Sara Schley

Sara Schley is the founder and President of Seed Systems www.seedsystems.net an international consulting company established in 1994. Seed Systems uses Systems Thinking while working with individuals, teams, organizations, and networks to accelerate our transformation to a Sustainable world where all thrive. Sara has worked in business, non-profit, government and academic sectors; creating, designing, facilitating, teaching and coaching leadership programs and culture change initiatives for sustainability. Partnering with Peter Senge and Joe Laur, Sara was the co-creator and leader for ten years of the SoL Sustainability Consortium established in 1999, a network of major corporations including Nike, Shell, Ford, WorldBank, Interface, Schlumbergere and more, challenging each other to create best practices in the field.  She is also co-founder of the Women Leading Sustainability Network WLS, a dynamic circle of Women ground-breakers and thought leaders for sustainability established in 2001. Sara is co-author with Peter Senge and others of Learning for Sustainability (SoL, 2006) and of The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World; (Doubleday 2008.) Sara has her MBA from the University of Massachusetts and BA from Brown University. She lives with her husband and children in Western Massachusetts. Sara’s aspiration is to heal the world and be back in time for her kid’s baseball game.

Linda Booth Sweeney

Linda Booth Sweeney

As a systems educator, researcher and writer, Dr. Linda Booth Sweeney works to develop systems literacy. Through her writing, speaking and experiential activities, Linda works with people of all ages to offer living systems – rather than fragments as the context for decision making, learning and design. Linda translates the concepts of complex systems theory into accessible materials and seminars for innovation in organizations, schools and communities. Linda is the author of several books and numerous articles, including The Systems Thinking Playbook (co-authored with Dennis Meadows), When a Butterfly Sneezes (Pegasus, 2004), and her award-winning book: Connected Wisdom: Living Stories about Living Systems (SEED/Chelsea Green, 2009), translated into nine languages. Forthcoming, in the Fall of 2012, is The Systems Thinking Playbook for Climate Change. Linda received her doctorate from Harvard University in 2004. While there, she worked with Robert Kegan (Changer Leadership Group), conducted dissertation research with Fritjof Capra (Center for Ecoliteracy), and investigated adult’s understanding of dynamic systems, in particular, the dynamics of climate change, with Dr. John Sterman (Sloan School M.I.T). In her current work, Linda uses systems-based methods to help organizations move beyond bullet points and ladder-like metaphors, to language and visuals that more closely match the interdependent, dynamic, complex reality of their work. Linda is currently working with researchers at Tufts University, combining complex systems theory, systems mapping, and story telling, to convey the systems story of a 10-year, community-based research project focused on childhood obesity. Linda is also creating systems-based curriculum and activities for a local Audubon nature center (Drumlin Farm).

Joseph DiCensoJoseph DiCenso

Joseph DiCenso consults to organizations and provides coaching to leaders in the non-profit, public and private sectors. For nearly 20 years, he has been helping leaders lead from the inside out and teams work with greater authenticity and elegance (using the least energy to achieve their goals). Joseph also maintains a private practice as a counselor and personal coach and works with schools and other organizations as a trainer and consultant supporting their inclusivity and social justice goals. A certified Shadow Work® facilitator, Joseph's multi-disciplinary background includes training in Jungian typology, breathwork, social justice, outdoor leadership, and movement practices such as Tai Chi, yoga and dance. Joseph is a world-class facilitator of the “inner” work necessary to help people step into their full leadership potential.



Joseph Laur

Joe Laur is a founding partner of SEED Systems.  Joe also serves as Executive Director for Aleph: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal, bringing his skills in organizational learning and effective action to this thriving religious community.

Previously, Joe was Director for Content and Senior Manager for Community Engagement and Development at Waste Management’s Greenopolis.com website, providing information and tools for conservation, recycling and transforming waste to resources. In partnership with the Society for Organizational Learning, (SoL) (www.solonline.org) Mr. Laur co-established the SoL Sustainability Consortium, an active group of industry leaders in learning and sustainability. He still serves as steward of this consortium, leading collaborative projects among the members as well as coaching individual member projects. This consortium includes members from BP, Ford, Coca Cola, Harley-Davidson, UTC, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Nike, 7th Generation, Waste Management and more.  Mr. Laur was the Executive Director of the Mankind Project (formerly New Warrior Network) from 1992-1996, expanding the organization into Canada and Europe, tripling training facilities, leadership capacity and revenues during his tenure. He has spent the last decade as a consultant to organizations in all sectors, focusing on organizational learning, personal effectiveness skills and sustainable development. He studied with Dr. Karl Henrik Robert of The Natural Step and has facilitated learning courses and conferences with Amory Lovins, Paul Hawken William McDonough, John Elkington, Janine Benyus and Michael Braungart, and others. Mr. Laur has worked with whole systems change for over 30 years and is a certified practitioner of Structural Integration, an applied physiology practice invoking whole systems change in human body structures. He received his BFA in 1975 from the University of Wisconsin. He is the father of 5 children. 

Our Circle of Co-Creators

In addition to our core faculty, River Story is composed and co-created by an awesome network of people all sharing the "inner and outer" sustainability journey. They include Larry Cornick, John McGah, Ashley Welch, Mara Bright, Nancy Margulies, Marsia Harris, Darcy Winslow, John Ehrenfeld, Joe Laur and more.

The Circle