We were established in 2009 because we believe that humanity can create a flourishing future for itself and we believe that this future begins with designing our built environment so that it facilitates and enables that future to emerge.
We are in a climate crisis, and we are losing aspects of ourselves when a remote tribe no longer knows its own language, when the last White Rhino dies, or when a plant goes extinct in a remote jungle that would have cured a type of disease or cancer. There is nothing that inspires us to do our work more than seeing life on this Earth, our only home, flourish—whether it is a Maasai Warrior that is enabled to continue their traditions, or an established old growth forest that will continue evolving forever.
Our clients are Architects, Designers, and Organizations that are working in the built environment. We are the creators of Reveal It assessment tool and we are the cocreators of Biologically Integrated Architecture™.
We are called, “Affecting Change” because you are doing the change and we are well known for our ability to help people see the opportunity for making different decisions on their projects.
We help organizations create facilities that are more effective at achieving their mission and purpose while conscientiously redesigning their environmental impact. Our projects are located across Canada, in the Philippines, in the U.S. and in the Middle East and they have won over 60 awards.
Hire us to find out how you can create the change that you want to see in the world.
Sandra Leigh Lester
BTech.Arch.Sci., MCOD, ARIDO, IDC, ZIN, PTS, CSBA, LEED AP BD+C
Founder and CEO
I have unique educational background that combines technical knowledge with softer skills of change management. I have a Bachelors of Technology in Architectural Science (Btech. Arch. Sci.) degree from Ryerson University, a Certificate in Change Management from Canadian Organizational Development Institute and a Masters Certificate in Organization Development (MCOD) from Schulich.
I am a NCIDQ-certified registered Interior Designer (ARIDO IDC) that practiced design in top design and Architectural firms for over twenty years.
My passion for health and fitness fueled a desire for further education and development in that area and I became both a Certified Zumba Instructor (ZIN) and Certified Personal Trainer (PTS).
My experience in green building design reaches back to off-grid building design in the early 90’s. I am a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA) and was chosen to teach the certification course by the Canada Green Building Council. I became a LEED-accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction (LEED AP BD+C) in 2009.
Through my role at Affecting Change Inc., I have consulted to numerous top architects, including HOK, Perkins+Will and LAT49. I have consulted to various NGOs like Colleges Ontario and The Atmospheric Fund. And I have consulted to various Ministries at the Provincial level, including the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Ministry of Health and Longterm Care, and the Ministry of Infrastructure. The consulting projects that I am most proud of include: writing the Sustainability Requirements for Humber River Hospital; advising the Fogo Island Inn; writing the RFP for the TAF TCHC Towerwise Retrofit Prototype Project; and helping to create the $500 million Low-Carbon Innovation Fund for the retrofit of College and Universities across the Province.
As a teacher, I have held positions at numerous universities around the world including Visiting Professor and Adjunct at the University of Manitoba.
Why I do what I do:
I am passionate about culture and diversity. How will we transition to a low-carbon economy? How will cultures around the globe be affected by climate change? What ecological systems will be affected? What cultures will go extinct? Luckily, I am an optimist. A thriving future is ours when we start to imagine it.