Partners | North American Network | European Network | Advisors

Thrivable Partners

Jean Russell  (@nurturegirl)

Jean Russell is a facilitator and social ecosystem designer. As your guide to a thrivable world, Jean takes entrepreneurs, social innovators, and business builders on tours of network culture. She navigates clients through the crucial questions of creating and nurturing teams and networks to develop healthy and productive collaborations.

“Jean Russell is a visionary poet and master of network dynamics. She’s been a great teacher to me. I now have a next generation blueprint and operating principles for the growth of my tribe. ” Michael Margolis, Dean, Story University, Founder, Get Storied

Convinced the crucial roadblock to flourishing is collaboration, Jean is driven by curiosity about how each of us can work (and play) better together to make things that matter. Her quest to understand how groups operate and be useful has lead Jean to explore:

  • motivation, persuasion, and influence (trained in neuro-linguistic programming and coaching)
  • flows and risk analysis (via international finance),
  • how to make a difference (specifically philanthropy – as co-founder of donor education leader, Inspired Legacies, as well as social entrepreneurship coach and advisor)
  • methods of collaboration (facilitation of small groups and in the tech world designing online community spaces with game dynamics).

As a founder of the thrivability movement and a premier expert on collective thriving, Jean speaks to and with change agents, innovators, builders, and edge-riders from Malmo to Melbourne, and London to San Francisco (the not-so-secret-hub of network culture). Demonstrating collaboration, she curated, “Thrivability: A Collaborative Sketch” in 2010 with 65 inspiring people. She currently writes passionately about “Breakthroughs for a World that Works.”

North American Thrivable Network works with a team of leading edge thinkers and practitioners who are committed to the principles of thrivability.

Art Brock | Kevin A. Clark | Steve Crandall |
Christine Egger | Leilani Henry | Valdis Krebs

Arthur Brock (@artbrock)

After designing an interdisciplinary degree in Artificial Intelligence at Michigan State University, Brock began his corporate career with General Motors in their Advanced Engineering Systems area working in Artificial Intelligence.

Brock started his first business, Artful Solutions, as a computer consulting and software design firm that developed custom financial software for investment companies and process management tools for small businesses. However, his passion for design did not stop at software or business processes; during this time Brock also invented a highly-efficient, multi-fuel turbine engine, fluid dynamic drag brake and an ergonomic multi-position chair.

Brock became intrigued by the possibility of applying this model of a “learning community” to the realm of business and gathered together key people with whom he wanted to create and work – his “dream team.” They founded Dream Team Technologies to demonstrate the viability of this participatory business model. Brock designed and managed the development of Dream Team’s interactive internet platform for collaboration, community building and content management.

His experience in business along with exposure to emerging ideas in economic development led him  to design innovative “currency” solutions to stimulate the flow of resources in businesses and communities. He founded Targeted Currencies Network and developed the FlowSpace™ process to identify key success factors in implementing currency solutions.  Art contributes to the Physical and Metrics & Flow domains of Thrivable.

Kevin A. Clark (@kevince)

Kevin is an award-winning brand strategist, experience designer, author, and transformational catalyst.  He works with business leaders, marketing experts, brand strategists, designers, academics, futurists, human factors scientists, and cultural anthropologists about the wants and needs of customers, and emerging social and technology trends.  He is a sought-after global speaker about brand strategy, customer experience design, change management, and innovation.

He is President and Founder of Content Evolution LLC formed in 2002 to provide leadership in brand behavior and experience strategy.  Content Evolution is a global ecosystem of 40 member companies designed to meet the transformation needs of selected clients around the world.  Kevin is also the founder of the Human Engagement Group, a membership organization dedicated to advanced learning in the areas of human perception, sensory cognitive processing, and cultural perceptual readiness.  He also leads a task force creating a new cross-disciplinary university curriculum blending the best innovation practices from colleges of business and colleges of design from around the world.

In early 2009 Kevin retired from IBM with 30 years of service.  He is Program Director emeritus, Brand and Values Experience, IBM Corporate Marketing and Communications – responsible for discovering and creating new ways for people to experience IBM, and the global IBM Brand Experience Community Leader; a community he founded in 2001.

Kevin is the founder of the behavioral school of brand experience and the author of Brandscendence: Three Essential Elements of Enduring Brands published by Kaplan/Dearborn in 2004, and is a contributing author to several other books and articles.

