C2Montreal Reflections: Leaders Who Inspire


Recently I was a first time participant in C2Montreal. In a world that is so focused on scale it is easy to lose sight of the bigger bigger picture. Montreal has always been known as an international hub. As such, the idea of a cross-cultural theme-based learning event was destined to be hosted by the beautiful city. However the term “event” doesn’t do it justice as it is an immersion experience that Sid Lee’s Will Travis describes as “a cross between SXSW + TED sans the drugs and sex.”

C2 means Commerce + Creativity. Over 5000 people from 43 countries experience a dance between the big stage, with some international big hitters such as Martha Stewart and Airbnb’s Chip Conley, and a potpourri of thought-leaders across 24 industries made accessible through coordinated “brain dates.”

So many thought-leaders = so much good information. A week after the event there are three leaders from this #C2M16 experience whose message deeply inspires. Elora Hardy inspires by the respect she has regarding humanity in nature – a sense of presence through the aesthetic. Philip Sheppard inspires by the way he teaches leadership through music. Yarrow Kraner inspires by how he cultivates cross-generational communities who create groundbreaking impact across the globe.

Elora Hardy  ~ we are craving a sense of belonging in nature.


(with permission from C2Montreal photo credit Allen McEachern)

Elora Hardy, Founder of Ibuku, is well known as a creative architect using sustainable materials, especially bamboo. Some of her team’s work can be seen in luxury resorts such as The Four Seasons, and you may have heard her Ted Talk. When she was nine years old her mother asked her to draw a house she’d like to live in and she subsequently built that house. You can see both the drawing and the actual home below. As a mother of three I wonder what moments I’ve overlooked to let my children know the power they have as creators. In our culture we talk about innovation as if it were a core competency. What was magnetic about Elora’s message was the importance for a child to experience the power of their imaginations in real time and space. Our minds are a lot like bamboo – ideas have their own resilience and will bend to the belief systems that hold and mold them. In physical space we sometimes forget that we ourselves are part of nature. Elora’s work has such respect for our need to be a part of nature. We are hungry for belonging. We need nature more than nature needs us. Even as adults, the sparkle of Elora’s presence evokes the wonder of a child.

elora's house 1

elora's house 2

(Permission granted from Elora Hardy)

Philip Sheppard ~ Doing, not consuming, is what makes you good at something: Mozart did not listen to Mozart; one doesn’t get fit watching the Olympics.


(with permission from C2Montreal photo credit Allen McEachern)

Philip Sheppard is a composer, producer and virtuoso cellist who has played at the Royal Academy of Music, Cirque du Soleil, and the summer 2012 Olympics in London. He has every right to be in the spot-light as a virtuoso. However, he gets his power by giving his power away to our next generation. He is infectious with his belief that we are asking our children to perform based on other’s intelligence versus allowing them to “claim their own voice.” In collaboration with Russell Spurlock, Philip’s current passion is the Hatch Ostinato Project, whose core mission is to empower students through music composition. The program ultimately results in a professional music production that can be licensed, acting as a funding mechanism for music programs in schools.


Yarrow Kraner is a creative alchemist whose spidey sense is the ability to curate communities for impact.  Every year in Bozeman, Montana, a hand picked group of 100 share a four day peer-2-peer workshop where 40% of the participants are young entrepreneurs and artists and 60% are accomplished individuals across multiple domains. Parker Palmer’s Courage to Teach says it best:

“Mentors and apprentices are partners in an ancient human dance . . . the dance of the spiraling generations, in which the old empower the young with their experience and the young empower the old with new life, reweaving the fabric of the human community as they touch and turn.”

Here is the rub: you cannot pay to play. This is a hand curated by an invitation only community where acts of generosity become the criteria for admittance. This #becauseofHatch community is now building beyond Bozeman and is reaching world wide. It is such a well designed program that it has become known as the Hatch A Better World Experience.

HATCH network.001

(with permission from Yarrow Kraner, Founder Hatch)

Jennifer Sertl

Co-author Triarchy’s Strategy Leadership & the Soul

An Intergral View of Currency: Money, Love & Virtue


(with permission Simon Business School Panel Cliff Smith, David Primo, Maria Jose Pereira, Ed Deci)

Globalization, digitization, democratization — oh my.

The hardest part about being me is that everything is so integral it is difficult to take a section and make meaning out of it without including the whole. The whole, however, is too complex and needs to be simplified. I have been sitting on a post for three weeks waiting for brilliance to land. It hasn’t landed. I feel compelled however to let out what clarity is here at this moment.

