"Catalyzing Collective Intelligence and Social Creativity"

A Synergistic Salon

January 14 - 18, 2006

Whidbey Island, WA


Images from Evolutionary Salon 2
at Chinook Center on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound.

Click for MORE PHOTOS.

"There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe." — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


The theme of this second, 4-day Evolutionary Salon is "Catalyzing Collective Intelligence and Social Creativity." It is scheduled to be held January 14-18, 2006 at the Chinook Center of the Whidbey Institute, a remarkable retreat setting located on Whidbey Island, an hour north of Seattle, Washington. Our shared inquiry will be:

How do we understand, interpret, apply, and communicate the evolutionary worldview offered by mainstream and emerging sciences, and harness the collective intelligence and social creativity of our species, to facilitate a positive impact on the evolution of humanity and the natural world?

or, as we named it during the first salon:
How do we support a movement toward the conscious evolution of increasingly conscious social systems?

More specifically, we want to better understand the motions of the social body as it moves to wake up:

  • What is the worldview and what are the activities and strategies of the emerging movement to BECOME the new society, and how can we make the community of co-evolutionists more visible to itself so that it can be as influential as possible?What existing or visionary forms of social creativity could play significant roles in the evolution of social systems?
  • How can "the Great Story" (the epic of evolution told as a personally and socially meaningful, inclusive, science-based creation myth) be told in ways that inspire millions of people with different belief systems to cooperate along just, sustainable lines? And what would have to happen for such a big picture sacred story to spark people to find their calling or contribution, becoming active agents of social creativity?
  • What can we learn about the interrelated facets and dynamics of social evolution that can be used as a curriculum to educate agents of conscious evolution of social systems as well as orient people to the role of their work in the larger movement?
  • How can salons, such as this, draw in diverse thought leaders and practitioners, sending them back out with increased individual and collective awareness, coherence, effectiveness and co-evolvability?
  • We see this as a potential turning point in human evolution. With the evolutionary paradigm emerging as a significant force in virtually every facet of human endeavor, we believe it is time to start weaving these strands together to serve a better future. We know that evolutionary innovation and emergence is not just something that happened in the past, but is happening right now in profound ways — developments in which we are intimately involved. We feel an imperative for ourselves — and for society as a whole — to become more conscious, co-creative participants in this evolution. We believe that generative cross-disciplinary conversation among well-networked, knowledgeable people is catalyzing an important shift in that direction.


    PARTICIPANTS: (Click on name or scroll down)


    Bill William Aal,   John Abbe,   Margo Adair,   Dana Lynne Andersen,   Carl Anderson,   Terri Anderson & Tom Buxton,   Jennifer Atlee,   Tom Atlee,   Ria Baeck,   Connie Barlow,   Tree Bressen,   Alan Briskin,   Juanita Brown,   Chris Bui,   Susan Cannon,   Michael Cook,   Ashley Cooper,   Peter Corning,   Chris Corrigan,   Barbara Cushing,   Drew Dellinger,   Anne Dosher,   Michael Dowd,   Mark Dubois,   Halim Dunsky,   Stephen Feig,   Tree Fitzpatrick,   Glenna Gerard,   David Gershon,   Kaliya Hamlin,   Craig Hamilton,   Rich Henry,   Sheri Madrone Herndon,   Peggy Holman,   Jon Host,   Fritz Hull,   Vivienne Hull,   Thomas Hurley,   Fernanda Ibarra,   Rick Ingrasci,   David Isaacs,   Jair,   Mark Jones,   Kevin W. Kelley,   Lion Kimbro,   Alexander Laszlo,   Kathia Castro Laszlo,   Pauline Le Bel,   Joel Levey,   Michelle Levey,   Michael Linfield,   Henri Lipmanowicz,   Manuel Manga,   Carlos Mota Margain,   David Marsing,   Joseph McCormick,   Joy Moulton,   Butch Nelson,   Carolyn North,   Jean-François Noubel,   Kenoli Oleari,   Kate Parrot,   George Pór,   Vicki Robin,   Tracy Robinson,   Brandon Sanders,   Marilyn Saunders,   Jim Schenk,   Jack Semura,   Gabriel Shirley,   Stephen Silha,   Tesa Silvestre,   Charles Terry,   Chaiwat Thirapantu,   Marc Tognotti,   Emmanuel Vaughn-Lee,   Finn Voldtofte,   Nancy White,  .
  • Click to view dozens of PHOTOS from Evolutionary Salon 2.
  • .


      MICHAEL DOWD - convener of Evolutionary Salons 1 & 2; organizing & process design teams

    The idea of convening Evolutionary Salons like this came to me last spring (2004), after reading John Stewart's book, Evolution's Arrow twice in one week. (I had also recently read Robert Wright's book, Nonzero and Tom Atlee's The Tao of Democracy) I am a former pastor and sustainability organizer at both local and national levels. In 1991 I wrote EarthSpirit: A Handbook for Nurturing an Ecological Christianity, which was an early attempt to reinterpret the core aspects of the Christian faith from the perspective of today's cosmology. During the mid-to-late 1990s I managed the first government funded program in the U.S. designed to produce large-scale citizen behavior change along ecological lines — the Portland Sustainable Lifestyle Campaign, in Portland, Oregon. Now I'm an itinerant evolutionary myth-maker, evangelist, theologian, and storyteller. Together with my wife, Connie Barlow, a science writer, I live permanently on the road teaching and preaching a meaningful (sacred) evolutionary perspective in colleges and churches all across North America. My passion is telling the 14 billion year history of everyone and everything in ways that evoke awe, gratitude, and trust, inspire faith and open-heartedness, and empower people to follow the path where their own great joy and the world's great needs intersect. What I bring to this salon is an experiential knowledge of how to communicate an integral, evolutionary-based message that people across the religious and philosophical spectrum (including conservatives) generally find meaningful and inspiring. I look forward to the input of other salon members re how to even more effectively tell The Great Story — the epic of evolution — in ways that touch, move, and inspire people of every faith tradition and motivate all of us, religious and nonreligious alike, to work together for the common good of all species.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: (1) What are the most effective ways of bringing people together and harnessing their collective intelligence? (2) How can we further the evolutionary impulse and organize/govern ourselves as a species (globally, nationally, regionally, and locally) so that there are real and effective incentives for individuals, corporations, and nation-states to cooperate and serve the common good (each benefits substantially by doing so), and equally effective incentives against disregarding or damaging the common good? (3) How can the epic of evolution be told in a mythic way, as a big picture sacred story, so that it inspires and motivates billions of human beings with different worldviews to really want, and then to successfully manifest, the possibilities expressed above?

      PEGGY HOLMAN - salon organizing & process design teams; Open Space facilitator

    I consult with organizations and communities, increasing their ability to achieve what is most important to them through growing their capacity for inviting the emergence of new ideas and relationships. I work with generative processes for whole system change, encouraging people to take responsibility for what they love. The result is stronger organizations, communities, and individuals. Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, and Dialogue are integral to my work because of their great promise to unleash the human spirit for individual and collective good. I am a co-founder of the Open Space Institute (US), an association dedicated to "opening space" — a process, philosophy, and practice that encourages people to act from passion and responsibility to better serve their organizations, communities, and themselves. My first book, The Change Handbook: Group Methods for Shaping the Future (Berrett-Koehler, 1999), co-edited with Tom Devane, has been warmly received as an aid to people wishing to increase the impact of their organizations and communities. I co-hosted an international conference, The Practice of Peace, bringing together 130 people from 25 countries, including Israel, India, Colombia, Haiti, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Nigeria, and Nepal, to examine the threads of peace building that transcend specific cultures.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What do we already know about seeding, growing and evolving enlightened communities and inspired organizations? How can awakening people to their place as the current face of evolution support them in identifying their calling to contribute to the whole?

      TOM ATLEE - salon organizing team & process design team

    I am founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute and author of The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-intelligence to Create a World that Works for All. A lifelong activist, in the 1980s I became increasingly frustrated with dysfunctional activist groups. In 1986 I had my first lived experience of a self-organizing, chaotic-but-functional leaderless/leaderful group on the Great Peace March. This mobile tent city of 400-500 people walked across the US from LA to DC in 9 months, during which time I had many experiences of a collective form of intelligence that emerged when certain conditions were present. After the March I began studying this phenomenon in order to help progressive groups. The more I learned, the more I realized this larger intelligence is present — and can be increased — in all human systems, from couples to civilizations. My activism shifted to promoting democratic innovations that could increase the collective intelligence and wisdom of whole communities and societies. That decade-long focus led me to join the steering committee of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. On the side, I have been exploring a more inclusive theory of wholeness and what intelligence would look like if we took wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity seriously. I bring thoughts about how wholeness evolves (or not) through dissonance-stimulated learning; a fascination with the intersection between evolution, complexity and social change; and a sense of urgency about achieving sufficient civilizational collective wisdom to counterbalance our rapidly growing collective power. I believe this gathering's concentration of committed, creative intellect can, if we really hear each other, generate truly significant breakthroughs for humanity's benefit.

    .   JUANITA BROWN - process design team & World Café facilitator for the salon

    Juanita collaborates as a thinking partner and design advisor with senior leaders to create and host forums for constructive dialogue on critical organizational and societal issues. With her partner David Isaacs, Juanita is the co-originator of the World Café, an innovative approach to large group dialogue and change which is rapidly spreading throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Pacific Rim. The World Café is being used in a growing number of community, corporate, governmental, health, educational, NGO, and church settings to access a collective intelligence around critical strategic issues. Juanita served as a Senior Affiliate at the MIT Sloan School's Organizational Learning Center, where she participated as a member of the Core Team of the Center's Dialogue Project, one of the early research initiatives in this field. She has also served as an Associate with the Norwegian Center for Leadership Development, as a Research Affiliate with the Institute for the Future, and as program faculty at the John F. Kennedy University School of Management, the California Institute of Integral Studies, Columbia University, and the University of Monterrey, Mexico. She is a Fellow of the World Business Academy and has been honored in the World's Who's Who of Business and Professional Women. Her book, The World Café: Shaping our Futures Through Conversations that Matter, co-authored with David Isaacs and the World Café Community, was recently published by Berrett Koehler (San Francisco).

    BURNING QUESTION: How can we nurture the evolution of collective wisdom and conscious social systems in ways that serve life-affirming futures?

      TERRI ANDERSON & TOM BUXTON - on-site logistics for Evolutionary Salon

    As you can see, Tom and I are "owned" and beloved by a standard poodle puppy named Raven. And yes, he is a rascal just like his namesake. We are both retired from satisfying, rewarding, mega-learning careers at Boeing. Tom was an executive in financial and engineering organizations, later a leader in huge/radical process change efforts to adopt and incorporate Japanese manufacturing philosophies. My most gratifying position, with the most exciting and steep learning curves, was as the program manager and facilitator for a 2-week executive education program on strategic thinking. These days we spend our days smiling and dreaming, connecting and learning, building and creating. We serve on the boards of Whidbey Institute and the Center for Ethical Leadership, and the district board for the Pacific Northwest UU Association. We are building a home just outside Freeland on 10 acres — room enough for a vegetable garden, a sacred circle of trees, a labyrinth, a Japanese garden, meadows, a wetland, birds, deer, rabbits and critters galore. There we will host young people and elders, known and new friends, all fascinating and all our teachers in learning, imagining and creating, in conversation circles, with music and yoga, sharing food and fun. Philosophically, we believe the answers to all our challenges lie within our collective consciousness. To rely or depend upon outside expertise and wisdom is dis-empowering and invites abdication of responsibility, denial of the gifts of the individuals to the team. Our role/gift is to hold the space for reflective conversations and prompt the questions that will enable enlightenment (collective ah-ha's) to emerge. Consequently we get to hear the most fascinating and informative conversations. I think we are lucky beyond description, and I am thankful we are alive.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: (Terri's) What is the relationship between our cosmology "story" and our sense of belonging to a specific place? And how does our sense of place influence our behaviors and ethical stand in life? ♦ (Tom's) What are the actions we should take, as caring and responsible individuals, to act effectively toward our 100-year vision of the future?

    .   MARK R. JONES Salon Open Space co-facilitator

    I am a leadership/management and organizational development consultant, and have presented at professional societies and universities on technical and leadership topics. I have authored more than seventy-five articles, reports, and technical documents and have been published in Database Programming and Design magazine. I am the past vice chair and manager of internationalization of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) X3H4 Information Resource Dictionary System (IRDS) Committee; past international editor and author of the International Standards Organization (ISO) IRDS Framework Standard; and former head of the American delegation and lead negotiator for integration of national and international program planning initiatives concerning repository and database technology. I have also written papers on the healthcare system, the environment, the political system, evolution of consciousness, evolution of enlightened organizations, development of the commons, and Tibetan Buddhist practices. Currently, I am the President and CEO of Sunyata Agency Inc. (SAI) - serving as a "trouble-shooting executive", conducting "Findings" investigations, and then assembling and managing teams to execute the resulting work. I am now focusing on Integral Wellness as applied to the healthcare system. Integral Wellness is a whole-person (Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, and Consciousness interdependent domains) and whole-systems (all Stakeholders view) philosophy to develop and sustain generative, healthy, and fully-Present individuals and organizations. I spent five years working at Science and Engineering Associates (SEA) as an Executive Vice President, CIO, and Chief Architect. While Chief e-Business Officer for the Department of Navy SPAWAR Information Technology Center (SITC), I was responsible for leading the development and implementation of enterprise architecture and e-Business architectures, methodologies, and solutions for the SITC and related Department of Defense clients. I later served as the Chief Technical Officer for SITC, as the chief architect for the Navy Sea Warrior reengineering initiative and the Navy Manpower & Personnel (N1) Legacy Systems Modernization & Migration initiative. I am a Buddhist teacher and practitioner, and have actively reflected and meditated since 1966. I believe that the next social manifestation of the Buddha will be the "Collective".

      CONNIE BARLOW - salon web page master and videographer

    I am author or editor of four books on the intersection of evolution, ecology, and the quest for meaning: From Gaia to Selfish Genes: Selected Readings in the Life Sciences (MIT Press); Evolution Extended: Biological Debates on the Meaning of Life (MIT Press). Green Space, Green Time: The Way of Science (Copernicus Books), and most recently, The Ghosts of Evolution (Basic Books). I was a contributor to Wild Earth magazine, where I regularly posted essays on how an understanding of "deep time" reshapes our values and actions for biodiversity and wilderness preservation, e.g. my essay, "Rewilding for Evolution." My aim has always been "to bring deep-time awareness to deep ecology." I am married to salon convener Michael Dowd, living entirely on the road for 3 years (and ongoing) in our shared mission of translating evolutionary understanding into a meaningful and spiritually motivating "Great Story" for the hundreds of churches, spiritual centers, and educational institutions that we visit. The title of my newest program, which I have presented in a number of secular and religious venues is, "Death Through Deep-Time Eyes", which I deliver as a combination of straight science lecture, socratic interaction, and sing-along; the goal is to convey the vast range of scientific discoveries that help us grok that death is natural and generative at all levels of reality, and that death is no less sacred than life. (An interview with me on this theme appears in the September-October issue of What Is Enlightenment? magazine.)

    BURNING QUESTION: Can we find practical and inspiring ways to infuse processes and institutions promoting Collective Intelligence and Social Creativity with the intelligences pervasive in the entire Earth Community, including the elder wisdom of bacteria as well as the needs of our more closely related kin that now face extinction?

    .   BILL AAL

    Bill William Aal is a longtime political activist, organizing since the early 1970s. He offers training in popular education methodology and economic literacy. He is a co-founder of the Urban Action School, dedicated to urban-based popular education. Bill William is currently a board member of the Washington Biotech Council and has been involved in issues of biotechnology and globalization for the past 14 years. He works with farmers on both sides of the Cascades as a board member of the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network. He is currently a board member of the Washington Biotech Council and through this has been involved in issues of sustainable agriculture, working with farmers, farm workers and agricultural organizations for the past 5 years around issues of genetic engineering, agriculture, and corporate consolidation. He is an associate producer of two award-winning videos on biotechnology. He has hosted and designed major public dialogues on these issues. A former manager of computer programming, he is a member of riseup.net, which provides e-mail and related services to community organizers and activists around the world. He works with Integrative Activism, a group dedicated to promoting connections between leaders and organizers in spiritual activism through the use of computer social networking tools.

