The Design Team

Design Team and Process

The Together Wise approach to consultation was designed in 2019 by a collaboration of community leaders, faith leaders and housing providers in Edmonton. Four design workshops held over the course of nine weeks allowed us to collaborate in a rich and meaningful way, learning together.

We came together as a gathering of diverse Edmonton neighbours…

  • with good and bad experiences of consultation
  • with lived experience of poverty and homelessness
  • serving as community league representatives
  • serving as leaders in our faith communities
  • with professional expertise in consultation and engagement
  • and as developers and housing providers (market and non-market)

Our project team leaders included the following faith leaders, community and civics leaders, engagement workers, and housing providers: 

  • Rev. Kathie Schmitke from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. 
  • Stephanie Kovach from the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues. 
  • Hazel Navarroza from Capital Region Housing Corporation. 
  • Steve Grubich, a community voice who believes involving members and citizens in decision & governance processes is key in high-functioning teams and communities.  Steve designs and facilitates sessions that enable groups to find common ground and move forward together.
  • Eli Schrader, a community voice and a community engagement leader for several non-profits in Edmonton’s core communities. 
  • Claire Ashton, Principal with Cashton Consulting and public engagement specialist. 
  • Pieter deVos, involved in community engagement with the Province of Alberta.   
  • Bill Diepeveen, a Church Elder and professional mediator, serving as the chair of our planning team.
  • Mike Van Boom, formerly a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church, working as the Interfaith Network Animator for the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative (CRIHI)

The TogetherWise planning team and participants are grateful to the following organizations for their critical support:

  1. Edmonton’s Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative for their collaborative leadership in visioning, networking, grant-writing, recruiting and provision of staff support to enable this project’s success.
  2. The Edmonton Community Foundation who accepted and provided funding for this project as a practical follow-up to a previous effort undertaken by Edmonton Shiftlab.
  3. Al Rashid Mosque who offered the hospitality of their conference room for planning team meetings and served as fiscal agent for the project.
  4. The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues for their insights, counsel and support at the outset of this project, and their assistance with delivery and promotion.
  5. Edmonton Shiftlab for getting some initial work in this area started.  See the work they did at the following link:

If you are interested to explore further how we did this learning together, our workshop reports are available on request to