The Art of Participatory Leadership


The Art of Participatory Leadership

Building Resilient Community and Organizations

Friday, Mar 7, 2014, 10:00 AM –
Sunday, Mar 9, 2014, 8:00 PM (All times are local to the event.)

Jeff Aitken, Chris Corrigan, Dana Pearlman, Teresa Posakony, Sam Ruark, Mikyö Clark, Fedor Ovchinnikov, Heather Manchester, Carolyne Stayton
EarthRise at IONS
101 San Antonio Road
Petaluma CA 94952
See a map

We are excited to bring together engaged and diverse leaders, organizers, activists, and change makers: Leaders from Transition US Initiatives, Restorative Justice Community, local economy and local food networks, permaculture and green building, Impact HUBs in Oakland and SF, sustainable enterprise, leadership training programs, consciousness leaders, and more.

We are intentionally building strong Art of Participatory Leadership skills and capacity in California to support local and committed leaders working to positively shape the future of our regions. We also invite passionate friends from other areas who want to learn with us and create transformative change.

Our hope is to create powerful ways to learn together, build effective core teams and partnerships, and create innovative solutions that include diverse voices in their co-creation.

Rooted in the Four Fold practice of the Art of Hosting, this event teaches a participatory approach for leading, convening, and engaging groups. This means leadership that scales from the personal to the systemic, using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation, and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges.

About the Presenters:

Jeff Aitken loves the Art of Hosting as a comprehensive way to bring out our leadership potential in these times of great change. He has coordinated several adult education programs in leadership and the healing arts, and facilitated dozens of Open Space and World Cafe 'conversations that matter' across the US. Jeff has been influenced by teachers from many traditions and his own Celtic and Jewish cultural roots. He was a coordinator of Sustainable Sonoma County, a trainer for the Social Movement Empowerment Project, and a coordinator for Indigenous/Western dialogues in New Mexico. 

Chris Corrigan has 20 years experience hosting conversations in indigenous communities, not for profits, faith based, and philanthropic organizations across North America and in Europe, Oceana and South Africa. He specializes in Open Space Technology and design for large scale initiatives to work in high levels of complexity. He is a poet and a traditional Irish musician. Recent work has included design and hosting for:

  • A transformational national initiative for the US based Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service on the subject of creating “extraordinary welcome” through community conversations hosted in World Cafes
  • A year-long project to prototype new ways to address addictions related stigma in the health care system, initiated using Open Space
  • The World Indigenous Housing Conference, including hosting three large scale World Cafes with over 600 people.

Dana Pearlman designs and facilitates action learning experiences that embody the transformation that is needed in our world. Her academic background is in clinical psychology and strategic leadership towards sustainability. She uses participatory processes and powerful questions that enable deeper learning and unearth what is at the heart of the matter. Her sweet spot is at the intersection of authentic leadership, community building and manifesting a world this is just and abundant for all. 

Dana’s recent projects include:

  • The Global Leadership Lab (GLL), she is co-founding a start-up that is curating a global network of change-makers to accelerate the transformation that is needed in our world.
  • The Hub Bay Area, she co-hosted theArt of Collaborative Leadership: Community Building for a New Economy; she hosts conversations that matter for The HUB community;
  • Dana hosts workshops in Authentic Leadership that stems from her published, co-created research: The Lotus: A practice guide for Authentic Leadership towards Sustainability.

Dana focuses upon building her own capacity to navigate complexity in order to help others build their own capacity to do likewise. You can contact Dana at

Teresa Posakony works with organizations and communities who are seeking to put to work the ineffable qualities of community to bring high levels of effective engagement, creative design, and deep resilience to work. She was a long time member of the Berkana Institute, worked 13 years in high tech doing leadership and organizational development, and now has been deeply engaged in hosting process in a breadth of non-profit organizations and community driven efforts for the last 12 years. Recent work has included:

  • The continuation of a long term strategic plan for the Quinault Nation tribal government in Washington state.
  • Extensive work with faith community leaders working to engage change in their communities.
  • Helping design and implement a critically important initiative to bring leading edge brain research to the public policy sphere so that early childhood educators can be resourced to address the deep causes of child and social trauma.

Sam Ruark is the Sonoma County Energy Watch Program Manager where he facilitates clean energy projects for municipalities, NGOs, special districts, and small businesses throughout Sonoma County. He has worked in the field of sustainability for non-profits, small business and local governments for 16 years. He previously served as a Sustainability Planner for Marin County and is LEED Accredited and a certified Permaculture Designer. He serves on the Board of Daily Acts, volunteers for creek and river cleanups, tends honey bees, and is a fermentation enthusiast.

Mikyö Clark is a media producer, educator, and strategist. He designs for impact using film and video, academic & business writing, entrepreneurship, consulting, mentoring, and teaching. He is the founder and Executive Director of Fertl, an Oakland based media production company focused on storytelling for startups. He also works in the areas of leadership and organizational design. He is currently involved with IONS NextGen, bridging the work of consciousness exploration for the next generation of leaders. Mikyo is passionate about connecting dots and making partnerships grow. He is a visionary and a strong community activator who is bringing together young leaders of different organizations in the Bay to create a more creative and resilient eco-system that stays relevant and creates impact for this and future generations.

Fedor Ovchinnikov is a leadership consultant who helps organizations and communities address complex challenges that make conventional leadership models fail. Currently Fedor is involved in rethinking the relationship between wealth and poverty in America, exploring ways to radically transform the impact of the plastic industry on the Pacific Ocean, bridging the gap between theory and practice in leadership, collaboration, management, and more. He has studied team dynamics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Business Strategy at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and social innovation through courses and workshops offered by the Presencing Institute, the Society for Organizational Learning, the Art of Hosting Fellowship, and other communities of practice.

Heather Manchester is an educator, trainer, and convener. She has over 15 years of experience facilitating leadership, community engagement, and restorative justice programs both in rural and urban settings throughout the Americas, Europe, and Tanzania. At the core of her work she partners with young people and adults to create spaces for meaningful dialogue and build more equitable and resilient communities. Recent work includes:

  • Developed and implemented Youth Participatory Action Research and Leadership Programs around health in California
  • Built capacity for restorative justice and diversity initiatives in youth and community development organizations in Northern Ireland
  • Co-founded and facilitates a Bay Area women's group that supports women both professionally and personally
  • Convenes practitioners to explore how theater of the oppressed techniques enhances restorative justice efforts in Oakland

Carolyne Stayton, co-founder and Co-Director of Transition US, is a strong proponent of community empowerment and engagement. She has seen that when the creative brilliance within a community is focused and freed up it can solve complex problems with a distinct and endearing local flavor. Carolyne was Director of New College’s North Bay Campus for Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community and has a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from USF. 


Workshop Fee:
Grassroots Community Organizer: $350
Transition US Leader: $250
NonProfit and Individual: $650
For Profit Individual: $950

Meal and Accomadation Fee:
Single Lodging and Meals: $425
Shared Lodging and Meals: $300
EarthRise Day Use and Meals: $180

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