Recently I was lucky enough to meet and learn from Maria Jose Pereira. Maria wrote the book Money, Love and Virtue by my publisher Triarchy Press. Maria was a guest speaker in Rochester for Simon School. Part history, part philosophy, part economics I can see the value of this book being woven into curriculum across the globe that foster comparative and integral programs. As Maria writes in her forward:

I have come to believe that money, love, and virtue are not alien, nor even opposed to one another, but intertwined. They thrive together.  Money permits our material welfare and well-being. Love fulfills our emotional and spiritual needs. And love inspires virtue, which allows the person to live in harmony with the world.

Trade and reciprocity have always been a part of the economy. We are moving much more into a collaborative economy as we learn from Michel Bauwens @MBauwens, a platform economy as we learn from Haydn Shaughnessy @haydn1701 and an attention economy as we learn from Michael H. Goldhaber. Collaborative, platform and attention economy frameworks all involve an exchange of value and a community. How value is determined and the currency utilized is dynamic and changes. What stays the same, however, are the needs of the community such as the need for confidence, trust, transparency and communication.

Business today is at the speed of social and all social networks accelerate and amplify the need for transparency. Transparency either strengthens or weakens our confidence – which ultimately impacts who/what we trust. More than anything else in this dynamic economy is our need to trust ourselves. Money, Love and Virtue asks the hard questions that cause a mirror. Are our choices in what we value and who we trust representative of our highest selves? Might we need to look more reflectively into our own spending? Do we know about the ecosystems of the brands we admire and support? Each person has the right to answer these questions very personally; however, consumption becomes autobiographical in big data narratives due to the internet of things. We need more self-respect. We need more contextual intelligence. We need more self-confidence. We need to be more proud of who we are and what we stand for. We need to care more deeply for a larger vision of the ecosystem we are participating in.

Thank you, Maria for your generous time and thoughtful insight. We will be chewing on these very important concepts for a very, very long time.



In earnest,

Jennifer Sertl

Co-author Triarchy’s Strategy Leadership & the Soul

(with permission Jennifer Sertl & Maria Jose Pereira at Victoire)

Changing the Conversation From Mental Illness –> Towards Vitality

A culture is made — or destroyed — by its articulate voices ~ Ayn Rand


The culture being cultivated in India is one of vitality, authenticity, and compassion. One important voice in this culture is Vijay Nallawala. Vijay took time to put his life experience onto paper – and is now allowing his life experience to guide his life.


In his memoir, A Bipolar’s Journey From Torment to Fulfillment, what allowed him to be so brave and personal is the belief that his honesty would free other people to share their experience and make mental illness less taboo of a topic in his community. His premise was that if more people talk about the illness more people will get the help they need, be more likely to stay on medication and be more likely to find and keep work to support their livelihoods. The clarity of his mission has hit a primal cord and momentum is rising. So much so that March 30th is World Bipolar Day launching in Mumbai.


This is a victory not just for Mumbai, but for us all.

The statistics on mental illness vary and if you want a deep dive in numbers, World Health Organization has a lot of global statistics on mental illness and the economic impact of the disease. I am the daughter of a beautiful and talented woman with schizophrenia. Her illness taught me so much about resilience, compassion, and perspective. Choosing to be vocal about her disease feels important.

Unlike cancer survivors wearing a band to signify their strength, resilience, community and triumph, there is no such zeitgeist for those who are struggling with mental illness.

Talking about it is taboo because no one likes the idea that perception is not fixed. We like the idea that there is one reality and what we all see, feel, and experience is “real.” Yet, we know that many aspects of reality are subjective. We are afraid of the disease because we are afraid to admit that we might not be able to trust our own judgment. We are mirrors for one another. We want to know we are “right” or have the most accurate lens of reality.

Being around people suffering from mental illness causes us to look in the mirror and question our sense of “what is right” and “what is true.”

We are afraid of the disease because we are afraid of the loneliness that occurs when we have a family member suffering from mental illness and there is so much shame associated with it. No one in the family wants to talk about it. Many try to become extraordinarily competent and over functioning to ensure no one sniffs under the hood to see how broken, scared and fractured the family really is. Everyone has doubts, fears, concerns, mood swings. Fear of extremes causes people to mitigate and mute what is natural, and accidental consequences occur. People also want to point a finger and find out who is to blame for the illness or who caused the behavior. The idea that human behavior is caused by how specific hormones respond to synapses in the brain feels so simplistic and reduces humanity to a chemistry factory. We as human beings want to feel more special than hormones, neuroscience and the laws of physics.

