Vision & Mission
Leadnow is an independent advocacy organization that runs campaigns on the major issues of our time, engages people in participatory decision-making, and organizes in communities across Canada. We envision country where people work together to build an open democracy, create a fair economy and ensure a safe climate for all generations.
It’s been just over three years since 3,000 people from all across Canada came together before the 2011 election and began building the Leadnow.ca campaigning community.
People become part of this community by taking part in campaigns to defend our democracy and hold governments accountable to the values of a majority of people across Canada.
By taking action through a wide range of campaigns – from the omnibus crime bill and budget bills, to the Canada-China FIPPA investors deal and the CBC takeover clause – our community has grown from a small youth-led team to include over 360,000 people across Canada, and our voice keeps getting stronger everyday.
The Leadnow.ca community believes that as we come together to defend the things we care about, we can also help build the momentum this country needs to rise to the major challenges of our times.
Through local gatherings and online surveys, the Leadnow.ca community has decided to focus our long-term efforts on strengthening Canada’s democracy, doing our part to stop runaway climate change, and building a fair economy that reverses the trend of growing inequality.
Your input is crucial because this community’s people-powered campaigns only work if they help you have a powerful impact on the issues you care about. Look at what our community has told us and help us make the big decisions about the future of our work together by visiting our Connect page.
Leadnow currently has a small, dedicated staff team, and many amazing volunteers and advisors who support our work.
Matthew trained as an atmospheric scientist, and has a decade of experience as an organizer, facilitator and campaign strategist, working with a variety of non-profits, public institutions and governments. Originally from England, he now lives in Grimsby, Ontario, where his wife’s family have been farming for seven generations.
Jamie has a background in large-scale online and offline collaboration to develop policy and campaigns. He began organizing in the youth climate movement, co-founding Common Energy and goBeyond to bring university communities across British Columbia together to support regional climate action. Jamie’s research focused on the need for democratic innovation to tackle social, ecological and economic problems. He has served on the boards of multiple environmental, social justice, and educational organizations.
External Relations Director
Julia began working with Leadnow in the fall of 2011 and brings more than 10 years experience as an organizer, campaigner and strategist. She has a background in journalism and communications, having worked as a contributor and guest-host at CBC Radio and as a consultant in the biomedical field. Julia works on Leadnow’s external relations, including partnership development and political strategy.
Ryan specializes in using technology as a tool to help the Leadnow community take easy, effective action on a range of important issues. He runs his own design and strategy consultancy, Grassriots.
With a background in environmental and social justice organizing, climate science and policy, food security, and journalism, Maggie joined Leadnow’s staff team in June 2012 after a year as President of the Students’ Society of McGill University. She works on Leadnow’s organizational development and strategy, finances, human resources, governance, and general internal coordination. Born and raised in Victoria, BC, she now calls Halifax home.
Kelly joined Leadnow in May 2014 and is based in Calgary. In her role as Campaign Manager, she is responsible for developing responses to current events and policy developments through timely, online campaigns while at the same time coordinating online integration support for longer-term, strategic, organizing initiatives across the country. Kelly has been both a scholar of and participant in citizen-based movements and initiatives supporting participatory democracy, community development, indigenous rights, economic and social justice and peacebuilding over the past 15 years. She holds a Master of Arts in political anthropology studying the impact of social movements on the development of a democratic political culture in Mexico. Her work in the non-profit sector has focused on program development, organizational strategy, group facilitation and training and building community partnerships.
Community Support Coordinator
From finances to friendly emails, Tess works in many parts of the organization. She provides support to both the Leadnow community and staff in their daily interactions. She answers emails, processes donations and provides administrative backing. She is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria, and majored in Environmental Studies and Human Geography. Before Leadnow, Tess volunteered with the Sierra Club of BC and work with Fortis BC in energy conservation.
Training Coordinator and BC Regional Organizer
A talented educator who has focused on popular and experiential education, Anna is passionate about creating opportunities that empower people to create positive change in their lives and their communities. After completing her Masters in Education at the University of Alberta in 2010, Anna began working at the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership before joining the Leadnow team as a volunteer in the fall of 2011. As Leadnow’s Training Coordinator and BC Regional Organizer, she works on developing resources and trainings to support Leadnow campaigns and projects, and provides support to volunteer organizers across BC. She grew up in the Monashee Mountains of BC, and now calls Victoria home.
