To be the leading advocate for democratic principles and values.
Create welcoming spaces where perspectives evolve and friendships flourish.
Our Core Values
Trust and Respect: We believe in the importance of celebrating the perspectives of others and engaging all stakeholders in good faith, with confidence and with the hope of mutual success.
Inclusion and Diversity: We respect, acknowledge, and celebrate differences and believe that everyone is welcome and can feel confident in participating and contributing in a manner that reflects their values.
Honesty and Transparency: We believe in holding ourselves to high standards of truth and accountability, representing ourselves genuinely and communicating openly.
Openness and Engagement: We believe in the importance of creating a safe environment where every view and belief are worthy of examination and consideration. Where all individuals feel emboldened to seek out the ideas of others, and where all are heard and valued for their contributions.
Democracy House is a grass-roots movement dedicated to preserving and strengthening democracy in Canada and around the world.
Democracy House was formed in 2019 by a small group of individuals in the Greater Toronto Area who were concerned about the erosion of democracy in Canada and around the world.
We are united in the belief that now, more than ever, we must act to preserve democracy for future generations in the world.
We understand that to succeed in this goal requires both non-partisan and multi-partisan engagement by people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
We are driven by the need to promote respectful dialogue from a variety of diverse sources.
We put action behind the continual renewal of democratic principles and institutions through advocacy and awareness.
We encourage citizen participation in democratic renewal through the facilitation of engagement opportunities and on-going dialogue.
By building strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, we hope to build a mass movement around mutual respect for individual rights, democratic renewal, and a commitment to creating opportunities where passionate advocates for democracy can meet, network and share ideas.
The Democracy House Board of Directors
Chair, Founding Member, Darla Campbell, P.Eng., CSR-P, FEC
Darla has demonstrated leadership from the trenches of a construction site to the boardrooms of corporations. She has served on the boards of national and international not-for-profits, including Business and Professional Women International. Darla has presented on Parliament Hill to the Committee on the Status of Women and been interviewed on TV on issues impacting women in the workforce.
In 2001, Darla was invited by the Canadian Consulate to be a keynote speaker in Nagoya Japan at a business women’s conference. Speaking through a translator she shared the experience of how Canadian business women were making significant strides and connected the progress to the recommendations by the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. In her leadership role with Business and Professional Women Canada, Darla co-developed a campaign for “Dignity and Decorum in Government” to improve the working conditions for women politicians, specifically in provincial and federal parliaments.
Darla has developed leadership training programs for students (Leadership Quest Camp for Kids) and speaking courses for adults (Speaking Club) to build confidence in communication skills. Darla brings her passion for equality and fairness, along with her belief that a small group of dedicated individuals can make a difference, to the Democracy House table. Together we can redefine possible and help to create a more inclusive future.
Vice-Chair, Founding Member, Stephen Dorsey, CM
Stephen is a senior-level business strategist based in Toronto, Canada and the principal of both a fractional marketing management consultancy and an award-winning creative visual media and branding studio.
In 2019, Stephen was awarded an inaugural Chartered Marketer (CM) designation given to select Canadian marketers by the Canadian Marketing Association – reflecting his 25+ years of international experience, industry contributions and for his work co-developing the Content Marketing certificate program at the U of T School of Continuing Studies.
Stephen is an alumnus of the 2008 Governor Generals Canadian Leadership Conference and ran for public office in 2015 as a nomination candidate in the federal riding of Parkdale-High Park in Toronto.
Stephen’s forthcoming book, Black and White – “A multicultural take on white advantage and the paths to change” is set to be published by Nimbus Publishing in January 2022.
Immediate Past Chair, Lyle Shipley, BA, MBA
Lyle is an entrepreneur and business executive with over 20 years’ experience in business strategy, marketing, nonprofit management and organizational development. As a consultant with degrees in business and international development, he has dedicated much of his career to helping people and organizations understand and realize the environmental, economic and social benefits of sustainable innovation and transformation.
As a former Executive Director with both the Canada Green Building Council and the Water Environment Association of Ontario, Lyle has a strong track record of working with large and diverse teams of staff and volunteers in tackling complex challenges, meeting common goals and inspiring people to make changes in their lives that build strong business and ensure long-term prosperity. He has extensive hands-on experience in strategic and business planning; developing strong governance by-laws, policies and structures; business continuity and transition planning; and helping Boards of Directors and staff reach their goals.
Lyle has served as a Director and Advisor on several boards and committees including the Canadian Association on Water Quality, the Ontario Coalition on Sustainable Infrastructure, the Toronto District School Board Environmental Advisory Committee, the Civic Action Greening Greater Toronto Commercial Building Energy Leadership Council, the City of Toronto Portlands Advisory Committee and Rethink Sustainability Initiatives (RSI). He currently serves as Chair of the Democracy House Board of Directors.
Lyle is a graduate of the University of Toronto (BA Hons. International Development and Anthropology) and Ryerson University (MBA, Global Strategy and Marketing).
Lyle believes that democracy is fundamental to the freedoms we enjoy in Canada and he is committed to reminding Canadians that its success depends on all of us taking active steps to preserve it. He believes that Democracy House plays a vital role in creating safe and inclusive opportunities for dialogue on important issues related to democracy around the world.
Director, Founding Member, Mark Campbell, BES, BArch
Mark is founding member of Democracy House and Director of Programme Development and Neighbourhood Chapters.
As design architect, Mark played increasingly senior roles with notable architectural firms in designing a wide variety of architectural and urban environments in North America, Asia and the Middle East.
As his architectural career became increasingly international Mark chose to focus on Toronto and his son and became a real estate broker.
Mark is a father, son, brother, husband, dog lover, jazz lover, cyclist and has been very active in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood for 40 years.
Born in the UK and growing up in Canada, Mark had always taken democracy for granted and only became interested recently when it seems it might slip away.
A chance meeting at a real estate conference with Howard Brown lead to a passionate interest in turning the tide of divisiveness and isolation back toward a more equitable, respectful and engaging future.
Director, Founding Member, Gregory Merchant Lang, BA, MBA https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregory-lang-1b8a831/
Gregory is a retired Solutionist in Sustainable Energy & Systems, Emerging Technologies, Wireless Data Systems, and, Education & E-Learning. He is currently writing a book about democracy that peels back the obfuscation to reveal how it’s supposed to function, and suggests reforms that enhance the effective equality due to every citizen in a democracy.