We are human, all too human.
We are chemistry factories, all too chemistry.

That is why the step forward Vijay Nallawala is taking is so significant. His choice to share his story is not only cathartic for him and his family – it is cathartic for all of us touched by mental illness in any way. He has taken an ice-ax and severed the stigma. Families, especially in India, no longer have to fear being judged, marginalized and excluded because of their association with the disease. The disease has less power over us if we find ways to talk about it, learn about it, share our stories and find our voices.

You have heard me say before and I’ll say it again that our competitive advantage is the accuracy in which we scan/interpret the environment and how we make decisions. We all need better habits to strengthen and fortify our own vitality.

Here is a the A3R robust vitality model:

a3r vitality

Each of these aspects contributes to your sensory system’s ability to stand tall, see clearly, receive feedback, and have energy to focus. You can take each of them to deeper levels of specificity and intensity:

Spirituality knowing that your life makes a difference to others

Health:  eating balanced, exercising, getting sleep, and proper testing

Relationships:  ensuring you have a confidant, friends and intimacy

Emotional Well Being:  honoring your talent without pride; inadequacy without shame

Finances:  mindful spending, saving, giving

Intellect:  strengthening skill for today, skill for tomorrow, and collaboration capability

Each of these attributes contributes to your sensory system’s ability to stand tall, see clearly, receive feedback, and foster self-esteem.

I would like you to put in your Smartphone or some calendar app to review this dashboard at least once per quarter and make a choice on where addition time/energy can enhance better balance.

An individual that honors their mind, body, spirit is going to be more accurate in their macro scan, add more value to their family, community and workplace.

Cheers to Mumbai and World Bipolar Day.

Perhaps the best way you can celebrate is to practice self-care.

To your vitality,


PS: Here are some links that I reference frequently to re-calibrate and ensure optimal mental vitality . . .

1)  #vitality: Harvard Business Review quantitatively shows how sleep deficit is a performance killer

2) #vitality: Why do smart people under-perform? Overloaded circuits!  

3) #vitality: Brene Brown has a terrific message for those seeking to honor their authentic voice. The power of vulnerability

4) #vitality: Financial stress can impact our families, our health and our personal stability. New York Times recently did a comprehensive piece all about our spending habits. Why We Do What We Do

5) #vitality:  An antidote to spending is looking at what we value and why. I find philosopher Tim Rayner’s voice to be useful See Like a Stoic – an ancient technique for modern consumers

6) #vitality: How much money do you need to be happy?  It depends what it means to you.  Minda Zetlin in Inc. Magazine asks some valuable questions.

7) #vitality: Business strategist Eric Best has created a framework for individuals to revisit their current activities against their long view.  I often revisit these Four Principles to Guide A Life.

8) #vitality: In the midst of macro seduction – keeping a journal is a powerful way to ensure your own voice is not drowned by other’s noise. Here are some personal practices that I have found invaluable to my journey. Hold On To Your Core.

9) #vitality: Building personal resilience is important in an era where there is so much complexity. Here are some suggestions on Building Resiliency.

10) #vitality: Just as bones need pressure to build calcium, we need to grow in our jobs and in our work in order to feel valuable and stay relevant. Institute for the Future has created a robust landscape of some essential skills for the digital age.


2016 – Sharpening Discernment & Celebrating World Book Day


The purpose of a book is to serve as an axe for the frozen sea within us. ~Franz Kafka

The audience I most frequently serve are individuals within a business environment who are working to create more impact from the inside out. So my comments are directed to you. I am an advocate of leaders being readers. As a design it is important that people keep three books in circulation at all times. One book should be a non-fiction book about leadership, business or globalization. One book should be about philosophy – or written by a leader in the past (over 100 years). Finally, one book should be fiction.

The idea here is to be immersed in past, present and metaphor. There is something about critical thinking that requires we put in our minds’ rigor and robust content.

I believe your competitive advantage is not what you do or where you work. Your competitive advantage is the accuracy of your macro scan and the way you choose to articulate your life experience. By infusing your mind with robust stimulation regarding current context, past context, and a novel of some sort – your own life will begin to have a more robust vocabulary in which to express itself. .

I understand the question was about the rub between exposure and action. Yes, being exposed to content doesn’t ensure integration.

