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EMERGING DOMAIN OF WE-PRACTICE
CIRCLING & PRESENCING
ALEXIS SHEPPERD
Alexis Shepperd, Ph.D., is an internationally-known life and relationship coach and master Circling teacher. She’s has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has facilitated transformation and authentic relating for individuals, couples, groups and organizations for more than 15 years. Alexis is the co-founder of the Authentic Woman Experience (AWE), a series of programs designed to support women in full self-expression, feminine leadership, and the art of creating more intimacy in their lives. She is also one of the founders and original thought leaders of Circling–a dynamic relational practice and form of deep coaching. She co-created the first-ever Circling training program in 2006, co-founded several pivotal organizations including AuthenticSF (2005-2009) and The Circling Institute (2014-2017), and has trained hundreds of people in the art of circling. Ultimately she is committed to living what she teaches, and to creating a world where peace, safety, love and growth are available to everyone. www.alexisshepperd.com
ANDREW VENEZIA
Andrew discovered We Space as a Master’s student for an Integral Theory program and fell in love, conducting a two-year Integral Research Project on the question “What is We Space?” In the years since he has taken what he has learned from different inter-subjective modalities and various other wisdom and contemplative lineages and woven them into a practice that he calls “Dreaming.” The animating view of Dreaming is that what you are and the generativity that brings the world about are identical. Andrew has been using this approach in individual, coaching, group, and organizational contexts. He is a co-founder of Felicity Consulting, which brings states of joyful action into teams and businesses, and is particularly interested in facilitating group and organizational awareness and self-reflexivity. Andrew lives in Ghent, Belgium.
CHRISTINA TONAN
Christina Tonan is a graduate of the Circling Institute’s Art of Circling training and a current participant in Circling Europe’s SAS. She participates on the support staff for the Art of Circling and the Authentic Women Experience. She founded an Authentic Relating community in the suburbs of east Texas where she holds weekly Circling events. She has two MAs in English and Education and is certified in a range of somatic practices. Before she discovered Circling, she had a career as an elementary and college educator. During that time, she was a fellow in the National Writing Project. She wrote grants for the preservation of land, language, and culture for the Canoncito Band of Navajo, which led to her first we-space experience through the SEED dialogues. She is committed to authentic expression in her life, with her family, and bringing this way of relating into mainstream culture.
ELLEN WAENINK
Ellen Waenink is an entrepreneur and coach and works with people and businesses in transformation. She works with tech start-ups, organizations in the public sector and health care, large corporates and (business) schools. Her main areas of focus are leadership development, organizational change, authentic communication and conscious relating. She is on a mission to help evolve more presence, connection and aliveness in professional contexts, using the social technology Circling. Therefor she works closely with Circling Europe, one of the leading organizations in the Circling field in the world. Before Ellen was the director of a leadership development organisation working with the Dutch government. She has an expertise in leadership and leadership development, with a special interest in the feminine and masculine dynamic and feminine leadership. She supports people to get closer to them selves and closer to each other because of a strong believe that the deeper these connections, the more trust and inclusiveness is possible and more potential will be expressed. (See Circling in Business at www.circlingeurope.com)
GRIET HELLINCKX
Griet Hellinckx grew up near Brussels, Belgium. She has degrees in English as a Foreign Language, Literature, Dramaturgy and Education. She started her career teaching children and young students. For 20 years she worked full-time at the Institut fur Waldorfpadagogik Witten/ Annen (Germany) training furture Steiner/ Waldorf teachers. She is a painter as well as a writer, and has been a dedicated student of several wisdom traditions. Griet Hellinckx has a keen interest in ways of accessing collecrtive wisdom. She gave up her teaching position in order to have more time to give keynote talks, run workshops, design and facilitate Circles of Wisdom. She curates the Circle of Wisdom Facebook group and website. She considers every group of people meeting with the intention of being together in deep inquiry & listening in service of the well-being of its members, humanity or planet earth as potential circle of wisdom and healing.
GUY SENGSTOCK
Guy Sengstock is the founder and creator of the modality of “Circling”. He has been facilitating transformation for individuals, groups and corporations internationally for over 20 years. He is the co-founder of The Arête Center for Excellence and the Bay Area Men’s Circle, which is still thriving today.  He is an artist, philosopher, poet, body-worker, and visionary. Many refer to Guy as a genius in both his depth of thinking and in his way of working with clients. His humor, depth and quality of attention allows people to see and hear those things in the inter-personal space around them which is present and may always have been present yet may never have occurred for them in awareness.  You can read more about Guy at www.guysengstock.com and www.circlinginstitute.com.
