Learning and Program Design


In the world of artists and craftspeople, design combines a practical awareness of materials and skills of the tools with the energetic of expression, imagination and spirit to create the extraordinary to take us beyond the ordinary.

Similarly, in the world of human dynamics, design combines an interplay of practical awareness of everyday human occurrences, profound skills with the tools, processes, and approaches for human engagement and the energetic of imagination and spirit that takes us to the extraordinary in our daily interactions in organizations and communities.  

Good design is sourced in breakthrough thinking—that of the human system designer and those for whom the design is intended to engage.  Design in this view enables creative, innovative solutions to complex human-centered issues.   Brilliant design is ‘alchemy’ that creates conditions to enable people to:

  • engage in such a way that they see/feel/know/act differently in response to the reoccurring pattern which presented the issue.
  • be innovative and responsive to what emerges in the moment,
  • draw upon a variety of approaches and practices,
  • blend and reconfigure  these resources to bring out what is most alive in people
  • co-create healthy and healthful human systems.

Applying to curriculum, training, workshop and program design.  Let’s talk!


These principles inform my design, teaching and facilitation in all instances, originally sourced from the experience of the Ginger Group Collaborative, a community of practice ‘helping collaborative initiatives come alive‘.

Here are the principles that guide us in our[1] work:

Learning is social – We are a peer learning community. We learn from one another in a spirit of open inquiry.

Reflective inquiry – We incorporate reflective practices into our learning, drawing on processes of dialogue, active listening, journaling, creative impulses, and lots of ‘time out’ from group activities.

Responsibility is shared – Each of us accepts personal responsibility for our own learning and professional development, and for contributing to the group purpose.

Generosity – We work, learn and share in a spirit of openness and generosity. Everyone brings what they can and is valued for their perspective. We learn from diversity.

Inside-Out and Outside In – The external world reflects our internal world. We look both outside and inside for influencing forces when assessing collaborations. We draw on our internal worlds as a source of learning and change: ‘We must become the change we seek.” We create a safe space for full expression.

Emergent Design – Complex environments are not easily understood. We value multiple perspectives, time for reflection, trial and error. We design learning experiences that push ast the boundaries of our experience and fan the creative sparks. We hold our agendas loosely and welcome side-trips. We are always evolving, never ‘arriving’. We acknowledge that mystery sits with us in the act of creation.

Respecting Confidentiality – We respect the privacy of information that we share about our work and our clients.

Freedom of Affiliation – Our affiliates look for opportunities to work together but maintain our professional independence and affiliations.

[1] The Ginger Group Collaborative, a 13 year community of practice committed to ‘helping collaborative ventures come alive’, a catalyst for change, pushing back the boundaries of convention.