Russ Daye

Russ has studied faith traditions and worked on justice and reconciliation initiatives in Canada, India, the Middle East, South Africa, and the South Pacific. He has a Ph.D. in comparative religious ethics. Currently he is the lead minister at St. Andrew’s United Church and a sessional professor at the Atlantic School of Theology, and is training as an interfaith meditation teacher.

Susan Szpakowski
Tony Lamport

Tony was involved in almost every significant area of government economic policy-making during his 25-year civil service career. In 2008, as Senior Advisor to the Province on Sustainable Prosperity, he helped create Nova Scotia’s first sustainable economic growth strategy, which formed the basis for the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA). He was a founding member of the ALIA Institute and the Halifax Tool Library and serves on the board of the Wayside Initiative.

Susan Szpakowski
Jennifer DeCoste

Jennifer is a regional weaver for the national Social Innovation Canada network. Her passion for innovation has led to work with both public and private sector organizations to create successful collaborations, trust-centred relationships and bring about tangible shifts in organizations and cultures. Active in her community, Jennifer led the barter-based education initiative TradeSchool International in Nova Scotia and is currently spurring a network of barter-based folk schools called “Life.School.House."

Susan Szpakowski
Annika Voltan

Annika Voltan is the Executive Director of Inspiring Communities—a provincial initiative applying the Collective Impact principles to community engagement work in three sites across the province. She is currently working on a PhD in Social Entrepreneurship at St. Mary's University and has a background in public policy across multiple levels of government and subject areas.

Susan Szpakowski
Andy Horsnell

For nearly 30 years, Andy has been helping people to use entrepreneurship to develop thriving local communities. He has consulted with, trained and volunteered with 100s of non-profits and community groups. He was founding director of the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia, and is now the vice chair of the Social Enterprise Council of Canada, and board chair of the Centre for Local Prosperity. A co-founder of Common Good Solutions (CGS), Andy is now an independent consultant and trainer.

Susan Szpakowski
Barbara Bash

Barbara is a calligraphic visual artist engaged with words, images and community creative rituals. She was on the Creative Process team for the Authentic Leadership in Action Summer Institutes in Nova Scotia. Barbara teaches and performs widely. Her most recent book is True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude. See also

Susan Szpakowski
Susan Szpakowski
IMG_7813 (1).jpg

Susan was part of the founding group of the Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Institute and was its Executive Director for 10 years. In that context she had the privilege to work with some of the most influential thought leaders and social innovators in the world. She has also been a strategist with Engage Nova Scotia since 2012. In the fall of 2017 she decided to build on her Engage and ALIA experience to help create How We THRIVE.

Hélène Branch
Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 11.29.51 AM.png

Hélène is co-founder of Bird & Branch Consulting, a small South Shore-based firm that offers a fresh, collaborative approach to building engaged, creative and resilient rural communities and organizations. She is also the founder of Branch & Co, specializing in organizational and leadership transformation. A skilled organizational diagnostician, troubleshooter and strategic thinker with a keen understanding of systems and interdependencies, Hélène strives to create positive team dynamics to help bring out the best in individuals, groups and leaders.