People I Call First

Cory Thorell — Salt Lake City, UT
Cory is so beyond the beyond in his insight, kindness, and way of being. He is deeply human. That alone leaves a mark on me. He’s guided me in many ways.

Glen Brown — Salt Lake City, UT
Glen is a local colleague for me. We’ve created and hosted a 6-month Cohort Leadership Development program for corporate leadership. We’ve also hosted trainings, workshops in support of participative leadership, and enjoyed great curry together. He is really a great thinking partner.

Margaret Wheatley — Sundance, Utah
( Meg is really my oldest friend and mentor in this work. She is a voice that feels like home. Our friendship and colleagueship began in the early 90s. Her writings and her vision helped birth many inquiries and initiatives based on a living systems, self-organizing perspective.

Phil Cass — Columbus, OH
Phil is part of a great story in Columbus, a former CEO of a medical foundation, Phil is helping to shift so much to a hosting pattern. He is a generous host, a very kind human being, and deeply insightful.

Bill Muhr — Chicago, Illinois
Bill is an outstanding thinker, gifted with a ton of interpersonal and intrapersonal insight. I really enjoy the time that we have together to make sense of things in words and in silence. He’s a therapist by training and profession. He knows a lot about hosting groups. Has worked much with faith communities.

Krista Betz — New York, NY
( I love the way that Krista stewards the Next Generation Leadership Initiative for the United Church of Christ, for which she welcomed me as faculty. She shows courage and imagination. She does a great job of integrating structure with inspiration.