Over the past decade Kevin has made over 100 public appearances and led dozens of transformational workshops.  He lectures regularly at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Yale University Business School, and University of Colorado Leeds School of Business in market segmentation, and is an executive education instructor for branding at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Kevin is certified in Spiral Dynamics, serves on the World Brand Congress Advisory Board, is a member of the Writers Guild of America, is a member of the Design Management Institute, is a member of the International Affairs Council, and has been a senior instructor for the IBM Marketing Management Institute.   Kevin contributes to the Creative, Collaborative, and Individual domains of Thrivable.

Steve Crandall (@tingilinde)

Dr. Crandall is a physicist with over twenty years of research, ranging from network architecture theory and practice to the deployment and use of technologies in education. At AT&T Labs Research and Bell Labs, Dr. Crandall did pioneering work in photolithography, automatic defect inspection, wired and wireless high-speed access technology, high-quality multimedia transmission and its social use, ultra-efficient radio, location-based services and presence.

In 2002 he and three others left AT&T Research to found Omenti Research – a company that brings technical and social expertise together to understand at a deep level how people use technology specializing in how people communicate with people, organizations and machines. Technical and social-technical due diligence, design, testing, prototyping and modeling working with folks from VCs to DARPA to mature firms.

Christine Egger (@cdegger)

Christine is Co-Director of Social Actions, an initiative that develops and promotes collaboration and open source technologies for the online giving sector.   She holds a master’s from Michigan State University in International Development, combining studies in grassroots international development with research in the complexity sciences. Drawing from the work of David Bohm, F David Peat, Hans-George Gadamer, and Amartya Sen, her thesis explored an ethics of development that might arise if we held the potential for an underlying wholeness in equal measure with the apparently separate phenomena with which developmentalists are typically involved.

Two key take-aways of that research continue to influence Christine’s work and the attention she draws to the online giving sector. The first is an appreciation for the very tangible role that assumptions play in guiding what we want to do (and how we do it) in the name of “making the world a better place.” The second: an appreciation for the wonderfully complex relationship that exists between an action and the context it is embedded within.

Christine speaks regularly on open source thinking, internet technologies, and the nonprofit sector; blogs occasionally; and tweets prolifically. She lives in Southeast Michigan, and contributes to the Collaborative domain of Thrivable.

Leilani Henry (@beandlive)

Leilani Henry is an Educational Kinesiologist and pioneer in bringing innovative whole brain strategies to personal, professional and organizational transformation. Her experiential processes bring excitement and lightening-speed results to tough personal, leadership and organizational challenges, such as accessing your imagination to invent new futures; strengthen interconnections between perceived adversaries and allies; sustain wellness and vitality and enhance collective learning.  All to move effortlessly toward a desired future.

Formally Director of Training and Development with Jones Intercable and an Organizational Development specialist at Honeywell and Lockheed Martin, she is Founder and Chief Excellence Officer of Being & Living Enterprises, LTD. Leilani serves companies such as AT&T, CARE USA, CU Boulder, HP, HBO, Intuit, Lucent Technologies, North Dakota State University, Rockefeller and the Federal Government. She has assisted many talented leaders from opera singers to corporate leaders to social activists on their success journey.

Her firm’s 360° Leadership Vitality Feedback Process gives leaders from all walks of life, the coaching they need to take performance to new levels of competence.  She is a demonstrated thought leader in the field of Organizational Development, as cited in several national publications and organizations such as the Fetzer Institute and new visions in businessFast Company identified Leilani as one of their RealTime Models and Mentors.

Leilani contributes to the Creative, Collaborative, and Individual domains of Thrivable.

Valdis Krebs (@orgnet)

Valdis is the Founder, and Chief Scientist, at Valdis is a management consultant, researcher, trainer, author, and the developer of InFlow software for social and organizational network analysis [SNA/ONA]. InFlow maps and measures knowledge exchange, information flow, emergent communities, networks of alliances and other connections within and between organizations and communities.

Clients such as IBM, Google, Merck, MacArthur Foundation, Centers for Disease Control [CDC], Booz Allen Hamilton, KPMG, CapitalOne, Target, Lucent Technologies, Shell, and hundreds of independent consultants use his software and services to map and measure networks, flows, and relationships in organizations, communities, and other complex human systems.

Valdis is an often quoted expert on network analysis and network weaving. His work has been covered in major media including Business Week, New York Times Magazine, Fast Company, CNN, Forbes, FORTUNE, and several major newspapers around the world including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Post.  Valdis contributes to the Metrics & Flow domain of Thrivable.

