Our History

grassroots logo

Fourth Sector Works was first established as The Campus for Communities of the Future - a social enterprise developed by Grassroots Enterprises, a company owned by Brenda Herchmer.

Driven by values reflecting deep care and belief in the power and potential of communities, our experience made it clear that utilizing a community development approach and a future-focused lens was essential for relevant, innovative, and sustainable organizations, businesses, and communities.

In addition to caring deeply about strengthening a community’s capacity and resilience for both economic and quality of life, we are passionate about utilizing technology and new approaches to strengthen organizational, business and community capacity to enhance and enrich learning in all communities regardless of whether they are urban, rural, or remote communities.

The result? Practical, informed, and meaningful learning opportunities, coaching, and consulting delivered online as well as on-the-ground.  

Who Is this For?

This Campus was built for the many caring and concerned individuals who want to make a difference in their communities and are looking for practical advice and direction for how to actually do it. It is for those who understand there needs to be more balance between quality of life in a community and economic development. Even if you don't consider yourself a leader, it is our hope that you will connect with us to learn more about your own leadership abilities, how they can be strengthened, and why you yourself might just be more of what the world needs now. 

A Bit About Our Background

We bring extensive experience in interactive and effective community building, web-based training and certification, curriculum development, moderating and facilitating online, and a track record of providing often complex support, on time and on budget.

Grassroots Enterprises built their first community portal (pre-Internet) with Trendspire Inc. in 1994 as a BBS (Bulletin Board System). Subsequent joint initiatives have included the National Voluntary Sector Portal, eLearning for voluntary sector capacity building delivered by the Niagara College Centre for Community Leadership, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Alberta’s Active, Creative and Engaged (ACE) Communities initiative (capacity building, portal, and eLearning) funded by the Rural Alberta Development Fund.

Our Mission

While the mission for the Campus for Communities of the Future has evolved somewhat from our initial launch in 2012, it has always been about providing inspiration and innovation for local leaders who want to make a difference in a constantly changing world.

An important component of this is ensuring the availability of learning, resources, and support that will help leaders at all levels – with or without the title – to think and act differently in order to be prepared for a different, and as of yet, not-quite-invented future. Today we have evolved to become FOUR SECTOR WORKS designed to utilize systems-thinking, strategic foresight, and community led development to:


...illuminate a better future by serving as a think-tank grounded in practice-based learning
that strengthens Fourth Sector capacity for complexity and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Where To From Here?



The Campus for Communities of the Future is about trying to put into place a large scale dream that is the result of real boots-on-the-ground learnings from many communities and local leaders across Canada and now beyond — a combination of the best of both grassroots and grasstops learnings. As such, we believe the services we provide have the potential to play a significant role in shaping and changing communities who believe they can, and should, do better.

Please Join Us

Join us on the journey by exploring and becoming part of the Campus for Communities. Here you will find and learn from others like you who are willing to serve as catlysts for change. 

Join our community