All Team Members

Zahra Ebrahim

Client Leadership

Toronto

I am the former co-lead of Doblin Canada, and am now a mentor/advisor to our Doblin/Deloitte teams on Design and Insights, as well as an Executive Advisor to Doblin/Deloitte on Civic Innovation. I am a human-centred designer and urbanist, and my work focuses on using participatory practices to engage citizens in the design of services, policies and infrastructure that directly affect them. For the past three years, I helped Doblin build a culture focused on inclusion, co-creation, and psychological safety. The work I drive is largely focused on public sector and urban innovation. When I’m not at Deloitte, I’m a Senior Advisor to political and public interest initiatives across the country. For ten years before joining Doblin, I founded and led archiTEXT, Canada’s first human-centred design firm focused entirely on doing deep research with communities to co-design towards better social outcomes, and through that, working with charities and philanthropic organizations around North America, and leading some of Canada’s most ambitious participatory infrastructure and policy programs. I’ve taught at the Ontario College of Art and Design, the Museum of Modern Art, and currently teach at the University of Toronto. I have served as Innovator in Residence at Canada’s Design Museum, is a Next City Vanguard “40 under 40 Civic Leader”, and is a United Way “Changemaker to Watch”, and named one of the “Top 100 Women in Canadian Business”. I sit on the board of Jane’s Walk, St. Stephen’s Community House, and the Toronto Biennial, and am an advisor for Toronto Public Library, Centre for Connected Communities, Progress Toronto, Sidewalk Labs and ResilientTO.

When I’m not obsessing over process, I’ll find any excuse to talk about Jane Jacobs and the organization whose board I chair, Jane’s Walk. You’ll also find me hanging out with my fellow urbanists, working actively to make community-led change happen in the city.

Education

MDes – Strategic Foresight and Innovation – OCAD University; BA – Urban Systems, Architecture – McGill University

What Inspires Me

Landing in a new city and immediately looking for: the best coffee, the next comedy show, the nearest post-modern building, a great public space, and the best felt-tip pen in the near vicinity