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Weekend Conference Presentation
Closing Keynote Session - June 11th

Innovation: Lessons from the Ojo System
Presented by Glenna Gerard and Dave Wassil
Primary Focus: Innovation
Secondary Focus: Understanding Systems


Abstract: Innovate is defined by the dictionary as ”to make changes; do something in a new way; introduce something new”. All acts of innovation occur within systems, defined as “a regularly interacting or interdependent group of items forming a unified whole.”  All acts of innovation impact the web of cause and effect that is the system.  How then do we consciously innovate within a system in ways that increase the wellbeing of the system as a whole?  This session is about lessons learned about innovating within a Place we call The Ojo, a living system of 116 acres of high desert land in Northern New Mexico.

Our aim is to inspire an exploration of how we think about being at cause as we Innovate to Discover the Future and how we make innovative choices within any given context or system, be it home, work, community.   We promise to be provocative and evocative.  We look forward to being with you at this closing session for the 2017 Forum.


Glenna Gerard and Dave Wassil

Biography: Glenna Gerard is a gifted leader, consultant, facilitator, and experiential designer and guide, with 30+ years of working in diverse contexts. Her purpose is to foster awareness of wholeness within any and all systems – individual people, teams, organizations, and communities. She has created and offers a diverse selection of frameworks and practices for expanding perspective and seeing clearly what is needed to make wise choices and take clear and necessary action.

Born in the Western United States, before the age of 13, Glenna lived in a foreign country, learned another language, and discovered first-hand how culture can both enrich our lives and separate us. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a thirst for learning that led her into many eclectic arenas. Professionally, she has developed and written science materials for alternative high school programs, been a salesperson, a business leader, consultant, writer, master facilitator, learning designer, and guide/coach.

In the 1990s Glenna pioneered the development of Dialogue, a form of conversation, grounded in inquiry, that builds collective systems awareness and trust-based relationships. She co-authored the book Dialogue: Rediscover the transforming power of conversation, published by John Wiley & Sons in 1998, and translated into German, Portuguese and Chinese.

Glenna has published numerous articles and papers on Dialogue and Leadership and the Power of Place. She has presented at numerous local and national conferences for professional associations, including TEC, The Systems Thinking in Action Conference, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, American Society for Training and Development, Association for Quality and Participation, and more.  

Glenna currently lives in New Mexico with her partner, Dave Wassil.

Contact: Glenna can be reached at
glenna49@earthlink.net for additional information about this Weekend Conference session.

Websites: www.walkaboutswithglenna.com and www.powerofthe8.net

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/glennagerard

Biography: Dave Wassil sometimes divides his life into two sections. Before moving onto The Ojo, and after.

Life before was about learning and developing skills; being a parent, land surveyor, river guide, windsurfer, kite surfer, climber, explorer.

Life after has become more about how to use those attributes through the creation of structures that inform, encourage, excite, imagine.

The journey through life is opportunity constrained only by imagination. Dave sees the chance to continue his own exploration through enabling others.

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