    BURNING QUESTION: How do we engage people in conversations about social healing and social creativity in ways that encourage them to act on their values?


    Born Jewish, raised atheist, culturally Christian. Agnostic by reason, Hindu by marriage, Buddhist by practice, Credulist by experience (ask for that story), Curious by nature ♦ Singing, Euro-American, hackysack playing, spicy food loving science fiction fan ♦ Sensitive New Age Anarchist Slacker Hippie Geek ♦ Cat herder ♦ Nonviolent anarconsensual process artist geek ♦ Boston: Lucked into my first real community at 19-20, which supported me to take my first big risks totally opening up and was blown away by the response. No matter what crap people do (even me!) people can have understanding for why that human being did that. I can connect with anyone, even my dad! Since then, looking for how to help everyone grok that (best thing i've found so far is Nonviolent Communication). Two years later, devastated to learn that my 'enlightenment' was impermanent. Still looking for the right mix of people and practices to keep it alive. ♦ Majored in psychology but didn't learn much about how people work. ♦ Political awakening in 1991 U.S./Iraq war, joined two peace groups. I was more upset about friends who had no opinion than those who supported the war. Disillusioned by violent dynamics in the movement, and violent attitude toward politicians etc. If we can't do things nonviolently, how can we expect them to? Imagined an Open Forum to support people of all perspectives to come together and connect. ♦ Bay Area (California): Shortly after moving saw a flyer for Open Forum. A collective learning school, not what i was looking for but close enough to join. Through them indirectly found the Center for Group Learning where i played/worked through much of the 90s. Now i'm learning about how people work! The value of shutting up and speaking up. Group-as-a-whole as an entity in it's own right. Learning by experience usually much more powerful than by words. ♦ Big picture: Nonviolence, anarchy, consensus, democracy? All pretty much the same thing. The deep obstacle is a ~10,000 year old package of beliefs/practices which vary and evolve across time and cultures, enshrining violence and hierarchy as 'how things work'. Changing that means changing the beliefs and the practices, neither comes first. Myriad, hugely varied strategies can contribute, *are* contributing to the shift. I'm always looking for the gaps in the movement - what needs doing that no one else is doing? (then i'm disappointed when i don't have as much companionship as i'd like :-) ♦ One dream: news mixing how people are working to stop all the 'bad' stuff, and building up all the 'good' stuff, and how you can get involved. Think IndyMedia + Yes! magazine. ♦ I bring my presence, 13+ years process awareness (individual & group scale; don't think anyone knows much beyond that), 28 years curmudgeonish computer experience and ~2 years living in Sri Lanka. ♦ Looking forward to getting energized, finding new allies, developing new/old strategies and getting them going.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What is the role of discontinuities in evolution? Some come from outside the system in question (e.g. large meteors striking Earth), others are a result of evolutionary processes in the system itself (e.g. humans developing domestication). What discontinuities are we likely to face, what discontinuities do we want to generate?


    Margo Adair has long been in the forefront of exploring the connections between consciousness, politics, and spirituality. Developer of Applied Meditation, Margo is the author of Working Inside Out and Meditations on Everything Under the Sun, acclaimed and well-read books on Applied Meditation — a contemplative practice that integrates intuition, visualization, and mindfulness and is used by therapists and healing practitioners around the world. Margo is the coauthor of two pamphlets: "The Subjective Side of Politics" and "Breaking Old Patterns, Weaving New Ties." These pamphlets have been widely reprinted and continue to influence the development of workshops across the country addressing issues of race, class, and gender. This work was instrumental in the development of the Inter-Group Dialog movement on college campuses, helping thousands of young people grapple with issues of diversity. Margo has extensive experience training, consulting, and mediating on issues of diversity and equity in the peace, environmental, women's, GLBT, and domestic violence movements.

    BURNING QUESTION: How can we build communities where we trust each other inside the communities and where an atmosphere of trust is also built between communities?


    Dana Lynne Andersen is a multi-media artist, writer, playwright, teacher and founder of Awakening Arts Institute (a Studio Retreat and Teaching Center). Awakening Arts also serves as an artists network and resource nexus, creating exhibitions, offering workshops, retreats, cultural arts events and symposiums. Most recently Dana has worked to create a gallery and arts program at the Institute of Noetic Sciences International headquarters and Retreat Center in Petaluma and is working to organize the first International Symposium of Art & Consciousness in 06. Dana is the illustrator of the children's books, Born with a Bang; the Universe Tells our Cosmic Story and From Lava to Life; the Universe Tells our Earth Story, working with author Jennifer Morgan. She is currently painting for the third book of this trilogy to be titled Mammals that Morph: the Universe Tells Our Evolution Story Praised by Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Edgar Mitchell, Miriam Mac Gillis and others, these children's books are telling the Great Story to our next generation. Her advanced degrees in philosophy and Consciousness Studies inform a generative artistic pursuit of life's mystery and meaning. The glorious evolution of Life and the journey of the Soul, the synergistic formation of Cosmos and Psyche, the spectrum of consciousness and the swirling forces of energy that underlie the forms of matter are the themes of her large scale paintings. Her workshops teach creativity as the 'native language of the Soul', using expressive arts modalities (such as painting and poetry, clay and collage, movement and dance, dreamwork and theater) to explore and express the inner realms. She paints and teaches in the beautiful Awakening Arts Studio- overlooking forests, meadows and mountains in the gold country of Nevada City California.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: Why are Creativity and Imaginative Intelligence treated as decorative icing on the cake when they are fundamental to evolution and critical to our survival? When we can access our own creativity we trust that there are infinite resources within. When we are in touch with our inner life it is impossible to violate our sense of Dharma. How can we turn on the lights of creative vision- in individuals and in our collective imagination? How can we rouse the fiery vision in the lost and hopeless youth?


    I am a 28 year old computer professional who's "small-talk challenged". For the last 8 years I've been searching for a conversation that was large enough to include all views and all ways, and think that Evolution and the Great Story are it. I've cultivated deep and rich conversation in my life thanks to, in part, the wonderful space and guidance of my mother and stepfather, Terri Anderson and Thomas Buxton. My life has been punctuated by a string of great intellectuals, luminaries, and wholly wonderful people passing through. While this could be said of many if not all lives, it has given me a great appreciation for the value and pursuit of larger questions and conversations. Evolution, and the story of Evolution within a Universal context, is just about the largest conversation I've ever stumbled into and I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to step into this upcoming circle of dialogue.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What are the conditions that precipitate and catalyze a shift in conversation on a global scale?


    The primary inquiry of my life (though not always with these words) is how do we make the system changes needed so that human and organizational creativity naturally lead toward sustainable and restorative practices? My thoughts on this have changed substantially over the years — and it is still a quest. My story: As a child I had a direct and intensely personal connection to the natural world. This morphed into a stewardship commitment while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail after high school. Studying environmental science at Brown led to the realization that demand for resources drove environmental degradation — so I went to work at an energy efficiency engineering consulting firm where I found that efficiency would be overshadowed by increased production unless the underlying dynamic was changed so that industry was environmentally benign or even restorative. This led me to a stint at Rocky Mountain Institute, and then to getting a dual MS at MIT (in technology policy and materials engineering). The process has been one of traveling further into industrial/organizational/engineering realms to acquire the tools I felt I needed — and a cycle of connection, loss, and reconnection to my center. I am now coming full circle in many ways. I am in the process of rooting myself back in community, place (Brattleboro, VT), and spirit — through involvement in a multi-cultural spiritual community grounded in Native American (Lakota) practices. Professionally and in my studies, I followed the line of power/impact only to discover (1) the extent to which people at all ranks and positions can feel disempowered and (2) the extent to which today's problems are system level issues which have to be addressed through people's collective wise engagement in the face of radical uncertainty. I am looking forward to this conference to explore deeply how the evolutionary perspective both turns on its head and greatly enhances our ability to act strategically to bring humans into balance with the rest of the natural world in glorious new ways.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: (1) Within the context of evolutionary uncertainty, how do we seed the system changes needed so that human and organizational creativity naturally lead toward sustainable and restorative practices? (2) What is the relationship between inquiry and action that is most generative and productive? (3) I see a pattern where quality conversations create great project ideas which are then lost due to lack of sustained focus/time/energy. While acknowledging that many of these ideas are food for future/better ideas, I wonder how evolutionary social change can be facilitated by dialogue-to-action. What forms exist or could be developed for social incubators that could help facilitate the growth of these ideas?

    .   RIA BAECK - Belgium

    I turned 50 this summer, have three grown boys, the youngest in his last year at university. I studied psychology and I am a self-employed psychotherapist integrating the body in the process of healing. The last few years I have studied and formed myself in the field of Leadership and Consciousness. I'm fascinated by communities — in work and in daily life — and how we can make them work. The red thread in my adult life could be named as 'taking initiative to form new ways of cooperation'. Although not in the business world but in the area of personal development and the social profit, it shows my life long search for integrating leadership and community: collective intelligence, collective wisdom, and collective leadership. Recently, the context of this search expanded to the Evolution of Consciousness. My focus is always on the here-and-now; doing the action right now instead of talking about it: walk your talk. Last year I started a relationship with George Pór, and found my place among his friends to build together a culture of wisdom and consciousness. I was engaged in the CI Conveners Circle conference calls last year and I see the Evolutionary Salon and lot of other meetings as part of the unfolding process of the CI-field, needed for the evolution of the world and the cosmos. I'm fascinated by what can happen and emerge if we can all hold the "the great story" perspective, the perspective of life or consciousness itself, and engage from this perspective in a conversation. I'm thrilled by what is possible from there. For me this is related to Collective Leadership. I see collective intelligence and collective wisdom as skills, as features needed for this kind of future leadership. An article I wrote, "The CircleBeing: Building the container for collective Wisdom", reveals a process and a map of what this leadership could be or become. During the last 3-4 years my fascination is also in Structural and Organisational Constellations, which is a profound tool to reveal hidden dynamics in human systems and bring them into flow again. And I'm still searching for how this tool can be useful for enhancing the overall CI-field and the evolution of consciousness.


    Group facilitation is a calling for me, in Marge Piercy's sense of that word: "A calling is where your passion meets the world's crying need." As near as i can tell my ultimate mission is to be a loving presence in the universe, and so far group facilitation is the best form i have found to hold that.... Most of what i know about working with groups, i learned from living in community. In 1990 i took time off from school to check out alternatives, not knowing much about what i was looking for or what i would find. I discovered communal living as a place to live out the values i believed in, and an integrated solution to many of the problems facing the world (environmental, social, economic, etc.). In particular, i saw how the small scale of feedback loops in that setting provide incredible opportunities for learning both on a personal level and as a social system. I have been living in community since 1994 (including helping start the co-op 5 years ago where Tom Atlee & i are now housemates in Eugene, Oregon), and was involved for a decade in the wider communities movement. I continue to cherish the lessons that intentional communities bring as R&D centers for the culture that surrounds us.... Some of my current enthusiasms are: bringing the practice of Appreciative Inquiry more deeply into my life and work; spreading the word about Joanna Macy and the Work That Reconnects and bringing it to my hometown; and discerning my place amid the unfoldment of all that is, my next steps in the dance of serving life.... I teach workshops in consensus decision-making, meeting facilitation, conflict resolution, and other group process subjects, and work as an outside facilitator for organizations facing complex or controversial topics, all on a gift economy basis.... "At the deepest level, there is no giver, no gift and no recipient — only the Universe rearranging itself." — Ronald Arms

    BURNING QUESTION: How can we invoke "the conscious evolution of increasingly conscious social systems" — systems that serve life, justice, and joy? (What interconnected rituals and processes are needed, and how are each of us individually & collectively going to make it happen?)


    Alan Briskin is senior editor of the Collective Wisdom Initiative. Working collaboratively in an ensemble fashion, he helped produce the ground-breaking study on collective intelligence, the Fetzer sponsored publication,Centered on the Edge: Mapping a Field of Collective Intelligence and Spiritual Wisdom (2000). The work led directly to the creation of the Collective Wisdom Initiative and the further exploration of how transformation is possible in groups and social networks. Alan is a founding member of the Relationship Centered Care network, an innovative health care initiative seeking to promote the primacy of relationships to health and healing. He also helped develop a doctoral program for Saybrook Graduate School in organizational and systems inquiry. Organizational consultant and author of The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace (1996) and co-author of Bringing Your Soul to Work: An Everyday Practice (2000), he has been a leading voice for change in the field of organizational development and the pursuit of meaning and purpose at work. He has given keynotes or conducted workshops on leadership and the role of spirit at work throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, England, and South Africa. His clients have included Kaiser Permanente, Bank of America, and the George Lucas Educational Foundation. You can see more of his articles and original photography on the Collective Wisdom Initative website.

    BURNING QUESTION: What does the future require of us, individually and collectively, to perceive and act in alignment with a world that works for all?


    Thank you Michael, and to all for the dedication and energy you demonstrate to help this beautiful world heal and become a more loving place. I am inspired to engage with each of you to seek a collective vision, hold a sacred space for common ground, to dream and dialogue, and rejuvenate the soul. One of my daily vows intones: "I vow to commit and dedicate my life to serve and honor all beings, all life, and the five elements, everywhere. Matakuye Oyasin. To all my relations." I strive to be a peaceful warrior in this grand and exciting journey of our times and I believe part of my role is to nurture and protect the sacredness, integrity, and legitimacy of the processes and relationships that define our culture and society. Parts of my spirit include social entrepreneur, visioneer, omniactive facilitator, Vipassana practitioner, and builder and keeper of sacred spaces. I've been influenced by many forces, experiences and individuals. A key moment came reading Alvin Toffler's The Third Wave in 1980, prompting questions like: "What would Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers do if they were alive today? How would they incorporate the best learning practices to radically engage the public and evolve the American revolution?" My journey deepened in 1991 founding the 5TH Medium I.C., an organizational development, leadership, communication and interactive meeting experience, with a mission to revolutionize how organizations in nonprofit and corporate sectors build consensus awareness, develop creativity, envision their future, and create effective teams to succeed. The original intention was to be a part of a global team creating a social movement to address and solve our most serious shared challenges. The 5TH Medium I.C. is part of a new paradigm for how nonprofit and public sector organizations plan and execute important town halls, meetings, and events, designing breakthrough communication environments linking the general public, elected officials, issue experts, business sector, and the media in a hi-performance team relationship — ultimately focused on creating a national level, omniactive, community focused, multi-media "institution" to revolutionize American politics, social problem solving, and the way we work to realize our most important social opportunities through building a new arena to transform our political communication challenges. From running a multi-stakeholder innovative school-based management program for the Los Angeles Unified School District; to supporting a nine-county regional program for the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Development; to leading 30 visioning and future planning meetings with State Supreme courts in 10 states; to supporting dozens of high-tech giants and start-ups with identity development in a competitive marketplace, to hundreds of town halls with the general public, my strategy has been to learn what works and what doesn't with communication and problem solving, group dynamics and institutional effectiveness at all levels and sectors of society. I've co-planned and co-facilitated over 700 interactive meetings across the country using innovative wireless dialogue/decision technology in sectors including public education, court systems, hi-technology, nonprofits, regional associations, and Fortune 500 companies.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What is the architecture and implementation strategy needed to create a transformative, national level dialogue and social issue solutions program that can compete in the marketplace of attention and transform the hearts, minds, and souls of people and institutions everywhere? How can we create a national infrastructure to radically elevate the effectiveness of social solutions from the nonprofit and public sectors that would parallel the impacts and benefits of venture capital, stock exchanges, and educational and training resources in the for-profit sector? How can we tap into and channel the forces of competition and excess in our country to create a similar level of focus, attention, and connection to working on the great issues of our day: for example, how do we generate an equal or greater amount of energy going into working on childhood poverty in our country as we do on college football games each Saturday during the "season"?


