Thursday Pre-Conference Descriptions

Morning Options: 9:00am-12:30pm

Intensive SpeakerIntensive Description
photo of Rollin McCraty
Rollin McCraty, Ph.D.
Director of Research, HeartMath Institute Research Center
The Resilience Advantage: Skills for Personal and Professional Effectiveness

In this workshop, Dr. McCraty will present a practical framework of energy self-regulation and demonstrate tools and resilience-building practices that can dramatically help you gain more inner poise, intuition and clarity in the face of change and overwhelm. Improved inner balance and composure facilitates clearer thinking and a stronger identity with your personal purpose and core values. Learn how increased coherence can be achieved and how to more consistently connect with your intuition and how heart coherence is directly associated with improved health and cognitive functioning.

The content taught in this workshop has shown in numerous peer-reviewed studies to provide a wide range of long-term benefits, including increased:
  • resiliency
  • vitality
  • overall well-being
  • mental clarity for decision-making
  • emotional awareness
  • sensitivity to relational issues
  • ability to maintain composure in challenging situations
photo of David Cooperrider
David L. Cooperrider, Ph.D.
Fairmount | David L. Cooperrider Professor of Appreciative Inquiry, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University
SOLD OUT * Advances in Appreciative Inquiry: The New 8 Stage P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E. Change Platform

* Dr. Cooperrider will be delivering a keynote address and facilitating a breakout session at the full-day Friday conference.

“Appreciative Inquiry is revolutionizing the field of organization development and change.” Robert Quinn, University of Michigan

“David Cooperrider is a giant: a giant of discovery, a giant of dissemination, and a giant of generosity.” Martin E.P. Seligman, University of Pennsylvania

“David Cooperrider is one of the outstanding scholar-practitioners of our generation.” Jane Nelson, Harvard University

New and better ways of leading change are spreading throughout the world of business and society change. Some call it the “strengths revolution”— it’s a movement that has profound implications for every executive, change agent, and manager interested in leading with hope and optimism and with the full engagement of “the universe of strengths” inside and outside of the enterprise.

In this practical workshop the pioneering thought leader of Appreciative Inquiry, Dr. David Cooperrider, brings us into his latest research and thinking on the discovery and design of positive institutions. In particular, he brings the positive psychology of human strengths out of the micro into the macro, and out of the ivory tower and into several dependable, high traction methods for bringing out the best in human systems rapidly and consistently—especially during times of strategic transition and transformation. While most change management assumes “resistance” to change, Cooperrider asserts the exact opposite. People love change. They frequently thrive in transition. Change, rather than being resisted, can be a peak experience in people’s lives and organizations. And today one thing is for certain: the rates of change are never going to slow down. Organizations succeed when they understand the difference between deficit-based change and change inspired by strengths. They are so different—the tools, the stages, the positive or negative emotional and collaborative dynamics, and the success rates.

In this inspiring and engaging session, participants will:
  • Learn the foundations of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and “the art of the unconditional positive question” in managing change inspired by strengths;
  • Hear real-life stories about phenomenal high growth companies such as Apple and Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and see how “AI” is being used by organizations as diverse as Johnson & Johnson and Fairmount Santrol, as well as with whole cities, whole industries, and UN World Summits.
  • Apply the new Cooperrider-Godwin 8 Step P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E CHANGE platform to challenging change and real-life opportunities, a model that can be used with whole organizations, teams, and even personal change agendas (for example dieting.)
  • Learn how to overcome the negative bias (deficit based thinking) pervasive in most organizations and how the often overdeveloped focus on what’s wrong or broken can actually weaken aspiration and innovation;
  • See how AI can be harnessed for virtually everything in management from strategic thinking to sustainable green design, and from operational improvement to enterprise wide integration and innovation crossing silos, separations, and specializations in the service of whole system effectiveness.


Ultimately, argues Cooperrider we have underestimated the role of “the positive” in leadership. As one executive in a large multinational recently commented:

“What you learn in a single day can change everything. Appreciative Inquiry has implications for everything we do as a business, literally everything we do. But now I just wish I had heard these ideas much earlier, when I was raising my children.”


Afternoon Options: 1:30pm-5:00pm

Intensive SpeakersIntensive Descriptions
Photo of Richard Strozzi-Heckler
Richard Strozzi-Heckler, PhD
Founder, Strozzi Institute
SOLD OUT * Embodied Resilience

* Dr. Strozzi-Heckler will be facilitating a breakout session on somatics and resilience at the full-day Friday conference.

This experiential workshop is designed for those who want to successfully address deeper aspects of transformation in themselves and their clients.

Many of us have had experiences that have deeply impacted our sense of safety, connection and/or dignity. The symptoms of these experiences (lack of trust, sense of shame, need to protect, prove, dissociation, a vague chronic discomfort) tend to last long after the experiences are over. We can try to “manage” our survival behaviors, but unless transformed directly, they will emerge under pressure (both positive and negative pressures) every time. Somatics offers the practices of resilience that return us to present time aliveness, a positive view of the future, and meaningful connections. We will increase resilience, transform survival reactions into new choices, and learn to “blend” with things that have long been withheld, so that they can complete and mend. Working through the body allows us to embody resilience and well-being, distinct from simply understanding our conditioning and reactions.
photo of Greg Unruh
Dr. Gregory C. Unruh, Ph.D.
Arison Professor of Values Leadership and Senior Scholar, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University

photo of Manjula Nadarjah
Manjula Nadarajah, MBA
Master Educator, Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Mindful Leaders: The Heart of Conscious Corporations

Forward-thinking leaders are shifting into a new paradigm. The old model of defining success, through money and power, is failing. Successful leaders are moving to a more conscious way of being and creating organizations with the audacity to change the world.

Join Greg and Manjula as they integrate their experiences and expertise in leadership and business with ancient eastern wisdom and modern scientific insights to create an immersive experience in understanding a new model of leadership. This model of leadership redefines success and explores how to create this success for ourselves, for our organizations, and for the world.

Learn how to lead from the level of the soul by cultivating mindfulness and resilience. Explore how to bring the three pillars of a Conscious Corporation: Purpose, Community and Service into your organization. Develop positive, sustainable lifestyle tools that allow you to define your true passion and purpose and enable you to translate that purpose into an entire workforce rooted in shared vision, engaged productivity and the inspiration to transform our world.