HELEN TICHEN BEETH
After 30 years of working as a linguist and pioneer of participatory leadership inside the European Commission, I am stepping into a new life of freedom to sink into a deeper communion with Life – Earth and all who dwell thereon. I see this as a deepening of my practice of collective presencing, an adventure I have been on for the past 10 years. I also play an active role in stewarding the practices of the Art of Hosting conversations that matter throughout Europe and elsewhere.
JACOB BORNSTEIN
Jacob has spent his career combining insight into systems with practical ways to unlock human potential within organizations. As the head of diagnostics at Talentism LLC, Jake helps leaders better understand themselves and the culture of their organizations, so they can design strategies that align to their talents and unleash their latent potential. Prior to his work with Talentism, Jake developed his facilitation skills as an authentic relating facilitator at the Integral Center in Boulder Colorado, and as the co-founder of Mandala Consulting, where he worked with C-suite executives of some of the world’s most innovative companies and non-profits (Zappos, Mosaic Solar, Wikimedia, CHOICE Humanitarian). Jake brings a systemic perspective to his facilitation work, which he developed working at the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, where he taught, researched and built trading systems based on a systemic understanding of macroeconomics, and delivered strategic advice to clients including governments and national social security funds.
JANE WEBER
Jane Weber is co-founder of PresenceAtWork, a collective leadership consultancy, and co-developer of their unique systems awareness and leadership embodiment methodologies. PresenceAtWork supports senior teams to transform their leadership and organisational culture through systems aware leadership. Working with their whole body intelligence, PresenceAtWork takes leaders on a profound journey of growth. Their approach is changing the game in organisations, breaking down silos and inspiring co-creation and collective innovation to meet the demands of the emerging future and be sustainable. Prior to co-founding PresenceAtWork Jane had a 20-year IBM career in sales leadership and HR learning, in Asia Pacific and globally. Her broad business experience globally, combined with her natural talents, make her a highly effective leadership coach and facilitator, able to communicate across many different cultures, working in service of supporting organisational systems to transform and innovate, for the sake of performance and sustainability.
JOHN THOMPSON
John has been at the heart of helping spread Circling to 20 countries in just 4 years. He’s also helped to define and evolve the paradigm-shifting practice of Circling and more recently Surrendered leadership. Alongside Sean he has trained over 200 Circling leaders around the world and recently published a book chapter on Circling (Cohering the Integral We-Space). Prior to working in Circling John had a successful career in elite Tennis coaching specialising in psychology and pioneering new ways to help sport be a vehicle for profound personal growth for athletes and parents of athletes. He also founded an internationally famous project for street children in India. He is an award winning scholar having published numerous journal articles in the field of Integral theory and personal development and is also a certified Integral coach.
JORDAN MYSKA ALLEN
Jordan is head of Circling Europe in the Americas. His commitment to the deeper principles of Circling extends far beyond the practice. He comes from a decade of meditation and Integral study, several years of community leadership in Integral and Course in Miracles groups, and work with the Integral consulting organization Being First. He has also traveled across the US as frontman for a rock band, and founded a charity event that organizes Austinites on a yearly 5k run through the city in gorilla suits. Jordan created the pioneering circleanywhere.com that makes Circling accessible daily around the world and recently published his first book A Beautiful Apocalypse, a zombie adventure inspired by Integral Theory. Jordan holds life with light joy and deep commitment. He is dedicated to furthering the awareness of love’s presence in his own life and others, whether that requires a loving welcoming of all arising in the moment, or a loving challenge to all around him to bring themselves more fully into truth.
JUDY WALLACE
I have evolved from being a teacher, business person, and intercultural facilitator into becoming very committed to collective ways of evolving in consciousness. How can we together access what is not yet known, but just on the verge of emergent potential? Since 2006 I have been part of groups exploring Collective Presencing, especially through deep circle practice. And to amplify and clarify what comes through, I am also a constellations facilitator. I work with groups to collectively reveal the hidden dynamics on a cultural, societal, collective level that are often blocks and indicators of deep wounding across time. Once seen, understood, and even healed, we can truly open to our collective potential.
