Member Spotlight | Kaitlyn Philip


Meet Kaitlyn Philip, Project Coordinator for Wildsight Elk Valley, a Fernie based environmental non-profit.

Kaitlyn joined 2nd Edition this month as a Hot Desk Member. Kaitlyn moved to Fernie in October 2020 with her best friend, Mikayla and her cat, Milk. Having recently started a new job working as a Project Coordinator for Wildsight Elk Valley, her average work day transitioned to primarily online. One of her main focuses while at the at the coworking space is a hydroponic container farm project with the target to grow fresh, local produce year round to provide to the Fernie community. Having a space to come and focus on her work has been a very positive experience for Kaitlyn.

Q: What do you love most about your work?

A: The opportunity to put theory into action, and to use my background to make something positive happen. I completed my undergrad last April with a degree in Environmental Geography and Urban Studies, so it has felt good to start applying the knowledge I gained over the past years to the community here in Fernie. My mind tends to jump around pretty quick, so being able to cover multiple projects at once has also been really good for me.

Q: What is one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
A: This past month I did a pretty deep dive into hydroponic container farming. It’s a system I knew very little about prior to, so it’s been neat to learn about the cool ways people are using the units. It’s a solid solution to providing fresh produce in regions with challenging growing conditions. Even in the Arctic, these systems are able to run – allowing communities to grow produce they wouldn’t otherwise have direct access to. 
Q: How do you define success?

A: To me, success has always meant being happy and being true to myself – it sounds cheesy, I know. I guess that made me kind of weird as a kid… My recurring nightmare was working a desk job I didn’t want. It’s led me to make some decisions in my life that were right for me, but were met with a lot of scrutiny from others. I’m fresh out of school with considerable student debt, but I already feel I’ve achieved a certain level of success. I’m happy with where I am at and where I am headed, that’s all I can ask for. 

Q: Who inspires you?

A: Professionally, there are so many folks in the field that inspire me. My main passion in the environmental field is water, and there are a lot of incredible people in the water sector who are coming forward with creative and innovative solutions to some pretty major issues.  Outside of work, it’s my Uncle Ian. The way I saw him, he lived life hard, he followed his passions, and he pushed the limits. I always connected with that. He was a great man, a great brother, and a great father. 

Q: When not working how do you spend your time?

A: This past winter, a lot of my downtime was spent on the hill here in Fernie. I decided to trade in the skis for a snowboard, so it was fun – and challenging – to learn a new skill. Unfortunately it ended with my wrist getting broken, so I’m taking it pretty easy right now. I’m working on getting my strength back and getting outside as much as I can. I read a lot, and am pretty big into podcasts – I find they’re a great way to learn from others.

Q: What’s one thing you love about Fernie?

A: The geography. I like that I can sit by the river and analyze the different mountains surrounding me. But, it’s a little bittersweet – I miss the sun. For me sunsets are pretty key, and unless I hike a mountain first they’re pretty limited here.

Q: What’s the last book you read?

A: The last book I finished reading was From Where I Stand by Jody Wilson-Raybould. It was a very informative and insightful read, but it took me quite a while to get through as it’s pretty technical. Right now I’m reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi – highly recommend both books.   

Interested in coworking in Fernie, BC?  

Head to