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“Jean Russell is the best facilitator on the planet. #biased”

~Deanna Zandt, Share This

Jean presenting

Photo credit: Scott Bradner

When you want to get what matters to your group or team done, including

  • develop a new organization or project
  • bring people together to brainstorm or solution-solve
  • work collaboratively toward shared outcomes
  • want a big picture view (mapping of the field)
  • gather people to learn or evolve skills

Jean provides facilitation for strategy retreats, start-up jams, open space conferences, and workshops.


Sample Workshop Exercises

To contract services, Contact us when you are developing a new organization or project, or you want a big picture outlook or re-evaluation. Or check out our work through

“I am obsessed with helping my clients be effective by using lightweight and well designed structures to get desired results. My facilitation style sparks engaged contribution from participants. I can make trouble – letting the unspeakable be spoken. And I can make peace – mediating between entrenched interests for mutually satisfying outcomes. Whatever it takes to get what matters done well.” ~Jean


“Jean Russell is a facilitator like none other. You simply cannot compare her services to any other group facilitator’s work. In the preparation and execution of her facilitation plan for our first corporate retreat, she made absolutely certain that the event would deliver on many levels at once. She prioritized and helped us clarify our strategic needs and key outcomes for the session. She made sure that the schedule was organized to deliver on that promise, and she held us to our own goals throughout the event – making sure that the value she promised us for the event would be the value we received.

We’ve each participated in many facilitated workshops over the years (even been paid to facilitate them ourselves on occasion), but neither of us have ever seen anyone link creative team building to organizational outcomes as deeply as Jean Russell did for us. Her workshop facilitation for us was geared towards actually doing work. She has a unique talent, and if you are looking for a facilitator who will ensure that your collaboration sessions actually help you attain your goals, look no further than Jean Russell.”  David de Werdt and Neil LaChapelle, Founders, Sceneverse


Participatory Events

(Facilitator and/or core organizer)

Great Lakes Bioneers, Chicago, IL

IEEE Unconference 2012, San Diego, CA (via

Unmoney Converegence 2012, San Francisco, CA

IEEE Unconference 2011, Boston, MA (via

Gathering11, Melbourne, Australia

Communicamp, Community Media Workshop, Chicago, IL

Change Exchange, Northern California, CA

COSI10, Chicago, IL (muti-location, global event) Member Gatherings, Chicago IL and Cleveland, OH


Strategy Retreats


Inspired Legacies & Bolder Giving

Meyer Memorial Trust

Currency Pattern Language

Grass Commons


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Sample Exercises

Here are a sample of the workshop exercises we have developed and used in the last 5 years in strategy retreats with start-ups, social entrepreneurs, community developers, and software developers. Our exercises are interactive, on your feet, and visually engaging. Most automagically produce documentation.

*All times are minimum workshop time and do not include additional conversation …

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When you want to learn or evolve together, consider running a workshop: bring people together to solution-solve work collaboratively toward shared outcomes gather people to learn or evolve skills

Jean provides facilitation and design for workshops.

Contact us when you want to evolve your group.

Sample Workshop Exercises

Past Workshops

ci2iglobal, Brussels, Belgium

Thrivable, Chicago, …

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