KAN YAN
Kan Yan is an entrepreneur working to bring greater awareness to leaders at organizations. He has worked as an international humanitarian for the United Nations, a lawyer for the US government, and a management consultant for global companies. Kan now designs and facilitates contemplative practice retreats for senior executives at the largest organizations in the world. In his spare time, he can be found making beautiful gifts and dancing in Austin, TX.
KATHRYN PIPER
Kathryn is responsible for operations in Circling Europe. She has been working with Circling Europe since April 2015 and transitioned into this new role in April 2016. Kathryn’s first circling weekend was in January 2015 at SAS New York. Since then she has been on a deep dive, training at more than 30 circling workshops, traveling throughout the US and Europe. She journeys with the 5 principles in her everyday lifestyle and enjoys connecting with the international Circling community. Kathryn is also a facilitator on CircleAnywhere. With a professional background in marketing, nonprofits, and financial services, Kathryn holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys being in the flow and in nature, being creative, weird and surprising, new experiences and dancing!
LONNEKE VAN ELBUG
Lonneke loves people and exploring the natural curiosity that arises in connection. She is also passionate about being and working with children and seeing their open, sensitive and wise mirrors to the world that surrounds them. This drew her to study Orthopedagogy, a Dutch academic study comparable to child psychology, with a specific focus on the interaction between children and their family and school systems. Parallel to her personal developmental journey, Lonneke has come to a more integral approach in her work. She has found that it is not only the words that tell peoples´ stories, but also the language of their bodies, the way they cope with emotions, and how they relate to others. She has been studying Sherborne Developmental Movement Therapy, specialising in trauma treatment for children. She is also a Hatha Yoga teacher, specialising in Chakra psychology and Prenatal care, which includes deep bodywork and teaching master classes for coaches.
LUEA RITTER
Luea Ritter has a background as an art curator and led several trans – disciplinary organizations. She works cross-sectorial (Energy, Arts, Education, Civil Society Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship) as a systemic constellation practitioner and change facilitator in the area of organizational, community & cultural development. Her main focus lays on whole systems design & stewardship, multi-stakeholder dialogue & the regenerative approach. Her underlying intention is to serve conscious attitudes and actions where the whole can unfold serenely and is prototyping an interconnected way forward for the societal challenge we are facing today. www.shifts.be
MARENKA CERNY
Marenka Cerny is a licensed MFT practicing in Berkeley, CA. She has been studying somatic psychotherapy since 1997, and graduated in 2002 with a MA from CIIS. For 14 years Marenka studied Psycho-Physical Therapy with Bill Bowen. She taught massage at NHI, and Introductory Experiential Anatomy and Physiology at JFKU. Her passions are pottery, partner dancing, walking homeless dogs (volunteering at Berkeley Animal Care Services), writing, and Circling.
MARYSIA PSTROKONSKA
Marysia leads Circling workshops and sessions in the UK and Europe. Her intention is to create spaces where people are invited to explore the richness, beauty and challenge of real meeting and true intimacy as well as opportunities to explore what is possible when we invite the intelligence and possibilities arising in a collective. She also worked for 7 years as an English teacher in challenging inner London schools. For her, teaching literature and language has been a platform to create space for young people to explore their ideas and responses to current issues and some of life’s big questions. While being continually uplifted by the human impulse to connect, she is particularly interested in unconscious patterns of disconnection. This has led her to study bodywork, various trauma therapies and Essence. She works closely with Circling Europe as an assistant leader on SAS leadership training and leading their Online Circling training.
MELISSA O’MARA
Melissa O’Mara is a co-founder and chief catalyst of The Leaders Co-Lab, and the US leader for PresenceAtWork. She is a certified coach, bringing executive leadership experience in leading corporate innovation. She loves working with pioneering leaders who are committed to lead the way. The Leaders Co-Lab is a leadership development consultancy and laboratory for purpose-driven businesses and B-Corps. We work with CEOs and executives to create the conditions and capacity for healthy collaboration, innovation and leadership to thrive at every level in their organization. As partners of PresenceAtWork, we share a passion and commitment to help people work better together through collective leadership. Prior to founding The Leaders Co-Lab, Melissa was a serial intrepeneur and innovator at Andersen Consulting, IBM and Schneider Electric. Her 28 year background in the technology sector and emerging solution areas required innovative thinking, cross-discipline teaming and industry expertise. In her latest corporate roles, Melissa’s focus was on developing teams to lead the way on smart cities and smart, green buildings.
