“The kind of conversation I like is one in which you are prepared
to emerge a slightly different person.” THEODORE ZELDIN
On a balmy summer night in Canberra about 10 years ago, a taxi driver asked me a familiar question, “What do you do?”
My answer was typically long-winded and detailed! But, he listened thoughtfully and at the end of the journey gifted me a two-word job title that stuck …
As a Conversation Architect, I design participatory group processes in support of conversations with purpose and direction. I hold space for leaders to notice more, to question established patterns of thinking and get a better handle on complexity. I am known for my capacity to sense the emergent needs and dynamics of groups, and have the courage to improvise and stray from the plan!
I enjoy working at many scales – with leaders, their teams, organisations and communities. I help leaders to wrestle with intractable problems and make progress by supporting them to think, act and engage differently with their communities and stakeholders.
My purpose is to shift the world toward a better future, one conversation at a time.
“Most social change initiates or is shaped by a single, traceable conversation.” MARGARET WHEATLEY (2002)
Life’s experiences, events and interactions with people have shaped the values that I do my best to act on.
Equity, social justice & equal access
Working as an Occupational Therapist, with people and their families, instilled a fierce commitment to equity, social justice and the right for everyone to have equal access to services.
A just & sustainable world
Travel is passion and has opened my eyes to the problems of over consumption and the impacts of pollution and deforestation. For 20 years I have focused my work and volunteering on supporting leaders, NGO’s, governments and communities to preserve, protect and restore nature. My commitment to a just and sustainable world will never waver.
Building capacity of people, organisations & communities
As a consultant, I often play a coaching role and help to mentor emerging leaders to grow and find their purpose. Building these capacities in people committed to good causes is something I cherish.
At the beginning of every piece of work I help you to articulate a clear purpose and recruit a core team of people that bring different questions and diverse perspectives to the design process.
I seek to work with my clients over many years and I deeply value those long term relationships where learning has flowed both ways.
I start with the end-in-mind; which means I support you to design for both tangible products and the relational outcomes that help to sustain efforts beyond one-off events.
How I work has been influenced by many people and fields. In anthropology and the arts they use a word – Bricolage. Bricolage is ‘the skill of using whatever is at hand and recombining them to create something new’. My practice as a consultant, informed by my teachers and mentors, has been to weave together different models, theories and practices from fields including:
- Groupwork and psychology practised as a therapist across many rehabilitation settings
- Applied Improvisation over many years through the AIN
- Art of Hosting – which is both a community and an approach to leadership, inviting and hosting conversations
- Complexity science here and here
- Systems Thinking
- Design Thinking
As the complexity of my client work increases, so does the need for me to collaborate, learn from and join forces with other people who offer amazing skills and experience to world. Here are few of those people and organisations:
I am proud to be a senior consultant with Reos Partners. As part of the Australian office, I am part of a truely global team with offices on five continents, recognised as global leaders in the art and science of systemic change.
You can read more about the work of Reos Partners and the impact they have here.
It takes a network to change the world
Outside of Reos Partners, I also collaborate with a networked community of other practitioners around the world. My most recent co-conspirators include:
To view a list of past and current clients please click here.