    I describe myself as an integral futurist and itinerant scholar-practioner focusing on projects with "evolutionary leverage" — nudging the trajectory of cultural, biological, technological, and spiritual futures along an increasingly life-affirming path. I'm also something of a frustrated artist, a dedicated meditator, and have been irresistibly drawn toward evolutionary systems, the complexity sciences, consciousness, and interdisciplinary work in general for many years. I'll even admit to writing my Ph.D. dissertation in the field of Futures Research partly to indulge those passions in an academically acceptable way! My current practice includes teaching, writing, coaching, and consulting, mainly through Pacific Integral's Generating Transformative Change in Human Systems leadership development program; EveryONE-USA's Integral Africa initiative, Kore Leadership's Women's Integral Leadership Circle certificate program (as co-founder) at LIOS/Bastyr University; and the Arlington Institute, a futurist thinktank in Washington DC. Educational synopsis: BS Engineering Physics (basically a double degree in electrical engineering and physics plus biology for fun), Texas Tech; MS Chemical Engineering, Purdue; Ph.D. Integral Studies with concentration in Transformative Learning and Change in Human Systems, CIIS. Past activities include 4 years as associate professor in Antioch University Seattle's Graduate Management program, corporate positions in executive management and engineering in the semiconductor, defense, and demolition industries, a US patent on the semiconductor material SIPONT, a variety of international organizational consulting projects, a year producing and co-hosting the Sunday radio talk show "On The Path", and a state environmental award for launching a profitable construction waste recycling division. Cultural transformation got into my blood at the end of the Cold War when I co-founded (with my now-husband) a company that collaborated with Aeroflot, operating air charters and facilitating exchanges and trade between the eastern Soviet Union and the western US. Ongoing research projects: 1) transformative development of women leaders (the emerging Feminine seems to be a powerful shaper of the future), and 2) discovering and clarifying collectively held Images of the Future (IOF). The IOF concept emerged from trans-disciplinary historical studies in the late 50's indicating that the single factor correlated with the successful reorganization of a civilization in transformational breakdown was the existence of a coherent and compelling Image of the Future held by a marginalized creative minority (typically more developmentally complex than the majority). My late-90's dissertation was a pilot study with a broad cross-section of Seattle-area Cultural Creatives, using mostly in-depth individual future scenario interviews and quantitative surveys. A remarkably coherent and richly nuanced set of collectively held IOFs did emerge. I am working toward a similar study of international scope and more explicit screening for stage development. And it has finally dawned on me that something has been missing in Image of the Future work — images! In that end I'm determined to incorporate more art and artists into this work.


    I am you. * The essence of which is recognized when I stop all distr-actions. * I am not my history. * I am not who I think I will be. * There are many relative truths in the world, which all serve to meet what is individually perceived of the world. * I serve the truth of who we all are beyond our thoughts, feelings, and images of who we think we are. * It is my intent to let this guide my every thought, feeling, and action. Currently I serve the truth by:

  • Staying vigilant to noticing what is active in myself.
  • Not leaving any area or relationship in my life out of this awareness.
  • Coaching organizations and individuals to operate from the truth in themselves.
  • BURNING QUESTIONS: (1) Am I willing to show up as the truth, in the truth, no matter what? (2) What will the world look like if I do?


    I bring passion, playfulness, and presence into relationships, opening space for the realization of one's deepest gifts, encouraging individual emergence and community cohesion. Guided by my sensitivities to recognizing human patterns, I use my experience as an educator and counselor to create supportive yet challenging environments, inviting people into a co-creative practice of inquiry and discovery. This collaborative effort is used to clear away obstacles, identify sustainable tools, and build foundational structures that will open pathways for conscious living and intentional action. I recognize the inherent wisdom of each individual and am fiercely committed to helping others expand awareness and give voice to the intrinsic integrity of their immediate experience. I assist individuals in connecting with their felt-sense and identifying core beliefs and habitual patterns of behavior in the process of actualizing their creative potential. Supporting such openings and clearings in individuals creates fertile ground upon which collective intelligence may emerge, be recognized and trusted. I am currently interested in exploring the role of individuals who tend to the embodied presence and communal health of a group, taking its pulse, nourishing and supporting optimal health. These individuals are guided by What IS and What Could Be, inviting passionate attention towards that which needs to grow and is ready to blossom forth into the world. I have spent the last 7 years working as a counselor, teacher, self-discovery mentor, and wilderness trip leader. I've worked individually with children and adults and have facilitated groups in the areas of parenting, grief and loss, anger management, and personal growth. I specialize in Play Therapy, Filial Therapy with teachers and parents (groups that focus on strengthening the child-caregiver bond), and Transpersonal/Integral Counseling. I am also actively exploring the role of online communities and their power in facilitating depths of intimacy, expanding potential for community, and bridging the path from isolation to communion.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: One trend I am witnessing in society is a great longing for intimate, resonant, communal experiences and an active reaching out in efforts to satisfy this need. This pull towards connection seems to be closely aligned with the evolution of consciousness and evolutionary awareness. How best can the energy of this vast human potential be channeled? How can large numbers be inspired and supported in finding their calling and becoming active agents of social creativity? What does this look like in the day-to-day world? What does this need in order to sustain the force with which it is being birthed?


    Peter A. Corning is currently Director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems in Friday Harbor, Washington. His academic background includes a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D., from New York University, as well as post-doctoral training under an NIMH fellowship at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado and nine years of teaching and research at Stanford University's Human Biology Program, Institute for Political Studies, Behavior Genetics Laboratory, and Engineering Economic Systems Department. Dr. Corning was also a recent senior fellow at the Collegium Budapest (Institute for Advanced Study) in Hungary. His other professional affiliations include the International Society for the Systems Sciences, where he is a recent past-president and the International Society for Bioeconomics, where he has served as treasurer. In addition, he is a member of the Council of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, as well as an actively participating member of the American Society for Cybernetics, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, the International Society for Endocytobiology, and the International Society for Human Ethology. He is also on the editorial boards of four scientific journals and is the author of four previous books and more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters. His most recent book is Nature' Magic: Synergy in Evolution and the Fate of Humankind (Cambridge University Press, 2003). Another book, Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics and the Bioeconomics of Evolution will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2005. Currently in preparation are two additional books. One is an edited volume (with Johan van der Dennen) on The Evolution of War: An Interdisciplinary Synthesis. It is currently in review at the University of Chicago Press. The other volume is tentatively titled, Fair Shares: The Biological Basis of Social Justice.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: (1) Will long-term climate changes rain on the parade? (2) How can our propensity for lethal conflict be contained?


    I am a facilitator of conversation in the service of emergence. My business is supporting invitation: the invitation to collaborate, to organize, to find one another and make a difference in our communities, organizations, and lives. In a changing and complex world, there are no answers, there is no certainty. Leadership and questions are everywhere. We are called to be in active engagement with the world around us, to make sense of things we are seeing and to act on our visions and ideas for the good and benefit of all. The fundamental human capacities of this era are among the most ancient: invitation and conversation. When we invite people to work with us, whoever shows up are the right people. When we live a life of invitation, our work becomes about making connections to make things happen. And once we have a group of people acting on an invitation, deep and meaningful conversation becomes the way we collaborate sustainably together to co-create the world we want. I work with organizations seeking to improve their work, communities seeking to improve their future, people looking to improve their lives. I hold and care for process — the ways in which we work together — to encourage people to make their best possible contributions. I have an unflagging belief that the answers and leadership we need arise out of collaboration and conversation. By facilitating skillful dialogue, I do my best to hold space for futures to emerge.


    Barbara Cushing is Director of Grantmaking at Kalliopeia Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is "to support the evolution of a world culture that honors the underlying unity at the heart of life's rich diversity." As one might imagine, this can lead in many directions, and Kalliopeia's challenge has been to articulate our understanding of "oneness" and to implement this mission in three program areas: "Nurturing the Inner Life," "Indigenous Cultures" and "Fostering a Global Consciousness of Oneness". Through our support of projects that recognize the sacred and interconnected nature of all life, we hope to participate with those who are grappling with the emerging "paradigm shift" that this gathering is addressing.
    Barbara is an attorney and a licensed clinical social worker, and before coming to Kalliopeia three years ago, she worked as a mediator with parents in the crisis of separation and divorce who were involved in disputes over their children. Both fields of endeavor — mediation and philanthropy — have underscored the reality that all people share a commonality and dignity that seeks a reflection in the world around.
    Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee is a new Program Officer at Kalliopeia Foundation and his work is focused on programming that supports the emerging consciousness of "oneness". Before coming to Kalliopeia, Emmanuel pursued a career as a jazz musician and worked with musicians in an entertainment company which he founded.


    Drew Dellinger is a spoken word poet, teacher, and activist. He is founder of Poets for Global Justice, and author of the collection of poems, love letter to the milky way, with forewords by Thomas Berry and Matthew Fox. Dellinger has presented and performed at hundreds of conferences and events across the country, speaking on justice, ecology, and democracy. Dellinger's poetry has been widely published and his work is featured in the film, Voices of Dissent, and the books, Children of the Movement and Global Uprising. In 1997 he received Common Boundary magazine's national Green Dove Award. Dellinger has studied cosmology and ecological thought with Thomas Berry since 1990, and he is currently writing a book on cosmology and justice. Dellinger has been called "an important voice of the global justice movement" by YES! magazine and "a national treasure" by Joanna Macy.


    By next January I will be walking my eighty-third year on this Red Road of life. Recently a new friend described how he experienced me: as an Elder grounded in indigenous sacred practice, demonstrating a Western intellect, and viewing a large tapestry of eighty-two years of lived history. Born on the northeast coast of England, of Viking and Welsh ancestry, I grew up as a granddaughter of Empire and daughter of the Commonwealth. As a child growing up in the years following the First World War, I puzzled and grieved that the men came back so hurt and that I heard of so many who were dead. How could we have done this? I wondered, and why couldn't we have talked it through? Later, studying the armistice conditions ending the war, it became very clear that the lack of ongoing and authentic dialogue among nations created conditions for the future. I started preparing myself to work for peace: instead of peace, World War II came and I spent almost five years in the Royal Air Force. Having married an American, I was demobilized and arrived in the USA in 1946. I bring to the dialogue at this Evolutionary Salon a knowing that we must learn to be responsible for ourselves as co-evolutionists, and I am concerned for my daughters, four grandsons, the earth, and all people. Looking back I see the vast changes that have occurred as we started moving out of the industrial society into the informational society and now beyond; I see the profound changes in religious and spiritual values and the searching for meaning and identity; the many movements that have arisen and dissipated as the forces of change sweep over humanity and the earth. I see our lack of collectively intelligent politics, social thought, and economic thought. I bring whatever I learned as an academic-social practitioner. Having focused on work that created community within the three sectors of society: Government, Business and Industry, and the Independent Sector, I bring awards from each sector, including academia and having, to my surprise, become a California Woman in Government by action of the Legislature. I hope I can draw on whatever I learned. For the past almost twenty years I have had the joy of serving as Elder in many circles and institutes and I view circle as the birthing place of 'the new human' and have carried a vision that, as circles are networked together around the world, the evolution of collective consciousness and wisdom contributes to the noosphere. Gradually, over the years, I began to realize that I am, in no doubt a half-baked way, attempting to live process philosophy. This fits the knowing that creation has taken a slow evolutionary process. The human family has yet to learn how to become a responsible partner in this endeavour.

    BURNING QUESTION?: How to develop collective intelligence in order to be responsible for our actions? How to learn to harvest the collective wisdom that I hope lies within us?


    Mark Dubois' passion for healing our planet led him to coordinate International Earth Day 1990 and 2000, events which involved 200 million people in 141 and 184 countries, respectively — more participants than any other peace event in history. In 1979, he captured national headlines when he chained himself to the bedrock of the Stanislaus River Canyon as a new reservoir filled. While his action forced only a temporary reprieve for the Stanislaus, the growing movement to protect rivers brought a halt to major dam building in the United States. In 1990 Dubois founded WorldWise, an organization supporting grassroots campaigns internationally in their efforts to lobby directors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This campaign challenged the institutions to reform and redirect their investments to fund projects with more positive and sustainable social, environmental and economic benefits. Dubois co-founded International Rivers Network in 1984 and helped found Friends of the River in 1973; both of these organizations are leading proponents today of river preservation and restoration, and creating more sound holistic water policy. He co-founded the Environmental Traveling Companions in 1971, which continues to empower disabled and inner-city participants on wilderness adventures. His present passion is exploring how to further catalyze and mobilize the human spirit to collaborate in co-creating a world that works for all.


    I've worked for over 30 years with teams in software, educational, and community organizations to find creative solutions to business, technical, and human challenges in systems design and development. My work has led to the launch of software and community-based projects for organizations such as Microsoft Corporation, Bank of America, Deloitte and Touche, Traveling Software, the Whidbey Institute, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and the Seattle Men's Evolvement Network. I hold an MA in Organizational Systems from Saybrook Graduate School, where I did work on transitions in consciousness. I was a founding Core Faculty member and Director of Distance Learning at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, an innovative nonprofit institution offering an MBA in Sustainable Business, where I implemented the Institute's first online community Learning Management System and taught Systems Thinking and introductory Statistics. This year I assisted the Whidbey Institute in the development and facilitation of an invitational conference, "Imagine Cascadia: Toward a New Economic Imagination." I am presently operating a management and technical services consulting practice in which I offer operations and project management, computer coaching in Windows and Mac environments, custom database systems, networking, and technical writing and editing for print and online materials. I am also a musician, actor, and poet; a practicing Sufi and certified leader in the Dances of Universal Peace; and a father and grandfather. I view unsustainable human activity as a positive-feedback process with complex dynamics. I see the transition to sustainability, in important part, as a matter of local communities learning to become less dependent on large-scale systems dominated by remote forces; at the same time, I think it is critical to change the large-scale system conditions within which local dynamics take place. I believe that such evolutionary shifts in systems and behavior call for developmental change in consciousness in individuals and groups.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: Can a system stuck in the domain of a dysfunctional attractor be induced to shift without a period of highly destructive chaos? How can we encourage the conditions that support transformational change? What is the next major project that will occupy my attention?


    Stephen's presence is heart-centered and catalytic. As a poet, visionary activist, and medicine man, his passion for progressive social change begins within and extends into the vastness of unimagined possibility. Stephen has been described as an "agent of change in a love-starved world," as a "harbinger of the coming age of love, healing, and self-awareness," and as a "healing, loving, compassionate, community minded, inclusive, creative, ecstatic lover of life, fully conscious visionary with a voracious appetite for learning and a passion to bring love and healing into each space that he occupies." Stephen's gifts for facilitating transformation stem from an ability to see outside the box of how things appear to be and from his capacity to artfully and masterfully reveal the inherent wisdom that allows for healing and insight to occur in spontaneous and unexpected ways. "Stephen sees the things that everyone sees along with the things that no one sees and puts them together in unique ways that are in alignment with a resonant common thread of untamed primal innocence, interconnectiveness, and love." Through a keen and discerning innate wisdom, along with a capacity to be comfortable and playfully creative at times of uncertainty, Stephen weaves transformational metaphors of healing that serve as spiritual antidotes for the illusion of separation and as medicine for those who have temporarily forgotten their wholeness. One of Stephen's passions is in the creation and production of transformational events for groups of resonant kindred spirits, activists and lovers of life. He was the visionary and lead facilitator for the I.O.G.B. events, which were a series of social experimental gatherings of kindred spirits convened for the purpose of healing the inherent disconnection and gender wounding that occur as a result of our culture's relational conditioning, along with being a portal like community experience in opening one's heart in agape (to the same depth as that commonly experienced from eros) and in creating a deeply bonded loving community of friends. Stephen's passion for progressive social change is a component of his personal commitment for co-steward of spaceship earth and extends into the fields of medicine and the healing arts, conflict resolution, philanthropy and project funding, environmental preservation, youth empowerment, and in fostering resonant heart-centered communities. He currently serves as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Earth Harmony Foundation http://www.earthharmonyfoundation.org, a Board adviser for the American College for Advancement in Medicine http://www.acam.org, and as an enthusiastic supporter of numerous progressive organizations such as Yes!, Challenge Day, Circle of Life, and others.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What will it take to awaken our individual and collective love intelligence? How do we work together to bring this awakening? How do we design a world where we love all of the children of all species for all time? (Borrowed from William McDonough.) How can a small group of people (if not a single person) catalyze the awakening of consciousness within a large number of people such that their recognition of a common interconnected thread of community stimulates their becoming active agents of love who enthusiastically participate in social healing and progressive social change? And, following Krishnamurti, How can I clear whatever is in the way of seeing and relating to each person as an aspect of the beloved?


