About Mark

Mark Holmgren

Consulting Director

Contact Details:
e. mark@tamarackcommunity.ca
p. 780-299-0780

Remote Office: Edmonton, Alberta

About Mark

After leading Vibrant Communities Canada for nearly two years, Mark has moved to the Tamarack Learning Centre as a Consulting Director. His role includes curriculum development and teaching at Tamarack multi-day and one day learning gatherings; providing coaching services for Vibrant Communities member communities and others; and delivering custom consulting services in Tamarack’s five strategic areas of emphasis: collective impact, collaborative leadership, community innovation, community engagement and evaluating community impact.

Mark is known for his capacity for big picture thinking and his ability to translate theory and emerging practice to on the ground implementation.  While he works in all five strategic areas, Mark will be leading the development of curriculum and services in community innovation, which include emphasis on innovative thinking, innovation labs, and practical tools and approaches to bringing innovation possibilities to Tamarack learners.

Formerly the CEO of Bissell Centre, a large inner city human services organization in Edmonton, his background also includes heading up another inner city agency, Operation Friendship, and holding senior positions with United Way. Mark led his own consulting practice for nearly 20 years and worked with governments, non-profits, funders, as well as educational, health, and faith institutions. Mark was a member of Mayor Don Iveson’s Task Force to End Poverty in a Generation and chaired the Task Force’s Working Group on Housing and Transportation.

Mark is passionate about community change, especially with respect to systems change and the development of innovative approaches to addressing poverty, homelessness, and other intractable problems facing Canadians  He is also a published poet and fiction writer, a singer-songwriter who often performs at Tamarack gatherings, and a digital artist.

Mark is based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Area of Expertise
  • Community Innovation (including Upside Down Thinking and Disruptive Innovation)
  • Collective Impact
  • Collaborative Leadership
  • Game-Changer Thinking and Strategy Development
  • Community Engagement Design and Implementation
  • Poverty Reduction

Recent Publications

Current/Recent Custom Engagements

  • Facilitation and consulting services to the Kahnawá:ke Mohawk Territory’s Collective Impact Initiative, Montreal, Quebec
  • Collective Impact facilitator to the Housing and Homelessness Partnership, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Key note speaker on Upside Down Thinking at the 11th Annual Poverty Symposium: Turning It Upside Down, Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Consulting, facilitation and coaching services to develop a poverty reduction roundtable and strategy as well as leading learning events on Upside Down Thinking, Grande Prairie, AB.
  • Key note speaker, “The Socio-Economics of Poverty,” Revelstoke, BC.

Seminars and Workshops

  • Upside Down Thinking and Disruptive Innovation
  • Game-changer Approach to Poverty Reduction Strategy and Evaluation
  • Developing a Strategic Touchstone for Organizations and Collaborations
  • Collective Impact 3.0
  • Friend-raising and Resource Development
  • Social Media Strategy Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Using Trends to Inform Strategic Thinking
  • Exploring and Using Journey and Empathy Maps

Connect with Mark



The Latest From Mark

Community Engagement workshopLearn about Tamarack's upcoming learning calendar

Interested in expanding your knowledge and capacity to tackle the community issues you're facing? Tamarack hosts a number of in-person workshops as well as free online webinars and communities of practice to help you meet this challenge.

Explore upcoming opportunities