Many moons ago, she received a degree in International Business from Carleton University and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. After working for several years in the trenches of the environmental movement, she co-created and managed an upstart green real estate development company. She was the development side of a team that realized the first Net-zero triplex in Canada. Eventually, she returned to school in order to pursue an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in the innovative interdisciplinary INDI program at Concordia University, where she studied at both the John Molson School of Business and the Department of Design and Computation Arts. She has lectured at McGill, Concordia, and Thompson Rivers Universities on topics related to entrepreneurship, society, design, and business. While she had to put her BFA on hold to pursue a Ph.D., for fun she still paints dystopic landscapes, manages hives of venomous insects and produces podcasts - first the Worlds We Want and some of the SpokenWeb podcasts. She's a maker at heart and a writer in practice, with the somewhat annoying tendency to make use of the third-person when needing to write about herself.
Cheryl’s main field of interest is design that facilitates collective behavior change. This includes the design of democratic organizations and effective collaborative processes. She has studied design for sustainable behavior change, via something called “ecofeedback,” as well as art for social change. She has come to understand that one of the better ways of learning about truly complex issues is by doing things - together with other people.
Her thesis, a project called “The Good Fight,” focuses on dialogue as a designerly practice for collaboration and a central feature of successfully completed cohousing communities in Canada. While writing her thesis she also became an affiliate of Cohousing Solutions 500 Communities Program, because she likes to mix a certain degree of practice with her theory.
Watch this quick talk about the future of smart cities and smart communities at the fourth annual Concordia University Chancellor’s Builders and Friends Dinner on October 25, 2018.