MICHAEL BLAS
I’m a busy guy here in Austin, TX.  I lead two circling labs a week, do personal coaching, lead corporate group immersions, assist at multiple circling trainings, am the area manager of South Texas for a publicly traded company, and am finishing up my Masters in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial/Organizational psychology.  I love to circle.  It’s the only practice I’ve found that repeatedly asks me to go deeper, reassess, and look at the world with awe and wonder.  I’ve studied and trained in circling quite a bit.  I spent a year with Alexis Shepperd and Guy Sengstock.  In the Art of Circling training they led I got a deeper understanding that my personal work would never end and that each step I took into me would have me more able to be with others on their own journey.  I have also spent a lot of time with the Circling Europe guys (Jordan, John, and Sean) learning to count on some strange sense that we’re all always already connected.  Besides working with people one-on-one and couples, my biggest desire is to bring deeper relating into businesses.  I contend that authentically galvanized people will outperform mechanistic competitors every time.
MIKE ABRAVANEL
Mike Abravanel is a certified personal and professional coach, a published author, and a lecturer/facilitator. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in coaching at Concordia University, focusing on coaching presence. Teaching university courses on interpersonal communication and relationships, as well as intervention in small groups, allowed him to share and deepen his understanding of healthy relationships. As a clinical team member, he facilitates inner growth and healing at an addiction rehabilitation centre. As a past Infantry Officer in the Canadian Forces he developed his leadership skills, goal-oriented approach, and discipline. He also offers coaching, training, and workshops. Website: www.unfoldingpotential.ca
MIRIAM VAN GROEN
After coming into contact with Integral towards the end of my studies, about 5 years ago I went to my first Circling workshop. Never had I been so sure I wanted more of something in my life! I continue to be touched by its powerful simplicity every time, and I am passionate about the potential that this practice holds for us personally and collectively. Adding the even more explicitly collective practice of We-Dreaming to this repertoire is what’s blowing me away these days: integrating mind, body, heart, spirit and weaving it into the collective. Since burning out last year, I left my job at university, but renewed my committed to bringing more well-being into the places we spend so much of our lives: the office. The potential and proven benefits of We-Skills in the area of work are manifold. My mission is to tend to that possibility.

PRAVEEN MANTENA
Praveen Mantena has been a serial entrepreneur since his teens. He hails from a Tech industry background going back to the early days of the internet, including co-founding a business that hosted over a quarter of all the websites in Singapore. More recently, he is a coach for business leaders and teams on the crucial “soft skills” of personal development, emotional intelligence, authentic communication, higher purpose, and the art of interpersonal conflict resolution. His passion for human adult development is realized through circling as a doorway to psychological safety, vulnerability, trust building and self-actualization to facilitate the deepest possible transformation in any moment between people. You can find out more about Praveen’s work in training on Circling facilitation at www.circlinginstitute.com and with organizations on leadership and culture development at www.syntropycenter.com
RIA BAECK
Ria Baeck is born (°1955), raised and still living in the Belgian countryside. She has a degree in Clinical Psychology. She founded Vitis whose core purpose is to bring lasting transformation in individuals, organisations and society. Her earlier work was in psychotherapy integrating the body in this process. Besides being a coach and mentor, who combines deep compassion, bodily awareness and a lust for life, she facilitates and hosts transformation in individuals and groups. She is a transformational change professional who has a rich background of experience and interests, also working with Systemic and Organizational Constellations, revealing the hidden dynamics in human systems and bringing them into flow again. Her personal interest is in the field of leadership and consciousness and how this relates to communities – in work and daily life.  She is always fascinated by ‘What else is possible?’
RYEL KESTANO
Ryel is the Director of Training Operations at the Integral Center (based in Boulder) as well as a Course Leader and Course Supervisor for the Center’s wide-ranging Authentic Relating courses and programs. He regularly organizes and leads courses that provide participants with the skills and tools to engage in strong, conscious, authentic relationships of all kinds. Ryel has brought this work into the jail system in his mentoring relationships, and empowers his mentees to cultivate and sustain healthy relationships with members of their community and family. Previously, Ryel was the co-founder of Virtuance, the country’s leading provider of real estate photography and one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US, as well as the co-founder of Pink Mammoth, a successful creative arts collective based in San Francisco. Ryel lives in Boulder with his wife and four children and is an avid rock climber, skier, and world traveler.