Integration of wisdom from reading comes when there are two things:

  1. An explicit declaration of a desire to be better
  2. A commitment to the discipline of practice or routine

An explicit declaration can be either a prayer or a simple statement.

As I continue to contribute at work, may I ______________.
As I lead this team, I desire to _______________________.

Some examples include:

As I contribute at work, may I be more insightful regarding trade-offs and their long term impact. . .

As I contribute at work, may I be more articulate in expressing my concerns regarding _______.

As I contribute at work, may I be wiser and more appreciative of complexity.

As I lead this team, I desire to be brave enough to hear the truth even if it is difficult.

As I lead this team, I desire to be fair-minded.

As I lead this team, I desire to know when to lead and when to follow.

These statements are very personal and they have power. Written down in a private journal – they get even more traction.

The commitment to a routine regarding rigor and critical thinking is important.

As we know:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle

Creating space for both reading and reflection should be capacity designs included in any project maps – be they for personal or professional use. What we value is most seen in the P & L and our personal schedules. It isn’t what we say; it is where we spend our money and our time that truly clarifies our priorities.

Clearly in a book,



You will know me by my lists


The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book. ~Northrop Frye


Here are some links that affirm the importance of reading as well as some personal recommendations . . .

1) #worldbookday: Thank you Project Gutenberg  via Twitter: @gutenberg_org “like a new star it shall … cause a light”

2) #worldbookday:“Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship~-Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-Generalnd celebrating @RoomtoRead  and the commitment to help children read books in their native language preserving native metaphors.

3) #worldbookday:  We all remember this brilliant line from Good Will Hunting, “you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library.” It turns our that you truly can get an ivy league education through reading.

4) #worldbookday: Word of mouth rules when kids age 7 to 12 pick a book to read. See what titles kids are reading.

5) #worldbookday: Reading Literary Fiction (can) Improve Empathy via Twitter: @sciam

6) #worldbookday: As a matter of fact, robots are learning ethical behavior by exposure to children’s stories and the #AI of #ethics
7) #worldbookday: Until #wisewear becomes an app that I can download, I will continue to build my character by reading a page at a time. Here are some books that will ask you hard questions- the kind of questions that cause the kind of pressure bones need for strength.
8) #worldbookday: One of my sources for increasing discernment and critical thinking is Twitter: @farnamstreet – here is their recommendation on How To Read A Book.
9) #worldbookday: I was a freshman at CU Boulder (shout out class ’91) when  Allan Bloom’s “Closing of the American Mind came out. Required reading shapes identities, communities, and countries – that is why it is so important there be healthy debate on what should be read and why. Here is healthy debate on what college freshmen should read as well as What A Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us.
10) #worldbookday: Leaving you with a project I participated in with Strategy & Business Magazine, a treasure trove of management theory 20 Questions for Business Leaders.

Strengthening Personal Resolve


What to Remember When Waking  (or launching a new year)

by David Whyte

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,

coming back to this life from the other

more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world

where everything began,

there is a small opening into the new day

which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.

What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough

for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

To be human is to become visible

while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.

To remember the other world in this world

is to live in your true inheritance.

You are not a troubled guest on this earth,

you are not an accident amidst other accidents

you were invited from another and greater night

than the one from which you have just emerged.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window

toward the mountain presence of everything that can be

what urgency calls you to your one love?

What shape waits in the seed of you

to grow and spread its branches

against a future sky?

Is it waiting in the fertile sea?

In the trees beyond the house?

In the life you can imagine for yourself?

In the open and lovely white page on the writing desk?

 ~ David Whyte ~

Discernment & courage are the two swords I want you to sharpen and carry with you into the new year.

We need discernment as we live in a continual buffet of distraction, seduction, and complexity. How many of you can go to a lunch buffet and put on your plate only food selections and quantities that will truly nourish your vitality. I cannot. I put too much on my plate and often taste foods that are not a part of my regular diet. That is fine every once and awhile. It is dangerous if it is constant. The internet of things #iot causes us to live in perpetual buffet. Mall and shopping stores invade our living rooms, our relationships are challenged by wondering if there is a better partner a click away, we are unsatisfied with our jobs waiting for that miracle LinkedIn connection. Please tell me I am not alone in these types of choices are bombarding me minute by minute, day after day.