    I am a writer, an attorney, an organization development consultant, and a mother. Mothering has been my most important career. I'd love to talk about my theory that mothering is a good paradigm for creating human systems that serve humans. I often think that I won't be taken seriously when I mention my mothering-as-human-systems, but what is more central to human systems than nurturing the human future? I co-convened "The Practice of Peace", a conference at the Whidbey Institute with participants from twenty-five countries in 2003. I was a steward of Spirited Work for a few years, an ongoing experiment that embodies collective wisdom as a conscious system. In the early nineties, I co-founded a for-profit training business that offered all of its services unconditionally, allowing each participant to set their own fees. This business still operates using the same financial model. It is possible to work in the world using new economic models. I've been published a little bit but not enough. I am passionately interested in co-creating conscious human systems. I believe that all roads lead to Open Space Technology, which is, I believe, collective wisdom. Integrating inner capacities into physical-plane human systems is essential to evolution. BURNING QUESTION: Do you have enough? If so, I'd like to hear about what constitutes enough for you. If not, I'd love to learn what it is that you would need to have enough. Can we create systems in which everyone can have enough? What will such a system look like?!


    I am a consultant, a facilitator, a coach, a business leader, a writer, a trainer. I am a woman, a dancer, a poet, a frustrated musician, a lover of The Land (desert, ocean, mountains, rivers, trees). My work is my art is my life is my play is my spiritual practice. I have been one of the primary developers of dialogue in the United States since 1990. A primary focus of my work is continuing to develop ways to make the principles and practices of dialogue more accessible to people in practical forms, whether in their individual practice, in a business, a partnership, an interfaith or intercultural community. I am passionately interested in the creation of "wadis" in our workplaces and communities — on the manufacturing floor, in boardrooms and classrooms. I intentionally use this uncommon word to denote something equally uncommon, and I believe, longed for in our day to day lives. Wadis are oases in deserts, nodes in "space-time" where we can pause, even if briefly, to let our shoulders drop, breathe out, and check in with ourselves and others to see what needs attention in order for us to move forward more effectively and wisely. To notice a symptom and avoid a problem, to let people know they are valued, to tap into our collective intelligence to create better places to work and live. In my emerging work I find myself partnering more fully with the Power of Place and the Rhythms of the Seasons, weaving Presence Walkabout experiences with the landscapes of New Mexico. Two questions have inspired my work over the last 17 years. What is it we require as individuals and collectives, to create and sustain environments of trust and mutual respect? What do we make possible when we choose to be fully present, i.e., show up, pay attention to what matters to us and creatively live into our questions? I wrote a book with Linda Ellinor entitled DIALOGUE: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation, published by John Wiley & Sons, NY in 1998. Over the last 15 years I have contributed many articles to other books and publications in the US and abroad. I work with consultants, leaders, individuals, and groups, in the private and public sectors. I am an international traveler and have enjoyed working in Europe, Canada, South America, Mexico, Asia, and Australia. I currently live in Santa Fe, NM on land (not mine) with horses, a running creek, lots of trees and three large dogs. I believe all people want to be happy and free of fear (including me). I hope that each day I contribute in some way to diminishing fear and violence and building peace and happiness among those I come into contact with.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What is the invitation that is emerging in the work of so many of us all over the world, as we gather to live into what is possible for humans when we create places of belonging and grace? How do we come fully present and in being/doing so become portals for possibility?


    Founder and CEO of Empowerment Institute, David Gershon is one of the world's leading authorities on empowerment, behavior change and large system transformation. His Institute's state-of-the-art empowerment tools have been applied over the past twenty-five years to achieve significant and measurable behavior change at the organizational and community level. He has also applied this methodology to a number of large scale initiatives. Included amongst these was a global transformative initiative created at the height of the cold war, the First Earth Run. In partnership with the United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) and ABC Television, he organized the historic passing of a torch of peace around the world. This simple and profound act of global unity, offered at a moment of great fear, engaged the participation of 25 million people in 62 countries, the world's political leadership and through the media an estimated 20% of the population on the planet. It was a demonstration of possibility that continues to serve as an inspiration to many. ♦ David applies his empowerment and large system transformation expertise to cutting edge community, organizational, and societal transformation issues. His clients include cities, countries, and large organizations wishing to create behavior change and large scale transformation amongst their constituencies. The versatility of the empowerment tools enable them to address issues ranging from low-income neighborhood revitalization to organizational culture change; from environmental behavior change to emergency preparedness. Empowerment Instituteâs diverse client base ranges from organizations such as American Express Global Talent Division in the private sector, to New York City Office of Emergency Management in the public sector, to the Olympic organizing committee in the non-profit sector. One academic longitudinal study stated this approach is "unsurpassed in creating behavior change. "♦ David is the author of 8 books including the best selling, Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life As You Want It, which has become a classic on the subject of empowerment. He is currently writing The Practice of Empowerment: Changing Behavior in Organizations an Society. Considered a master personal development trainer, he co-directs the Empowerment Institute Certification Program -- a school for the design and implementation of personal, organizational and societal behavior change initiatives. He has lectured at Harvard. MIT and Duke and served as an advisor to the Clinton White House and United Nations on the topic of societal behavior change. His work has received considerable media attention and many honors.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: I look forward to strategizing with folks who are asking the big questions about how to develop the fullest potential of our human experiment. I am particularly interested in exploring two questions that grew out of the follow-up meetings of several of us from the first salon. (1) How do we develop the DNA code for social evolution? (2) What would a think tank, capacity-building program and diffusion strategy for social system evolution look like?


    At the moment, I'm finding out what it means to be a person without an organization. For the past thirteen years, I've been part of a thriving evolutionary experiment, living communally with about sixty others committed to transforming themselves, the planet, and consciousness itself under the guidance of spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen. As an extension of that work, for the past eight years, I've been managing editor of the award-winning magazine, What Is Enlightenment?, which aspires to bring an enlightened perspective to bear on the challenging questions facing our species and our planet at this unique juncture in history. Having recently left that community and my work on the magazine to find out what new opportunities may lie on the horizon, I am truly "in the unknown" right now, which as I'm sure you all know is a thrilling, if at times disconcerting, place to be. I'm currently exploring new opportunities to work with like-minded organizations and individuals as a writer, editor, speaker, interviewer, researcher, and thinking partner. As of this writing, the most exciting of my new endeavors will be joining the on-air team at New Dimensions Radio as an occasional talk-show host — starting with my first guests, Michael and Connie! My research on collective intelligence, and my experience facilitating "enlightened communication" groups has convinced me that the wisdom of all of us is greater than the wisdom of any of us. It has also shown me that accessing that wisdom on a sustained basis is damn challenging and requires a tremendous degree of autonomy and vulnerability on the part of all of the individuals in the group. So, this is at least one area I'd like to explore during our time together. Briefly, some of my other interests include the science and religion dialogue/debate, the quest for a new corporate bottom-line, and the unique moral responsibility we humans have with our power to consciously choose between evolution and entropy. Apart from Andrew Cohen, the greatest influences on my thinking include: Ken Wilber, Don Beck, Brian Swimme, Robert Wright, Sri Aurobindo, and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I'm also a lover of the great outdoors and a triathlete, so if anyone's looking for a running partner for the week . . .

    BURNING QUESTION: How can the progressive edge of the culture move beyond its infatuation with pluralism and individual freedom and discover a new and higher (yes, higher) unifying moral and spiritual context in which to ground our collective social/political change efforts?


    Three years ago Kaliya co-founded a social enterprise (earned income nonprofit), Integrative Activism, to build social networking tools for spiritual activist leaders and their audiences. IA uses Drupal/ CivicSpace as their platform and has launched two sites so far. Kaliya is very interested in proactively addressing the issues surrounding low numbers of women in open source communities. Kaliya has been working with Tom Atlee and John Abbe on the idea of "Extreme Tao of Democracy". Kaliya is the new Network Director at Planetwork, a nationwide network of people and projects at the nexus of technology and social/environmental good. There have been 3 major conferences since 1999. Monthly networking forums in the Bay Area, NY, Boston, and Seattle. This year we will be expanding to cities like Austin and Portland. A real social networking tool will also be brought online to network these local groups together. Kaliya ("Identity Woman) is a well respected figure in the community of user-centric digital identity leaders. She has been working in the ecology of folks working on building the "Augmented Social Network" since she first read the white paper. Following the 2004 Planetwork Conference, she was formally hired by Identity Commons to evangelize about the new identity layer of the interent based on two open standards: eXtensible Resource Identifier, XRI) and XRI Data Interchange, XDI). She is currently networking on behalf of the whole ecology that includes "Identity Commons", "ooTao", "Cordance Corporation", "OpenXRI", "XDI.ORG", and "Opinity". She can explain all the who's who and doing what in this world; so if you have any questions, just ask her.


    My purpose is to be a catalyst for our awakening, both individually and collectively, for the benefit of all, starting clearly with myself. "You have to do the work yourself, but you don't/can't do it alone, and you do it for both yourself and the whole." I am an organizational development/transformation consultant, president of UnifiedField Associates. I work in private, public, and non-profit sectors with a large part of my work being in education. Appreciative Inquiry, OpenSpace, and chaordic approaches form the foundation of my work. Two global projects in the Appreciative Inquiry community that I've contributed to are Business as Agent of World Benefit (BAWB) and Positive Change Corps (PCC), an initiative to apply appreciative and strength-based approaches in education. I've taught at every level from junior high through graduate school, including teaching teachers. A colleague and I are working on a book, What Every Teacher Already Knows. One particularly fun education project was the creation of a seminar: "The Future: Young Scholars' Inquiry." This is an adaptation of the Foundation For the Future seminars, but with 5th graders as the scholars. We're repeating the program this year with 5th graders, 8th graders, and high school seniors. I'm one of the founders and president of the Board for Unity of Woodinville, created as an intentional positive response to 9/11. I'm also working on ONE: The Movie, creating follow-up participatory activities based on Appreciative Inquiry, Conversation Cafes, and other dialogic practices. I am so grateful to be on the planet at this time of the great turning. "Thank God our precious time is now."

    BURNING QUESTIONS: How can we — all of us — re-member that we belong to each other, to the Earth, to all life, to the universe? With awareness comes choice; how can we use all of our communication and relationship tools to lovingly invite all to greater awareness?

    The evolutionary imperative has brought me through many diverse paths seeking to be of service in the world — as philosopher, photographer, journalist, teacher, activist, organizer, facilitator, and social change artist who sees herself as a passionate optimist seeking greater resonance and communion with her global family. Attending a small Christian liberal arts college began a lifelong inquiry and forged a foundation of questioning and a spiritual life rooted in mystical traditions and engaged with the world. My path has always included the many but nature stands in the center of my personal ecosystem. I learned several years ago that my roots are Jewish and this irony and paradox continues to intrigue me. Buddhism has brought me the clearest understanding of inner liberation technologies and personal transformative practice, which inspires me to understand how these spiritual technologies can be integrated into our political world, where inner and outer technologies meet. As a student of philosophy and literature, my deep love for story & dialogue sits at the root of my passion for profound and evolving change in a complex world — the role of imagination and spirit. Personal mantras have been the meme of conscious evolution and Hafiz's quote "Nothing evolves us like love." I received a Master's degree in literature, critical thinking, cinema studies and philosophy, while my professional and activist work has taken me into the broad field of communication. Leveraging information technologies and empowerment and how stories shape our beliefs about what is possible, I dove into broadcast journalism and spent a combined 8 years as news director of a community radio station and as producer/host for a provocative public affairs program in Seattle. The journey continued with the next 4 years immersed at the heart of a global communications network: Indymedia. Jumpstarting network consciousness, discovering best practices, immersing myself in integral communication, developing collective intelligence processes and the architecture of cooperation and participation, was an everyday necessity. Open source, distributed networks, and living systems principles were fundamental design elements. We were collectively, globally, walking an evolutionary edge without a blueprint. A personal pivotal moment was meeting Pierre Levy, and his invitation a year later to do my PhD with him sparked a profound inquiry. To further this exploration, I convened the Collective Intelligence Circle to bring evolutionary process technologies to the Northwest Social Forum. I remain committed to engaging this bioregion with the bigger questions of our social tranformation possibilities and new ways of being and imagining together. Current projects include working with a bioregional project called Imagine Cascadia to engage our bioregion in a series of conversations about our sustainable future, discovering the work we must do together, and how we can bring consciousness to already existing networks that can serve to connect us to one another in more profound ways.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: How do we disseminate the evolutionary patterns and memes from these salons and our collective work in the widest way possible, seeding them in our local ecosystems and in the larger cultural creative field? How do we harvest the evolutionary edge consciousness and translate it in language and process that can be shared by many? How do we heal the small and large fissures in the fabric of the collective so that the field is clear for the highest evolutionary potential to emerge? How do we develop bioregional strategies of cooperation that take into account the consequences of our individual and collective action and the evolutionary agenda for sustainability? What does collective intelligence in action look like?

      JON HOST
    My Ph. D. is in the field of materials science, though my interests include anthropology, biology, chemistry, astronomy, geology and many others. I have taught chemistry, physics and biology at Saginaw Valley State University in addition to being a full-time research scientist at Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation, and live in Midland Michigan with my wife and two children. My diverse scientific training and experience allows me to convey the very important point that science is not a collection of separate, unrelated fields of study, but rather is simply the study of the real world, an interconnected whole. Teaching or learning separate subjects in science can be like memorizing the contents of separate boxes filled with dried specimens in an old museum drawer. A better approach is to study science as an interconnected whole, like the grand story of evolution, which links life forms as disparate as a slime mold is from an elephant, and subjects as diverse as geology and emergence. My spiritual journey began with Roman Catholicism, and in my early 20's this was replaced with Humanism. Since then I've maintained a naturalistic worldview (naturalistic meaning no supernatural, literal gods, nor magic), and have incorporated pagan symbols and metaphors such as the Wheel of the Year, the directions and others. This approach is called Naturalistic Paganism. A yahoo group for Naturalistic Paganism was started independently this year, and now has over 5 dozen members. The Wheel of the Year is a powerful and flexible framework which unifies the holidays, our lifetimes, the evolutionary story, and much more. It immediately lends itself to ritual, the creation of sacred space, and an intimate connection to our Neolithic ancestors. More on my spiritual history, my vision of an earth-honoring religion, and tidbits such as my letters to the editor about intelligent design/creationism can be found on my webpage.

