We want to build with you.

For The City exists to empower those who envision a well-built city. Whether you're in government, a for-profit, not-for-profit, B-Corp, or a group of builders just starting out - if you're working to meet needs and provide value in your city - For The City can provide key insights and an array of services to support your growth.What some cynics might consider hopelessly romantic dreams are being built by people right here in our city. For The City unites these builders together so we can inspire, support, and learn from one another. Together, we build momentum among those leading the way toward a shared dream - the vision of a healthy, prosperous city.Let's build something worth building, together.#ForTheCity

© 2024 For The City All Rights Reserved

Our Ethos


Community development is a crucial process in building a better society. It is about empowering individuals and communities to take charge of their development and achieve their aspirations. For the City is an organization that is committed to collaboration, common space, and incubation as core anchors for community development.Collaboration is an essential aspect of community development. It involves bringing people together to work towards a common goal. For example, the United Way Calgary and Area and J5 Design launched The Social Impact Lab, which provides a physical and virtual innovation space for designing new solutions to persistent social problems. The Lab also provides training programs and consulting services that guide agencies through business models and design thinking tools. By bringing people together, the Lab is able to create a supportive environment for developing innovative solutions that can have a positive impact on society.Common space is another key anchor of community development. It is about creating spaces that are open and accessible to everyone in the community. For example, the Yukonstruct Society manages the first community innovation hub North of 60 in Canada, NorthLight Innovation. The hub provides shared resources, space, and knowledge to support individuals and groups in bringing their ideas to life. The space includes a co-working space, a maker space, and programming to help entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. This common space provides a supportive environment for creativity and innovation to flourish.Incubation is the final anchor of community development. It is about nurturing new ideas and helping them grow into successful ventures. For example, DO GOOD X provides a 10-week accelerator program that equips underrepresented social entrepreneurs, motivated by faith, with the knowledge and tools necessary to launch a business that positively impacts people, communities, and the environment. The program explores key aspects of entrepreneurship such as identifying a problem, developing a value proposition, building a team, and measuring impact. By providing support and guidance, incubation programs help new ventures achieve success.Together, collaboration, common space, and incubation create a supportive environment for community development. They empower individuals and communities to take charge of their development and achieve their aspirations. The examples provided by For the City demonstrate how these anchors can be put into practice to create positive change in society. By working together, communities can build a brighter future for themselves and future generations.

Build Together

MOVEMENT MANIFESTOLike roots drawn to water, there is a place where we all long to be planted. A well built city provides a deep reservoir of connection and opportunity, allowing generations of citizens to find what they need to thrive in the present while also building a future for themselves and their families. Needs include physical things like food, transportation, housing, public safety, and resources to maximize bodily wellbeing. Just as essential are needs of connection to people, places, work, common stories, and other resources for maximizing spiritual and psychological wellbeing.Well built cities do not appear by chance. They are always the product of inestimable love, attention, and perhaps above all, intention. They are built by builders. When some builders arrive where a well built city will one day be, there is nothing but dirt and trees. When others begin, there is concrete infrastructure but a despairing citizenry. In any case, breaking ground on a well built city does not require anything to be torn down, but rather can materialize as a city within a city. Systems of neglect, corrupt institutions, and broken lives, gradually and steadily replaced by something new. Wherever builders find themselves, much is needed, and in that need they find opportunity.When citizens of a city have essential needs met, it enables an unmistakable human flourishing, clearly visible as self-actualized individuals positively transform the culture around them. The culture of a well built city can be recognized in a pervasive sense of citizenship and civic duty, proliferating entrepreneurship, enthusiastic endeavor in and appreciation for the arts, and a civil and constructive public dialogue. Citizens of a well built city embrace abundance, repurpose and reinvent, prioritize the vulnerable, strive for the common good, embrace mystery, and practice contentment. Many of them will, in turn, become builders of the same or another well built city.The builders of a well built city are not always commemorated with plaques and statues. You will know them by their fruit, and its cultivation is their greatest ambition. You can recognize a builder because they love what their city is today while yearning for more. Builders believe that work makes more possible and they spend themselves on that work. Builders create connection, beauty, and value. Builders are always building for more than themselves and their own time.A well built city can never have too many builders. Come, let us build together.- John Dengler

© 2024 For The City All Rights Reserved

The Team

Founded in 2017, For The City is a social impact enterprise with a portfolio of programs, services, and social ventures.The history of For The City and its founders' work grounded in Calgary began more than a decade before the current legal entity took shape, and the diaspora of its early members extends to many cities today.As many builders will understand, For The City as an organization exists only in service of a vision far greater than itself. We are stewards of its message, but the vision and any progress toward it belong to the citizens of a movement. We count it a privilege to serve this movement and to support others who work in service of a well-built city.

