California Spring Training Retreat: Collective Leadership, and The Power and Art of Storytelling

Friday, March 28, 2014 (All day) - Saturday, March 29, 2014 (All day)



Preservation Park, Oakland, CA


For our 2014 Spring Retreats, we will offer two days of training on contemporary leadership topics on each coast in March.  Fellows can register for both days, or just one.

Whether you are striving to advance an individual project, effectively lead an organization, or advance a global initiative, there is increasing demand for each of us to lead cooperatively and collectively, both inside and outside of organizational structures. How we communicate about our work and work in  a more networked way are essential skills for any leader, at any career stage.  Trainings on storytelling and collective leadership are the focus of this year's Switzer Fellows spring training retreats. 

Storytelling is an essential element to leadership; this is especially true in increasing others' support for a big-picture vision that relies on community engagement and persuasion to achieve impact.  Collective leadership relies heavily on cultivating trust and relationships - storytelling can greatly enhance your ability to gain this trust.  Both storytelling and collective leadership require the ability to adapt to various types of learners and listeners.  Skills in each topic overlap, and therefore these workshops are connected!  Our facilitators for each workshop will work together to provide an excellent segue from one workshop to the other.

Registration Fee (for one or both days): $25.00. Lunch will be provided.

A gathering at a local pub/restaurant will follow the Friday training, details TBA. 

Friday, March 28, 2014 - Collective Leadership:  Leading in a Networked World

Facilitator:  Carole Martin, Consultant and Trainer

The face and nature of leadership is changing to reflect the ways in which our world is changing.  Whether you are striving to advance an individual project, effectively lead an organization or advance a global initiative, there is increasing demand for each of us to lead cooperatively and collectively, both inside and outside of organizational structures. This workshop is designed to cultivate leading with a new frame of mind – and, regardless of your experience at or interest in formal leadership roles, to prepare you to lead in a networked world. 

Through small group exercises, compelling visual learning and improvisational role playing, participants will learn:

  • What collective leadership “looks like” and how it differs from traditional organizational leadership - especially in relation to mindset, skills and attributes;
  • Ways in which collective leadership is re-shaping communities, scientific outcomes and overall ways of working;
  • Concrete methods for applying collective leadership strategies in a variety of formal and informal settings that aligns with your personal style.

This fun, highly interactive workshop will also provide rich opportunities to deepen your connections to other workshop participants.


Carole Martin is an independent consultant who works with clients to maximize the opportunities that accompany planned and unanticipated change. Her thirty years of experience include serving as an advisor for groups, facilitating and leading complex change initiatives of all types in for-profit, nonprofit, governmental, philanthropic and community arenas. Specific areas of expertise:

  •  The successful formation and ongoing operations of complex collaborations and partnerships.
  • Leadership in organizations and collective settings – the design and delivery of fellows programs, college courses and individual leader coaching.
  • Guiding organizations in creating or reconsidering internal operating structures and culture to align with achievement of goals and priorities, including effectively contributing to external collaborations and partnerships to achieve impact.

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - The Power and Art of Storytelling

Facilitator:  Jack Ricchiuto, Author and Trainer

In this one-day workshop, we will address several dimensions of storytelling in science (natural and social science) contexts.  As it turns out, narrative is the most powerful medium for building influence and trust, and translating complex information into compelling media.  This workshop will give participants immediately and sustainably applicable skillsets for making this possible.

From the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Develop rich portfolios of stories they can draw from in their work;
  • Create more compelling stories that inspire and connect people;
  • Understand the core distinctions between scientific rigor and narrative structure;
  • Translate science into narrative for the purposes of education and influence; and 
  • Re-size and re-shape stories for multiple media and contexts.

This workshop will be experiential as we build these new skillsets.  Participants will work in small groups with expert guidance from our trainer, Jack Ricchiuto, throughout the day.  The content of the workshop will be based on Mr. Ricchiuto's research and practice that culminated in his book, The Stories That Connect Us (DesigningLife Books 2006).


Jack is a 14-time author and engagement artisan teaching people how to work well together in education, organizations and communities.  His work nationally and worldwide over the past 35 years has focused on creating new stories of engagement.  Jack's work with the sustainability community began in the early 1990's and continues in the areas of agile strategic planning, leadership development, storytelling and community engagement.  

RSVP deadline:  February 7, 2014

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