Our Main Presenters
Margaret (Meg) Wheatley, EdD
Margaret (Meg) Wheatley, EdD, teaches how we can accomplish our work, sustain our relationships and willingly step forward to serve in this troubled time. She is co-founder and president emerita of The Berkana Institute, an organizational consultant since 1973, a prolific writer and speaker. Margaret has authored six books, including Leadership and the New Science, Perseverance and Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Learning to Live the Future Now.
To watch a short video of Meg teaching on Perseverance please click here.
In her own words:
"I have always wanted to be out in the world and curious about its workings. I eagerly studied in many different disciplines, including science, history, literature, systems thinking, organizational behavior, social policy, cosmology, archeology, geology and theology. I value what I’ve learned from each of these different fields because no one discipline, institution, or specialization can answer the questions that now confront us. We all must draw from many different perspectives to both understand and reweave the world.
I had an excellent liberal arts education at the University of Rochester and University College London. In the mid-sixties, I spent two years in the Peace Corps in Korea, learning to thrive in a culture totally foreign to me, teaching junior and senior high school English. On returning to the U.S., I taught high school, then became an educational administrator of programs for children and adults who were economically poor and denied traditional educational opportunities. I received a Master of Arts degree from New York University in Media Ecology and systems thinking. My doctorate is from Harvard’s program in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, with a focus on organizational behavior and change."
I have been a consultant and speaker since 1973, and have worked, I believe, with almost all types of organizations and people. They range from the head of the U.S. Army to twelve year old Girl Scouts, from CEOs to small town ministers. This diversity includes Fortune 100 corporations, government agencies, healthcare institutions, foundations, public schools, colleges, major church denominations, professional associations, and monasteries. I have also been privileged to work on all continents (except Antarctica). These organizations and people are wrestling with a similar dilemma—how to maintain direction, integrity, motivation, and effectiveness as we cope with relentless turbulence and unending change in this very troubled world.
For more information about Meg, visit www.margaretwheatley.com.
Acharya Adam Lobel is a teacher in the Shambhala tradition, a Buddhist minister, and a scholar of philosophy and religion.
Adam began the path of meditation when he was 16 years old after his first taste of real pain, outrage at social and ecological injustice, and wondering a bit too much about what reality was all about. He soon encountered the writings and vision of the Tibetan meditation master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Inspired by the path of warriorship and the vision of enlightened society, he pursued meditation retreats and training in the Shambhala Buddhist path. Adam traveled in Tibet, Nepal, and India, studying Buddhism with masters from various traditions. He pivotally connected with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, head of the Shambhala lineage, while on retreat in Parphing, Nepal in 1997.
After completing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology, Adam attended Vajrayana Seminary and then traveled as the personal attendant to the Sakyong; accompanying him on a tour of Tibet. He was co-editor of the Sakyong’s book Turning the Mind into an Ally.
Adam leads meditation workshops, courses on Buddhist philosophy and the social vision of Shambhala. Adam is also the Acharya for the Mipham Academy, an advanced, annual intensive for Buddhist philosophical and contemplative studies at Karme Choling, Vermont. He teaches meditation to youths within the prison system and a mental health institution. He was named an Acharya (senior teacher, in the Shambhala tradition) in 2004 and completed a Masters of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, where he is helping to establish a track for Buddhist ministers and chaplains. His research focuses on philosophy, phenomenology, meditation, and the Great Perfection tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 2008, the Sakyong named Acharya Lobel the Kalapa Acharya. The Kalapa Acharya presides over the Pillar of Practice and Education within Shambhala. Acharya Lobel is particularly responsible for curriculum and path development as well as training Shambhala teachers.
Adam is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has a nine-year-old son, Javin, who is a Jedi Knight in training.
Our Interfaith Panel Moderator
Rev. Fletcher Harper
Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal priest, is Executive Director of GreenFaith, an international interfaith environmental organization. An award-winning spiritual writer and widely-recognized preacher on the environment, he has developed a range of innovative programs to make GreenFaith a global leader in the religious-environmental movement.
In the past two years, Fletcher coordinated the 2015 OurVoices campaign, which mobilized religious support globally for COP 21, led organizing of faith communities for the People’s Climate March, and helps lead the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement.
A graduate of Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary, Harper served as a parish priest for ten years prior to joining GreenFaith. He accepted GreenFaith’s Many Faith’s, one Earth Award from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009 and was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2011. He is the author of GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Earth (Abingdon Press, March 2015).