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Dr. Leela Viswanathan

About Leela Viswanathan

Dr. Leela Viswanathan, PhD, RPP, MCIP, is Founder and Principal of Viswali Consulting, a planning and advisory firm that inspires planning with purpose, and change by design.
Human-centred planner | Enterprising scholar | Forward-thinking strategist.

5 Practices for Managing Uncertainty

By |2021-12-23T11:10:01-05:00December 22nd, 2021|Categories: Community|Tags: |

When it comes to wrestling with uncertainty, planners are pros. Just this past week, with the advent of the Omicron variant, and my current home, Kingston, Ontario reaching the highest case rate of COVID-19 in the country, due to Omicron spread, I was reminded about the importance of being nimble to navigate the everchanging landscape.

Planning at the Pace of Trust

By |2022-02-25T15:08:48-05:00November 29th, 2021|Categories: Community|

Over the past year, I have been invited to facilitate some truly difficult conversations. These conversations, whether inspired or called on by an organization’s members and staff, by residents, or by educators, have been a first step towards desired systems changes. Along the way, I was engaged to design training on how to integrate equity

What being inducted into the 2021 CIP College of Fellows means to me

By |2021-11-29T16:36:13-05:00June 25th, 2021|Categories: Career, News|Tags: , , |

In May 2021, I was inducted into the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) College of Fellows. Being named a Fellow of the CIP is the highest award that the Institute can give to a planner. I am grateful to my nominator and to all those who submitted letters of endorsement. I was asked by

Staying connected through pandemic postcards

By |2021-05-05T09:11:39-04:00May 4th, 2021|Categories: Community|Tags: , |

News of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on my family in India and the USA and on my friends across Canada are part of my weekly newsfeed. Too often, the news is heartbreaking, and we seek out moments of joy. However, there are times when the extended provincial lockdown in Ontario and the

How can we cultivate intersectionality in leadership in the workplace?

By |2021-04-01T08:34:25-04:00March 31st, 2021|Categories: Community, Managing Transitions|

Over the past few weeks, several colleagues and I have been reflecting upon our experiences of workplace microaggressions [1] and of discrimination in public engagement processes. Sometimes we get stuck in the undertow of the ongoing and recent waves of anti-Asian violence and racism in our communities, only to be pulled out by our own

Career Networking Online

By |2021-02-25T16:42:02-05:00February 25th, 2021|Categories: Career, Career Mentoring|Tags: , |

Career Networking Online: Tips for Planning Students and Job Seekers Networking and preparing for informational interviews are two of the most important job-search techniques to develop. Here are some tips for career networking online; this is especially for students navigating the job hustle and career flow. You can also download a summary of the eight

10 Tips for navigating through change and inviting transformation

By |2020-12-22T09:33:01-05:00December 21st, 2020|Categories: City Planner|Tags: |

As a planner my role involves assisting people to manage uncertainty, by understanding it better, and by inspiring and advising how to act. My recent Compassion Fatigue Educator Training from the TEND Academy (https://tendacademy.ca) has given me additional skills to add to my experiences in trauma-informed approaches to planning. This training has increased my understanding

Managing transitions in a changing life

By |2020-12-21T17:09:02-05:00November 26th, 2020|Categories: Managing Transitions|Tags: |

Managing transitions is about managing change. Transitions can involve difficulty and the promise of possibility; they require thinking creatively, while keeping focused, both on the here-and-now, as well as on the future. Managing transitions in a changing life requires cultivating self-awareness and connecting with yourself, and with the world around you. In late 2019, I

Cultivating compassion RE: COVID-19

By |2020-10-21T17:10:07-04:00October 21st, 2020|Categories: Covid 19|

Cultivating compassion and community while navigating the rhetoric and realities of COVID-19 Living in Canada, the confusion about how to conduct ourselves during these times that are mired by COVID-19, is adding to the prolonged experience of psychological and physical isolation brought on by the pandemic. Efforts to glean through the political rhetoric and public

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