Marena Winstanley

Director, Partner Engagement, Circular Economy Leaders Initiative


Marena recently joined The Natural Step to lead partner engagement for the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition. Specializing in high-impact convening, Marena creates experiences that spur new thinking and perspectives, facilitate brave conversations and incubate collaborations. She believes that systems-change requires embracing complexity, learning and unlikely alliances and is excited to bring this unique approach to the upcoming 2020 World Circular Economy Forum (Toronto).

Marena has a decade of experience creating change through dialogue, learning and collective action in pursuit of Sustainability. She spent 4 years at Smart Prosperity Institute (formerly, Sustainable Prosperity) building partnerships of business, government, academic, and NGOs to support the adoption of carbon policy. The Institute counts the federal carbon price, low-carbon fuel standards, and a capital cost allowance for green energy, among its policy successes. A big-picture thinker who sweats the details, Marena has worked as a Sustainability Consultant to Indigenous organizations, industry associations and federal, territorial, provincial and municipal governments. Her other work experience has focused at the community level, having worked for Future Cities Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

Marena holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration and Policy with a focus on Innovation, Environment and Science, from Carleton University. She moved to Ottawa from Vancouver, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability. She is trained in facilitation and systems-thinking, and is co-author of an internationally-cited paper on organizational learning and Sustainability.