    In 1966 my wife Vivienne and I came to Whidbey Island, purchased an old abandoned farm back in the forest, and began to dream of creating a learning center. Forty years later, after founding the Chinook Learning Center and later the Whidbey Institute, we are still following our "calling" and creating new programs that relate personal faith experience and responsibility for the future of the Earth Community. Along the way I edited a book: Earth & Spirit: The Spiritual Dimension of the Environmental Crisis. My work this past year has been in building Story House, which is a new "classroom in the forest," and creating a new program: Integral Spirit: Journey into Wholeness and Sacred Responsibility. On the drawing boards are three additional projects: 1) The awakening message: creating together a positive core message. 2) Journey of A Hundred Years Ð calling a new community willing to commit to building a sacred future for the Earth Community. 3) An Earth & Spirit program on the "30-acres" of the Chinook land. I continue to work with my wife, Vivienne, in these ventures, and participate each year in her work on the Island of Iona in Scotland. These programs are offered in association with the Whidbey Institute, and I serve on the board of directors of the Institute as Founding Director. I bring to the event an intense commitment to crafting ways to personally identify with the larger processes of evolutionary unfoldment, encouraging a new spirit of convergence, staying positive and creative, and learning the ways of an integral path both personally and in committed community.

    Whidbey Island and the Chinook lands have been my home and place of vocation since 1972, when I moved from Seattle with my husband, Fritz, to form the Chinook Learning Center on what was then an abandoned farm — which I co-directed for almost twenty years. Chinook became a well-known workshop and conference center concerned with issues of human development, spituality, and the environment. As the environment became a passionate concern, we left Chinook to form the Whidbey Institute for Earth, Spirit and the Human Future. My work has been primarily with the need to understand the root causes of humankind's broken relationship with the natural world and the consequent disastrous circumstances we are facing. I have been profoundly influenced by our long-time friend, Fr. Thomas Berry, and his understanding of the magnificent universe story and the "great work of our time." I am currently working with Fritz in the development of a new program: Integral Spirit: Journey Into Wholeness and Sacred Responsibility and several additional projects, including writing and the formation of a legacy work called the Journey of 100 years. In addition, I continue to direct the Iona programs — annual retreats and pilgrimages on the Island of Iona in Scotland — which I have been doing for over 25 years. These bring together people from diverse traditions to explore the alternative theology and cosmology of Celtic spirituality and how it offers inspiration for our emerging understanding of the sacred universe and authentic spiritual life. Irish born, Celtic history and spirituality are areas of great interest, scholarship and writing. I am also a Lindisfarne Fellow. We have one son, Timothy, a talented musician, songwriter and activist. It's a delight to have the Evolutionary Salon meet in Thomas Berry Hall, built several years ago to honor and further the vision of this great man! BURNING QUESTION: How do we help ourselves and others sustain hope, confidence, compassion, and truly creative efforts in light of the environmental and social challenges we currently face — and that will become all the more perilous in coming decades?

    Thomas J. Hurley is an independent writer, consultant, and guide who helps individuals and leadership groups develop and use "the soul's knowing" as a touchstone for their lives and work. He has over twenty-four years of leadership experience in organizations concerned with the frontiers of individual and collective potential. Tom was formerly Senior Research Associate and then Director of Transformative Learning at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where he served for seventeen years; Managing Director of the Chaordic Alliance; and the first Coordinating Director of the Chaordic Commons. He also served on the boards of directors for those three organizations. In his capacity as consultant and executive coach, Tom has worked with organizations in the private, public, and independent sectors, helping apply living systems principles and perspectives to fisheries management, food safety, geospatial data systems, religion, health care, philanthropy, international development, mother-child well-being, and other fields. Tom earned a master's degree in futures research from the University of Houston at Clear Lake City and holds a black belt in aikido. He is presently a student of Hua Shan Taoist Chi Kung and lives with his wife Sara in Richmond, California. His son Gabriel attends the University of California at Berkeley.


    I am a consultant with an wide expertise on online marketing and communication strategies, web publishing systems, virtual communities, and Online Learning systems (environment, instructional design, technology, facilitation on synchronous and asynchronous environments). My major interest lies in the formation of 'Being Essence' (BE), which is a company devoted to develop the collective intelligence field and practice through working with corporate leaders and social networks interested in reaching their highest potential through dialogue and collaborative action. I currently work with an Accountant Federation conformed by 61 Associations where I developed their 'social learning system' and currently their portal strategy. We are also initiating a Collective Intelligence Taskforce to work towards the vision of the future of the federation, which begins from becoming a 'Learning organization' to being able to envision, prototype, and implement the vision process. I also help an NGO, which developed a free content managment system and a social network software to serve organizations, institutions, or civil society groups interested in developing social networks. I work on the development of an elearning program and virtual community prototype. I also serve as a consultant for Nomads United, which is an international group of nomads who horseride all over the country doing different cultural events in rural communities to raise consciousness around ecological problems and learning events to help them develop better ecological practices. I have been a very disciplined self-instructed learner all my life. For many years, I have been a dedicated Ken Wilber AQAL student, with special affinity on evolutionary and consciousness studies, which are becoming a central part of my professional practice within BE and my other clients. I want to serve individuals and communities willing to connect with their sources of creativity to being able to participate in the key decisions that affect their future. I look forward to learning and sharing with the 'Evolutionary salon' participants in raising the questions that matter and develping our fullest potential together with open heart, mind, and will. I am willing to work for the CI/CW movement for it to fullfill the mission of making the CI/CW fields more visible and to help human communities of all kinds in all the colors of the spiral so that we align towards the intention of serving the Whole and a healthy future.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: How can we participate in speeding the collective stream of evolution of human consciousness in a more effective way? How can we help human comunities to align to a shared intention of serving the health of the whole? As Yasuhiko Kimura inquired, How can we create a culture in which people can come together in alignment in the face of disagreement, where everyone may be the center of idea generation?


    Rick Ingrasci M.D., M.P.H., has been involved in consciousness exploration and social transformation since the mid 60's. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy of Mind from Cornell University, an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and an M.P.H. from Harvard University. Rick has a rich background in psychiatry, holistic medicine, and psychedelic therapy. He co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, the American Holistic Medical Association, and Hollyhock Retreat Center. He co-authored the bestselling book Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Daily Life. He currently works as a life coach with leaders in the sustainable culture movement. For the past 20 years, Rick has convened an annual invitational conference at Hollyhock (www.hollyhock.ca) that brings together leaders and activists from a variety of disciplines. The purpose of the Hollyhock Summer Gathering is to create a beautiful, inspiring space for social entrepreneurs to meet, relax, and play together around a transformational theme (e.g. this year's focus was "The ART of Social Transformation"). He strongly believes that "If you want to create a new culture, throw a better party!"

    BURNING QUESTION: If, as Dostoevsky says, "Beauty will save the world," then what would The Beauty Way as a strategy for social transformation look like?


    David Isaacs is President of Clearing Communications, an organizational and strategy company working with senior leaders in the US and abroad. He has served as a line executive managing crisis and transition and as a personal coach and "samtalspartner" with business leaders and leadership teams, accompanying them as they embrace the challenges of unprecedented change and transformation. Mr. Isaacs has applied his experience in leadership development, strategic dialogue, and organizational renewal with a wide range of business enterprises, health/wellness organizations, and non-governmental agencies. He has collaborated with a wide range of clients, including Common Cause, The Institute of Noetic Sciences, The Shambhala Institute, The Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), and The Kellogg Foundation. He is engaged in teaching, coaching, and mentoring with innovative learning programs with University of Texas / San Antonio Business School, St. Mary's University, California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Kaos Pilots University. (Denmark). With Life Partner, Juanita Brown, David is co-founder of The World Café Community Foundation, an educational network whose primary purpose is to support the convening, hosting, and facilitation of strategic conversations in service to life-affirming possibilities. With Juanita Brown, he is co-author of The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter. He is a recovering organizational strategy consultant and political organizer, who is currently practicing as an evocateur, gardener, and photographer. He's GrandDad of three, with number four happily expected in January.

    BURNING QUESTION: What if a critical mass of people are already becoming awakened to the collective experience that humanity is remembering its connection to life and nature? If that hypothesis is valid, in what ways will we now choose to learn and act together?


    Jair is a multidimensional artist, composer, performer, producer and systems architect; he collaboratively bridges theories with practical applications. His integrative approach to higher education started with digital art, film and installation sculpture at UCSB, coupled with screenwriting at UCLA. As a music composer and alumni of Future Music Oregon, he received his degree in music composition under the guidance of Guggenheim fellow, David Crumb at the University of Oregon (UO). His background in Music Technology cultivated a path towards innovative uses of analog and digital technologies to create neo-organic compositions. While at the UO, he started The Theurgic Seed Cooperative, a convergent media group that performs and develops live and multimedia atmospheric projects. Continuing with this project and new formats, he has toured a broad range of genres, styles and concepts. The project coalesced into a critically-acclaimed cd & dvd "this is not a (c/s)ell." ♦ He is currently a member of the Complexity and Nonlinear Dynamics (CAND) focus group in the UO Institute of Cognitive and Decision Sciences. His role in this project is to present new media methodologies, serving as a conduit for inspiring collaboration, edutainment experiences and online community architecture. In addition, he speaks on issues including: ecology, bioethics, free culture, remixing, complexity, simplicity, integral theories and open source at a variety of conferences and symposia. He is founder of the Imaginify Community Network, a collaborative exploration connecting theoretical knowledge to practical solutions. This project brings collective dialog and deliberation to a diversity of memes and approaches, offering solutions to seed, sprout and pollinate. ♦ The Metamedia Cooperation is an adventure into the kaleidoscopic world of art, science and community. Rounding out these transdisciplinary experiences are cutting-edge academic thinkers, as well as Open Space for communities at the forefront of ecological design, permaculture and planning. Also included is a series of art installations which feature established and up and coming conceptual and visionary artists. Advisor and/or consultant to: The Digital Visions Program at Stanford, UO Sustainable Business Symposium, San Francisco Earth Day 06, Uplift Academy, Evolver Project, GivingSpace, Interra, Planetwork, Holocosmos, Identity Commons & Identity Woman and various ecological groups.


    Kevin W. Kelley, an artist, best-selling author and entrepreneur, heads World Perspectives, a company specializing in Earth and space imagery and development of products which illuminate new perspectives on our World. Kevin conceived, edited, and produced the international best selling book The Home Planet, (1988) a compellation of the most beautiful photos of the Earth taken from space by space farers and accompanied by inspiring quotes by astronauts and cosmonauts. The Home Planet was on The New York Times bestseller list for 8 weeks and over 600,000 volumes have been published in 11 languages and 14 countries. Kevin also co-authored the widely acclaimed Embracing Earth: New Views of Our Changing Planet, published by Chronicle Books as their lead volume for the fall of 1992. RELATED TO THE SALON: I have a deep interest in how to make the important and urgently needed stories of our time more understandable and accessible through visualization. I am currently envisaging and developing a new way of seeing and understanding time, Creation and evolution. It enables simultaneous tracking, visualizing and correlation of the evolutionary processes and events of the comos, geology, climate and Life, from billions of years ago to the present moment, and on into distant future. In part, this is a next generation "timepiece" — a dynamic, empirical, and interactive deep-timeline, clock and calendar all-in-one. It will also enable easier visualization and understanding of The Great Story. For a long time now, I have pondered evolution and the nature of Intelligence in Creation. This has led to an a deeper inquiry into how Creation evolves from within, in part, through a kind of intuitive, non-cognitive, inherent knowing that is intrinsic to Being. I am interested in how the experience, knowledge and perspective of each individual gets expressed in the group as a whole and look forward to what I can learn and contribute.


    I bring to the conversation my technical capabilities and background in web and social software, my social connections with FOAF, RDF/XML, wiki, and larger communities, and an understanding of Internet governance. I also associate with transhumanist communities, and can relay their voice. I look forward to events such as the Evolutionary Salon, because I need to talk strategy and roadmap, establish social connections, get an understanding of the bigger picture, and to relay and integrate the voices of the communities that I hail from. Together, we forge our dreams for emerging democracy into a reality. I write on CommunityWiki about wiki, organized culture, the future of logistics ("cybernetic economy"), inter-community cooperation, the nature of debate and perspective, movements in popular culture, and the global brain. I contribute to the Futures wiki by tracking and summarizing technical efforts, and their implications for society. I am contributing to the organization of the RecentChanges Camp. I participate in local (Seattle) technical communities such as SeaPIG, (the Seattle Python Interest Group,) and the Mind Camp. I work as a programmer at Alacos, a Windows-Linux migration company. A long time ago, I studied Surat Shabda Yoga and derivatives.

    BURNING QUESTION: "What's our roadmap?"


    Alexander Laszlo is co-founder and President of Syntony Quest and former Director of the Doctoral Program in Management at the Graduate School of Business Administration & Leadership (EGADE-ITESM), Mexico, where he is currently tenured core faculty. He also serves as Consulting Research Faculty member for the Consortium Schools of California and as adjunct Full Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and at Saybrook Graduate School, and teaches MBA and Doctoral management courses on strategy, systems, and sustainability as core faculty at Presidio World College, as adjunct Professor and Doctoral Faculty Mentor at Touro University International, and as adjunct Professor at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. He has worked for the UNESCO Regional Office for Science & Technology for Europe, the Italian Electric Power Agency, and the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, has held visiting appointments with the London School of Economics and the European University Institute, and has been named a Level I Member of the National Research Academy of Mexico (SNI). He is on the Editorial Boards of Systems Research & Behavioral Science, World Futures, Organisational Transformation & Social Change, and Latin American Business Review, recipient of the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award as well as of the Fšrderpreis Akademischer Klub award of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, for work in social innovation and sustainable development, and finalist for the 2003 Beyond Gray Pinstripes award of the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute for educational work in sustainable business. An active member of several systems science societies, he is author of over thirty journal, book, and encyclopedia publications, with Evolving with Heart: Dancing the Path of Syntony forthcoming. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Chung Do Kwan style of Tae Kwon Do and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Shotokan style of Karate. Born in Fribourg, Switzerland, he is holder of a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Policy from the University of Pennsylvania from where he also received his MA in History and Sociology of Science. His BA is from Haverford College, with a major in International and Comparative Political Science and a minor in Human Physiology. His intellectual passion is to apply systems thinking, policy analysis, and technology assessment to issues of individual and collective empowerment. His professional objective is to engage in educational and community-building activities on the design and implementation of evolutionary pathways for self-directed sustainable development.

    BURNING QUESTION: What do we need to learn (skills, competencies, abilities, senses) to better harmonize with the dynamics of being and becoming that surround, embrace, and flow through us in order for the legacy we leave (individually and collectively) to be life-affirming, future-creating, and opportunity-enhancing?


    Kathia Castro Laszlo, Ph.D. is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Syntony Quest, an educational, research, and consulting organization that empowers businesses and communities to work and learn in ways that embody social and environmental integrity, with offices in San Francisco and Monterrey, Mexico. Kathia is a Faculty member at the Presidio School of Management where she teaches strategy and leadership in their MBA in Sustainable Management and serves as Co-Director of Learning Community and Student Relations. She is a doctoral advisor and professor of courses on systems thinking, evolutionary consciousness, and sustainability at Saybrook Graduate School and Co-Chairs the Special Integration Group on Evolutionary Development for the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), of which she is past vice-president and board member. She is author of the forthcoming book, Education and Beyond: An Introduction to the Design of Evolutionary Learning Community, and has published in the areas of evolutionary development, knowledge management, future trends in education, learning technologies, and systems thinking, and its application to social and environmental problems. In 1996 Kathia came to San Francisco, as a Fulbright Scholar from Mexico, to do her doctoral studies under the mentorship of Bela H. Banathy at Saybrook Graduate School in the area of Human Science with emphasis on social and institutional change. She won the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award in systems science, and is holder of a Masters Degree in Education with specialization in Cognitive Development, and of a B.A. in the field of Marketing. She is the life partner of Alexander Laszlo and the proud mother of 6 year-old Kahlia.

    BURNING QUESTION: What will it take for us, humanity, to waken to the joy and meaning of creating a global sustainable evolutionary-learning society?


