Katie Kish

Mother, environmental activist, researcher, and project manager.


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 believe that we have passed environmental and social thresholds far beyond what political sustainability plans had set to save us from; now we must look towards radical transformation and innovative approaches to the future. Our social world, relying so heavily on our deteriorated and broken environment, may soon tip into an unknown future. I am interested in our role within this future; in the ways people will find meaning, purpose, and hope. This unknown future provides great possibility for creativity to emerge that will help to create new approaches to education, economics, and community. There are a number of people already tapping into this creativity, and that within their creativity there lies solutions to our deepest problems. This was the focus on my PhD research, which I am now taking a break from. Having a baby amplified the scariness of this future and has made me want to find a way to tangibly help create these new systems. Life outside of academia also provides a healthier work/life balance. 🙂

During my time as the University of Waterloo, I worked under the supervision of Stephen Quilley and Stephen Murphy. 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

Now, in my ‘new’ life I do web-design, crochet (a lot), go camping, sing with my daughter and do DIY things. 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.