Art of Convening Core Training

20% discount for members of Conveners.org. Use discount code 20% at checkout.

14 years ago we pioneered the virtual Art of Convening Training. Over 20+ years of convening, we've learned that meetings don't have to be a waste of time, whether virtual or in-person. Meetings don't have to be an energy or time-drain.

The Art of Convening (AoC) teaches the art and science of designing and leading meeting and conversations that are inspirational, productive and transformative. Each training focuses on your unique purpose with the goal of sharing it on behalf of others.

Unleash your team’s EQ with the power of convening: learn how the skills of inner game of being a convener can shift the culture of your team, department or organization to full-on commitment.
Each step of the way is a journey into personal and professional learning and application of the technology of relationships.

- All sessions are live and interactive, use the Zoom virtual platform, and are recorded for post-session viewing -


Art of Convening Virtual Training

We've learned that virtual meetings don't have to be a waste of time. In fact, they can be more valuable than face to face meetings. They are an inexpensive way to get people together: no travel costs and readily available technology.

The Virtual Art of Convening (AoC) training is a journey into personal and professional learning and application of the technology of relationships and the technology of virtual delivery.

It teaches the art and science of designing and leading virtual meetings and conversations that are inspirational, productive and transformative. Unleash your team’s EQ with the power of convening: learn how the skills of inner game of being a convener can shift the culture of your team, department or organization to full-on commitment.


Art of Convening Core Training

The Art of Convening (AoC) teaches the art and science of designing and leading meeting and conversations that are inspirational, productive and transformative. Each training focuses on your unique purpose with the goal of sharing it on behalf of others.

Unleash your team’s EQ with the power of convening: learn how the skills of inner game of being a convener can shift the culture of your team, department or organization to full-on commitment.
Each step of the way is a journey into personal and professional learning and application of the technology of relationships.


Art of Convening Great Virtual Meetings Training

20% discount for members of Conveners.org. Use discount code 20% at checkout.

The Virtual Art of Convening (AoC) training is a journey into personal and professional learning and application of the technology of relationships and the technology of virtual delivery.

It teaches the art and science of designing and leading virtual meetings and conversations that are inspirational, productive and transformative. Unleash your team’s EQ with the power of convening: learn how the skills of inner game of being a convener can shift the culture of your team, department or organization to full-on commitment.

- All sessions are live and interactive, use the Zoom virtual platform, and are recorded for post-session viewing -


Beaches, Bonding, and Businesses with purpose: OC 2018

In his newly published blog post, Pratik shares his takeaways and observations from attending the annual Opportunity Collaboration Global conference in Cancún, Mexico. 

I was one of the 440 delegates selected to attend the Opportunity Collaboration gathering in Cancun, Mexico in October this year. OC 2018 brought together 400+ nonprofit executives, for-profit social entrepreneurs, grant-makers, impact investors, corporates, media and academics building sustainable solutions to poverty and injustice.

Being in Cancun to attend the gathering meant taking a 30-hour flight from India and skipping work for a week; considering the opportunity cost, I had pretty high expectations from the convening. (Here are the possibilities I expected to unleash prior to OC 2018 published in Medium — https://medium.com/@pratikgauri/the-road-to-oc-2018-reflections-and-possibilities-6ad33da613a6)

Being back in Delhi now, I can comfortably say that OC not only exceeded my expectations, but also gave me a family of extraordinary people spread across the world.

OC 2018 created productive and meaningful connections through the combination of leaders, purpose-businesses, policy, and technology.

Co-creating solutions to poverty with 400+ impact leaders by the Caribbean

The adventure began when I entered the location of the conference, Club Med, in Cancun — It immediately appeared to be a beautiful and heavenly place. Built on a private peninsula and lined by three spectacular beaches alongside the world’s second-largest coral reef, Club Med offers everything: gorgeous beaches, delicious local and global cuisine at various restaurants, and water-based adventures. It is both an ideal place to relax and to put your thinking hat on to co-create solutions to world’s most pressing challenges.