    I've been weaving stories ever since I graduated with a Bachelor of Music 30 years ago. I write songs, plays, screenplays, novels, and poems, and have received several writing awards and an Emmy nomination for The Song Spinner, a movie of the week for Showtime about an oppressive land where people are not allowed to make music, a political allegory calling for a return to living within nature's rhythms. I also sing in many languages and have produced 2 CDs of original music, including Dancing With the Crone, a tapestry of world beat, celtic, and gypsy music honouring the neglected aspect of the divine feminine. I've performed in theatres and concert halls across Canada, in the U.S. and the U.K. I've been called an "environmental celebrationist" because much of my work is a celebration of the natural world. Like those ancient cultures that believe the world is sung into existence every day, I believe that singing the land keeps us all alive. My work is fueled by a passionate belief in the power of music and story to wake me up. When I first heard The Great Story, my eyes and heart were opened. I knew this was a story to live by. When I understood that the universe had been expecting me, my purpose became very clear. I began writing songs and poems to convey the beauty and wonder of the unspeakable mystery around us. I wrote a play, Voices in the Sound, a mytho-poetic creation story of Bowen Island, B.C., a love song for my home, which was performed by local actors and musicians last July. As a young artist, I wanted little to do with science and scientists until they started speaking like poets. And yet, the artist's mission is much like that of the scientist — to scratch beneath the surface, summon the truth, shape a new vision of who we are and why we're here. Since I am mostly a solitary artist, navigating in the dark, stumbling from inkling to inkling, I thrill at the thought of gathering with others who believe in the power of The Great Story to transform consciousness, and thereby transform our world.


    With Collective Intelligence+Wisdom in mind, I've been working consciously in related fields with some inspiring projects over the past 30 years. (See: http://www.collectivewisdominitiative.org/files_people/Levey_Joel.htm.) Recently I have been working closely with Tom Atlee, George Pór, and an international circle of colleagues on a variety of CIW related projects. And as I write this am packing to leave to join the facilitation team for the Clinton Global Initiative conference in NYC (http://clintonglobalinitiative) which promises to be a learning laboratory on a global scale for this inquiry. We host many circles of deep reflection at our homes in Seattle and Hawi on the Big Is. of Hawaii (http://kohalasanctuary.com). With my beloved wife Michelle, I am co-founder of http://WisdomatWork.com ; InnerWork Technologies, Inc., The International Center for Corporate Culture & Organizational Health, SportsMind, Inc., and International Center for Contemplative Inquiry. We have worked with leaders and teams in over 200 organizations around the globe including: NASA, World Bank, Intel, HP, etc. to develop healthy high-performing organizations, increase resilience, and promote a deeper wisdom at work. I've served on the faculty of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad India, and as core faculty for the International Center for Organization Design and the World Business Academy, Antioch University and Bastyr University. I've also directed clinical programs (Biofeedback, Stress, Hospice) for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound and worked extensively in "complementary & alternative medicine" and in "meditation & medicine" with dozens of medical schools & universities. Michelle & I coached a number of Olympic and World Class champions and designed & directed biocybernautic training for the US Army Green Berets' "Ultimate Warrior Training Program, aka "Jedi Warrior." This six-month full-time training program was described by West Point leaders as, "The most exquisite orchestration of human technology that we have ever seen." Michael Murphy & George Leonard, founders of the Esalen Institute, praised this work, saying, "Jedi Warrior was the most extensive and advanced leadership development program to be offered in modern times." Our co-authored published works include: Living in Balance: A Dynamic Approach for Creating Harmony & Wholeness in a Chaotic World; Wisdom at Work; A Moment to Relax; The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds; Simple Meditation & Relaxation; and Corporate Culture & Organizational Health: A Critical Analysis of How Workplace Culture Influences Business Success. We have been fortunate to study closely with many of the world's most respected contemplative teachers and have been encouraged by many of them to keep their wisdom traditions alive through teaching others. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been an advisor and supporter on a number of our projects and has blessed us in our work and teachings, and once saying: "You are presently engaged in work that has great prospects for bringing the inner sciences and technologies of human development and transformation to a very wide section of people who may not under ordinary circumstances come into contact with these teachings." We are based in Seattle as well as Hawaii, where we steward The Kohala Sanctuary, a most beautiful and nurturing retreat center, gathering place, and organic permaculture farm in North Kohala on the northern tip of the Island of Hawaii.


    BURNING QUESTIONS: What are the most skillful ways to help individuals and groups to learn to source their individual and collective wisdom from the deepest Source of Guidance in service of awakening all beings to their true nature highest potentials?


    Ever since I was a child growing up in New York City, I have been drawn to bringing different worlds together into a greater wholeness. International peace studies, anthropology, linguistics, and working to develop healthy cultures as an organizational consultant were outer expressions, while inwardly there has always been a natural inclination towards spirit, nature, and the mystical. I have been fortunate to study closely with many of the world's most respected contemplative teachers and have been encouraged to keep their wisdom traditions alive through teaching others. My training included a year-long silent retreat in the Tibetan tradition. A member of the scribe tribe, I have an innate love of language and poetry, and have authored a number of books on the inner arts and sciences of wholeness, including: Living in Balance: A Dynamic Approach for Creating Harmony & Wholeness in a Chaotic World; Wisdom at Work; A Moment to Relax; The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation: Ancient Skills for Modern Minds; Simple Meditation & Relaxation. A calling to contribute to the emergence of collective intelligence, wisdom, and mindfulness has been steadily growing and evolving within me throughout the whole journey of my life. I write this bio on a flight back to the West Coast from New York after working as a member of the America Speaks facilitation team, helping to facilitate the collective intelligence components of the Clinton Global Initiative — an extremely inspiring and learningful experience with major world leaders in business, government, and humanitarian projects, looking deeply into many of the greatest challenges facing our human family today. I have been working closely with Tom Atlee, George Pór, and an international circle of colleagues on a variety of CIW related projects, and host many livingroom dialogues and circles of deep reflection together with my beloved Joel at our homes in Seattle and Hawaii. I am co-founder of: http://WisdomatWork.com; InnerWork Technologies, Inc., The International Center for Corporate Culture & Organizational Health, and International Center for Contemplative Inquiry, and have worked with leaders and teams in over 200 organizations around the globe including: NASA, World Bank, Intel, HP, etc. to develop healthy high-performing organizations, increase resilience, and promote a deeper wisdom at work. I've served as core faculty for the International Center for Organization Design, and guest faculty at Bastyr University and the University of Washington. I've also worked extensively in the field of mind-body medicine, and directed clinical programs in biofeedback and stress management for Childrens' Hospital in Seattle. I love teaching and mentoring and a current passion is bringing the worlds of meditation and medicine together for healthcare practitioners. I also belong to the voyager tribe and weave urban and rural lifestyles together as I travel back and forth between Seattle and Hawaii, where Joel & I co-steward The Kohala Sanctuary, a beautiful and nurturing retreat center, gathering place, and organic permaculture farm in North Kohala on the northern tip of the Island of Hawaii.

    BURNING QUESTION: What are the questions that humanity and Gaia as a whole are calling us to ask at this time in order to awaken our highest collective wisdom and bring forth the collective actions needed for social transformation and planetary healing?


    I am a seeker after truth, committed to living a life of meaning and relevance that — together with others — helps unleash the creative power of the human spirit so that we can grow a more just global society that honors the diversity of individual expression and respects the many life-streams with whom we share this good earth. My childhood (during this particular incarnation) began in the south of England and by my mid-teens I followed an inner urge to travel and to discover more about the workings of this fair planet. This impulse moved me to Sweden where I was based for the next nine years. During this formative time in my inner life, I traveled around the world and explored many facets of myself through a range of occupations: such as banking, social work, and organic farming. Then followed a 14-year cycle at the Findhorn Foundation in northern Scotland (an intentional community dedicated to exploring how spiritual principles can be applied in daily living to grow a sustainable society) where I worked in the garden as part of the "cooperation with nature" experiment between humans, angels, and the elementals; served as Director of Education; met my wife Binka and where we raised our two children, Elysia and Coren. This community experience awakened a keen interest in group dynamics and organizational psychology and helped me realize that this is most definitely a collective journey we find ourselves on. Moving to the USA in 1986 I worked at Antioch University in Seattle as Director of Community Education and then, after establishing and running a private consulting practice, joined the Boeing Company in 1989 where I stayed for a 15-year cycle as a senior organization development consultant tasked with introducing and implementing large-scale change methodologies within the business and "people" systems, as well as coaching individuals and groups in "systems thinking" and in creating the "right cultural conditions" for success. After leaving Boeing, I entered private practice again and am now working with clients in the academic, business, and health-care fields as well as spending time with colleagues and kindred spirits exploring ways in which we can respond to the needs of our times. I have published numerous articles over the years on the connection between social change and the inner spiritual journey and in 1986, The Dance of Change: An Eco-Spiritual Approach to Transformation was published by Penguin Books. I find balance, sanity, and regeneration through gardening, long-distance trail running, and listening to the piano music of Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, and Keith Jarrett.

    BURNING QUESTION: What is the spark of inspiration that will ignite the collective human spirit and call us to re-imagine and re-configure our world so that all our societal forms reflect and honor our deeply-held core values?


    I was born and raised in the south of France. After completing my college education there, and armed with Master degrees in both science and chemical engineering, I was fortunate to get scholarships that brought me to the USA, first doing research at Yale University, then on to Columbia U. for a Masters in Industrial Engineering and Management. Shortly thereafter, I was recruited by Merck & Co. where, over the next 30 years, I enjoyed a wonderful career which gave me the opportunity to live in six different countries and develop both new and existing organizations in all six continents. My own personal development accelerated in 1969 when, at quite a young age, I was offered my first management responsibility. As Managing Director of Merck in Finland I found myself faced with the task of turning around a tiny and failing business. A small organization with a very limited budget meant becoming an entrepreneurial jack of all trades in order to fill the gaps. Being a foreigner meant learning to get things done through others, earning their respect and support and experiencing the essential value of trust. I believe that this first experience of learning to be a leader as a foreigner among a small group of people was critical in shaping my principles, values and leadership style for the rest of my life. After Finland I was given responsibility for regions of increasing sizes with, in between, the inevitable few years in various corporate staff roles. I retired in 1997 after several years in the position of President of the Merck Intercontinental Region and Japan with responsibility for Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Near East, Africa, Far East and Australia/New Zealand, an organizational entity of more than 7,000 people and $3 billion in revenues. In 2001 I became one of the founders and the chairman of Plexus Institute a non-profit organization with the mission of "fostering the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations and our natural environment by helping people use concepts emerging from the new science of complexity." Plexus organizes conferences and workshops, maintains a website and publishes a newsletter, sets up and facilitate learning networks, provides consulting support to members and conducts research to demonstrate the value of complexity inspired approaches.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What incentives might motivate corporate leaders to reinvent/evolve the products they manufacture to make them fully recyclable or biodegradable and eliminate toxic waste? What actions might help those incentives to emerge?


    Manuel Manga is an organizational consultant and leadership coach with international experience consulting to large and small organizations. He has worked in the United States, Canada, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He speaks Spanish and English. Mr. Manga's work focuses on evolutionary leadership, team building, diversity, culture, organizational learning, strategic conversations, and designing with sustainability. Mr. Manga has worked with CARE, Conoco, Chrysler, The World Bank, Bank of Boston, Ben & Jerry's, Plan International, Cemex, The UNDP, USAID, Oxfam, Synergos. Mr. Manga worked at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he consulted to managers in leading technical organizations, both in the USA and in Latin America. He holds a degree in Humanistic Psychology from the UMASS, and a Master in Community Psychology from Boston University. He is a member of SoL, The Society for Organizational Learning. What I bring to the dialogue is an extensive knowledge of evolution from scientists like Richard Dawkins, Edward O. Wilson, Ernst Mayr, and other scientists that have taken evolutionary knowledge into human evolution, like Jared Diamond. I have also studied with Ximena Davila and Biologist Humberto Maturana in Chile and in the USA, and offerÊtheir Biological Matrix of Human Existence as an integrated theory of human and cultural evolution. I also bring to the dialogue my work on Evolutionary Leadership, how that kind of leadership can mobilize a social movement. I bring an understanding of language and conversations, and how those conversations, such as dialogue can help us create shared visions, and bring forth our worlds. I bring my passion, joy, and playfulness. I look forward to learning from others and getting different perspectives on evolution and how to shape a compelling story to mobilize a social movement.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: How to develop a global network of evolutionary leaders? How to create a story and a game that people will find attractive so that they commit to creating a loving, just, learning, democratic and sustainable world?


    I am a Stanford MBA, founder of HMS Consulting, a mexican consulting firm engaged in fostering Transcendent Evolution in organizations. The aim of my work is to help the integration of our Being, Doing, and Transcending as a way of life in all domains of our existence. This is a life-centered approach that allows individuals and teams to discover, choose, and act in concert in search of our highest goals. My experience includes global and local corporations, government and social institutions and communities in Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia. My expertise includes disciplines such as Participative Processes of Meaningful Conversation, Visionary Planning, Complexity, Self Organization, Scenario Planning, Organizational Learning and Systems Dynamics. The core of my work over the last 10 years has been designing, facilitating, and advising organizations in creating enabling conditions for Dialogue as a key driving force for transformation. I am a World Cafe pioneer in Mexico and other countries, with wide experience in facilitating dialogue in groups from 12 to over 900 individuals. I believe that business first, and then governments, can play an influential role in the evolution of humankind. This is why a portion of my work has been in multinational and large Mexican firms such as Citibank/Banamex, Procter and Gamble, Pemex, BBVA/Bancomer Bank, Warner Lambert, Ford Motor Company, Pfizer, AT&T, GSK, and other medium and small organizations. Not-for-profit clients include the Lasalle Brothers, Indesol (Social Development Institute) and Fundacion Merced, a leading institution that funds relevant projects of social transformation in Mexico, among others. My former experience includes positions such as General Management, Strategic Planning, Marketing Management and in organizations such as Warner Lambert in the U.S., Latin America, and Southeast Asia, as well as Alfa Industrial Group, and Zano Alimentos in Mexico. I am a member of the Society for Organizational Learning (SOL) Mexico and of InterClass (a business knowledge community), an allied member and trained consultant of GBN (Global Business Network) in Mexico, a member of the Wisdom Board of Margareth Wheatley«s Berkana Institute, aimed to support life-affirming leaders around the world. I am a Scenario Planning and Strategic Planning professor at Universidad Iberoamericana, a member of the Academic Board of Universidad Marista, and the Mexican Foundation for Government Innovation.

    BURNING QUESTION: What are the enabling conditions that would help leaders, individuals and communities to raise our level of consciousness and deliberately search together for ways to modify the inertia of our local experience to entice human kind to walk in an evolutionary path that integrates our Being, Doing and Transcending?


    David B. Marsing is Managing Director and founder of "The Broughton Group," an organization involved in aiding nonprofit organizations scale their operations as well as transform their capabilities. They additionally provide startup support for select private sector companies and focus on Executive Leadership Development and Large Scale system change initiatives. David is a retired executive of Intel Corp after 23 years. There he had multiple roles in his last few years as Vice President of Technology and Manufacturing Group and Chief Operating Officer of Intel's Network Communications Group. David spent time in Denmark where, as CEO, he was instrumental in the successful integration of GiGA ApS into Intel (GiGA specializes in design of advanced high-speed communications devices). He was recognized in 2000 as runner-up in a worldwide study of "Most Admired Knowledge Leaders," for his pioneering work in developing and leveraging Intellectual Capital within organizations. Marsing also served as Vice President of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group and General Manager of Assembly/Test Manufacturing for five years. He is credited with directing the start-up and fastest ramp for the world's largest wafer fab (Fab 11). His innovative leadership and accomplishments were written about in Fast Company's first publication: Killer Results without Killing yourself, by Michael Malone. Marsing currently serves on the Boards or advises: ♦ Bainbridge Graduate Institute, a new MBA program focused on integrating sustainable business practices with traditional disciplines ♦ Berkana Institute, previous Chairman, focused on developing community leaders ♦ Cambrios, a biomolecule Nanostructure startup ♦ Dialogos, focused on Organizational Learning and Leadership Development ♦ Human Dynamics International, developers and trainers of systems that help individuals and groups see and build their potential ♦ Medius, a software and sensor fusion company ♦ NxEdge Inc., an advanced engineering coatings company ♦ Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend based non-profit focused on preserving the maritime heritage of the region through youth education programs ♦ Point of Data, a search engine and macro data base apps startup ♦ Society for Organization Learning, an MIT based nonprofit supporting businesses and communities worldwide ♦ The Telluride Group, newly formed group of retired executives involved in the design and execution of large-scale system change initiatives across all 3 sectors world wide ♦ The World Cafe Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the evolution of networks and communities who hold "conversations that matter."


