Karen Farbridge, President & Urban Connector


Karen Farbridge leads Karen Farbridge & Associates, a consultancy based  2021 photoin Guelph, Ontario, Canada. 

She advises federal, provincial and municipal policy makers and industry leaders on building sustainable and resilient communities.  Her key area of expertise is in managing complex, multi-stakeholder policy and decision-making environments to deliver results.

Karen has a long interest in building more sustainable and resilient communities. 

She has worked in the non-profit, public and private sectors for over 30 years to advance community engagement in local decision and has led numerous community innovations in smart growth, downtown revitalization, open government, neighbourhood development, community wellbeing, resource and natural heritage protection, community energy and municipal governance.  Her experience includes eleven years as the mayor of Guelph. 

Karen is well connected in the municipal and community energy sector in Canada.  She is respected speaker who has delivered hundreds of talks on matter of current urban interest to a diverse range of audiences both locally and internationally.  She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in urban sustainability at both the University of Guelph and York University, including a graduate course and a two-day professional development course for planners in community energy planning.

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

 Key Strengths

  • Goverance leadership spanning the public, private and non-for-profit sectors
  • Strategic leadership experience managing complex, multi-stakeholder policy and decision-making environments
  • Significant understanding of the municipal legislative, regulatory and policy environment in Ontario
  • Experience in building effective and innovative community engagement processes
  • Engaging speaker with wide and varied experiences as a keynote presenter