With Topher, CEO of Opportunity Collaboration and Avary, Exec Director of Conveners.org

My 5-day roller coaster OC journey kicked off with meeting two of my favorite superhumans: Topher Wilkins, CEO of Opportunity Collaboration, and Avary Kent, Executive Director of conveners.org. We had an energising discussion exploring possible collaborations to take our current projects to the next level in order to better the world. Sipping a fancy mocktail at Club Med’s Soluna bar, I walked amidst the breeze towards the “Adventure Zone” and decided to try archery for the first time. Avary was kind enough to be my guide and I managed to learn enough tricks from her to even hit a bullseye.

Tried Archery for the first time

After archery in the afternoon, I headed from the Adventure Zone to the La Hacienda restaurant (I discovered there were 3 restaurants serving different cuisines) for dinner and caught up with a few fellow OC delegates. Every person I met was leading incredible efforts to change the world, had lots of energy and passion, and was also so encouraging, kind, and generous. Receiving so much warmth from fellow delegates made me feel at home and I felt blessed to be a new member to the OC Family!

I decided to eat dinner with fellow members of the conveners.org community, whose mission states : “We are conveners for common good, coordinating, cooperating, and collaborating to advance our individual impact and collective impact in the social sector.” Over a 5 course delicious meal, I had an interesting conversation with a delegate and she offered to launch INY leadership movement — the social enterprise I run, in her home state in Washington.

After dinner at around 10pm, another delegate suggested we take a dip in the pool. While enjoying the warm Mexican evening weather in the pool, we conversed about the importance of climate change. The delegate was a Climate Scientist at UC Berkeley and we decided to collaboratively host Climate Change convenings in India. (A few months ago I was selected as one of the 75 Global Shapers to receive training in Climate Reality by former US Vice President Al Gore in Los Angeles. Here are my reflections also published by the World Economic Forum — https://medium.com/shapers-on-climate/must-we-change-can-we-change-will-we-change-a-global-shapers-reflections-on-the-climate-reality-60b4d91f14d5)

At OC’s signature seminar — Colloquium for the Common Good

Early in the morning the next day, all the delegates gathered for an energising yoga session. I was very excited to attend my first Colloquium for the Common Good with 20 fellow delegates. The Colloquium is Opportunity Collaboration’s signature seminar on executive leadership, economic justice and the good society. Brilliantly moderated by Zohra Zohri, the Colloquium addressed the principles that drive poverty alleviation and asked us to think pragmatically about the nature of our leadership. We bonded very well over 4 colloquiums; it was definitely one of the best and unique seminars that I have attended. Also, it is the only seminar where I was able to sport a tee shirt and shorts — not bad, right?

A typical day at the OC included attending a colloquium, having conversations for change, capacity building clinics, and lunch/dinner salons. Conversations for Change are two-hour work sessions in which delegates intensively describe missions, strategies and common challenges around a central question, policy issue or theme. Salons are delegate-led mealtime discussions on a relevant topic of interest. Capacity-Building Clinics are delegate-inspired and organized professional development sessions in which delegates intensively coach each other.

Co-catalysed a Conversation for Change on Harnessing Youth Leadership to Shape the World with Erina McWilliam-Lopez and Annie Makela

Not only did I attend these amazing sessions, I also had the honor to co-catalyse a Conversation for Change on “Harnessing Youth Leadership to shape the world”. We spent 2 hours deliberating on the future of education and the classroom of 2050! By the Atlantic ocean, folks brainstormed curriculum, physical spaces for learning, faculty and mentors in 2050 and how we can make education more relevant for the future generations. I sincerely enjoyed co-hosting the session and it was a fantastic experience! 

I spent a lot of time during the next 4 days over 1:1 networking appointments with notable attendees. These meetings were very unique and special. Over pool, bar or beach, I ended up making great friends through these appointments. I have already collaborated with 3 folks from 3 different countries to take the INY (India Needs You) leadership movement to the next level. The details of this process will make for an independent story soon.

Other charming vignettes of the OC included bonding with fellow delegates over adventure activities like trapeze, snorkeling, kayaking, water boating, and water skiing. While learning the many trapeze tricks with interesting names such as the Knee Hang, Gazelle, Straddle Whip, and the Splits, we continued our deeper conversations regarding cryptocurrency and Universal Basic Income. While exploring the Atlantic ocean, we also ended up exploring so many possibilities that exist to expand our work and amplify our impact. I even ended up learning a new favorite hobby: adventure water sports!

