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Our passion is helping communities and organizations solve their complex challenges. 


We weave together diverse backgrounds in sustainability, facilitation, research, systems thinking and public engagement. Our work across North America, Latin America, Japan and Europe allows us to call on this global network for perspective and wisdom.  

We are a collaboration laboratory - providing spaces for people to innovate, experiment and strengthen their practices for leading in the world.  


sophia horwitz // 

Sophia hosts processes that support generative conversations and co-creation to uncover innovative approaches for social impact. While completing her Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability she was introduced to the change-making methods and theories that she practices today.  She is a partner and co-founder of COLAB, where she has helped launch programs, projects and organizations such as Mainstreets, Art of Social Innovation, Participatory Budgeting, Placemaking Halifax and cross Canada Placemaking research and network development. Her wide ranging roles have included acting as sustainability officer in Honduras to ambassador of North America in Japan’s rebuilding efforts post 2011 tsunami.  Sophia’s current work is focused on providing leadership, and sustainable community development trainings in Canada and internationally.

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gregory woolner // 

Gregory is a life-long learner that is dedicated to tackling social and environmental challenges one step at a time through interdisciplinary collaboration, and rigorous research.  With an Honours BA in Sociology, and Master's in Adult Education, and as a partner of COLAB, he brings many years of experience in process design, developmental evaluation, program development, and facilitation. Lately his work has been split between initiatives that seek to increase civic participation (currently leading a year long public engagement process to develop the new Master Plan for the Halifax Common.) and working as developmental evaluator on regional and national efforts, including NouLab - NB’s Social and Public Innovation Lab, Canada’s EcoFiscal Commission, the Pan Canadian Joint Consortium on School Health, and The Donner Canadian Foundation.

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joanna brenchley // 

Joanna Brenchley’s passions for collaborative process and participatory leadership arose from her time as a key organizer with a local climate justice group. With a background in Environmental Science and Sustainability, Joanna applies long-term sustainability and strategic thinking to everyday life: building networks and supporting local action. She has been working and experimenting with collaborative leadership, organizational development and project management in her leadership roles with 100in1Day Halifax, Divest Dal and Youthful Cities.  Most recently she has been designing and leading retreats for different teams of the Ecology Action Centre, and carrying out a research project in partnership with the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University.



Alia is an eternally curious person who continues to explore many disciplines under the umbrella of the questions, “Why do we do that? And how can we make that work for more people?”

With an interest in socio-cultural systems and the importance of asking good questions, Alia puts her B.A in IDS and Spanish to good use. She has considerable experience in facilitating inclusion-based workshops and student engagement processes. Most recently, Alia has been facilitating workshops through her workplace and spent the last year working on the RBC Sustainability Leadership Certificate with the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University. In her other time, she serves as a Justice of the Peace and birth doula.