Hi! I'm Zach

Zach Manntai serves as the Founder and Managing Director of For The City and blends over a decade of experience in organizational development, operational leadership, and change management with a deep-seated passion for community service. His leadership, rooted in a belief in socially responsible business, has fostered diverse teams and cultivated impactful partnerships. As a Storykeeper-Dreamteller, he seeks the unseen, envisioning what could be and bringing it to life. Guided by altruism and creativity, Zach invites us all on a journey of positive change, saying, "Let's go where it's worth going. Let's build something worth building."#ForTheCity

© 2024 For The City All Rights Reserved

Contact Us

Have a project that you thinks fits? Want to talk more about what these concepts mean? Please, reach out and let us walk with you.

© 2024 For The City All Rights Reserved

Our Offerings


WORKSHOPS & TRAININGSEmbark on a transformative journey of learning with For The City's comprehensive workshops and training. Our programs are meticulously designed for both budding professionals seeking to enhance their skillset and organizations striving to foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.We cover an expansive variety of topics, each designed to respond to the needs of today's dynamic environment. These include leadership, change management, social responsibility, and more. Our goal is to empower you to make a significant difference in your community by equipping you with the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need.Our workshops and training sessions are more than just traditional learning experiences. They are interactive platforms where ideas are exchanged, perspectives are broadened, and innovative solutions are encouraged. We ensure that our workshops:

  • Provide you with actionable tools and strategies that can be immediately implemented in your work environment.

  • Foster a deeper understanding of key concepts and their real-world applications, turning theory into practice.

  • Create an environment that encourages interactive learning, open discussions, and valuable networking opportunities.

Unleashing the power of collective ingenuity, our Innovation Lab serves as a crucible for breakthrough solutions to pressing urban challenges. These intense meetings of diverse groups unite entrepreneurs, government officials, non-profits, and community members in a quest for transformative change. We believe in the power of design thinking, human-centred approaches, and systems thinking as critical tools to stimulate creativity and enable innovation.
Our Innovation Labs tackle intricate, often messy problems through the lens of human-centred design and design sprints. At For The City, our Innovation Lab stimulates creative problem-solving, fosters collaboration, and empowers communities. We are passionate about accelerating social innovation at a systems level, and we invite you to join us on this exciting journey of transformation and growth.

COACHING & CONSULTATIONAt For The City, we understand that every community, every challenge, and every leader is unique. That's why our coaching and consultation services are tailored to meet your specific needs and circumstances. We're here to help you unlock the full potential of your team, align your performance with your core strategy, and advance your organization into its next stage of growth and impact.Our approach is based on a three-step process:

  • Schedule a Conversation: We start by listening to you. Set up a 30-minute consultation with one of our team members to help us understand your needs and goals.

  • Design a Solution: Based on our conversation, we'll design a custom-fit solution to help you navigate your unique world of innovation. Whether the challenge is personal or organizational, incremental or disruptive, we'll partner with you to discover new possibilities and overcome obstacles.

  • Begin the Process: Once a plan is set, we'll activate it together. We'll provide you with a detailed roadmap of how we can start serving your organization and helping your team become awake, aligned, and ready to advance into your desired future.

Embark on your transformative journey with For The City. We provide you with the unique opportunity to learn, grow, and lead in today's ever-evolving landscape. Our expert trainers and facilitators serve not just as instructors, but as mentors eager to accompany you on this path of discovery and achievement. Join us and empower yourself with the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to create a lasting impact in your city and beyond. Your journey toward growth and success begins here at For The City.

© 2024 For The City All Rights Reserved

Our Acknowledgements


In the spirit of unity and deep respect, For The City acknowledges that we operate on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, including the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani Nations, as well as the Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations. We also recognize the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, and all those who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.Like roots drawn to water, we understand the profound connection between land and life, a bond that has been honored from time immemorial. This land, known as Mohkínsstsis in the Blackfoot language, serves as a meeting point—much like the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers—for diverse peoples and histories. It is a place where every soul has a name, and every name has a face.As we strive to build a well-crafted city, a reservoir of opportunity and connection, we are reminded that this endeavor is not just physical but spiritual. We are all architects of 'more,' bound in a tapestry woven from strands of care, respect, and shared purpose. Our collective ambition is not confined by design but cultivated through the spirit of reciprocity and truth.We are committed to honoring this land and its treaties by strengthening our relationship and responsibilities to them. As we venture into the 'more,' let us be guided by the North Star of reconciliation, recognizing that your freedom, your success, is key to the collective cause.In this journey, we are more than mere words or mere time; we are the pulse, the beat, in life’s intricate rhyme. Let us build together a community where compassion echoes louder than division, where the story of the land becomes the story of each of us.

© 2024 For The City All Rights Reserved