At the end of long days, carefree beach parties seemed a need of the hour. Donning our respective cultural attires (folks came from over 30 countries), we all hit the beach dancing. While the party was happening, we tried our hands at acrobatics. I never in my life thought I would have such an experience with such awesome humans from around the globe, and I am still in awe of the events that transpired at OC 2018.

Birthday Night Beach Party with superhumans

Back in India as a more socially-conscious and purpose-driven leader with so many new friends, I write this as I continue to miss the OC adventure and extraordinary people I met. Blessed to be a part of the OC family, I am amazed and look forward to the array of opportunities that will open as I explore the friendships and connections forged at OC 2018.

PS: I am still overwhelmed with the support I have received from the OC family. I am very excited to dive deep into the OC community of 2000+ hard-working people making differences to create even more friendships and collaborations.

Post PS: I also happened to share my birthday during OC 2018; It was the best birthday week I could have wished for!

 

Pratik Gauri is the Founder of India Needs, is an Asian Youth Inspiration Awardee, a Global-Shaper of the World Economic Forum, a Climate Reality Leader, SLP Fellow, and  GAP Changemaker. The original posting of this article is on Medium.com.


Convene Great Virtual Meetings

14 years ago we pioneered the virtual Art of Convening Training. Way back before Skype or Zoom. We have learned a thing or two.
We've learned that virtual meetings don't have to be a waste of time. In fact, they can be more valuable than face to face meetings. They are an inexpensive way to get people together: no travel costs and readily available technology.

Unleash your team’s EQ with the power of convening: learn how the skills of inner game of being a convener can shift the culture of your team, department or organization to full-on commitment. Each step of the way is a journey into personal and professional learning and application of the technology of relationships.
We'd love to work with you. Please join us!


COHERENCE COLLABORATIVE: Wisdom Quest for Leaders: A Retreat to Connect, Regenerate, and Create Impact

Now more than ever, business leaders and professionals are choosing to make financial, social and environmental accountability a priority at work and at home. Whether you are someone who is already an active part of this shift or looking for the inspiration and support to begin to take those first steps, Wisdom Quest for Leaders is about creating a foundation to help leaders implement change in their organization, industries, and/or communities.

Join like-minded business leaders and professionals at the beautiful Garrison Institute for two and a half days of group convening, peer-to-peer interactive activities, networking, discussions, gentle physical movement, relaxation, writing, contemplation, and time spent in nature during Hudson Valley's peak foliage color season. Conducted by leading experts, the goal of this journey is to share with you the tools to align your day-to-day performance and that of your organization with your socially conscious priorities.

As a business leader, you are in a unique position to effectuate significant change in your business and your community. Be inspired, create positive social impact, and inspire others!

Whether you are an entrepreneur, CEO, COO, impact investor, activist, public servant, director of a for-profit or nonprofit organization, or of an economic development agency, this retreat is for you.


ENACTUS: United States National Exposition

Enactus is an international organization that connects student, academic and business leaders through entrepreneurial-based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real, sustainable progress for themselves and their communities.

Guided by academic advisors and business experts, the student leaders of Enactus create and implement entrepreneurial projects around the globe. The experience not only transforms lives, it helps students develop the kind of talent and perspective that are essential to leadership in an ever-more complicated and challenging world.

A community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world.

en(trepreneurial)—having the perspective to see an opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity;

act(ion)—the willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed;

us—a collection of people who see themselves connected in some important way; individuals that are part of a greater whole.


Why Capitalism Needs Conscious Leadership

The business world has a bad rap, and not without reason. Deforestation, oil spills, unlivable minimum wages, mass layoffs, the glass ceiling — the proverbial list goes on. Even as some companies purport to be environmental stewards, their treatment of employees and corporate constituents can be irresponsible, inconsiderate and downright shameless. It seems appropriate, then, that people’s trust in global institutions is at an all-time low, and corporate America is viewed as the vanguard of the distrusted establishment.

What can we expect, though, when the bottom line continues to reign supreme? When we consider externalities, human costs and the global frustration with business as usual, an alternative approach to business seems imperative to avoid the total collapse of our natural and human systems.

