Executive Director and Co-founder
Karen co-founded Waterlution 11 years ago with the purpose of inspiring pattern-making and pattern breaking change toward a healthier relationship with our water. It was during her time in South Africa in 2002 that the idea emerged, that to solve complex water issues, a blended format of content and process was needed; one without the other would lead only to partial results. With vision, facilitation skills and a growing network, Waterlution began to grow in 2004 and the signature Future of Water workshop series developed. In all these programs, Karen aims to push Waterlution’s capacity to be more creative and innovative and to inspire others to be the leaders and mentors they are capable of being. Water complexities require us to have cross-sector dialogue, in inter-generational learning, in pushing ourselves and each other to think in ways we never thought possible. Along with her water background, she is a skilled business leader who from 2005-2012 was publisher of Corporate Knights magazine.
Youth Engagement Designer & Facilitator
Dona is a stakeholder and community engagement specialist, focused on projects at the intersection of social and environmental (water) innovation. As a facilitator with Waterlution and organizer with the Water Youth Network, she has hosted and facilitated well over 70 workshops (including at the Budapest Water Summit, 7th World Water Forum in South Korea, Water Innovation Labs – Canada & Europe, Singapore International Water Week), in community, academic and corporate settings and with diverse stakeholder groups. Dona began her journey with Waterlution in 2011 as Hub Manager and built a network of engaged water professionals across Toronto and Southern Ontario. She is now working with Waterlution on the global expansion of the Water Innovation Labs. Dona is also co-founder of the Freeing Dreams Institute. She holds a Master in Globalization Studies from the Centre for Globalization and Human Condition at McMaster University, with a joint graduate diploma in Water Without Borders from the United Nations University- Institute for Water, Environment and Health (INWEH).
Tatiana is a social entrepreneur, sustainability practitioner and change strategist. She works across sectors and cultures to develop life-affirming and resilient leadership for whole systems innovation. She is passionate about systemic change, sustainability, water, enabling start-up initiatives/enterprises, creating synergies, good questions and meaningful conversations.
Along with her role at Waterlution, Tatiana is also a partner of Engage! InterAct, collaborator with The Hub and involved in The Art of Hosting fellowship. Tatiana holds a M.Sc. in Responsibility & Business Practice (University of Bath, UK). As a skilled and enthusiastic designer and facilitator of learning processes, she draws on participatory practices such as Circle, World Café, Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry and other social technologies to enable transitions to new futures. She is certified as a FlowGame host, experienced in cross-functional process improvement and trained in CSR reporting assurance.
Heather is an international education consultant, designing innovative, standards-based, experiential curriculum for diverse students. She’s an Ontario Certified Teacher with12 years experience as a classroom teacher and environmental/outdoor education specialist and program coordinator. Heather brings a unique international perspective and skill set to projects, having taught in the USA, Australia, England, and Canada. Most recently, she designed and taught a Grade 5-8 International Baccalaureate (IB) program at ACS International School in London, England, specializing in science, visual arts and integrated technology. While there, she participated in cutting-edge professional development in the UK and Europe, designed and facilitated student leadership and group development workshops, and directed a middle school artist in residence program, creating permanent recycled-art pieces for the school/community. Previously, she was an environmental education facilitator at Active Education in Adelaide, South Australia, leading groups of students in grades 3-12 on standards-based outdoor adventure camps, with a focus on environmental science and group development. Heather is currently based in Hamilton, ON. She enjoys traveling, hiking, drawing, and going on outdoor adventures with her family.
Julia is Waterlution’s Program Consultant. She was drawn to Waterlution in 2008 as a workshop participant, keen to connect with other water lovers and change-makers. Julia’s undergraduate research at McMaster University looked at the implications of “fishing down the food chain” in Atlantic Canada. Her Master Degree in Environmental Studies, from the University of Waterloo, focused on freshwater management in Canada. Her research examined the social barriers to urban residential rainwater harvesting and how to overcome these obstacles. By the end of her studies, Julia found she had lots of water knowledge but was lacking a community to share with and the processes to put ideas into action. Waterlution provided this community, the processes and so much more.
Aboriginal Youth Water Leader
Tessa is a member of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band of the Okanagan Nation located in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Tessa is currently finishing her undergrad in environmental and indigenous governance at UBC in Vancouver. She strongly believes that indigenous people of Canada need to be included as co-equal partners at the decision-making process with regard to water and land. She is very passionate about youth empowerment and leadership development grounded in traditional teachings. As an indigenous woman she has a responsibility to protect the water. In addition to her work with Waterlution, she is a Youth Reconciliation Leader at Canadian Roots.
Victoria joined Waterlution in 2008 as the organization’s first full-time administrator, and stayed on until January 2012 to lead the core team under Karen. She has been thrilled to be a part of Waterlution in its formative years, and is continuing to assist the team as a special advisor. A native of Halifax, NS, Victoria holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science from Queen’s University and an LLM in Water Law from the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at the University of Dundee. Her recent work, based out of the occupied Palestinian Territories, centres on cross-border water management in conflict situations. She is most interested in the role of meaningful education and cross-sector dialogue in achieving deep systemic change. She thanks Karen and Tat for pursuing their vision!
Water History Content Curator
Meredith Denning is completing a PhD in transboundary water management at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She is curious about how local people work across borders to participate in governing their home waters. When teaching, she works hard to show how humans respond to environmental change over time. Over the past year, she has been organizing workshops in digital humanities, the process of mining ‘born digital’ documents and presenting historical narratives using non-traditional tools like interactive maps, databases, and online archives. Recently, she has presented her research into the history of the Great Lakes at conferences in Beijing, Munich, and Toronto. A Toronto native and proud dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., she loves to canoe, kayak, sail and bike by the lake. She is very excited to be involved with Waterlution’s Great Waters Challenge and the Great Lakes Initiative this year.