    As co-founder of the Democracy in America Project, Joseph seeks to bridge political divisions by helping to re-connect us — in our civic practice — to the unifying principles accepted by all Americans. From his experience of over a decade in Republican politics and through dozens of interviews with experts and average people about the state of democracy in America, he recognizes the most destructive force in our country today is Americans taking sides against Americans. He has chosen to become politically un-affiliated and is now committed to respecting all points of view as having a vital contribution to the whole. He is a former officer in the U.S. Army Rangers and a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. He has a degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University.


    A little phrase from the Gratitude website inspired me to begin this "nonbio." So "to witness life as a waking art," with people and place, inspires me to host and hold Aldermarsh, a retreat center and my home, as an experiment in possibilities. I have slowly learned that I have had an underlying competitive current that emerged as a push to "do something" and to "be effective." Even as I come together to acknowledge the bigger picture in rapid societal design and change I must remind myself that loving and maintaining alignment with Source is primary to being an influence for change. Walking my talk or walking the walk is Walking in Beauty. As I shape my interactions, moving from competition toward collaboration, I find there is room for everything. All life is in co-creation — not separate, ever. When I act from this knowing, I act in concert with my work-in-the-world, whole and seamless. The universe/ earth's abundance is not limited, with not enough to go around. It is constantly evolving and opening and we divine humans hopefully will become aware of our origin and stardust body.

    .    RUBEN (Butch) NELSON

    I am a somewhat peripatetic, free-lance intellectual, boy bureaucrat and social activist. My activity is informed by my passion for nurturing our capacity as persons, organizations and societies to consciously co-create new ways of living that meet the character and requirements of the 21st Century. I am also driven by a deep desire to live faithfully in this moment of time, to avoid human catastrophe, and to extend and transform our deepest sense of what it is to be fully human. I am a 66 year old Canadian male, INFJ, an 8, a person still-growing-in-the-Hebrew/Christian tradition, a lateral and strategic thinker and a visual learner. On good days, I know how to listen. My wife of 44 years and two kids would describe me in very different terms: "always late," among them. I bring a non-trivial understanding of the long evolution of human consciousness and culture, especially that of Western culture. Since globalization is largely Westernization, this matters. I bring formal training/teaching in philosophy, political theory, and theology. I bring a year in India in the early '60s. I bring the experience of leadership in the Canadian student movement in the '60s and with AHP in the 1980s. I bring 35+ years of experience working in and around politicians and senior public servants at the federal and provincial levels in Canada. I bring a global network of friends and colleagues whose lives and work map onto mine. I bring many years as a community developer — wrestling with how to grow communities of interest that attract, inspire, inform, and support humanity's next big assignment from the cosmos — learning to govern evolution (the phrase is Walt Anderson's). We are slowly making headway in Alberta. I bring 40+ years of serious futures-oriented strategic research and foresight. In sum, I try to bring the best of the enlightenment in the service of moving us beyond the enlightenment.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: "What would we do, if we truly knew where we were and what we were doing?" The more immediate question that is rising within me runs something like this: "Can we who are privileged to participate in this conversation learn to co-operate deeply enough to become truly effective as a societal force?" Maybe the reason I responded quickly and wholeheartedly to the invitation to participate in the salon is my hope that we can.


    I am an anthropologist, organizational consultant, writer interested in consciousness, culture, transformational change, and ways of knowing that are highly developed in non-Western cultures ways of experiencing time, synesthesic sensibilities, multiple intelligences, naturally occurring "altered states," etc. I am committing the second half of my life to serving the emergent. Three projects focus my attention. I am writing a book on the Anthropology of the Emergent, which focuses on how we become Adepts of the Emergent. I am involved in the creation of communities of depth and creativity for people in late life (The Elder Sangha Project). And I am seeking to co-create with others The National Conversation on Aging which will enable and inspire original, creative efforts to generate lives and communities of intention in late life. This latter effort involves consortial and partnership links among a number of organizations and projects. Some of my writing at present focuses on examples of highly creative collective responses to unmet social needs in late life that enable us to tap the power and potential of age — one of the great unused resources of Western culture.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What is the place of grief in the individual and in the collective as we serve the emergent? How do we ground the work of emergence even when we do not yet see or imagine the forms and containers needed for its realization? What organizational forms and collective skill sets/sensibilities will enable us to take the leaps and make the transitions needed at this time?


    As a researcher, coach and mystic, Jean-François dedicates his life to Collective Intelligence and Wisdom (CIW). He founded TheTransitioner.org, a public collaborative place on Collective Intelligence, wisdom, happiness, and the forthcoming society and economy, for those who are already transitioning by whatever means of expression and action. He is also a founding partner of Angenius.org, a non-profit research institute on sustainable development. Jean-François travels around the world to give seminars and lectures, he provides strategic expertise for organizations and develops training programs for universities. He is also totally committed to building a new global monetary system that will free Humans from the scarce unsustainable current system (the open money project). Prior to this, Jean-François has an entrepreneur background; he was one of the founders of AOL France. He has been practicing martial arts for the past 25 years, he is engaged in non-violence, vegetarianism. He provides trainings on the body and emotional levels. He is of French nationality and lives in Provence, with his beloved wife, Stéphanie, and 4 years old son, Estéban.

    BURNING QUESTION: More and more conscious people are individually committed to bringing consciousness into manifested forms, such as visions, projects, actions, memes, technologies, social structures, etc. How can they form circles and networks of circles that amplify and intertwine their actions, so that it contributes to manifesting consciousness at a planetary level?


    Groups are the story of my life, from my young adult days organizing tenant coops and working with the Bread and Puppet Theater in New York City in the 1960s to the range of living groups I've been part of over the last 4 decades, from isolated mountain commune to urban coop, to several cooperative business ventures, to organizing non-profits and protest groups to address civil rights and environmental issues, to the years of weekly Bohmian dialogue groups we experimented with in the 1990s, to an intense experience leading t-groups, to Esalen workshops I participated in and led, to my current work with large diverse groups of people in communities around the world. I went through a major epiphany and transformation in thinking in the early 1990s when I discovered large group methodologies. These methodologies promised to make it possible to actually create the kind of diverse and participative communities that we had spent dacades dreaming about. It made me realize that while advocating for full inclusion, the left-wing world I was part of had isolated itself from all of those we disagreed with. I saw how wisdom could grow from the presence of all voices, even those I feared or failed to understand. Using large group methodologies in a variety of communities began to give me a taste of the richness and wisdom that can occur when we assemble truly diverse groups of people in authentic dialogue. I learned that assembling large highly diverse groups is key to this and that there are principles and practices of group interaction available for making this possible. Since that realization, my work has been doing this in communities around the world. Through this work I have understood principles learned from great mentors and been able to refine and add to this work. This work led me to my current affiliation with Marc Tognotti, a scholar, advocate and practitioner of a dream of direct democracy. Marc and I work together as the Neighborhood Assemblies Network. Current projects include work with communties in this country, in the European Union, In Bosnia and Herzegovina and in East Africa. Our dream is to transform the planet from the community up. During the 1990s, I also went through a personal transformation, learning what it meant to show up in the moment, to be fully present, to engage authentically. I have come to believe that what we are doing in our community work is helping groups of people do the same, with each other and as the communities of which they are a part. In an early incarnation, I was inspired by Sri Aurobindo, a proponent of deep evolutionary shifts, who believed that we are a part of an evolutionary change that will even involve physical transformation. It is my experience that the way we engage with each other in groups is key to realizing this possibility. Also key to this, in my experience, is broad diversity, which in some ways makes me wonder about what we learn in specialized groups such as the Evolutionary Salon. I wonder about the Chardin quote on this web site. Another wise man said that the presence of a "stupid" person in a group of intelligent people increases the intelligence of the group in ways not possible without that presence. We shall see . . .

    .    KATE PARROT

    Kate Parrot is currently working on a graduate degree in Technology and Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her two main areas of work are the role of dialogue in collaborative, cross-sector change processes and the evolution of the capitalist system in support of sustainable development. She is a researcher and is responsible for community building for the (Generative Dialogue Project), which has a mission to bring generative dialogic change processes into worldwide, mainstream use. She is also conducting research on business innovation for sustainability and the "systemic" barriers to corporate sustainability, such as the emphasis on quarterly returns at the expense of long-term strategic investments. Kate began her career in the environmental field, where she worked in water resources planning and environmental impact assessment. Her interests brought her to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Snowmass CO, where for three years she collaborated closely with Dr. Peter Senge and companies in the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) Sustainability Consortium. In her work with RMI, SoL, and the Generative Dialogue Project, Kate has worked to create learning communities that support exploration of the difficult, sensitive questions that underlie profound change. She is co-founder of the Tuesday Dialogue Commons in Cambridge MA, which aims to create a public practice field for generative dialogue. She has undertaken extensive training in group process dynamics, and she is enrolled in a two-year program in Conscious Evolution, offered through the Graduate Institute. Kate has traveled and backpacked extensively in the American West and Alaska, and she has seen how immersion in nature can create an opening to personal transformation. She is deeply engaged with the study and practice of meditation as a vehicle for human development. In 2002 she founded the Roaring Fork Dharma Community, a Buddhist group in Colorado. She lives in Cambridge MA with her fiance and two endlessly amusing kittens.

    BURNING QUESTION: What is the nature of the collective and individual work that we must engage in to birth a higher order of consciousness in the human race?


    I have been a student and facilitator of collective intelligence (CI) for all my adult life, from the Movement of the 60's and spiritual communities of the 70's, to the first virtual communities of the 80's and the organizational learning/transformation movement of the 90's. Today my focus is to work with others on enhancing the collective intelligence and wisdom of the CI field itself. I am a sociologist and social theorist by education and executive mentor and techno-communitarian by practice. I wrote "The Quest for Collective Intelligence," a chapter in Community Building: Renewing Spirit and Learning in Business (1995). There I introduced a concept of CI as a collective capability that emerges from a network of conversations pictured as the nervous system of social organisms. I also built CI-related frameworks, models, and process tools, such as: CI Innovation Architecture, Double Helices of Organizational Evolution, Knowledge Ecology, and the Evolutionary Fitness Wheel. I'm the Founder of CommunityIntelligence Ltd and previously was a Senior Research Fellow at INSEAD and Visiting Researcher at London School of Economics. Other academic posts included Université de Paris, UC Berkeley, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. I've been publishing the "Blog of Collective Intelligence" since 2003. See here: http://www.community-intelligence.com/blogs/public . I bring to this Salon my passion, questions, and commitment to foster the emergence of an evolutionary movement, and its journey to the tipping point and beyond.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: Some of the questions that have the most heart and meaning for me were raised in the first Evolutionary Salon by others. For example "Can we co-create a 'force' — a new story, a campaign, an action-think tank, a network, an entity, or something beyond these — to catalyze the emerging passion within each human to birth and nurture more beauty and diversity on the planet resulting in social justice, equity, and flourishing sustainability?" (Marc Dubois). To co-create such a force, we'd need to attend to the advice of Michael Dowd, who wrote about "fulfilling your evolutionary mission by listening, noticing what's real within and without, and pursuing the path where your own great joy and the world's evolutionary needs intersect." Articulating and sharing with one another that "intersection" by all Salon participants and, in fact, by all visitors of this website, would make the movement more conscious of itself and create new resonances from which collaborative projects may emerge. My intersection can be summarized with the following questions: (1) How to design evolutionary guidance systems — on all levels, from local to global optimized — to benefit from the collective intelligence and wisdom of connected, multi-community conversations about questions that matter? (2) Where are the cartographers of the vast ecosystem of everywhere emerging evolutionary initiatives? I would love to hear from, and explore opportunities for synergy with, anyone who can help answering these questions.


    I am a writer and social activist, having invented and launched a number of "social innovations" to help people transform their ways of relating to one another, to their money, to their conversations, to 'the world in all its pain and glory' and (currently) to freedom itself. My deeper hunch in all this is that the quality of collective is the sum and synergy of the quality of billions of people who make up the collective and the trillions of social, financial, intimate, and purposeful transactions that go on daily. I am currently finishing a book on freedom and limits, at the moment called IF I LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY, WHY DON'T I FEEL FREE? I am interested in the integration of masculine and feminine energies — within my own being and in my outer work and life. I live in Langley, on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, and weaving my life into this community is one of my greatest joys. I also write poetry, dance, sing in a choir, do process painting and spend a lot of time with my friends and my cat. mmmm.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: 1. What actually makes a difference? I waffle between "only connect" (intimate, particular, loving connection) and a more intentional "using my gifts for the good of all" (where my deep gladness meets the world's deep need). 2. Is it hubris to imagine we can steer evolution? Is it folly — for awake, conscious people — to NOT steer? 3. Is "the collective" merely an assemblage of individuals, or is there an intelligent field that members of a collective participate in? If the latter, how does such a field arise and develop its "soul" — the integrity and tenderness that allows individuals to participate without fear? Is there always a point of focus, an individual who leads and either retains or passes on leadership to the next individual? How does this leadership get conferred, passed on and even, if ever, transcended? Do such fields persist once the individuals leave the space? Do they influence other individuals and fields? How are they like — and not like — the fields we each recognize and work with called our individual selves?


    I have always had a passion for helping to create safe spaces where people can discover things about themselves and others. Currently I am able to do that as a member of the executive team at Seattle Center. We have spent the last 16 years creating places and events that we believe will delight and inspire the human spirit and bring us together as a rich and varied community. It has been a wonderful experience of working collaboratively with a group of magical people to create a variety of containers for our community. We have had the privilege of helping our community by creating lasting assets (such as the new performance hall) and temporary experiences that help us mourn and celebrate at specific moment in time. I have a Masters in Whole Systems Design. I live in Seattle and on Whidbey Island with my significant other, Gabriel Shirley, and my 10 year old daughter, Abby.

    BURNING QUESTION: What forms of leadership bring forth the greatest amount of possibility and creativity?


    Out of gratitude for a bounty I have not earned, I've committed my life to perpetuating the chain of uplift. My self-education includes a BSE in Electrical Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence). I am a founder of the Institute for Better Execution of Speculative Ideas (IBESI), a non-profit dedicated to creating processes that help the middle class self-organize to better survive the effects of globalization. As the director of the IBESI technical team, I design online reputation systems and tools that help consensus scale to very large groups. Eight months ago I discovered SolSeed which to me means literally, "the body of all life." I've since been involved in the founding of the "SolSeed movement", an effort to create a system of adaptable beliefs, practices, and institutions that provide members of the movement with the community and resources they need to discover and develop personal qualities that turn striving and struggling into fulfillment. The SolSeedMovement focuses on the core values that we share rather than the unanswerable questions that divide us.

    BURNING QUESTION: What is life?


