About the speaker
Mary Rowe is an impassioned civic leader with diverse experience in the business, government, not-for-profit and philanthropy sectors in Canada and the U.S. Over 30 years, Mary has been a steady advocate and champion for place-based approaches to building livable and resilient cities, and community-driven local economies. She has led campaigns, organizations, initiatives and companies spanning a few months to several years.
A resourceful social entrepreneur, dynamic personality and very convincing communicator, Mary is a sought-after project leader and most recently was chosen as one of 300 for 300: an honour roll of individuals selected over three centuries for their unique contribution to the City of New Orleans, where she supported local community leaders to foster resilience after Hurricane Katrina.
Mary has led national and international urban initiatives from Toronto and New York City, including Re-Imagining the Civic Commons, an initiative to strengthen elements of the urban fabric that create social cohesion and community resilience, including libraries, community centres, parks and other 'third places.' Mary's current roles include empowering Canada's largest cities to be economically vibrant, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable as senior advisor to Evergreen (evergreen.ca) and Future Cities Canada (futurecitiescanada.ca) and as co-executive lead for the National Urban Project (theurbanproject.ca).
She is also senior fellow with Shorefast (shorefast.org), a charity and social enterprise focused on building place-based economic development strategies that strengthen local communities.