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

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.

See our offering

 

Collaborating

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.

See our collaborators

Connecting

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!

See our connections

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:

Generation SDG Summit

Date: April 21 - 25, 2018

Host/Location: Waterloo Global Sciences Initiative/Perimeter Institute

Enabling communities implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Sign up to Urban Connector

 

 

Local legacy makers

May 8, 2018 — Sustainability transitions are not easy. They are disruptive, by nature. So, when you try to accelerate them, regardless how noble your intentions, it puts a target on your back. People like things the way they are, even when it is not good for them. That is why there are particles of plastic in ninety percent of some of world’s popular...

→ Read More

Elephants and local democracy

April 15, 2018 — I have always appreciated the ancient parable of the blind men and the elephant that originated from the Indian subcontinent, many centuries ago. I was first introduced to the fable in an eastern philosophy course during university and it has frequently come to mind over the years. It goes, a little like this: Several blind men come upon an elephant...

→ Read More

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...

→ Read More