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Meet our team of experts


Robert Barrs is a co-founder of two professional consulting firms and a planner with 17 years’ experience in land use planning, sustainability strategy, policy development and research. His experience as a planning consultant has included extensive work leading multidisciplinary teams through many complex, challenging projects including community plans, neighbourhood plans, sustainability strategies and sustainable development projects in BC, Alberta and Ontario. A calm presence when facilitating, Rob also speaks often on best practices in planning

Daniella Fergusson is a community and stakeholder engagement practitioner with a background in urban planning, design, political science, and web development. On the forefront of rapidly evolving "digital engagement" thinking and practice, Daniella helps organizations become more participatory, transparent, and accountable. A skilled project manager and problem solver, Daniella has led numerous community planning and engagement projects in Canada and the US, and now provides training and tools that enhance and expand the field.

Joaquin Karakas is an experienced urban design planner and project manager with a focus on the creation of walkable, livable and low-carbon communities and neighbourhoods. Joaquin works closely with communities, stakeholders and other professionals using collaborative design workshop techniques to co-create the best possible solutions to complex planning and design challenges. He has led numerous multi-disciplinary and integrated design/planning teams and is an experienced facilitator and public speaker.

Vince Verlaan skilfully weaves robust engagement and communication activities into cutting-edge initiatives in a wide variety of sectors. With 25 years’ experience in multi-stakeholder policy creation, program development, project implementation, and education initiatives in BC, Canada and internationally, he blends participatory planning theory and practice with hands-on facilitation skills.  Increasingly called on for training and public speaking, Vince uses dialogue techniques to reduce conflict, accelerate learning, build trust, and support collaborative action.


A specialist in sustainable development, Peter Whitelaw is a strong project manager and collaborative leader who excels in challenging situations.  In 12 years of community and development planning and corporate environmental management, he has consistently innovated in zoning, long-range strategic planning, performance management and private-sector sustainable development strategies.   His greatest passion is defining sustainability clearly and practically, creating lasting value for communities, clients and colleagues.