Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Gordon moved to Vancouver (after a career in law and finance) mid-2016 with a vision for technology that revealed the help you need was already nearby, as long as you can ask. He soon realised that the most pressing need was overdose prevention and response.
Chief Operations Officer
Oona has a complex history which includes sex work and drug use, homelessness and violence. These experiences led Oona to develop her skills in anti racism, anti poverty, anti colonial settings. For the past 15 years she has been consulting, organizing, facilitating, grant writing, fundraising and developing community programs with the intent of reducing impacts of poverty, violence, and lack of opportunity. Motivated by personal loss and professional frustration from the fentanyl crisis, Oona has turned her tremendous skill sets to Brave Tech Coop because she believes in Brave mission as an organization and sees the importance of tech built by and for at-risk community members. Oona is a writer, artist, advocate, activist, momma, and lover.
Peer Advisor, Outreach
Shawn had been working alone on an idea similar to Brave for many months when he reached out to us and wanted to just join in the effort with us, which speaks highly of his focus on just getting this done. With many years of experience around drug use, overdose and recovery, and the loss and trauma of friends and loved ones dying from overdose, Shawn’s contributions are vital to our ongoing work.
Sampath has developed ODetect, a wearable device that uses a machine learning algorithm to detect early signs of overdose. He is currently at the University of British Columbia completing a Masters in Applied Science degree in Biomedical Engineering. Prior to that, he was a Research Assistant at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and worked on developing a low-cost diagnostic device for sickle cell anemia. He graduated Bachelor of Technology (with Honors) in Electrical Engineering at IIT Bombay.
Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer
Mario is a software developer, data scientist, and cooperator seeking transformative social and economic change.
User Experience Researcher
Before joining the Brave team, Iva worked in urban planning as a public consultation and community engagement specialist. Her role with Brave has been conducting user experience research for the Brave Button pilot and the BeSafe App pilot, as well as understanding and reporting on our learnings from the work Brave has done to date. .
Spike is a peer support worker and harm reduction advocate in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He is Brave’s on-the-ground outreach lead and the community liaison between Brave and the local community that our digital platforms serve.
Hardware and Software Engineer
Hi! I'm Dave. I grew up in Vancouver, went to high school in Kerrisdale, and recently graduated from UBC with an engineering degree. Over the past few years, I have been spending some time as a visitor to the DTES, where the ongoing public health emergency of the overdose crisis is hard to ignore. I started working with Brave in August 2018. Through Brave, I have met with peer support workers and other residents of the DTES who have consistently impressed me with their courage, discipline, and skill in facing this crisis. I'm convinced that we can work together to build better systems for keeping people safe while using drugs.
Kenzie is a writer with a background in neuroscience. She studied drugs in society at university and then she spent a year writing about the topic while working as the managing editor of an activist arts and culture publication. She aligned with Brave after realizing she wanted to take more direct action in the war on drugs, and helps with writing and mathematical modelling.
Co-Founder, Events and Engagement
Tamara is a seasoned fundraiser with an aptitude for technology who joined Brave after winning a hackathon with an application called Medical Call and Response, a community response tool for the opioid crisis. Since then Tamara has been integral in establishing community and institutional partnerships to increase Brave’s impact
Director and Financial Officer
Barend van der Vorm is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at e@UBC and has been advising and mentoring Brave since January 2018. He is the founding director of Helder Ventures which supports and finances social enterprise. He is a member of the Impact Investment Committee at Vancity and serves on the board of S3I, the Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investment at UBC, and chairs the Investment Committee of two private equity impact funds by IFHA which focuses on access to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa
Ann Livingston has been a tireless advocate for drug users for over 25 years. She has been an advisor to Brave
Mike Irvine is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Applied Mathematics, UBC and the BC Centre for Disease Control. His current research focus is on using a variety of statistical and data science techniques to understand the ongoing opioid overdose crisis in BC. He recently published a study in Lancet Public Health, which estimated the impact of the total number of deaths averted due to the take-home naloxone program. He has been an advisor for Brave.
Nicolas D. Leech-Crier is a 40 years young idealist, with an occasional writing habit and a superhero wife, hailing from Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Northern Alberta. He has been very blessed to have lived and loved on the ancestral territory of the Coast Salish and has also known many a great progressive mind and movement during his 12+ years shameless romance with the City of Vancouver. But nothing like Brave. You honor us. I remain ready...
Elena Yugai has been Brave's Industry Mentor at e@UBC Impact Stream since January 2018.
She works as an Investment Manager and Director of Advisory Services at Helder Ventures, a Vancouver-based impact investment and advisory firm. She plays an active role as a community and policy advocate, and has been named one of BC’s Most Influential Women in Tech - STEM Stars 2018 by BC Magazine for her work advocating for and supporting women in technology.