Brave Space begins with the assumption that we possess the collective intelligence needed to address and navigate the complex challenges of an uncertain world. We simply need to uncover it. Balancing fresh insights, critical reflection, and creative intuition with seeing the big picture, together we can discover the clarity needed to take bold steps forward.
Brave Space provides creative services tailored to meet these needs including graphic facilitation, live draw murals, videos, research and evaluation, as well as workshops and trainings that apply participatory methods for leading social change.
Marguerite Drescher is a visual artist and graphic recorder/facilitator, trained in cultivating vivid expressions for learning. She is dedicated to living art and exploring the possibilities for social transformation through creative process. Imagining and visualizing a world that is possible can allow us to create it through our collective conversation and action. Marguerite is committed to a radically inclusive approach that leads to sustainable strategies and actions.
She studied fine art at NSCAD University and Naropa University and continued her studies of graphic recording at The Grove in San Francisco. Marguerite studied leadership development, systems change, and facilitation through the ALIA Institute and her ongoing practice in the Art of Hosting global network.
Marguerite is the founder of Brave Space and aspires to shift the way we do business by integrating a participatory and inclusive approach to decision-making and collaboration. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her partner and two children.
Gabrielle Donnelly, Ph.D. is a writer, researcher, and practitioner of creativity, social change, and innovation. Co-founder of Brave Space, Gabrielle integrates the reflective practices of research, sensemaking, and developmental evaluation with participatory leadership methods and the visual world of graphic facilitation. Her passion for integrating theory and practice leads her to work with organizations such as Government of Nova Scotia, Ecology Action Centre, ALIA Institute, Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, FoodARC, Coady International Institute, and Now Lunenburg County.
An Associate of the Taos Institute, Gabrielle teaches at Dalhousie University and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Born in London, England and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Gabrielle lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She’s British to the bone, Irish at heart, Albertan to the soles of her (cowgirl) boots, a proud Nova Scotian, and an inspired global citizen. For more information about Gabrielle, visit www.gabrielledonnelly.ca.
Rachel Derrah is an artist of collaboration. Rachel works across sectors and communities to grow connections, see the bigger picture, and make strategic collective decisions. Her approach involves art and image to find simplicity and clarity amid complexity.
She has organized and supported creative engagements and trainings not only in Halifax but throughout Canada, in Zimbabwe and Europe. Rachel is an avid learner and listener, passionate about local resilience, justice, social entrepreneurship, and building capacity for people’s visions to come to life. Rachel studied Community Design at Dalhousie University and has continued her studies and practice in the Art of Hosting global network.
While working with participatory methods for six years, Rachel began her work as a graphic facilitator with Brave Space in 2014. Rachel grew up in a rural NB village from a lineage of General Store owners and now calls Halifax one of her Atlantic Canadian homes.
Louise is a French Canadian changemaker, passionate about working with an intersectional inclusive lens with youth and community and is bent on creating spaces where we can encounter difference, value each voice and embrace diversity. She connects her life and work of engaging in social issues with a deep love and exploration of the processes and tools that support social transformation. Embracing her own power of being gentle and tough, Louise is skilled at working with complexity bringing both compassion and clarity.
A graphic facilitator with Brave Space since September 2014. Louise brings experience in systems thinking, facilitation, community development, youth engagement, monitoring and evaluation, human rights work, activism, and alternative education. Louise is part of the Art of Hosting community and integrates her skills in working with conflict – both Deep Democracy and Dialogues for Peaceful Change – into her facilitation.
Louise works across systems to connect government, community, business and young folks and has experience working with each individually. She has worked as the Coordinator of Leaders of Today, connecting young people with government; has worked within the agricultural sectors of both Ghana and Uganda, connecting farmers, businesses and government; and currently is a Community Youth Development Facilitator with HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development working to cultivate communities where youth have meaningful roles as leaders and change makers. Beginning in rural Ontario, Louise has grown roots across this world and has come to call Nova Scotia home.
Through authentic engagement and the use of creative graphics, Isabel Chender works to support, illuminate, and catalyze groups and mobilize organizations and communities. She encountered the power and possibilities of visual thinking in 2008 at the ALIA Institute. Since then, curiosity and desire to foster this art and bring clarity through big picture thinking has remained present throughout her life and work.
Isabel is passionate about working in communities, engaging in dialogue about social and environmental sustainable prosperity and shifting the way people see their opportunities and challenges. Her journey in the non-profit sector as a facilitator and program designer has led to working in Guyana, Ecuador, Chile, Europe, and Canada.
With a bachelor’s degree in international development studies and a master’s degree in strategic leadership towards sustainability (MSLS) in Sweden, Isabel integrates participatory leadership, systems thinking, and the Natural Step Framework for understanding sustainability and complexity into her work. Additional practices include the Art of Hosting, Theory U, Deep Democracy, and the IAP2 Engagement Spectrum, all connecting her to global networks and communities of practice in the field of sustainability and sustainable development around the world.
Isabel joined the Brave Space in September 2014 and is continuing to learn and evolve her practice as part of the team.
Bria was originally born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. She is a Queer, Black, Indigenous mixed media visual and musical artist currently working in the North End of Halifax. She believes in the importance of creating spaces for racialized and LGBTQ* artists to create together, have support, get access to explore, and have their individual voices heard. She is working to organise a shared art space to centre these beautiful and crucially important voices within Halifax.
Bria joined the Brave Space in September 2016.