We need courage because all of these options can accidentally overload our circuits and we may feel defenseless against the current of the neuroscience marketing. Our inner voice needs more attention and strength. The choices your hear it ask of you may cause separation from the familiarity and an initial feeling of being alone.  That inner voice asks you to stop the madness, get more sleep, spend more time in solitude, practice simplicity, and be more full of gratitude. All choices that take deliberate effort. This is not a sexy voice, these choices do not create immediate gratification. In fact, it takes weeks sometimes to experience the benefit of wisdom over data.  We need more courage to hold onto our core in the midst of macro seduction.

Often you will see my twitter stream with #recalibration. At least once a week I circulate links and highlight individuals supporting our practice in strengthening our core and sharpening our discernment. All these aspects I circulate are part of my practice and part of my discipline. Repetition and ritual with a few habits are powerful ways to renew and revitalize our inner compass. I invite you to join me this year in seeking long view vitality over short term gratification.






Cheers to your resolve ~ Happy New Year!




You will know me by my lists

Charles Dubois

1)#Recalibration:  What Makes A Good Life ~ Happiness Research with Robert Waldinger

2) #Recalibration: Four Principles to Guide A Life with @ericbestonline

3) #Recalibration:  Marshall Jones clever “TouchScreen” you can find more inspiration @jonesconnects

4) #Recalibration: Align Personal Development with Business Strategy my point of view

5) #Recalibration: The Art of Letting Go with @TonySchwartz

6) #Recalibration: Want to Build Resilience? Kill the Complexity with @andrew_zolli

7) #Recalibration: 20 Cognitive Biases That Effect Your Decision Making

8) #Recalibration:  The Stoic: 9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos via @99u

9) #Recalibration:  Why do smart people underperform? Overloaded Circuits yes, we know this but appreciate the research @MITSloan

10) #Recalibration: Map of Meaning with @saybrooku

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Navigating Complexity – Hold onto Your Core! – December 2015

I launched 2015 with this message and I close this year with this message – as navigating complexity requires so much self knowledge. We cannot do enough to ensure we are living our life from the inside out. Everything we do, every choice we make, every conversation that we have requires a heightened level of clarity.

I wish you and yours the very best in this next era of complexity.




(Escalator ~ Copyright 1984 Scott Mutter used in this article with permission from Bob Mutter)

I am a pilgrim on the edge, on the edge of my perception.

We are travelers at the edge, we are always at the edge of our perception.

 ~ Scott Mutter

As I launch 2016, I am thinking of all the tools we will need to navigate change in these complex times. Having a discipline to journal is a tool that I want us all to sharpen. Some are intimidated by the idea of keeping a journal and don’t really know how to begin. Here are some ideas that I hope spark action and insight.

There is a deli in my office building that has several Scott Mutter prints. Recently I was eating lunch and writing in my journal I had a visceral experience of feeling the water at my feet and the tug of the current.  What is so poignant about Mutter’s image is that I believe we are all in an identity crisis: a crisis between nature and technology, a crisis between capitalism and collaboration, a crisis between big data and intuition, and finally, a crisis between influencer, seduction, and our own solo voice.

Poet E. E. Cummings says it beautifully: To be nobody but myself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting. In the midst of so many tugs of war, abstract thinking, critical thinking, and introspection have never been more important muscles to strengthen.  A lot of money is being spent to have you feel emotions and buy things that have nothing to do with who you are at your core. In addition, as social creatures, we are deeply impacted by our fear of being judged or experiencing shame. Every choice you make, every word you use, every “like” or “RT” becomes a node on a grid telling a data story about who you are and what you care about. It is more important than ever that you know the story and claim it as your own.

Introspection is the sword you have to fight this battle. You must, by design, get to know yourself under the shell of saving face. There are many ways to practice and explore self-knowledge.  The practice that has offered me the most personal insight has been keeping a journal. I have been keeping a journal since I was eight years old – so it is a well-worn habit. There are three exercises I give my clients to help them build introspection and begin the discipline of journal writing.

  1. The first practice is called “Plus + /  Delta Δ”.  The discipline of “Plus +  /  Delta Δ” invites you to write, once a week, a situation that you are proud of – where you describe the situation (context), the task at hand (what you were required to do), the actions you took (choices you made), and the result. In this exercise you also write, once a week, a situation that you wished for a do-over. Thus the delta Δ – which is the symbol for change. You follow the same formula of describing the situation (context), the task at hand (what you were required to do), the actions you took (choices you made), and the result.  In addition you describe what you wished would have happened, and any choices that you could have made as an alternative, to create a different outcome. The premise here is that we are better and learning if we have a chance to celebrate and anchor what is working and why and also build in the capacity for scenario planning of alternative outcomes. Just because we have an experience, doesn’t mean we will learn from it. The discipline of “Plus +  /  Delta Δ” makes the learning explicit, accessible, and scalable for future preparation.
  1. The second practice is called “Recalibration.” “Recalibration” is a writing exercise that I suggest to individuals and companies when they are going through significant changes, feeling lost, or feeling overwhelmed. Like arrows in a quiver, these questions can provide wonderful guidance on how to sequence events and how to establish priorities:

Where have you been?

