The Leading As Sacred Practice Conference 2019

With Alan Briskin, Holger Scholz, Gisela Wendling, and David Sibbet

At IONS Earthrise Retreat Center, Petaluma, CA

We invite you to participate in a five-day conference to explore together how leading can be practiced with a sense of the sacred–through mutual sensemaking, supporting crucibles of transformation, and envisioning wise action in challenging times.

What does it mean to be open to sacred intent?

We are finding ourselves in a time when there is a growing interest and pervasive need to purposefully attend to the sacred dimension of our work. By sacred we like Ann Dosher’s definition as “that which has value in and of itself and gives meaning to the whole.” This definition invites exploration rather than making a conclusive statement about what is sacred. The word 'sacred' often indicates numinous and intangible qualities that beg for special respect and nurturance. It is related to the idea of sacrifice, humble inquiry and service.

We will explore and share practical aspects of working with the sacred such as:

  • Initiating, holding and closing sacred space.
  • Designing transformative processes that purposefully invite the sacred.
  • Accessing the deeper wisdom and ‘sacred’ knowledge that can be present in groups.

    Our exploration will be informed by archetypal frameworks such as rites of passages and collective wisdom. We will also experience ceremony together. We are open to move beyond the edges of personal and collective understanding of our work as leaders, hosts and facilitators toward something greater, holistic and wiser.

    Timing: The Conference begins 1:00 PM Monday and ends at 3:00 PM Friday.

    Location: This five-day immersive gathering will be held at the beautiful IONS Earthrise Retreat Center in Petaluma, CA, north of San Francisco.


    • Learn how to create a safe and generative space for mutual sense making, moral decision-making, and wise action.
    • Visually map our collective experience of the sacred in our work with organizations, communities, and society.
    • Explore archetypal patterns of traditional ceremonies and rituals for insight into how to activate them in our personal lives, work, and client engagements.
    • Practice attending to aesthetics and walking the beauty way in our leading, facilitating and hosting.
    • Spend time celebrating our connectivity and how working from a transformational perspective taps into deep life energy.
    • Be open to learning from the land, connecting with nature, walking a labyrinth, and experiencing the spaciousness of the land and place.

    Who should attend:

    This conference is intended for people who lead group process as consultants, facilitators, change agents and for organizational leaders who are called to collaborative, holistic ways of leading their companies, businesses, and nonprofits. It is for professionals seeking to work differently and asking fundamental questions about how to open to the sacred in their leadership roles. We come together to share our insights, questions, and learning edges. We expect that the experience will have lasting personal impact and we invite you to open to that possibility.

    Dates Location
    Sept 23-27, 2019 Petaluma, CA

    $2100 plus lodging & meals

    NOTE: The first 10 registrants will receive a 15% discount on the conference fee.

    To register: email
    or call 1.415.561.6130
    or 1.800.49.GROVE, ex. 3.

    * = If workshop date is in red, please call 415.561.6130 to be added to the waitlist.

    'Honor the rational, be open to the mystery.' This principle inspired our time together at the 2016 Leading As Sacred Practice gathering in Germany. We engaged in beautiful dialogues, shared our experiences in small and large learning groups, spent time on the land, and deepened our reflections on the mystery. One of our topics was how to bring back meaningful ritual into our lives, as leaders and at work. I had an incredible experience and am looking forward to continuing our exchange.

    Michael Knauf, Vice President
    Kabinencrews München Deutsche Lufthansa AG

  • Conference Facilitator Bios

    is VP of Global Learning at The Grove Consultants International. She provides change consulting to businesses, nonprofit organizations and communities and practitioner development in this domain. She holds a doctorate in human and organizational systems from Fielding Graduate University. Previously she directed the masters program in Organization Development at Sonoma State University. At The Grove she co-leads The Grove's new Global Learning and Exchange Network (GLEN), and she teaches in the psychology Ph.D. program at Meridian University. Her research focuses on the sacred as a core dynamic in leading, facilitating and serving. Visit Gisela's website for more information.

    is founder and chairman of The Grove Consultants International, leader in visually based tools and services for innovation and change. He works with corporations, government, and non-profits throughout the world. David is author of Wiley & Sons' best-selling Visual Leadership Series: Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes & Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity, Visual Teams: Graphic Tools for Commitment, Innovation, & High Performance, and Visual Leaders: New Tools for Visioning, Management, & Organization Change. David is a recipient of the Organization Development Network's Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit David's website for more information.

    is an award-winning author, artist, and leadership consultant. He is a consultant and an executive coach helping leaders apply practical wisdom to complex issues of organizational change and transition. His most recent book, The Power of Collective Wisdom, 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, Bringing Your Soul to Work, Daily Miracles, and Centered on the Edge. Visit Alan's website for more information.

    is the founder of kommunikationslotsen, an organization-development firm in Germany. His professional passion is cultivating our natural capacity for facilitating and mentoring as a practical means of working with leaders and organizations. Together with Neuland, kommunikationslotsen develops products, tools and literature on change facilitation. Holger is the author of the Basic Bundle (16 Cards for Natural Facilitators) and co-author of the Learning Maps, which include Open Space, World Cafe, Appreciative Inquiry, Dynamic Facilitation and The Circle Way. Visit the kommunikationslotsen website for more information.

    We Also Offer Custom Workshops

    Your Challenges, Your Skill Sets, Your Goals

    Our custom workshops, at The Grove or onsite at your location, are ideal if you have specific needs or want to build on previous Grove training. Each session is tailored to your unique challenges and goals.


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