Communications and Executive Assistant
Rodrigo first came to Canada to study political science at the University of British Columbia. After assimilating into Canadian culture, enjoying the boundless wilderness and being active in the local social movements, he came to the realization that Canada is was now his new home. With a diverse background in organizing with Oxfam Canada, The Sierra Club and Powershift BC, Rodrigo joined Leadnow to support the Executive Director and the organizing teams as the Communications and Executive Assistant. He is currently based in Vancouver but has aspirations of exploring all of Canada.
Manager, National Organizing Network
Logan’s background is in environmental justice, deliberative dialogue and petro-politics organizing. She has designed and implemented deliberative projects that engaged hundreds of University of Alberta community members in sustainability planning. Her petro-politics organizing was directed at engagement around the tar sands, Indigenous solidarity, and water justice issues. Logan joined Leadnow in the spring of 2012, as a coordinator of decentralized days of action. Now she works on Leadnow’s national organizing plans, which build a foundation for action leading up to the 2015 federal election and beyond.
As Vancouver Organizer, Jolan works to support the formation and development of on-the-ground organizing teams in the greater Vancouver area. Before joining Leadnow, Jolan helped galvanize opposition to pipelines and tankers in BC, through tried and true, boots-on-the-ground organizing. Jolan sees face-to-face conversations between regular people as the building blocks of any successful movement, and is excited about creating pathways to for Leadnow’s online supporters to take action offline, in their communities.
Eastern Regional Organizer
Katelynn joined the team in 2014 and is focused on expanding Leadnow’s grassroots organizing capacity throughout Eastern Canada. She has a background in youth political engagement work and a passion for democratic renewal. She came to the East Coast from Manitoba to attend Dalhousie University, and now lives in Halifax.
Regional Organizer for the Prairies and the North
As the Regional Organizer for the Prairies and the North, Leslie’s role is to support people organizing on the ground and to build up Leadnow’s organizing network in the region. With a background in social justice, community development, and anti-poverty work, Leslie is passionate about supporting people to have greater influence over the systems that impact their lives.
Campaign Manager, Organizing and Engagement
Amara works on bridging online and offline action, and is coordinating the participatory design of Leadnow’s election strategy, as well as our longer-term strategies for an open democracy, a fair economy, and climate justice.
Based in Toronto, she’s an active trainer, facilitator, and organizer. She has worked on a number of projects, creative actions, and campaigns with the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, and recently coordinated McGill’s community-wide sustainability visioning and action planning process. She also serves on the board of the Center for Story-based Strategy, and is wrapping up a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo.
Leadnow relies on skilled, dedicated volunteers to drive our work forward. It’s impossible to recognize every person who’s contributed, and we are thankful to each and every member of our community who’s stepped up. Our current long-term champion volunteers include:
Laura Cornish recently completed her M.A. student in Resource Management and Environmental Studies at UBC. Her research is focused on processes and strategies capable of mobilizing the general public, and specific communities in supporting and implementing climate solutions. Laura answers general Leadnow emails, contributes her organizational skills to keeping track of many of Leadnow’s to do lists, and helps out on-the-ground organizing in Vancouver
Adam co-founded Leadnow in March 2011, and currently sits on the Board of Directors. After graduating from McGill University, he began his career as a management consultant with Oliver Wyman in Washington, New York and New Delhi before becoming engaged in climate change advocacy with Power Shift Canada and C-Day: Fill the Hill. He is a Junior Fellow at Massey College, a law student at the University of Toronto, and will be a 2013 summer student with McCarthy Tetrault.
Jodie Tonita is co-founder and Director of the Social Transformation Project. Jodie has had a 12-year career building progressive infrastructure that helps individuals, organizations and movements maximize their power and effectiveness. Jodie previously co-lead the evolution of Web of Change, a prominent conference and community that connects the foremost thinkers and do-ers in social media, technology, and social change. Jodie served as Program Manager for Groundwire, a nonprofit dedicated to the creative and strategic use of technology for scaling citizen engagement. While at Groundwire Jodie helped found Organizing for Change and Conservation Voters of BC, two collaborative efforts designed to win critical environmental policy fights.
Jodie has experience serving on the board of the Surrey Women’s Center and was a dedicated volunteer with Oxfam Canada.