What have you learned?

Where are you going?

What is required?

As you can imagine, these questions can be answered on a page or may extend into a two day working strategy session within a company.

For those of you who need more structure I offer this guidance:

  • Where have you been? (7 observations about past landscape)
  • What have you learned? (10 bullet point lessons/scars and what you hope to remember going forward)
  • Where are you going? (7 observations about current/future landscape)
  • What is required?  (3 mental muscles you need to strengthen, 2 skills you must acquire, 3 resources you must engage)
  1. The third practice is called “Shadow Dancing.” “Shadow Dancing” is a discipline that requires a six week commitment to create 30 minutes a day of writing. The theory behind “Shadow Dancing” is that we each have very strong internal critics and we judge ourselves. Often what insights we may need or truths we may want to discover about ourselves may be deep, deep within our psyche. By creating a disciplined practice of writing over a long period of time – new thoughts, insights, and perspectives may come to the surface. In my post Individuation of Ideas  I suggest that having insight isn’t so much about being intelligent as it is about being present. Even if you don’t know what to say and write – create the space and time anyway. Write “I am bored” or “I have nothing to say,” again and again. Just preserve the time and write. Perhaps, in the disciplined presence, a great idea will have the stillness required to land.

In this era of information overload and complexity – the one thing that will stay constant is who you are at your core, what you value, and your own discernment. Please take the time, by design, to strengthen your own voice so that you can hear the wisdom of your intuition, anchor and reinforce learning from the past, and support your personal resolve against the seduction of the macro.

Here is a talk I gave to innovators for global event called Hatch A Better World where I go a bit deeper on self-protection in the midst of macro seduction.


Contextual Intelligence & the Future of Money


(image from Michell Zappa with permission)

One of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had so far is being a speaker at Swift’s banking industry conference Sibos.  Every year Swift coordinates the premier conference on The Future of Money. They have been doing this since 1978 with 300 participants.

Today in Singapore there are over 7000 people from 140 countries discussing crypto-currency, financial technology called #fintech, and the future of banking. A small group of innovators inside of Swift called Innotribe are working to bring the most provocative voices in innovation to center stage providing fresh air to an industry that is moving towards a refreshed relevance. People will always need banking, they will not always need banks.

I am writing this post on the future of money to celebrate people I’ve been lucky enough to meet through Peter Vander Auwera @petervan  who is the primary concept designer for the Innotribe portion of Sibos.  This year’s platform was incredibly dynamic.

Here are people shaping the future of money that you should know:

Andrew Keen is one of the world’s best-known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution.He is the author of three books: Cult of the AmateurDigital Vertigo and his current international hit The Internet Is Not The Answer which the London Sunday Times acclaimed as a “powerful, frightening read” and the Washington Post called “an enormously useful primer for those of us concerned that online life isn’t as shiny as our digital avatars would like us to believe”.

Haydn Shaughnessy is an expert on disruption and platform requirements for competitive adaptation. A very important white paper written for Sibos most recently is a must read: The Platform for Disruption How China’s FinTech Will Change How the World Thinks About Banking.

Michell Zappa is a futurist and emerging technology expert. His company research Envisioning has written a robust anthology of the technological future of money.  While it takes several sleep cycles to comprehend it is an important read for anyone in the api landscape.

Chris Skinner author of The Digital Bank is working very hard across the globe to help bridge the digital divide in the banking industry. He specializes in helping traditional banks become better enabled for globalization and millennial participation. This seems a useful place to also add the 25 most innovative banks.

Christine Duhaime founder of Digital Finance Institute and Sam Maule of Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group have become rigorous in their focus on women in the financial technology landscape. There will be a billion women entering the workforce within the next decade and the entire economic landscape will change.

Ben Bledsoe reminds us that no story of money can be complete without mention of crypto-currency. This all began with The Rise & Rise of Bitcoin.