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European Thrivable Network

Nadia EL-Imam | Mushin Schilling | Herman Wagter

Nadia EL-Imam (@ladyniasan)

Nadia is a User Experience Designer and activist in the creative technology space. She earned hardcore design and business development skills from doing commercial work for high end clients  as well as for small tech start ups. After a trailblazing career start, she felt that the UXD toolset should serve a higher purpose than selling more “stuff,” so she has turned her attention to people and organizations trying to build common resources.

Nadia is good at designing environments where people at opposite ends of complex processes can interact in a richer way at shorter distance from each other and generate mutually beneficial results. In Wikicrats she is working on facilitating the interaction between senior European Commission officials tasked with designing technology policy, and hacker communities- which find themselves at the receiving end of such policy, and often at odds with it. The Prototype Project (password:prototype) is an art and technology project that explores current design practice and the future of manufacturing. It aims to bridge the gap between makers of objects and people who use them.

Mushin Schilling (@mushin)

Mushin is Consultant for Gaiaspace, London, a company and software he has co-parented. He is also Chief Strategic Adviser for Scrabel Business in Basel, Switzerland. He is a passionate community and collaboration ecologist, creating off-line and online environments that foster conversations and engagement. He understands both the technology and human behaviour in groups and communities, and seeing that complex challenges need equally complex answers, he knows from experience that multi-disciplinary, cross-silo stakeholder groups can provide these. He translates this understanding into processes that are effective to help the necessary transformation to emerge.

Mushin is author of three books on human potential topics in German and of the successful blog “21st Century Ecology of Life”, key-note speaker on topics ranging from collaboration off- and online, governance 2.0 and participatory design, and facilitator in “Participatory and Deep Values Management” seminars and workshops.

Herman Wagter  (@hermanwagter)

Herman Wagter is one of the founders and co-editor of Dadamotive, a change consultancy.  His work as interim manager and consultant (Citynet Amsterdam/Fiber-to-the-Home, Platform Sustainable Mobility) has involved him directly in the impact of hyperconnectivity and sustainability on society. As an independent agent and “mobile warrior” he has experienced the pro’s and con’s of how organizations and projects can be structured, and what the effects on the final result can be. In his opinion, we are entering an era of profound change, driven by these fundamental forces.

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Tracy Gary | Lonny Grafman | David Hodgson | Kevin Jones |
Christina Jordan | Jon Lebkowsky | Jerry Michalski | Kendall Thiessen | Leif Utne

Tracy Gary (@tracygary1)

Tracy Gary transforms communities as a philanthropist, donor activist, and nonprofit entrepreneur. Through a lifetime of catalyzing people and resources, she has collaboratively started eighteen nonprofits over the last 25 years, including Changemakers and Inspired Legacies.

She supports and educates stakeholders about the stewardship of money, leadership, legacy, and philanthropic planning through Inspired Legacies. Recognized nationally and globally, Tracy works as a force for justice and community building.  Tracy Gary is the author of Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step by Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy. (Learn more about the 3rd edition at

Lonny Grafman (@toolstothrive)

Lonny Grafman is an Instructor of Environmental Resources Engineering and Appropriate Technology at Humboldt State University; the co-founder and instructor in a summer abroad, full immersion, Spanish language and appropriate technology program in Parras, Mexico; and the executive editor of the International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering. In addition, he is the President of The Appropedia Foundation, sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Academically, Lonny seeks ways to increase knowledge of the world through exposure and synthesis, highlighting that science, culture and language are inextricably linked. He seeks to demonstrate this connection through service-learning based education, working to improve existing conditions by leveraging local knowledge, materials, wealth and labor through transparency and stakeholder participation. Professionally, Lonny supports and develops tools to thrive, catalyzing and strengthening networks of positive change, to help us be better ancestors.

David Hodgson (@ideahive)

David has held lead engineering positions with Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Sony. He specializes in performance-oriented visualization of complex systems, Internet mediated communication, and software usability. Along with a GreenMBA, he has also studied systems thinking, system design, agile software development, user experience design, hypnotherapy, open space, cynefin, network weaving, and big picture thinking. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Imperial College in London. David co-founded the IdeaHive LLC, GreenYourManagement, and the Center for Sustainability at Dominican University of California. He is currently an adviser to Treevestors,, the GreenMBA and Burners Without Borders.

