Katie Kish

Katie is a PhD student at UWaterloo studying radical and disruptive environmental political economies.


If we sit for a while, allow entire afternoons to pass in the presence of birds, we may find they are skilled in subtle pedagogy.

– Terry Tempest Williams (1987), Pieces of White Shell: A Journey to Navajo Land

KATIE-224x300I absolutely believe that we have passed environmental and social thresholds beyond what “sustainability” plans had set to save us from; future plans must include radical transformation. Our social world, relying so heavily on our deteriorated and broken environment, will soon tip into an unknown and potentially harsh future. I am interested in our role within this future; in the ways that myself and others will find meaning and hope. While this sounds pessimistic, I believe  that on the other side of this tipping point, there is great possibility for creativity to emerge that will help to create a future we can be happy in. I also believe that there are a number of people already tapping into this creativity, and that within their creativity there lies solutions to our deepest problems. However, to allow these solutions to take hold we must be ready to challenge the status quo – to be a little uncomfortable and let go of our security blankets. Together we can light a path through to walk along together.

My name is Katie Kish. I am a PhD student in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo (though I am currently on mat-leave). I’m working under the supervision of Stephen Quilley and Stephen Murphy. Together, our research and collective passion is forging many interesting paths. Some of our projects include the Experiential Learning Group (including an in-faculty festival), Open Source Ecology UW, a first year Big History course, a curriculum focused on reskilling and knowledge for life and the Metcalf Funded reMaker Society. This work is done in collaboration with the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience and the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation.


Nora the Grump


Zoe the Huntress

Beyond school… I like to do web-design, crochet, camp, sing and do DIY things at home (mostly wood working). My husband and I have been busy growing our family first with Zoe, our strong-willed huntress, not to be messed with and more recently with our grumpy and focused daughter, Nora. Nora has helped us both to realize what’s really important in life – poop, food, and sleep.