OUR TEAM |
Ryan is an urban planner, community engagement practitioner, and youth advocate. As Co-Founder of Urban Minds, he bridges the gap between youth and decision makers by developing youth engagement strategies with municipalities and community partners. His work includes organizing the annual 1UPToronto Conference and the 1UP Leaders Lab program, where high school students learn about city building and gain practical skills in civic leadership. Ryan has extensive experience in facilitating engagement events for placemaking and transportation projects across Canada and the US.
Alexander is an urban planner interested in fostering interactive, playful, and engaging city-building discussions. With previous experience at the YMCA and Evergreen Canada, he is passionate about providing spaces for children and youth to express their understandings of the world.
Alexander is also the Co-Director of Urban Planning Education at Small Print Toronto where he leads arts and craft based workshops for children to unpack city-building challenges, and is a former co-lead of RUaPlanner? at Ryerson University.
Alexander enjoys cycling the city’s ravines and trails, as well as creating illustrations and watercolour paintings.
Catherine is a student at St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School. Through creating various designs, she hopes to continue improving and learning more about graphic design for personal growth and future endeavors. In her spare time, she will often sing, read, and cook with friends even when they're terrible chefs.
Angela is an architectural designer, educator, and youth advocate. As Co-Founder of Urban Minds, she elevates youth voices in the decision-making process of cities by delivering educational school workshops about urban planning and by mentoring a growing network of high school students. Angela is the recipient of the Sappi Ideas That Matter Grant, which funded the production of her 1UP Starter Kit, a key resource for high school students to lead their own community design-build projects. Her design expertise is recognized as winner of the City of Toronto’s Everyone is King: Design-Build Competition with her team’s youth-friendly curb lane public art installation, #WouldYouRatherTO.
Sanjana is trained as an engineer and is passionate about community engagement and building equitable cities. Her community-building experience includes leading a bike club and a book club in Edmonton, Alberta. After working for four years as an engineer in the energy sector, Sanjana recently transitioned careers to working in active transportation. As a School Travel Planner in Ajax, she works with community partners to develop solutions to promote walking and cycling among parents and students. She is always on the hunt for cool, quirky coffee shops around the city.
Mary is a student at St Robert Catholic High School. This year, in serving the 1UP Youth City Builders Program, she would like to improve her photography and Photoshop skills and learn more about videography. Mary loves to play the cello, travel, and imagine small ways of making the world a better place.
Santessa is a dedicated motivator for equity-seeking groups in the city building dialogue. As Program Manager for Urban Minds, she is committed to leveraging opportunities for youth to express themselves. As an urban planner, Santessa shares her skills through visual communication, community involvement and research.
With previous experiences at the City of Toronto, Evergreen, Ontario Ministry of Environment and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Santessa always finds unique ways to engage in the city. You can find Santessa running around town (literally), catching a new superhero flick or playing with some mapping technology.
Giannella is an Ecuadorian-born, Netherlands-raised, and at the moment, Canadian-based conceptual and visual designer. With previous experience at Evergreen Canada and as a Multidisciplinary Designer, Giannella has been successful at creating brand messages, strategies and key graphic productions for different start-ups and non-profit organizations.
As Outreach Coordinator for Urban Minds, she is committed to developing and delivering targeted and results-driven communication and visual translations consistently across digital advertising and marketing platforms. She is also passionate about providing opportunities for youth to express their understanding of city-building and the impact that they can have in their cities.
Alex is a student at Earl Haig Secondary School. He believes that with the help of mentors and enriching events, the youth of today will be one step closer to realizing their future. During his breaks, he plays hockey, listens to music, and practices cardistry.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD |
An architect by training, Arnaud is a culture, communications and media pioneer for the architecture and design industry. Growing up surrounded by grandiose mountains in the Northern French Alps, he developed an idiosyncratic love for nature, which nurtured his early creative and adventurous spirit. These are character traits that he still cherishes and nurture to this day, as they allow him to see things from a different perspective.
A citizen of Bhutan, Lhazin leads national projects that builds capacity and bridges the gap between civic engagement and systems change at Evergreen. She has lead the Civic Commons strategy, Future Cities Canada Roadshow, and 100In1Day Canada, and is currently leading Future City Builders and supporting Evergreen’s work on Labs. Lhazin has extensive experience as a facilitator and program designer, honed over time spent at Evergreen, Ashoka Canada, and Kawartha World Issues Centre.
Our 1UP Executive Team serves as our youth advisors on our projects and initiatives.