Kevin Jones (@Kevindoylejones)

Kevin leads market formation activities and advisor and portfolio company engagement as the founding partner at Good Capital. He has extensive private investment experience as both a limited partner and as an angel in a range of technology and social enterprises. Kevin’s former positions include CEO of Net Market Makers, an $18 million revenue online community and research and events company. Kevin built Net Market Makers into the largest brand in business-to-business internet commerce before it was sold to Jupiter Media Metrix in 2000. Five of his previous six businesses all achieved market dominance before he left or sold them. As a journalist, Kevin has been a columnist for Forbes and Business 2.0 magazines. Early in his career, his reporting was instrumental in sending a Mississippi sheriff to prison on 53 counts of fraud. He has been on the boards of Social Enterprise Alliance, the association of non profit social enterprises, and Social Venture Partners International, a network of engaged philanthropy circles. Kevin also led a malaria project in Swaziland and Mozambique, working with Jeff Sachs of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Finally, during his 20 year business career in Mississippi he was on the founding board of Parents for Public Schools, now a national organization of community-based chapters working to attract all members of the community to public schools.

Christina Jordan (@ChristinasWorld)

Christina Jordan is an American social innovator with 25+ years of experience in international development, including more than a decade designing and facilitating online collaboration strategies from East Africa. In 2001 she became the first Ashoka fellow in the east African region.

Christina currently lives in Brussels, Belgium, where she has founded Evolutionize It, a social enterprise dedicated to facilitating collaboration in the social change sector worldwide.

Jon Lebkowsky (@jonl)

Jon Lebkowsky supports collaboration, communication, and learning for nonprofits and businesses. He helps create effective internal and external collaborations using online social tools, community platforms, and emerging web technologies. He is also an author, social commentator and cultural maven focused on the social web, collaborative technologies, media, advocacy, sustainability, and future studies. He has written for various publications, has been blogging regularly since before the term “blog” appeared, and has been involved with social technolgies since the late 1980s. He was part of the early 2000s social technology conversations that led to the concept of “web 2.0,” and is still tracking and commenting on the evolution of Internet tools and practices.

Jon has been an Internet professional for two decades, during which he’s provided community leadership and developed significant expertise in online community development, social media consulting, project and production management, and future studies. He is an author and blogger, as well as cultural strategist and social commentator.  There’s more about Jon at Wikipedia.

He is cofounder and CEO of Plutopia Productions, a future-focused events and entertainment company.

Jerry Michalski (@jerrymichalski)

Jerry is the founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition.  He is a pattern finder, lateral thinker, Gladwellian connector, facilitator and explorer of the interactions between technology, society and business.

From 1987 to 1998, Jerry was a technology analyst, focusing not on quarterly earnings but rather on which technologies would be useful and which would be distractions, what trends and forces create new potential, and where all these forces might take us over a 20-year timeframe.

Since 1998, Jerry has been an independent consultant, doing business as Sociate, a name he coined because he is skilled at associating ideas and people, and also because he believes that the social changes that we are going through as a result of all the new connectivity (e.g., Internet, mobiles, inexpensive cameras, video sharing, tweeting) will be more profound than the structural and economic changes we have already seen.

Kendall Thiessen (@ideasurge)

Kendall Thiessen is a Technology and Intellectual Property Attorney living a “secret” double-life as an social entrepreneur and inventor. A passion for cultivating new ideas has led him to working with emerging and high-growth companies, generating ideas and determining their legal, business and market viability.

He also consults on monetizing these projects through commercial contracts and partnerships. He is particularly interested in working with socially-oriented entrepreneurs looking to make a positive difference.  Currently, Kendall is CEO of Transideation,  a founder at the Founders Institute, and a strategic contributor to Talent Culture.

Leif Utne (@LeifUtne)

Leif Utne is a social media evangelist, journalist, activist and musician. By day, he works as VP of Community Development at Zanby, maker of a groundbreaking enterprise-class white-label social business platform. Utne helps bring this unique community software platform to the world of mission-driven businesses, nonprofits, and governments. Lately, he has been helping to wire the climate movement, building a shared platform for mobilizing millions of grassroots climate activists. Utne also serves as a board member of The UpTake, a video citizen journalism project named by the Center for Public Integrity as the top political website of 2008. He has a rich background in journalism, social marketing, social media and online community strategy, including stints as VP Marketing at QuantumShift TV, publisher of, and eight years as online editor at Utne Reader magazine. He lives on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle.

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