Michael Bauwens is a key driver for the collaborative economy and has been creating open source information even before open source became a meme.

There are two resources that are vital to your understanding of the transition from the need to have → toward the need to share → toward the need to give.

Here is a synthesis of the collaborative economy.

Here is a talk Michael gives on scenarios in the collaborative economy:


I met  Peter Vander Auwera on twitter in 2011. We decided there was synergy and made a point to meet IRL (in real life). That meeting changed the trajectory of my voice and professional career. I mention this as the final name I want to highlight from my experience with Innotribe is Peter Hinssen; expert on social networks and author of The Network Always Wins.

Building a culture of experimentation means implementing an attitude toward risk that will be necessary if we are to survive in a world in which strategy becomes fluid.

Cheers to Sibos Singapore! Cheers to Innotribe!


(Innotribe speaker alumni Michel Bauwens, Jennifer Sertl, Mark Pesce, and Guibert Englebienne)

The future of money still depends on brave and curious people making meaningful connections.

Jennifer Sertl


You will know me by my lists


The Future of Work – Labor Day 2015


(image designed by Ross Dawson and posted with permission)

Last Labor Day I synthesized the Future of Work.

This year I thought I would share some remarkable people who inform and inspire me as well as a couple of collaborations I have been involved with modeling curation & talent clusters.

At one point people we considered experts by being the source of information. Being the point person to disseminate knowledge meant that you were capable and credible. That was when knowledge didn’t aggregate as quickly as it does in this data era where data doubles not in decades, not in years, but in hours. In Cognitive Surplus Clay Shirky reminds us “the issue today is not information overload, it is filter failure.”

What this means is, there is so much information out there, you need a strong filter and you need strong people around you to filter out what is most relevant in a sea of relevance. So, one of the most important skills that must be acquired is the ability to curate; organize themes in a way that allows for understanding and swift decision making.  You have often seen my posts with 10 significant links as I say many times “you will know me by my lists.” That is because  I cannot tell you what is relevant to your life. I can, however, tell you themes that you should be tracking to ensure you have your pulse on significant trends that may impact your future choices. Being a conduit vs. a source is a new frame for expertise in the data era.

With curation, it is important that you surround yourself with very interesting and informed people that are “spotters.” A spotter is one who you trust to have their eye and pulse on a particular theme that you know their sources are accurate and the filter is precise. On the topic of the Future of Work – there are two spotters in particular that I think are most relevant and whose insight I deeply value:

Peter Vander Auwera @petervan is co-founder of Innotribe, an innovation incubator within the epicenter of banking SWIFT. An element of his job is traveling around the world meeting interesting people who are transforming the world of work. He started a community called Corporate Rebels as he believe most change in a large organization is going to come from outliers and brave individuals imbedded in the existing business. He wants those individuals to feel less alone and have even more courage to help change systems from within. His most recent personal writing has been on the essence of work.

Ross Dawson @rossdawson is a  globally recognized futurist who is tracking very closely how the Internet of Things impacts our decision making capacity and how robotics is changing the work landscape. He is incredibly gifted in telling visual stories that map out a great deal of complexity. Naming the complexity allows one to create designs and scenario plan with less anxiety and greater ease. (About Ross Dawson)

This year I was involved in two very special collaborations.

This spring I attended The Future of Work Summit held at Vodaphone Innovation Incubator in Redwood City, CA. There were approximately 145 participants who were professors, independent contractors, VCs, entrepreneurs, and students. The group was organized by visionaries Tirza Hollenhorst & David Hodgson and facilitated by Ann Baddilo. It was the most productive learning event I have attended so far as the key intent was to scale our experience to enhance the lives of those in the new economy of co-working, talent clusters, and freelance engagements.

The first part of the summit was spent identifying significant trends on the horizon by which we created this visual story:


(taken at Future of Working Summit, personal photo)

The rest of the day was spent in work-groups tackling these themes that we determined were the most important.

Each issue had a facilitator. Each group created a work document synthesizing key learnings and suggestions.