SARA NESS
Sara Ness is founder and CEO of Authentic Revolution, a consulting and training company for Authentic Relating and Circling skills (www.authrev.com). In the past five years she’s worked with 300 leaders from 32 different cities, in sectors ranging from education to the Coast Guard, teaching the art of authentic leadership. Sara’s passion lies in understanding how people work together to create fulfilling, creative teams. After founding a thousands-strong learning community in Austin, Texas, she began working with groups and individuals across the world to explore what is possible when we lead from wholeness, practice good communication, and create a space for honesty in service of greater goals. In her time off (and on), she is involved in Austin’s acroyoga, dance, and staying-indoors-to-read scenes.
SEAN WILKINSON
Sean is one of Circling Europe’s founders, he has had an enduring passion for self awareness, human potential, wisdom traditions and an ongoing enquiry into life. This has included extensive academic research, spiritual and psychological practice, coaching and therapeutic training and a determination to apply what he is learning into everyday experience. He had a successful background in elite sports coaching and developing a practice utilising his integral coaching and therapeutic training. He is also an award winning published Integral theory Scholar and has published writing on Integral group leadership and consciousness. In less than 5 years, he has been part of spear heading Circling to 20 countries and has helped to define the paradigm-shifing nature of what Circling is. As the organisation grows, Sean maintains his passion to research and development of Circling’s principles, in both delivering the trainings, and importantly in developing the culture of the business itself.
SHARA SEBASTIAN
Shara grew up in a meditation community in Fairfield Iowa. This foundation of spirituality and inner silence led to a passion for deep present connection with others. Circling gave a new dimension to Shara’s life, and a new way to connect with others as well as explore more deeply within herself. She feels proud to have taken every opportunity to hone her skills and become highly trained, traveling across the world to participate in facilitator trainings and a number of events. Shara is very attuned to her inner world and deeply committed to truth. She feels she has a sharp eye for the subtleties of energy exchange in relationship. With Shara people feel both held and lovingly challenged. She feels nourished by the intimacy and depth of connection that happens in Circling, and enjoys diving in with people to the aliveness of each new moment. Shara facilitates weekly on CircleAnywhere, and is an assistant leader for immersions and the SAS facilitator trainings. She also is the accountant for Circling Europe North America and CircleAnywhere. Shara found the love of her life through Circling and is now happily married and living a peaceful life on an island off the coast of Washington.
STEPHANE SEGATORI
Stéphane’s background as a Business Intelligence consultant set him up to realize how group synergy and diverse perspectives are key components for the emergence of formidable insights. In 2010 he began experimental work on gifted adult development using developmental theory and personality psychology. This led him to the discovery that peak and creative flow-states can be triggered naturally by a simple sequence of 4 activities, different for each (MBTI) personality type. Integral theory brought him to We-spaces in the form of Mondo Zen, Circling, We-Dreaming, practices for which he leads workshops in the US and Europe. A new practice emerged in 2016: Gifting Mind. This powerful experience of intersubjective dynamics reveals and unlocks unique gifts in a very precise and palpable way. Stéphane is a member of Integrating Zen as an ordained lay monk in the rinzai Zen tradition. He is co-founder Felicity Consulting and lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
TINA SVINGERUD
When Tina discovered Circling she had an immediate feeling of being in the right place. Se went on a deep journey to discover herself and the essence of her leadership, especially touching themes of feminine and masculine, source, mysticism and all levels of human experience. It has led to her creating a community that leads events in Oslo, Norway and she also is co-leading across Europe. She is inspired by the deeper spaces we can access in Circling and a vision of a world where we can meet each other in truth. Tina is a Qigong practitioner and in training to be a Rosen method bodyworker. Tina also has a Phd in Molecular Biology and is on a Christian Contemplative path.
VALERIE DANIEL
Valerie is a lead facilitator and coach for Circling Europe, involved in Circling in Business, SAS Advanced training, Circle Anywhere, and weekend immersions. She helped found and leads the Dallas, TX Circling community. Valerie holds a BA in Psychology and an MBA and is a certified personal and executive coach. She spent twenty-plus years working in high tech/Fortune 500 corporations, initially in management, then progressing to director-level positions. She successfully led international teams in Business Operations, Global Purchasing, and Product and Project Management. Her corporate work revealed in her a passionate desire for a paradigm shift toward more conscious workplaces grounded in authenticity, heart and purpose.Finding Circling was like coming home to a place she’d never been, encapsulating much of what she values and believes into one practice. Circling has impacted her life profoundly and that impact is ongoing, as being a surrendered leader continues to evolve her as a human being.