Mary Doyle

Rural Advocate and Canadian Entrepreneur Icon
Co-founder, Rural on Purpose

Mary Doyle describes herself as a crystal ball engineer- equal parts futurist and problem solver. She is a writer, program developer, and consultant with over 28 years of experience working in all three sectors (private, nonprofit and government). 


In 2017, Mary founded Rural on Purpose, a social enterprise business with a global mission to change the course of rural communities. Rural on Purpose aids to introduce a new era of rural leadership, confidence and prosperity to rural communities. Mary leads a Rural on Purpose membership group and heads an innovative community incubator program- The Rural on Purpose Beta Lab. The Beta Lab builds and pilots community development projects. 


Mary has been recognized in all areas of her professional development. Startup Canada named her the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Icon of 2020. She was also named Business Person of the Year and was the recipient of a top teaching award for the most outstanding qualities of Scholarship, Teaching Ability and Character. She was also recognized by the Prime Minister for her commitment to advancing Canadian entrepreneurship.


While entrepreneurship remains at the heart of her work, Mary uses her experiences in the field to bring about change to any area. Her presentations are the perfect combination of seriousness and levity as she works to redefine and reposition rural for the future.

Mary has flown a plane, slept in a treehouse, runs obstacle races and plays a mean tambourine.


Pivotal Moments and Resilient Communities: How to Harness Opportunities During Pivotal Moments

We’re experiencing a pivotal moment right now with COVID-19, where there is a before and after, and life is forever changed. But what is it that will define us? Is it the pandemic OR is it our responsibility to the pandemic? We have more control than we believe, and we have more opportunities than we can see. How does your community measure up in terms of its AQ (Adversity Quotient)? How will it be shaped by COVID- 19? Will your community emerge stronger? The impact cannot happen without a clear vision of what you want to achieve and the belief that you can achieve it.

The Future is Rural: Meeting the Moment


How many of us position our small towns as the perfect distance between two urban centers? Our context and value are framed around our relativity to cities. What if it was reversed? What if urban living was marketed as being close to small rural communities with health and wellness opportunities that come from our natural environment? If progress is the legacy of urban, wellness could be the legacy of rural. This presentation explores the geography of wellbeing and the relationship between personal health, wellbeing and nature as an opportunity for rural development.

Am I Rural? 

What is a rural advocate to do when her rural region is re-zoned as the country’s latest CMA -Census Metropolitan Area? Mary tackles the most asked question she gets, head-on, and with humour and hope: How do you define Rural? By the end of the presentation, that very question will become the connector that opens dialogue and builds trust between people living in rural and urban.

Business Strategy / cities / Customer Experience / Economy / Management Strategy / Marketing / Retail / Women-Speakers
Book Becky McCray
Business Strategy / cities / Customer Experience / Economy / Management Strategy / Marketing / Retail / Women-Speakers