Karen Elliott

Karen Elliott was elected as Mayor of the District of Squamish, British Columbia in October 2018 after serving as a member of Squamish Council from 2014-2018. She moved to Squamish in 2012 after spending six years abroad in Melbourne, Australia. Karen decided to run for elected office because she quickly realized the significant opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for Squamish as it experienced significant growth and big city pressures, despite its small town feel. During her time on Council, Karen chaired the Community Development Committee, Finance and Audit Committee and was the Council representative on the Food Policy Council, the Library Board, and the Community Advisory Community for the Official Community Plan review.

In addition to her Council duties, from 2016 - 2018, Karen served as the first Ombudsperson for Quest University Canada, working with students, staff and faculty to ensure policies and practices were fair and followed the principles of natural justice. In addition, Karen has 15 years of consulting experience as a specialist in organizational effectiveness and leadership development. She supports her clients with strategic planning, team and leadership development, change management and large group facilitation. When she is not at work, Karen is a literacy tutor and enjoys spending time with her family and friends exploring the beautiful environment around Squamish.

3 words to describe Nature?

Inspiring. Evolving. Home

3 things Nature taught you?



Systems thinking - about how everything is connected.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The middle of a prairie

The top of a mountain

Around the campfire

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

I am not an ocean person to be honest. Although I appreciate the ocean’s beauty and vitality, there is something a little unsettling when I look at this vast mass of water. It reminds me that there is a whole world I cannot see.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

Like taking a deep breathe and walking quietly.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

It makes me think about the creative power of the earth, about creation and not so much about destruction.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

When I see a sunrise, I am grateful for the day ahead. When I see a sunset, I am grateful for the day I just experienced. Sometimes, I will admit, I am just grateful that the day is over!

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?

Anticipation. In fact, during a thunderstorm, every time I see the flash of a lightning, I start counting the seconds until I hear the big bang so that I can calculate how far away the impact was. I have been doing this since I was a child and it is habit now.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Like wanting my loved ones to be close, like coming together. It creates in me the desire or instinct to protect.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I would say mountain and forest because of where I live now but really, I am a prairie person. I love these endless landscapes and the big skies. It is home for me. I am a long term, big picture thinker and the prairie gives you that perspective. You see things from far away, you see them approaching, passing by and leaving, providing you with different perspectives with which to take it all in.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 because of where we are today. We often say that we don’t appreciate something until it is gone. With the current state of our planet, nature and our relationship to it at risk, we must find our way back to nature and reconnect. The planet can exist without us. But we can’t exist without a healthy planet. It is the only support system we have.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Paddling with a friend, on a lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario late one night and watching the moon rise. Suddenly the trees up on the hills started to turn orange, like they were on fire. For a few minutes we couldn’t understand what was happening. And then this massive moon started to rise. It was like a sunrise! I was speechless and humbled by the incredible beauty of what I was seeing. I was a teenager at the time, and this moment really affected me. It broke through my self-centred teenage attitude and made me realize that I didn’t know it all, and hadn’t seen it all. It shifted my perspective and made me start appreciating many things that I took for granted, or hadn’t taken the time to really see.


Richard Titus

RICHARD TITUS was named one of the Wired 100 in 2010. Serial entrepreneur and executive, Richard  has a passion for technology & innovation. His startups include Razorfish, Schematic & Videoplaza. Titus's most recent startup, Prompt.ly, was co-founded in 2013 and sold in 2016 to Breezeworks.

More recently, until February 2017, Richard led customer experience for Samsung Electronics Visual display division globally. While there he led User experience & design globally, and portions of its product planning & new product development functions for Consumer Electronics & Digital Appliance divisions. Richard has been an active blockchain investor & advisor for 5+ years, his most recent ICO’s include Hive and 2030.

Richard previously he held senior leadership roles at the British Broadcasting Corporation (Future Media Controller) where he launched iPlayer and the BBC mobile service and subsequently served as CEO of Associated Northcliffe Digital, the digital holding company of DMGT’s (Daily Mail) digital holding company. He is based in San Francisco, California.

3 words to describe Nature?

Warm (even when cold), Calm, Home

3 things Nature taught you?

Respect for my limitations

Humility around our role on earth

Awe of the complexity, grandeur and ingenuity

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Iceland -  the whole damn thing

Atacama desert, Chile

Yosemite Valley, California - which is magical even now after 10+ visits

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Mediative effect of the waves

Longing to escape wherever I am (swim away).

Eagerness to jump on a wave.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…?

I love the forest for the organic.

The surprise that the bed of pine needles could be so rough, prickly and yet simultaneously soft and welcoming.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…?

It’s funny I just saw one in Nicaragua this week. A melding of fear, awe and fascination with the danger & power + warmth of what lies beneath the surface.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…?

My house is in the hills and faces east. I watch the sunrise every day its part of my meditation routine. I feel a sense of rebirth, beginning, but also quiet contemplation. Happiness. No sunrise has ever made me feel sad.

Sunset, I always feel a mix of sadness about those things left incomplete and relief from the same burden.

When my daughters were younger, I used to wake them up to watch the sunrise. We pretended we could conduct it! "ok over there lets get a little more opacity on the water now. People work with me there’s too much bloody purple.. " that kind of thing. They loved it. They still describe those memories as some of their favorites.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Tumultuous Excitement


Occasional dread

When my daughters were young, and somewhat afraid of thunder & lightning, I used to lay in their room (high on a hill where we felt on par with the storm) and I would pretend I could “speak storm” - translating the sounds into funny conversation.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…?

Anxiety. Its the only storm sound I don’t like. Years of danger rock climbing and camping. Wind was something that could cause significant distress.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountain for sure. though ocean gets a strong 2nd mention.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

Nature is where I go to recharge - even nature photos help me center myself.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

As a child we drove from Orange County CA to  Washington DC across the country. Twice.  I remember being astounded at the diversity of landscape, the way it evolved and iterated. I found the land and nature would reflect themselves in the people. The Stoicism of the montana’ians. The Friendliness of the midwest farmers…