Who we Are
Synapse Strategies is A consultancy committed to helping local communities and organizations ‘bridge the gap’ to a sustainable future.
Our philosophy is rooted in a synergistic combination of two main themes: first, understanding ‘whole systems’ sustainability science coupled with a structured approach to decision-making and second, enacting a collaborative approach to co-creating new possibilities through engaged client participation in the change process.
Recognizing that achieving an attractive, sustainable society means transformative change across sectors, we work closely with clients and stakeholders to help them clarify main priorities, create an attractive vision and identify options for taking strategic action. Different projects call for different types of services: we can provide a collaborative approach to envisioning, facilitation, coaching, education, research, analysis and action planning.
With over 30 years experience, the partners of Synapse, David Waldron and Katie Pease, have a diverse portfolio with projects including: award-winning community sustainability partnerships, integrated community planning, supervision of various municipal engineering projects, and planning for sustainable community food and energy systems. In addition, they have led the design and delivery of both community-based and graduate level sustainability education programs.
This team brings a fresh, optimistic approach to strategic sustainable development and welcomes the opportunity to explore new challenges.
David Waldron is a Sustainability Professional with considerable expertise in converting complex challenges into clear, original sustainability strategies and world-class results that walk the talk. Formerly a professional civil engineer, Dave has, for 15 years initiated, directed and advised on nationally and internationally leading sustainability movements for local and regional governments, businesses, charitable organizations and universities.
Since beginning his career as a professional engineer, David was a central figure in establishing an internationally recognized sustainability movement in Whistler, Canada. He co-authored Whistler’s first vision and environmental sustainability strategy, introduced community energy planning, coordinated a community-wide sustainability network and was a key advisor on a comprehensive sustainability plan (Whistler2020). He also represented Whistler on the Environmental Advisory Committee for the Vancouver/Whistler Bid for the 2010 Olympic Games.
David was ‘lead architect’ and Program Director for an original international Master’s program “Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability” at BTH, Sweden, where BTH become the top-ranked Swedish University for sustainability education. He also helped launchIMAGINE, a European network of hundreds of local authorities re-imagining their energy futures. David has also been Director of Sustainability and strategic advisor for the David Suzuki Foundation and lead sustainability strategy advisor to one of Canada’s largest mining corporations.
David teaches Sustainability Leadership through the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is an Adjunct Professor with Simon Fraser University (SFU). He has a Bachelor’s of Applied Science (Civil Engineering), from UBC and a Master’s of Resource and Environmental Management, from SFU.
Katie Pease works with the process of organizational change, combining the concepts of systems thinking, collaboration, and strategic planning. Her background is in sustainability, with education and experience in land use planning and community engagement. She holds a Masters degree in Strategic Sustainable Development with training in The Natural Step framework, which she applies in her work with organizations and communities.
She started her professional career at Quincy Natural Foods, a community based cooperative where she was trained in management and group decision-making processes, eventually acting as a member of the Board of Directors, steering the organization toward more sustainable practices. She has worked with organic farming businesses across California, and more recently with the Resort Municipality of Whistler and a diverse collection of stakeholders, to help create local community food systems. Incorporating a broad range of themes in the sustainability field she is a principal of Synapse, providing companies, communities and individuals with the tools to work toward a more sustainable society.