Projects Overview

Ascentia thrives on its projects. This work creates a unique ecosystem in which is project is distinct and experimental, yet contributes to a larger collection of knowledge and learning. Together these projects showcase the changing dynamics of 21st urban and suburban landscapes. Each of these projects begins with research and a change of context. This allows for new avenues to be explored, with new language and new possibilities emerging. Ascentia works as a collaborator in these projects, often with the role of Creative Director.


ReWild! began as a collaborative venture with Ladies of the Lake, an organization that has now evolved into The Ontario Water Centre. This pilot was scaled up to become ReWilding Lake Simcoe, a collaborative initiative of over $1.6 million to advance the impact of significant community action to help Lake Simcoe while enriching people’s lives. By combining social, scientific and technological innovation, ReWilding is fuelling the renaissance of Lake Simcoe communities through deep and beautiful change that comes from enhancing the relationship between people and nature. ReWilding Lake Simcoe is:

– 24 on-the-ground projects around the Lake Simcoe watershed.
– New entrepreneurial opportunities.
– New design concepts, products and inventions including a new approach to community stormwater management systems.
– Communities, government, institutions of higher education and NGOs coming together to help to Lake Simcoe in exciting in new ways.

For further information go to In addition the initial concepts of ReWild! piloted through a 2.5 year project entitled ReWilding Keswick Creeks. The story of this pilot, its learning and outcomes are profiled in an ibook available for free on itunes:

SMART Living

SM4RT Living is the name given to the 40 year waste management plan for York Region, which has evolved in meaning as the various stakeholders began to define this term. The 4 Rs of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover were freed from their stereotypical blue boxes and garbage bags and became guideposts for new ideas and ways of living.
The SM4RT Living Plan was shaped in good part through innovative public engagement. The insights received from all those that contributed to the SM4RT Living Plan helped formulate a new direction that is not about giving something up but rather about valuing and appreciating what we have. This is a strategy for the future that is not just a municipally driven plan, but one which relies heavily on the involvement and efforts by residents, community groups and other organizations.

REpower Ontario

This project is an exploration program conducted in collaboration with the Windfall Ecology Centre. The program is aimed at helping Ontarians explore the undercurrents of change that are becoming increasingly visible that have the potential to shape a new landscape for this Province, beginning with renewable energy, energy efficiency and water. Ontarians are being called to change our lenses to intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually connect to the rallying cry of a land of 21st Century opportunity.
Many who come to REpower have been living on the fringe of our current society. They know in their bones that change is coming and yet are often frustrated, at times depressed and confused. There are continuous mixed messages about what is of value, and what needs to shift. REpower Ontario provides a forum, expertise and case studies to help them convert this confusion into clarity and new careers.


All Ascentian projects are based in action research. This research can be conducted a number of ways. One favourite is to mix together trends that would not normally be seen together such as collaborative consumption and quantum physics. Another is through blending the work that some fascinating thinkers have spent time examining such as the new consumerism and new entrepreneurism.

A third form of research is ‘on-the-ground’ research that takes everyday activities and gives them a new twist. My Yard and Me Croquet explored the relationship between stress and people’s yards. A Café menu helped people identify their relationship with nature. Simple tools and cool twists can make research fun and engaging, while increasing participation rates and providing fascinating insights.