About the Conveners

Praveen Madan is obsessed with a strong and exciting future for bookstores. He has successfully led Kepler’s from the brink of closure to becoming one of the most innovative and thriving bookstores in the country. He has been informally advising bookstores and their community champions on new sustainable models.

Michelle Ferrier, Ph.D., is executive director of the Media Innovation Collaboratory, a think-do tank for imagining a robust, inclusive media ecosystem. She is a scholar, educator and activist around local community information needs and a doula for birthing new futures.

Sono Hashisaki works with municipal, county, state, federal, and tribal governments to develop collaborative partnerships and projects. She designs and facilitates meetings using conversational processes including Open Space Technology, World Café, Appreciative Inquiry, and Peacemaking Circles.

Peggy Holman supports diverse groups in facing complex issues by turning presentation into conversation and passivity into participation. In The Change Handbook, Holman & her co-authors profile 61 practices that engage people in creating their desired future. Her award-winning Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity provides a roadmap for tackling complex challenges through stories, principles, and practices. Holman is a co-founder of Journalism That Matters, a nonprofit that supports and equips the adventurers who transform relationships between communities and journalism for a strong, inclusive democracy.

Sandra Janoff is one of the top experts in the world on transformation of whole systems, the co-founder and director of Future Search Network, and an author. Sandra facilitated Kepler’s Future Search in 2012 and has been one of the core advisors for Kepler’s transformation.

Evan Karp is the founding director of Quiet Lightning and the events manager for Booksmith and Berkeley Arts & Letters. He’s written literary columns for the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, SF Weekly, SF/Arts & The Rumpus, and his nonfiction and poetry have appeared widely in print and online. Evan combines music, words & other sounds as Turk & Divis, with his brother Miles, and with Maw Shein Win as Vata & the Vine.

Jyo Maan lives to co-create communities of social learning, meaningful connections in work and at life through trauma informed emergent facilitation, social innovation and leadership development. Redesigning structures in freedom for exploration by understanding the complexities of social dynamics, relying heavily on emotional, social and spiritual intelligence she weaves the hearts and minds of humans at large. She thrives in finding meaning in uncertainty, adaptability and conscious emergence. She affiliates to both the worlds of old paradigms and the new transformative systems to transpire belonging through the divide in her life’s experiences. It is with hope and aspiration that she facilitates spaces for all stories of belonging to see the light of the day and inspire the future generations to come.

Ben Roberts has been convening and hosting both in-person and virtual conversations on a regular basis since March 2009, when he began leading a local weekly discussion salon in Newtown, CT. He has extensive experience adapting large group conversational processes such as World Cafe, Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry to the virtual realm, as well as integrating in-person and virtual formats within a single conversation, gathering or engagement. He uses these processes to support collaboration, build communities of practice and purpose, and host large scale conversations in service to the work being done across multiple dimensions of local-to-global systemic transformation.

Nancy White is a lifelong learner and practitioner of online and offline group process, and a bunch of other stuff, because she is always curious. Chocoholic, grandma and gardener. Blogs occasionally at https://fullcirc.com

A former tax lawyer who chose to re-invent a career as a book editor/consultant, managing editor and free-lance writer, Paul Wright has served on the board of directors of Berrett-Koehler Pubishers and is currently a member of the board of the Berrett-Koehler Foundation. Paul has intersecting interests in communication, building community, the collaborative process and exploring pathways to thinking about large-scale complex problems.

Henry J. Zatarain is providing multimedia support for this gathering. After graduating from Yale University with a degree in Film and Media Studies, he became a bookseller and later an Operations Manager at Kepler’s. He is committed to ensuring a prosperous future for bookstores everywhere.