For the past 30 years, a small yet growing faction of leaders have pioneered frameworks that are an antidote to single-bottom-line thinking — notably the Natural Step, shared value and the triple bottom line. While those and other frameworks have focused on reinventing capitalism by shifting business strategy, accounting principles and operational standards, a new movement called conscious capitalism offers a holistic approach that puts people and moral conscience at the center of business practices.

I recently had the opportunity to learn more about conscious capitalism’s four tenets at the daylong convening HigherPurpose17 hosted by the Conscious Capitalism Bay Area Chapter. More than hearing from inspiring business leaders who provide proof that business can be a force for good, I learned that conscious capitalism doesn’t have to be an oxymoron.

Reaching a higher purpose

Of the framework’s four tenets — higher purpose, conscious leadership, conscious culture and stakeholder orientation — connecting to a higher purpose is perhaps the most pivotal to build an awakened business.

As keynote speaker John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, put it: “We need to go to a higher place if we’re going to face the problems of the world.”

When companies focus on purpose beyond profit, businesses are able to inspire, engage and energize stakeholders. Giving true meaning to a product or service not only adds value to customers, employees, suppliers and communities, it also shatters the myth that business must be a zero-sum game.

In Whole Foods Market’s case, for instance, the retailer doesn’t just sell groceries, it also promotes health and well-being — that’s its higher purpose.

Shifting into presence

It may go without saying that a conscious company is led by conscious leaders. Still, traditional organizational models — replete with hierarchies, office politics and big egos — rarely foster environments that harness consciousness. That’s why conscious leadership must be intentional.

The first step in achieving conscious leadership is self-awareness. As Christine Comaford, founder of Smart Tribes Institute, shared during the daylong seminar: “Self-awareness leads to self-regulation that helps your business.”

Comaford said 90 percent of human decisions and behaviors are driven by our emotional brain. Due to our primordial dispositions, people need to feel a sense of “safety, belonging and mattering” at all times; in other words, we need to feel safe, that we belong and that we matter.

A conscious leader will know to communicate those three values to his or her stakeholders. Once a leader understands how to speak to people’s emotional creature, they can spark greater engagement and lead more effectively.

That same level of consciousness is needed to avoid what Anna McGrath, co-founder of WonderWorks Consulting, calls “the drama triangle.” People often step into the role of “villain, victim, or hero” in any given situation out of fear, she said. At work, this dynamic prevents businesses and individuals from accomplishing their goals and achieving their higher purpose.

Conscious leaders are able to recognize when and how to let go of fear and ego, and learn to connect with others from a place of compassion and authentic presence. Being able to shift from the ‘drama triangle’ to presence means being a more conscious leader.

Building a great place to work

The self-awareness that comes with conscious leadership duly creates conscious workplace cultures that enable employees to thrive.

“When you align people and culture to the business values, profit follows,” said Chinwe Onyeagoro, president of Great Place to Work. The most high-performing companies have cultures that instill pride, community and trust among employees, Onyeagoro said — and that’s no coincidence.

Great Place to Work’s Trust Index, which has surveyed 100 million employees in 56 countries, consistently shows that a better workplace yields better performance. Even more, companies recognized in the annual Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list which comprise a special investment fund have actually performed better financially compared with the rest of the market (the fund has returned 32.5 percent over the past year). Those financial returns would not be possible without a strong foundation of conscious leadership.

Conscious capitalism aspires to change our current sad business narrative from the inside out. With conscious leaders guiding the way, may it be so.

This post originally appeared in Triple Pundit and is republished here with permission. Nayelli Gonzalez is the Director of Marketing & Communications of Conveners.org. 


SUSTAINABLE BRANDS: Tokyo

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have a unique role to play in both focusing corporate energy and also influencing culture. We seek to enable the success of better brands that are helping shift the world to a sustainable economy by helping them embed purpose-driven environmental and social innovation into the DNA of their business so that sustainability becomes a core driver of business and brand value.

A lot of thought leaders, brand innovators, designers, and global business leaders will gather to explore various topics and issues pertinent to sustainability. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join them in discovering How to tap emerging innovations to successfully scale sustainability Now.