A creative, participatory, and inclusive approach to group process, rooted in lived experience and a passion for community impact.

Rachel Malek, Founder and Lead Consultant

Rachel Malek, Lead Consultant

With over ten years of experience in facilitation and community engagement, Rachel has helped organizations in Canada improve their processes at the local, provincial and national level. She looks forward to carrying her work forward in Europe and with groups around the world.

Rachel has a background in sociology from Simon Fraser University. She holds a Certificate in Social Justice. She has also been trained in facilitation and inclusive processes from PeerNet, meaningful conversations and participatory leadership from Art of Hosting, and negotiation and communications strategies from the University of Naples Frederico II.

She has a growing fascination with innovative technologies and techniques for facilitation of groups that work together over long distances.

Drawing on personal experiences of hardship and of navigating complex systems at a young age, she specializes in helping organizations who work to make an impact in human rights, social services, and the inclusion of marginalized communities.

Over the years, Rachel has received a variety of awards and recognition for her contribution to the social justice community. For example, she was included in the 2017 Women’s History Month list of the top influential women in Canada, published by the Canadian Federation of University Women.

Having recently gotten married and moved to Tuscany, Italy, Rachel is currently putting down roots, building community, and connecting with an international network of passionate, mission-driven, socially conscious change-makers.

Our engagement team

Lisa is based in Vancouver, Canada. She has been involved with Authentic Engagement since day one. With a background in social work, she specializes in engaging with community groups and marginalized individuals. She currently coordinates the Community Access Ticket program with The Cultch.

Caren is based in Vancouver, Canada. She began her involvement with Authentic Engagement as a mentee in 2018. She has since charged ahead and become a strong voice for social justice in Vancouver. She seeks to improve awareness and services in the fields of harm reduction and First Nations engagement, focusing on women, mothers, and youth. She is currently involved in provincial committees. She also offers public speaking to groups and conferences, and provides front-line services to at-risk youth.

The newest addition to our team, Andrea is based in Viareggio, Italy. He helps with the tech side of offering services and engaging with the global community. He has over 20 years experience in the field of information technology and providing support to organizations working locally and at a distance. He provides advice, research and support to our team and our clients.

Materials for Aging Out of Care Study Circle Project

Approach, methods, and guiding values

Our facilitation draws primarily on the Art of Hosting and PeerNet approaches to facilitation. Some of our favourite tools include PeerSpirit CircleOpen Space Technology, and Pro-Action Cafe. Our work is always integrated with a process of creating safe(r) spaces, acknowledging intersectionality and oppression, and drawing on the lived experience of all participants to facilitate team building and growth.

We follow the International Association of Facilitators Code of Ethics, and work with clients, community, and collaborators based on the following values:

We recognize that organizations and communities come in many forms, and are made up of people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, levels of ability, and intersections of privilege and oppression. We aim to create processes that recognize diversity and are inclusive, safe, and responsive to all.

We believe the real experts on any subject are those who have lived experience. In our work, we aim to draw on the lived experience of group members, and to bring those affected by an issue into the heart of decision making from day one. We work to educate our clients and collaborators about the principles of “nothing about us without us”, and to seek out innovate ways to implement this in community.

At the heart of all our work is the belief that the only way to plan effective processes and to make sustainable decisions is through the inclusion of those who are impacted. We help organizations seek out input from group and community members. This leads to more creative solutions and a sense of co-ownership of process and outcomes.

Young people meet with elected representative

Engaging authentically in community.

In addition to our paid consulting and facilitation services, we aim to be a platform for collaboration with community members, professionals, and organizations. Below are some of our current charitable community initiatives. If you are interested in mentorship, in being connected with opportunities for community contribution and learning, or have an idea for a project in your community, get in touch!

Casa Delle Donne is a community womens group and anti-violence centre in Viareggio, Italy. They have been providing services for the community for over 23 years, but are currently at risk of losing their home. Find out more about Casa Delle Donne, or make a donation to their crowdfunding campaign today!

The Cultch is an innovative and progressive community theatre in Vancouver, Canada. We have partnered with them to make community access tickets available to those who otherwise would not have the means to access the arts. Find out about their upcoming shows, or let us know if you would like some community access tickets!