Helping you build healthy and prosperous communities


 We specialize in advising business, governments and organizations on building healthy and prosperous communities. We believe that effective community engagement in local decisions leads to innovation, and makes a lasting positive impact.

Our expertise is in managing complex policy and decision making environments to deliver lasting results. We focus in the following areas:

  • smart growth
  • downtown revitilization
  • open government
  • neighbourhood development
  • community wellbeing
  • resource and natural heritage protection
  • community energy
  • municipal governance

Consulting Connecting Collaborating


Consulting - People reviewing display 

We draw on our experience and leadership to help you plan and execute business strategies, keeping them on time and on budget. We can help you navigate the tricky waters of government relations, stakeholder and community engagement, and development approval.

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Collaborating image with bees

We believe strong collaboration brings the best to our clients. We work to make the most out of the resources you have. And we complement our projects with an extensive network of collaborators as wide as the field we consult in.

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Connecting at Market Square Guelph

We are all about connecting people and ideas. We just can't help ourselves. As a result, we are involved in a substantial way with several organizations who also work for healthy and prosperous communities. We are urban connectors!

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Karen Farbridge

Karen Farbridge is a proven change agent who knows how to effectively provoke new conversations and inspire innovation.

She has been recognised by local, provincial and national organizations for her leadership and commitment to building more liveable and sustainable communities. Her strength lies in her ability to manage complex policy and decision making environments to deliver results. This experience includes eleven years as the mayor of Guelph.

Drawing from her extensive experience, she can help you get out of the weeds and think about big picture opportunities and how to implement them.


About Karen



Karen Farbridge Speaking



Speaking Events

Connecting people and ideas is best done in person. Karen Farbridge is a skilled communicator with a wide range of successes and experiences to draw on. If your event needs a keynote, panelist or guest facilitator, Karen will build an immediate connection with your audience. Karen is speaking at the following events:

Ask a Female Politician
November 14, 2017 @ 7 pm. Canadian Federation of University Women @ Innovation Guelph.

Annual Canadian Power Conference

Date: November 20, 2017

Host: Association of Ontario Power Producers

Karen will be joining international thought leaders to discuss critical issues and opportunities in power generation. 

View more events   Book a date

“Karen’s vision for the renewal of our downtown not only paid economic dividends to the entire city through the growth of the tax base but established a positive environment for collaboration and innovation.  Her consensus-oriented approach helped to bring together players from every sector and political leaning to create exciting initiatives.”

Doug Minett, co-founder of The Bookshelf & CEO, Talonedge


“Karen is a change agent who can effectively challenge status quo thinking and approaches to provoke new conversations and inspire innovation.”

Kate Power, Executive Director, Family Counselling & Support Services for Guelph-Wellington

“Karen Farbridge has been the best municipal leader in Canada in advancing a sustainable city future.  Adding to that is the most advanced community energy plan in the country.  Ever since I was in Guelph a few years ago to kick off the Guelph sustainable city citizen’s engagement process, I’ve followed Guelph’s incredible progress and success under Mayor Farbridge’s leadership.”

Michael Harcourt, former Mayor of Vancouver & former Premier of British Columbia

“Karen was hired on by MyHEAT for her strong connections in both government and environmental affairs in the province of Ontario.  Needless to say, she was extremely influential in getting us meetings with decision makers and municipal leaders that we likely would not have obtained otherwise.  Karen has a solid understanding of the political landscape and how best to approach it with our business. I would highly recommend Karen and would not hesitate to contract her for similar business in the future.” 

 Chris Pettigrew, Business Development, MyHEAT 


“Karen has an incredible ability to engage with individuals and groups to probe for insights and new perspectives. She effectively leads conversation that generate new ideas and models for solving complex energy challenges." 

Ian McVey, Project Manager, Ontario Climate Consortium

Urban Connector Blog

Informed and engaged citizens make our communities great. Urban connectors are innovators, change makers, and city builders. They are people who get involved to make their community a better place. With two-thirds of the world population estimated to be urban dwellers by 2050, we need to get cities right – for people, governments and budgets. More than 8 of 10 Canadian already live in urban environments where there are endless opportunities to grow healthy and prosperous communities. This blog explores some of these possibilities.

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Nature-based disruption

March 22, 2018 —   World Water Day is celebrated today, and this year’s theme is Nature for Water and explores nature-based solutions to the urban water challenges we face in the 21st century. Nature-based solutions take advantage of the natural functions and services provided by trees, plants, wetlands and microbes. The application of nature-based solutions is called green infrastructure which can provide similar...

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Using the past to build the future energy system

January 18, 2018 —   Brooklyn Microgrid was the first use of blockchain technology to support neighbourhood-owned renewable energy that I learned about. The platform has allowed homeowners to see their excess solar power to neighbours. They host Let’s Build a Microgrid Community workshops with the goal to revolutionize the way a community thinks about, produces and uses energy in a sustainable way. They...

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Urban planners' changing worldview

January 10, 2018 —   International Energy Association research confirms that successful urban energy planning is only possible, if energy is integrated in the entire urban planning process. But in many countries, including Canada, consideration of energy issues is still largely absent in the land use planning process. Community energy plans, developed under the leadership of municipal governments, are emerging as a standardized and...

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