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Karen Farbridge

President & Urban Connector
Karen Farbridge & Associates Ltd
Karen Farbridge | Présidente et connectrice urbaine
Karen Farbridge | Présidente et connectrice urbaine
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Education Pathway

Karen Farbridge is the President & Urban Connector of Karen Farbridge & Associates Ltd.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born in England, emigrated to Canada when I was 3 and grew up in the country north of Toronto near the village of Kettleby, Ontario, Canada.

I now live in: I now live in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

I completed my training/education at: University of Guelph and McMaster University

What I do at work

I spend much of my day bringing people together and connecting them to ideas and opportunities. I work with teams on research projects. Sometimes I spend time conducting interviews and writing reports. I work with people who want to make a difference by sharing my own experiences and knowledge. I am frequently asked to speak to people about my experience in leading change and building healthier and more sustainable communities. I also write about my experiences and thoughts on my blog. I use the critical thinking skills I developed through my science background to help people solve "wicked" problems like climate change. A lot of my work is about engaging people in their communities so that they can make a difference.

 

My career path is

I began my career in academics at the University of Guelph in fish endocrinology. I took a leave of absence from academia when I had my son. At that time I worked for a non-profit organization. I enjoyed working in the community so much that I took a significant turn to run for City Council and then Mayor. I spent 17 years in local politics. Now I have built my own business based on my past experience. I ran in 8 election losing 3 of them over this time which taught to keep pursuing my passion.

I am motivated by

I love working with people on projects that will make the world a better place for everyone. I enjoy the possibility that arises when you connect people with each other and the opportunities that they can create together. I have had the incredible opportunity to work in very different roles in my community - from academics, leading a non-profit organization, being mayor, to running my own business.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My work has always focused on helping people be part of the decisions that affect their lives and to empower them to make a difference in their own community. I have done this work through different roles including as the mayor of Guelph for 11 years.

Outside of work I

I like to hike in nature, garden, travel, cook and make mosaics.

My advice to others

I would encourage others to take opportunities when they are offered, even if they seem odd or might challenge you, because you never know where they will lead.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Math
  • Science
  • Other: Philosophy
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Liked reading
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades

Explore Career Profiles

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    Christy Hipel

    Account Solutions (Sales)

    I contact potential clients to help them understand how we can help them address their environmental problems.
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    Justin Rotman

    Founder & CEO

    I help to determine business strategy and lead our team to serve our customers and build our product.
  • Jo-Anne McArthur photographing hog in pen.

    Jo-Anne McArthur (she/her)

    Photojournalist, Founder

    I operate a non-profit media organization that shows the lives of animals in pictures.
  • Portrait de Sydney Robinson

    Sydney Robinson

    Biomedical Engineer and Entrepreneur

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  • Portrait de Ryan Mitchell

    Ryan Mitchell

    Hatchery Supervisor

    My job is to supervise the daily workflow at our salmon hatchery.
  • Steve Lawrence headshot with trees in the background

    Steve Lawrence

    Sales Manager

    As sales manager for Eos Positioning in Canada, I work with the Sales Reps, Marketing and Production.
  • Nathan Kostiuk headshot

    Nathan Kostiuk

    Western Regional Coordinator

    Nathan coordinates the work of the Let’s Talk Science volunteer sites from Manitoba to British Columbia.
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    Mustafa Eldeeb

    Project Manager, Navy Programs

    I am responsible for ensuring the various project teams are performing well and following to the approved budget and schedule set for each project.
  • Justin Kole tenant un caniche dans ses bras.

    Justin M. R. Kole

    Operations Advisor

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  • Viviana Ramirez-Luna dehors en hiver

    Viviana Ramirez-Luna (she/her)

    Environmental Entrepreneur

    I founded (and run) a consulting company to help businesses, communities, and organizations reduce the waste they produce
  • Ilias Hader

    Ilias Hader (he/him)

    Artificial Intelligence Consultant & Team Leader

    I help companies take advantage of AI technologies and I manage a team to build an automated food production system for long space missions. 
  • Steve Fletcher

    Steve Fletcher

    Managing Director

    I am the Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.
  • Amanda McCallum

    Amanda McCallum

    Geologist, Communication Specialist, Business Owner

    I'm a prospecting geologist, a science communication specialist and business owner.
  • Bryan Rolph

    Bryan Rolph

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    Dawn Pratt

    STEM Consultant

    I develop programs and STEM content and advise on the development of STEM programs.
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    Ashley Noseworthy

    CEO/Founder of Edgewise Environmental

    I own and operate an environmental consultancy that helps companies reduce their underwater noise pollution.
  • Edwin Makkinga

    Edwin Makkinga

    Manager, Climate Policy

    In my job I consider the risks and opportunities from climate-related public policy and how Enbridge can be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
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    Steven Ryan

    Creative Director

    Steven Ryan is a creative director with a design and marketing communications firm.
  • Vivek Chauhan

    Vivek Chauhan

    Program Advisor, Renewable Generation

    Vivek is an electrical engineer who works for Ontario Power Generation.
  • Patty Simpson

    Patty Simpson (she/her)

    Environmental Coordinator

    As the head of the Environment Department at a uranium mine, it is my responsibility to make sure that the mine does not pollute the surrounding environment.