Some historical context...
After almost 20 years of professional friendship and some collaborative experiences primarily in academia, and in recognition of our affinity in thought and approaches as well as our differences and areas of complementarity, we decided to create something together.
The first Unfolding Wisdom retreat took place at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California in June 2019. It took us more than a year and a half to imagine the possibility and to design it into an experience, a container, that we could invite others to join. The invitation was intentional. Each word mattered. Although there was clarity in our hearts about calling fellow consciousness explorers to join us in this inquiry, we knew that we were stepping into the mystery beyond the edge of our own knowing. We knew that those who responded would do so not because they understood what we were trying to describe intellectually, but because it touched their soul in some undeniable way.
The process of design for the retreat was an experience of unfolding wisdom in itself. An experience of listening to each other, building on each other’s ideas and reflections, listening to something deeper within and beyond ourselves, allowing for emergence, and trusting. We were called to integrate leadership and spirituality through our own lived experience and intuition.
The diversity of our group that came together was one of the factors that contributed to its transformational power. For the first retreat, we had a group of women and men with backgrounds from many cultures and countries and an age range of 30 – 80 years. We had several people from the same organization or network and this familiarity supported safety and courage and created an awareness into the possibilities beyond the retreat. Our premise that there are different ways of knowing was given joyous expression in collaborative inquiry, silent walks in nature, artistic expression, and ceremony. Together, we explored how presence, authenticity, and generative social interaction can have healing and transformational impact. And we delight in hearing back from participants that their experience continues to carry their learning into their personal lives and organizational settings from which they came.
Together we created magic by bringing into life an alchemical cauldron of radical inclusivity and collective wisdom. The theme of holding polarities creatively and, specifically, of joining together a spiritual retreat experience with leadership development was truly a profound experience for participants and for us as co-conveners.
We have recognized that the Unfolding Wisdom retreat is a portal into an ongoing inquiry that we are interested in nurturing. We have created this site as the online portal to welcome new fellow travelers in this journey and to share news and content emerging from the exploration.
Thank you for being here!
Kathia Laszlo + Alan Briskin
Photo credit: Claudia Meglin
Alan Briskin, Ph.D. is an award-winning author, artist, and leadership consultant. His most recent book, the co-authored The Power of Collective Wisdom: And the Trap of Collective Folly, was the Nautilus Silver award winner in the category of Conscious Business and Leadership. His other books include The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace and the co-authored Bringing Your Soul to Work and Daily Miracles.
Co-founder of The Collective Wisdom Initiative, his interest in alternative education and compassionate health care environments led to his being the principal consultant for over ten years to the George Lucas Educational Foundation and a founding member of Fetzer Institute’s Relationship Centered Care Network. He is a consultant and an executive coach helping leaders apply practical wisdom to complex issues of organizational change and transition. Kaiser Permanente, Institute for Health and Healing, One Humanity Institute, and the Goi Peace Foundation have all been long term clients.
Alan has given keynotes and conducted workshops on collective wisdom throughout the United States and internationally, including co-leading the Leading as Sacred Practice conferences with David Sibbet, Gisela Wendling, and Holger Scholz.
Kathia Laszlo, Ph.D. is an inspirational and reflective executive coach, leadership development consultant and facilitator with extensive cross-sector experience across North America, Latin America and Europe. Kathia is an explorer of regenerative business models and applies her expertise in adult learning, collective wisdom, design thinking and dialogue to design and facilitate experiential processes that transform individuals and groups from the inside out. She combines her scholarly and professional expertise in systems thinking, feminine and indigenous ways of knowing, mindfulness and creativity to support business, academic and nonprofit leaders to transform their organizations into cultures of compassion and innovation. Her workshops and trainings translate systems thinking into experiential practices for transformation and creative problem solving. Some of her consulting and coaching clients include Accenture, the City of Los Angeles, Global Education Forum, GreenPeace, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, the Presidio Trust, Pixar, Salesforce, Roche, Twitter and Kaiser Permanente. Kathia completed her Ph.D. in Human Science as a Fulbright Scholar from Mexico and is currently working on her book Education at the Edge of Possibility.