of everything he works on, he believes that only true partnership and collaboration can create the successes we need and that there is no “Us and Them, only Us.”


Business with a Conscience

Mark Brand believes that good business doesn’t have to come at the cost of doing good. Discussing the tenants of blending corporate and community leadership, Mark draws on his own decades-long experience of successful social entrepreneurship to guide and encourage audiences in their own endeavors. Fully customizable, Mark can discuss his own experience (and lessons learned); the best practices for employing people who traditionally have had barriers to employment; mentorship; the importance of leverage and partnerships; thinking outside the box; and sticking to your philosophies during tough economic times.

Building Better Communities

Successful and vibrant communities are built with real inclusion.  Mark Brand works in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a community long recognized as being in flux.  


Brand’s work in the DTES encompasses food security, training, employment, and strategic partnerships with developers and social enterprises alike.  He works to change policy municipally–and perception nationally–in an effort to help create and build better communities that are rich, inclusive, and wonderful places in which to live and work, and where residents look after one another.


He speaks on this topic with a passion that translates to all levels of business and society, regardless of colour, creed, or financial status.

A Better Life

Mark Brand’s “A Better Life Foundation” works to facilitate empowerment and a sense of well-being for those who struggle with addictions and mental illness issues by providing food security, education, and employment training. Speaking on the organization’s conception to its present-day incarnation, Mark stresses the importance of community involvement to create a meaningful life, as well as the current and future state of non-profits in Canada and beyond.


I’m also a fully certified Integral Facilitator and Moderator if teams need to get unstuck or to workshop, it’s a favorite skillset and I use design thinking methodologies to land on real tangible takeaways.


Additionally, if clients are on the fence, I’m best “In The Room” and happy to take zooms/calls to talk through with potentials.


All of the engagements earnings go back to our sister company Upward Events which moves profits back to A Better Life Foundation and feeds folks, predominantly women and children fleeing violence, here in Canada. We don’t just preach triple bottom lines, we enact them in each and every engagement.

Business Strategy / Change Management / cities / Diversity and Inclusion / Leaders / Leadership / Motivators / Next Generation / Resilience / Teamwork