Other Colleagues, Friends, People Who Have Formed Me

  • Tamara Azevedo — Sao Paulo, Brazil
    ( Tamara really inspires me. She has a clarity and a calmness that reminds me of the best that I have seen in hosting participative leadership.
  • Ria Baeck — Brussels, Belgium
    I’ve met Ria in a few contexts now. She brings a kind of realness to the room that I so appreciate. Gifted with many levels of facilitation and inquiry including Women Moving the Edge, The Art of Hosting, and Constellations.
  • Christina Baldwin, Ann Linnea — Whidbey Island, WA
    Christina and Ann are the most genuine of people. They are masters, and though now in more of an eldering phase of life, I return to them for wisdom and guidance.
  • Morna Ballantyne — Ottawa, Ontario
    ( Morna is another person I met through early labor union work. She was managing director at the time with CUPE. She is a courageous leader and activist.
  • Cameron Barr — Chapel Hill, NC
    ( I met Cameron in the early 2010s. It started as work together, helping create strategic experiments for his church. It grew to deep friendship. Cameron is the kind of person I’d welcome to any conversation for his mix of strategic thinking, kindness, and imagination.
  • Tom Brackett — New York, NY
    Tom does a lot of work in faith communities. He is an ordained minister in the Episcopal tradition. It was he who I first heard speak the term, “strategic mischief making.” I’ve loved him ever since.
  • Juanita Brown, David Isaacs — Burnsville, NC
    ( Founders of The World Cafe, these are again two really inspiring people. They are both generous souls who helped make available not only a goto methodology that I use all of the time, but also an organic and important way of being in the world.
  • Patti Case, Lori Adams — Indianapolis, IN
    Patti, Lori and I met in 2007. Patti immediately recognized the power of participative approach and began to imagine ways to bring The World Cafe to their leadership and General Assembly. These are inspired and thoughtful leaders in Christian faith communities.
  • Chris Corrigan — Bowen Island, British Columbia
    ( Chris has been another brother. Reads voraciously. Writes thoughtfully. Facilitates imaginatively and generously. We’ve been down many paths together hosting leadership forums and trainings.
  • Lina Cramer, Dick Durning — Chicago, IL
    Lina has been behind extensive work in Illinois to strengthen children and families. It has been good to be part of that story with her. She’s also been very involved in helping to steward The World Cafe. Dick is such a curious learner. I love being with him, particularly when in his kitchen!
  • Christy Lee Engel — Seattle, WA
    Christy was Director of Bastyr’s Center for Spirituality, Science, and Medicine. She is one of the best people I know to practice from a perspective of wholeness, in her case, often seen through naturopathic medicine.
  • Amanda Fenton — New Westminster, British Columbia
    ( Amanda is a really gifted host. She pays exquisite attention to depth and detail. And she can work in a variety of contexts, corporate to community.
  • Deborah Frieze — Boston, MA
    ( Deborah is co-author of Walk Out Walk On. I met her through Berkana work. Deborah was one that had the most influence to see Berkana through a new and important stage in the 2000s. She is really sharp. Really smart. Really thoughtful. Outstanding entrepreneur.
  • Caitlin Frost — Bowen Island, British Columbia
    ( One of Caitlin’s skills is as certified facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie. Caitlin is really skilled and grounded in this. People flock to her after leadership events because of who she is, and often, because BK work is such a powerful and simple interior practice.
  • Roq Gareau, Robi Gareau — Comox, British Columbia
    ( Roq is one of the smartest people I know. He is really good at design. Really clear. Can hold the simple within complexity. Has quiet, grounded, welcoming presence and expertise. Has a lot of experience in government and men’s retreats. Best road trip of my life came with Roq. Robi, Roq’s brother, is also a deep and thoughtful soul. He’s helped guide the publishing of my books..
  • Erin Gilmore — Loveland, CO
    ( Erin is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ tradition. She represents to me the best of church ministry. Open. Socially responsible. Committed to a new story and cosmology. Beautiful, beautiful human being.
  • Tatiana Glad — Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Tatiana is such a powerful entrepreneur. She is cause oriented. A very quick and sharp mind. And a very big heart.
  • Edgard Gouvier Jr. — Paraty, Brazil
    ( Edgard is a master. A deep soul. His focus is on change through play. And at very large levels of scale (Play the Call). He is not afraid to speak of love. And when he does, I have seen few people that do not get on board.
  • Penny Hamilton — Brisbane, Australia
    ( Penny and I struck up an immediate friendship in the late 2010s. She brings depth of hosting with tremendous ability to scale both heart and hands work.
  • Peggy Holman — Bellevue, WA
    Peggy is a gifted writer. She has made sense of a lot of complex things in her books. She is also a lot of fun to host with.
  • Tom Inglis — Airdrie, Alberta
    ( Tom is one of the most thoughtful people I know. He’s a veterinarian running a poultry health organization. He has such impressive ability to deal with complex things with clear essence.
  • Kathy Jordain — Halifax, Nova Scotia
    ( Kathy and I met several years ago at an Art of Hosting training. We became instant friends and have remained so.  I love Kathy’s ability to notice from a quiet place what can help people move forward.
  • Charles LaFond — Langley, WA
    ( Charles is master in several major categories, not just one. He is author of several books, potter, fundraiser, chef, priest. Super playful. Super insightful.
  • Glen Lauder — Wellington, New Zealand
    ( Glen is a old soul. He is based in Wellington, New Zealand. Does lots of work with Land and Water forum in NZ. Glen is one that inspires me to get to the heart of what we are up too.
  • Jeraldene Lovell — Dorset, England
    Jeraldene has such a wide range of talents to offer, including intuitive intelligence training (I would say needed for anyone working from a platform of emergence), graphic facilitation, and holistic counseling. Her ability to read people’s energy and offer it back with easy bridging is phenomenal.
  • Kathleen Masters — New York, NY
    Kathleen and I met in 2012. We worked together in so many faith community contexts. Her mind is playful. Her spirit is inviting. Her vision is admirable.
  • Toke Moeller, Monica Nissen — Silkeborg, Denmark
    ( Toke and Monica are the kind of friends that anyone would want. Toke has been one of the best friends I have known that leads with his presence and kindness. We travelled many paths together in the early 2000s when The Art of Hosting was taking shape.
  • Jerry Nagel — Lake Park, MN
    ( One of the things I love about Jerry is that he can work at big scales. It shows in his life and work. In Minnesota he has helped to take the implementation of The Art of Hosting to thousands of people.
  • Kinde Nebeker — Salt Lake City, Utah
    ( I love working with Kinde because we are similar enough to have an easy and imaginative coherence together, yet different enough to really compliment each other’s skills. Kinde and I have created “The Inner and Outer of Evolutionary Leadership” together, which is helping bridge the inner of personal presence and grounding with the outer of convening groups as an act of leadership.
  • Jean Ogilvie — Ottawa, Ontario
    Jean and worked several times together, including with the Rural Ontario Institute. I loved Jean’s ability to translate from the depths of hosting to the practical of the everyday.
  • Teresa Posakony — Seattle, Washington
    ( Teresa has unique ability to see patterns and help shape that into coherent and strategic stories moving forward. She is offering great focus these days on working with large systems and deliberateness of working with emotions, healing, and NEAR Sciences.
  • Cathy Remus — Ottawa, Ontario
    Cathy has done outstanding work with CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees. We meet in 2008 when I was helping to work with several union educators. I am inspired, in awe really, each time I hear from Cathy where she and her colleagues have gone with participative leadership, popular education, and depth of insight.
  • Quanita Roberson — Cincinnati, Ohio
    ( Quanita and I met in 2013 at a writing retreat. We became immediate pals with each other in regular calls and in creating and hosting QT, a set of assumptions and formats for being together in dialogue, ritual, questions, story, and play. Through 2022 we hosted many client and community gatherings together.
  • Myron Rogers — Scotland
    It has been many years since I worked with Myron. He was a cofounder of The Berkana Institute. Yet, he is one of those people whose voice remains with me. A voice of clarity. A voice of wisdom.
  • Steve Ryman — Nomad
    ( I love it that Steve has chosen to live a more nomadic life after years in one place, one public health organization, and one community. He is one of the most sincere people I know. A great mentor and friend.
  • Beth Sanders — Edmonton, Alberta
    Beth lives and works in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. I met her in 2010. She is one of those people that is a sweet, sweet mix of inspired, imaginative and utterly practical.
  • Maria Scordiolu — Pelion Pennisula, Greece
    Maria is such an outstanding human being. She has been involved in many large scale change efforts with the European Commission, The Systemic Innovation Zone, The Finance Innovation Labs. She is cofounder of a learning center in Greece that I was able to visit in 2013.
  • Bob Stilger — Spokane, WA
    ( Bob is an old friend since our early work at Berkana. He has worked extensively in Japan. I’m glad to have been a part of that with him. I know Bob as a great entrepreneur. He creates good and useful things and organizations. He stays simple amidst the complex.
  • Judy Wallace — Fort Collins, CO
    Judy and I share something unique that feels important to me. She is committed to subtle realms of consciousness. In leadership. In human living. Together we have cohosted two events under the title, The Art of Humans Being.
  • Sarah Whitely — Shaftesbury, England
    One of the things I love about Sarah is that she is committed to sensing the subtle, the invisible, and the less visible. She has committed much time to her writing, which I admire.
  • Steven Wright — Seattle, WA
    Steven is a man of many talents. He knows loads of things. He’s a smart facilitator. Connects ideas so well. And, he is a fantastic graphic recorder.
small bunch of purple flowers in bloom in garden with stones and soil