Meta Strategies works with non-profit, public and socially responsible private sector organizations on tough problems — problems that keep coming back, despite efforts to fix them.
We believe our clients themselves often hold the solutions to the challenges they face, and that it’s our job to help them look in the right places. Our deeply collaborative approach means we’ll work with you to uncover solutions and create a new way forward.
Meta Strategies delivers Web-based solutions and online strategies integrated into the work of the organization. We help you incorporate your organization’s existing resources — for instance, your event calendars, databases and mail blast tools — into one seamless website. We show you how to maximize social media and make it simple for anyone on your team to update and maintain your organization’s online presence. Further, we believe these services should be affordable, customized to your specific needs and easy to maintain.
At Meta Strategies, we believe in the power of mapping and understanding your networks — be that the web of people and services inherent to your individual organization or to your greater sector or world. To achieve this, we offer both low-tech approaches to helping you better visualize the people and things that make up your network and digital network visualization and analysis tools. By making visible the complex web of connections your organization both encompasses and is a part of, you can better identify emergent leaders, uncover gaps and notice areas for potential growth. Using technology like online survey tools and network analysis software, we can help you generate Java-enabled maps to assess your network’s resiliency and strategically identify points for strengthening connections.
Our approach is both fun and highly interactive,
putting you in the driver’s seat.
To help you address your particular needs, we do the following:
We help you see the challenges you face in the context of dynamic systems and guide you to work within these frameworks.
We work with you to unearth the significant patterns at play in the ways that you operate, and help you identify key leverage points for nurturing growth.
We view networks as the scaffolds that connect a system’s diverse elements. It’s through these networks that all of one’s resources, opportunities and potential for people to flourish flows.
We believe using a networked approach opens up possibilities to improve efficiencies, spark innovation and generate powerful learning opportunities.
By helping you learn how to do efficient network analysis and mapping, we support you in applying networked approaches to leadership and change work.
We help you do sense-making, measuring and tracking – both of your existing activities and the results of changes you’ve implemented –as you go, enabling you to identify and act on emergent or uncertain outcomes.
We help you make positive shifts in your workplace culture by changing the way you engage with your team, uncovering your team members’ valuable insights and capitalizing on the strength of existing relationships.
We support you in taking actions large and small to facilitate behavioural changes among staff. We show you how shifting your tactics and discovering new methods for engagement can have a profound impact.
Through coaching and learning opportunities, we help you employ creative approaches like Liberating Structures, Positive Deviance and Design Thinking – methods that help groups get to where they need to go through processes that are satisfying, illuminating and fun.
We lead high energy, high engagement events and meetings. Our methods create space for everyone to contribute, and help participants think outside the box.
We help our clients illustrate the bigger picture in their worlds. From there, we co-develop processes and strategies that address the specific challenges you face in your work.
We support our clients every step of the way. We listen in closely, doing sense-making and strategy development with you throughout the course of our work. By working with us, you gain experience and capacity to apply our methods in future situations.
We offer and build customized web solutions that suit your needs, and the needs of your clientele.
Using a network approach and a complexity lens, we apply our knowledge, skills, and techniques to execute projects, big and small in scope.
Liz Rykert provides consultation, coaching, project development, strategy design and facilitation services.
Liz began her career as a social worker, primarily working in community development in various downtown Toronto neighbourhoods. Her interest in finding new approaches for supporting and engaging the changing communities around her led her to an early adoptionof technology for collaboration, activism and citizen engagement. Meta Strategies, which Liz founded in 1997, was born out of her application of community development skills to the burgeoning world of online community and engagement. Over time, Liz has developed her coaching and facilitation skills to reflect her knowledge of complex systems. She has identified and introduced concepts such as Network Mapping and Analysis and Positive Deviance to her community of colleagues and clients through workshops and dynamic learning events. She has a knack for figuring things out and she seriously loves a challenge.
Barry Veerkamp has more than 20 years of experience developing and managing websites and Web-based applications. He has worked on a variety of projects both locally and internationally. Barry has a number of technical specialties, from online database and custom website development to graphic design, technical consulting, support and training. He brings a creative, fun and personalized approach to technical challenges and Web-based solutions.
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Erin is a passionate storyteller, event producer, and city-builder local to Toronto who sometimes dabbles in writing, jewelry-making, & art. Through her professional work and personal endeavours, her goals are always to connect the right people to each other to collaboratively tackle issues, increase civic engagement and fight systemic oppression, and use creative arts to drive positive change and strong, resilient communities. Erin is a firm believer in the power of storytelling to achieve social change, and shaking up who gets to share and consume such stories. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for 5 years at the Centre for Social Innovation, and has an academic background in Urban Studies, Human Geography, and History.
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Adam is driven by a passion for facilitating healing and connection in our world through design. He has a natural ability to identify how complex challenges can be overcome and how ‘what works’ could be made even better. Our behaviours both as individuals and as a collective are at the root of our challenges and solutions. Adam uses the design process to create intentional experiences that help shift the these behaviours and communicate alternatives. Adam has over 10 years experience in design and is active in the sphere of intentional social change.
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Caitlin has a background in food systems, network development and coaching work. Prior to joining Meta Strategies, Caitlin was program director at the non-profit organization Meal Exchange and co-founder of the Campus Food Systems Project. Through this project, Caitlin supported a national network of post-secondary students in developing strategies and fresh approaches for working with community organizations and on-campus food service providers. At Meta Strategies, Caitlin works on project management, event design and facilitation. Caitlin is a 2015 Centre for Social Innovation Agent of Change and holds a master’s in Philosophy from York University.
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