    Marilyn Saunders, PhD, has been interested in conscious evolution since the mid '70s when she heard Barbara Marx Hubbard present the Evolutionary Spiral at a World Futures Society meeting. Some months after that, Marilyn moved into Barbara's house in Washington, DC and lived there almost a year, learning and meeting others who came to converse with Barbara. Marilyn also became interested in imagery and personal growth and healing, and proceeded to study with various human potential leaders. For twenty-five years she had a private psychotherapy practice specializing in imagery and relationship skills and also trained other mental health professional in the uses of imagery as well as speaking at various national and international conferences and meetings. Marilyn is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Somalia, 1966-69) teaching English and mathematics to elementary and intermediate school students. She also taught at the University of Guyana in the School of Education. She is a graduate of the School for International Training's program in Conflict Transformation Across Cultures and has traveled in Europe, the former Soviet Union, India, and South America. More recently, she has been a student of Spiral Dynamics and continues her interest in the big picture. She moved to Whidbey Island (near Seattle in Washington State) in December of 2004 and now volunteers with Global Citizen Journey, a multi-faceted citizen diplomacy effort. Her desire is to help others discover their callings given the evolutionary context in which we live.

    BURNING QUESTION: How do we accept and value everyone on the planet while not condoning behavior that is harmful to themselves, others, and the whole?


    I am the co-founder and former director of Imago, Inc., an ecological education organization looking at how we would live if we held the Earth as sacred, as our most important priority in life. I hold Masters Degrees in Social Work and Theology. I was the originator and primary organizer of five National EarthSpirit Rising Conferences on Ecology and Spirituality. Still working with Imago, I am now involved in developing the Enright Ridge Urban Eco-village in Cincinnati, Ohio. The goal is to develop a model of ecological living in an urban area, where more then half of all humans live. I am finishing an anthology called What Does God Look Like In An Expanding Universe? that looks at "Where Did We Come From?", "Why Are We Here?", and "What Happens After Death?". One of my particular interests is exploring whether there is a way we can help our fellow humans become aware that our survival is dependent upon living ecologically sensitive lifestyles. What we are doing now is not reaching enough people to make the change that needs to take place. Can we find a way to do it?


    I am a theoretical physicist working in the interrelated areas of information physics and a subject that I call cosmological complexity — how the universe evolves and organizes from essentially nothing. Much of my work has been carried out as a physics professor at Portland State University, where for the past decade I have been working to synthesize the ideas of complexity and cosmology to better understand emergence and evolution in the universe. I also seek to understand the foundational role that information plays in physics (including quantum physics and the second law), and to establish fundamental connections between apparently different subjects, such as the phenomenon of forgetting and the second law of thermodynamics. I am also a meditator, someone interested in cultural change, an astronomical sky gazer, fly fisher, and father of my late daughter, Patty Jeanne. As a meditator I am also trying to engage in a dialog on the story of the universe with those involved in Eastern spiritual backgrounds in order to include the hearts and formative voices of all traditions. As we await the potential discovery of life elsewhere in the universe and as our ability improves to create new life forms here on Earth, I have also become increasingly concerned that we face shifts of tectonic proportions in our most fundamental beliefs about life, consciousness, and our place in the universe. While we are creating mass extinctions, we are simultaneously also creating new forms of life — even potentially new and different forms of consciousness. Admittedly the future is hazy, but the potential changes are so fundamentally transformative that we must enlarge the context of our thinking and let our voices be heard about these critically important issues. In the long unfolding of the universe we humans are probably a transitional life form. Our present time is likely to be a defining moment in human evolution. We need to be reminded of this fact — and that we ourselves are the creators of this change.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What do these potential transformations (please refer to my background statement) mean to our understanding of life, consciousness, and our place in the universe? How do these changes fit within the context of long-term evolution in an emergent universe? What strategies can we adopt to approach the coming changes with knowledge and wisdom? How can we have a serious discussion and educate each other about these potential changes without being dismissed or marginalized?


    Gabriel Shirley is an entrepreneur and consultant working at the convergence of leadership development, human potential, emergence, and technology. He has designed online collaboration technologies and consulted with startups, NGOs, and Fortune 50 companies to further their change efforts through the appropriate use of technology. He is the founder of BigMind Media, where he designed the BigMind Catalyst online platform and BigMind Consulting, where he currently works as an independent consultant. Gabriel's mission is to inspire people to live their dreams, to be more productive than they knew was possible, and to use business as a powerful engine for positive change. He uses his intuition along with his background in theology, technology, group process, and systems thinking to accelerate conscious change.

    BURNING QUESTION: What becomes possible when business fully embraces its role as an agent of positive change for humanity?


    Stephen Silha is a communications consultant, writer, and facilitator. He has reported for magazines and newspapers including The Christian Science Monitor, The Minneapolis Star, and Yes!. He has worked with a range of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, including the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Libraries for the Future, Children's Express News Service, and Digital Partners. He co-convened the first national symposium on the Media and Philanthropy at The Chicago Tribune, which spawned the Puget Sound area research project, "Good News/Good Deeds: Citizen Effectiveness in the Age of Electronic Democracy". For three years he has co-convened the Media That Matters seminar at Hollyhock Retreat Center in Canada. He is president of the Washington News Council, a forum for media fairness.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: What stories and what frames will help to catalyze more of us taking responsibility for social creativity? What's the best way to get those stories out?


    I'm the founder of AYA, an organization whose mission is to catalyze deeper levels of inquiry, leadership, and collaboration among the pioneers working toward the creation of a conscious and sustainable world. My partners and I are currently working with leadership networks in the fields of solar energy, philanthropy, and finance, exploring ways to support the emergence of new forms of collaboration and the creation of healthier, more vibrant and interconnected social ecosystems. I often find it challenging to describe what I actually do because my work has many different facets, and most of them are fairly intangible! So, in no particular order, some of the "things I do" include: expanding awareness of what is possible, intuiting and "languaging" what is longing to emerge from our individual and collective depths; calling individuals and groups forth into their greater purpose and leadership; researching integral creative solutions to the wide range of systemic breakdowns we are currently facing; mapping the players and communities who hold different pieces of the larger evolutionary puzzle, and catalyzing the shifts in consciousness and leadership which are required to support the transformation of our social systems. I grew up in Belgium and France, and moved to the United States when I was 19 years old, after completing two years of law school in Paris and realizing that I was a great deal more interested in transforming "the rules of the game" than in learning how to apply them! I spent the next ten years at Columbia University, studying comparative political economy and later teaching social and political philosophy. I spent a good chunk of those years exploring the world (especially the Middle East, where I lived for two years in the late 1990s while doing my dissertation research), learning languages, and studying social and political movements, as well as political and economic systems, their origins, trajectories, generative characteristics, shortcomings etc. — all a source of ongoing fascination for me. In the Fall of 2001, while spending some time in Upper Egypt, I had a mystical experience which deeply shook the foundations of my very cartesian and existentialist way of looking at the world. I started listening to a part of me that was suddenly calling to follow a thread which was pointing the way out of academia into the unknown. Following that thread is what led me to create AYA a few months later. I'm still following the thread and still trusting the mystery's lead.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: Where do we each need to step up and override our fears or discomfort so that we can personally model and embody the expanded level of leadership, courage, and faith which is being asked of all of us at this time? How can we individually and collectively support the emergence of a creative space that allows for the mystery's brilliance and guidance to come through each and all of us? How can we call forth a new form of collaborative leadership that can offer a collective model of what the Mandelas, Gandhis, and Martin Luther Kings of this world have so powerfully modeled at the individual level? And what is it truly going to take to be collectively ready for the major transition we need to undergo over the next few years if we are to create conditions conducive to the blossoming rather than the destruction of human life on this planet?


    Charles Terry is President of Terry-MacGregor Associates and is an Associate of Family Philanthropy Advisors in Minneapolis. He was formerly Director of Philanthropy at the Rockefeller Family Office in New York City, and President of The Philanthropic Collaborative, a public charity developed to promote and facilitate philanthropy for individuals and families. Charles has extensive experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, serves and has served as a trustee and advisor to a number of charitable trusts, foundations and nonprofit boards, and has been a speaker, consultant, and facilitator at numerous conferences, professional meetings, family and foundation meetings. His current consulting work focuses on helping build collaborations among groups of philanthropists and nonprofit leaders; working with a network of organizations focused on transforming money, releasing wealth and alleviating poverty; and with a collaboration of philanthropists and physicians working to advance integrative medicine. Prior to his work with the Rockefeller family, Charles was Vice President of the International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS), a nonprofit promoting communication and collaboration among leaders in diverse disciplines, and served as an ICIS delegate to the United Nations. Prior to that, he helped to found and served for 10 years as the Executive Director of The Door — A Center of Alternatives in New York City, an internationally recognized multi-service health, education and arts center for youth, serving 5,000 inner city teenagers annually. Charles is an honors graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. Following law school, he briefly practiced corporate law at a major New York law firm, and subsequently practiced urban, community and poverty law in poor neighborhoods in New York City. For eight years he was a Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he founded and directed the Urban Law Clinical Program. In 2000, he moved from New York City to Whidbey Island with his family.

    BURNING QUESTIONS: How can we wake up more fully to our potential as a species and as a planet, and begin to work together towards solving the major problems of our time? How can I bring my inner life and my outer life more into alignment in fulfilling my own destiny and in service to the world? Can we invite and engage in a co-creative partnership with energies and allies from other than physical levels of reality? How can we strengthen and deepen the connection among the innumerable people and organizations who are longing and working for a better world, how can we help catalyze a movement of awakening, cooperation, healing and community on Earth?


    I am a Thai citizen who spent more than 30 years in civic movement in pursuit of the idea of creating a fair and liberal society. I have worked as the director of the Bangkok Forum since 1994. The Bangkok Forum is a nonprofit civic group of a hundred middle class professionals, including businessmen, academics, students, architects, medical doctors, and social activists. The forum is formed to promote changes through public seminars, special events, and spreading ideas through the mass media to the Thai Society. In October 1996, the United Nation's Local Office honored the Bangkok Forum for "its innovative approach to involving the citizenry at large in urban issues." My work at the Bangkok Forum has given the Thais chances to reclaim their opportunities and increase their participation in public policies. Through all the efforts, I was named an Ashoka Fellow, A Social Entrepreneur, in 1994. Through my work at the Bangkok Forum, I have built up extensive networks with others civic groups in 40 cities around Thailand. A number of academics, civic leaders, and I have established Civicnet Foundation and Civicnet Institute, a coalition of highly motivated citizens aimed at fostering the growth of civil society organizations in Thailand and empowering the local communities for a greater role in decision-making at local government levels. I am known in both public sector and civil society organizations for my skills in large group intervention and delivery of tailor-made training programs and workshops which emphasize leadership training by incorporating principles of System Thinking, Complexity Theory, and Chaos Theory into community and organizational development. On October 2005, my team and I applied the methodology of Appreciative Inquiry and the Spirit of World Cafe to facilitate a civic forum with 3200 participants. This was the first political meeting in Thai history where leaders and representatives of a political party participated in a dialogue with thousands of active citizens. Through the years, I have published many books. However, the one which has gotten me noticed was my first publication in 1993, entitled Chaos Theory and the Catastrophic Bifurcation of Siamese Society and Civic Movement. As of today, I have continuously explored and applied what I have learned from both the western and the eastern world to my work. The combination of ancient wisdom such as contemplative thinking and the emerging new science has led me to deepen my understanding and gain new insights in the principle of The Art of War (Sun Z Tzn), the work which can bring forth the civic movement in shaping a better world. My participation in a Evolutionary Salon would allow me a rare opportunity to share and exchange what I have learned from Eastern wisdom to your valuable experiences and the Western points of view.

    BURNING QUESTION: How could we develop insights and communicate the evolutionary worldview supported by new sciences and traditional (ancient) wisdom to facilitate creative interaction of a critical mass of co-creators around the word to catalyze and sustain the evolutionary journey to generate enlightened societies?


    My life changed when, in the course of writing my Ph.D. dissertation on R. W. Emerson and the political philosophy of the American Revolution, I underwent a personal psychic revolution. Put somewhat elliptically, I saw that all the voices within my own self — high, low, of every timbre — could be liberated according to the political logic of a democratic republic, each voice free to sound its meaningful place in the harmonizing chorus of me. In this, I found a new personal happiness. Simultaneously, I saw democracy in a new light, as a people extending the same liberating principle reciprocally to one another, forming a community where each resonating self may freely resonate with the whole. Here, I beheld the possibility of a shared, public happiness — as has in fact been described in historical democracies. I left the University because I found little opportunity for collaborative action there. Academia was all about becoming a star. To pay my rent, I spent about seven strange years as an independent business consultant, writing executive speeches, white papers, tech manuals, television programming, etc., for Fortune 500 companies and internet startups. When the dot coms crashed, I took the opportunity to act on my cherished visions of democracy. With the support of a few city legislators, and inspired by Thomas Jefferson's passionate vision of subdividing the nation into "little republics" (direct democracies to guide and undergird representative democracy), I developed a legislative proposal to create a citywide network of independent but officially-recognized "neighborhood assemblies" in San Francisco. I hoped to create a new model of democracy for the world. As I pondered a strategy to build support, I sought out ways to bring large, diverse groups of people together into neighborhood assemblies. I discovered methods such as future search, open space, world cafe, appreciative inquiry, etc., and met my current partner-in-sublime, Kenoli Oleari. Kenoli and I are keeping the flame burning under our vision of holding 50 or more future searches across San Francisco to kick off a system of neighborhood assemblies. We are building partnerships and looking for funds to form community assemblies around the world. As we advance toward our goals, Kenoli and I have been creating new experiences of coming together for different communities. This year, among other activities, we brought mayors from the world's largest cities into three days of dialogue for World Environment Day, organized meetings for city and state environmental agencies, began working with representatives of rural territories in the European Union, and started planning a visioning process for the largely African-American community in San Francisco's Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood.

      FINN VOLDTOFTE (Denmark)

    I look forward to the opportunity of taking part in a gathering of committed people. Knowledge, skills, and insights on collective intelligence can really only emerge in collectives, I think. My expectation, when I see the list of attendees, is that this gathering could be one of skillful people who can set themselves aside for the sake of the whole. I am in the process of clarifying what "Doing business — The Conscious Way" means. One way to understand the word conscious is: to know what we do, to see what we do in a perspective, and to be able to stay with that perspective (as opposed to doing business for the sake of that business itself). As a means to do business the conscious way, we can engage the field of collective intelligence of the organization. I use a code word for that collective intelligence: "Magic in The Middle", and I do training courses to explore practices to engage collective intelligence. The field emerges as people around an organization relate to each other; relation only happens when there are people with presence. Engaging the field of collective intelligence can be seen as a shortcut to doing consciousness-driven business, meaning that the organization makes itself available for consciousness. I say, "shortcut" because we don't have to demand that each individual is fully able to be consciously present; it is enough that the individual commits to the process of engaging the magic in the middle of a group of people. I see the cafe-dialogue process as a special case of "magic in the middle" processes.

    BURNING QUESTION: What can emerge now?


    As I read the purpose and focus of the inquiry, I'm more than challenged. I am not sure I have scaled out to worldview. Instead I have been traversing some of the channels in between, so this presents an opportunity for me to expand the context and perhaps share what I've experienced in some of those channels. My channels have been threads that weave across time and space. My practice is learning about and supporting groups in interacting across that time and space online. Under the name of "online interaction and facilitation," I have been exploring how we bridge physical and metaphorical distances to accomplish things together. How do we have warm, human electronic communications? How can we create meaningful connections in the hope that it is harder to ignore, or worse, shoot, a person we have grown to know and care about, even if they are not in our physical world? How can online tools and processes allow people who heretofore could not connect with their communities of practice, connect, learn and create community? My background is checkered; I studied marine biology in college, but realized that I did not have the ability to focus into one thing. I naturally looked outward. I then spent 8 years in broadcasting (behind the scenes), 7 years in maternal child health (yes, I love change), a year running an internet startup then poof, I stepped off the edge of my world into independent work, bringing the threads of my past adventures (communications) to serve this new online world, mostly in the nonprofit sector. Along this journey I put out the wish to work globally and, poof, I found myself in international development. These leaps were all afforded through relationships and the power of online connection.

    BURNING QUESTION: How can this set of competencies be of service to facilitate a positive impact on the evolution of humanity and the natural world?

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