Who’s in Our Nest?
Populus is a habitat, an ecology, in which good work takes place. Nest City is the approach we take to this work. We are a collaborative team endlessly challenging and supporting ourselves to do the work we are each called to do — because that is the force that creates and recreates our cities.
We are co-creators and co-learners, who bring a rich and unique combination of professional “know how,” innovative savviness, and artistic ingenuity to creating cities that serve citizens well. We are conveners and connectors across systems, sectors, disciplines, and cultures. We are capacity builders and clarity makers, who teach and support others to step in to serve their cities well, with skill and grace and moxie.
We embody Nest City.
Beth sees the city is a nest, a habitat we build for ourselves that is as good as we choose to make it. She works with the whole systems of the city to create a strong sense of direction, a vibrant civic practice that supports the making of the city we need that serves citizens well.
Beth founded POPULUS in 2007 to shepherd efforts to build city habitats that serve citizens well. She stewards citizen, community, business and organizational conversations and decision-making into a new era where the following principles are front and center:
- communities regenerate themselves
- let’s get to where we want to go
- let’s make a city that serves its citizens
- and let’s help citizens serve the city
Beth is good to have on hand in the backcountry when you break your leg. In the front country, she makes a mean Nanaimo bar.
Katharine’s stance is one of reverence for the inner life as a valuable and necessary source of creative and wise response to complexity. An established practitioner, teacher, and mentor of process design and facilitation, she heeds her heart’s call to make and invoke beauty through creative expression as an antidote to our systems’ weariness and our world’s grief. Skilled in the artistry of deep listening, Katharine senses into the spaces she calls “before, beneath and beyond words,” to notice and name shadowed qualities so energy is freed for new possibilities and deeper connection.
Katharine brings sweet appreciation for all of us making our way, to make a better way. Oh, and she’s a wicked cook who specializes in creating one-off “silk purses” from leftovers.
Dnyanesh, founding principal of Green Space Alliance, has extensive public and private sector experience in Canadian and international projects involving master planning, urban design, architectural controls and policy planning. Dnyanesh’s experience is diverse, from large-scale urban revitalization projects to rural planning.
In 2013 he was the international Integral City Meshworker of the Year, with Beth Sanders, for his work with cities as complex systems. Dnyanesh is a former Principal Urban Designer at the City of Edmonton, always searching for ways to include the inner artist in his work.
Azkaa is fascinated by the art of process; how do we, together, go from a single word in a sentence, all the way to a paragraph, and then from a book, into a magnificent library? She’s intrigued by mastery of all kind.
Azkaa’s spent the past while working with nonprofits on governance and board development, she’s formally trained and worked in community organizing and often ruminates on the exciting challenges of team building and organizational development. She has a keen interest in healing and fostering wellness through hospitality, story and heartwork. Intimate loves include traveling for exotic honey, reflecting on the intricacies of metaphor and symbolism and, of course, orcas.
Lona loves the mystery of emergent change, whether at the scale of the individual, organization, community or province, and supports leaders in non-profit and public sectors welcoming change within themselves as a way to improve the world around them. She co-creates processes that deepen our understanding and impact on our shared, unfolding future, allowing everyone around her to join in on her quest to be a system surfer.
The potential of developmental evaluation and the possibilities of engaging ‘the messy middle’ always catch her attention. In her spare time, she is a passionate walker unable to resist Edmonton’s fabulous trails. Lona volunteers as a patient advisor , a critical role in an innovative and responsive health care system. As they say in circle practice – a leader in every chair!
Kana is a passionate in her support to others to achieve their goals. She loves creating ‘Ba’ in meaningful co-learning and networking spaces, with a spirit of hospitality. She is a recent arrival to the Edmonton area, exploring professional opportunities in Canada equal to her previous corporate work in Japan. Kana has extensive experience in the business community primarily consulting on knowledge-based management theory and facilitating change management projects. As a global citizen she wants to be a bridge/connector/translator among different worlds.
Kana is a world traveler who loves being in the water, and who is starting to love being in the snow. She also enjoys studying and exploring the power of the colours. From the Canadian Prairies, Kana continues her quest for the perfect wave on which to surf.