Here is our output: (click here)

The sections are so important as themes to track that I want you to see all the segments we covered:

  • Igniting the Regenerative Economy
  • Tools & Techniques: Creating Mashups That Work
  • Creating Business Canvas for the “Work-Scape Of The Future
  • Cryptoequity, Cobudgeting, Currency
  • Bootstrapping Adaptive Organizations
  • C0-Creation of Work
  • Evolving Corporate Philanthropy: Corporate Culture as a Vehicle for Social Change
  • Talent Development for the 21st Century
  • Growing Thriving Ecosystem Cultures
  • Future Centered Design: Co-Creating With Global Millennials
  • Reframing the Working Narrative
  • Guerilla Guide to Collaborative Capacity


(personal photo of Art Kleiner facilitating at Price Waterhouse and Coopers, permission granted)

Strategy & Business Magazine – @stratandbiz is celebrating 20 years in publication this year. Part of their celebration is tell the story of the History of Management. Earlier this year a small group of people in organization development were invited to Price Waterhouse and Coopers in New York. The posed question was “what individual and themes most contributed to the history of management as we knowing it.” Luckily they did not ask for “the meaning of life.” In a board room filled with over 400 sticky notes we were completely overwhelmed. There is “what” and there is “so what.”  With editor & chief Art Kleiner’s gracious facilitation we decided that framing themes without specifically identifying key outcomes was a better, more interactive approach. This supports the macro transition from being a source to being a conduit.  We mapped out themes and resources that have impacted our thinking across time using philosophy, history, and sociology to be our guide. Instead of coming up with a timeline and key points we framed 20 significant themes and suggested the resources for those who want to do a deeper dive “20 Questions for Business Leaders.” You will be invited to participate in more cross functional collaboration and seeing more white papers framing questions instead of espousing expertise.

Tracking themes, identifying spotters, participating in collaboration with multi-disciplinary frameworks — this is the the future of work and the future of working.

May you find your talent cluster,


Jennifer Sertl


You will know me by my lists

An Existential View of Freedom 2015


♫ Usher – Don’t Look Down (Lyrics)

I am lucky to be an American. I am lucky to be an American woman. While there is much to celebrate this July 4th. While July 4th celebrates independence it also is time to revisit  the many ways to articulate “freedom.” Below you will find some of my favorite quotes and links that help us remember the past and protect the future.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

Viktor E. Frankl

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln


People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

Soren Kierkegaard


Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.

Ayn Rand


1) #Freedom : The Declaration of Independence  and  Thus Spoke John Galt 

2) #Freedom:  Treasure Trove of Abraham Lincoln with Bill Moyers @BillMoyersHQ

3) #Freedom: What Eisenhower Taught Me About Decision Making after all, freedom = choice

4) #Freedom: : I Have a Dream with Martin Luther King transcript 

5) #Freedom: Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Speech The 2015 Muzzle Awards


6) #Freedom This is for everyone via Tim Berners-Lee 

7) #Freedom: Man’s Search for Meaning with Victor Frankl

8) #Freedom: Five Tips for Thinking Open Source with @Ogunte

9) #Freedom: Consciousness & Free Will with Daniel Dennett

10: #Freedom: From the great disruption toward the great distribution my guest post on  @the_OS_


“The Eagle And The Hawk”


I am the eagle, I live in high country in rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky.

I am the hawk, and there’s blood on my feathers.

But time is still turning, they soon will be dry.

And all those who see me, and all who believe in me

share in the freedom I feel when I fly.


Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops.

Sail o’er the canyons and up to the stars.

And reach for the heavens and hope for the future

and all that we can be, and not what we are.


Let us continue to soar,


PS – You Will Know Me By My Lists

In Celebration of Learning


Today is the last day of school for students in the Pittsford School District in which I have three children. However, my eldest is graduating this weekend from Mendon High School and is headed to Michigan State University ( go Spartans!)


How quickly time has gone.


from this ———————–>   to this!


I”d like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers who have contributed to my children’s journey. We have been very lucky to work with kind, passionate and committed educators.


Teachers are Artists

Teachers are artists.

The art they practice is awareness. The canvas they use is the curriculum upon which they bring forth an effervescent picture for the world. The students arrive at the canvas, each bringing a unique and vibrant color.

The mixture of the student population gives beauty to the canvas. The more diverse the population, the more colorful the painting.

The artist’s strokes are the skillful, gentle questions that she asks her students. Some strokes are broad, confirming understanding. Some strokes are playful, discovering student’s current knowledge to find a benchmark to begin the lesson. Other strokes are so delicate that they barely touch the canvas. These strokes are the questions that stretch the student’s imagination and foster sensitivity.

Bloom’s taxonomy provides hue to the masterpiece.

The artist adds perspective to the painting by facilitating meaningful discussions and sharing observations. Once all the color has made its mark on the canvas and the painter has cultivated a glorious picture of a “spot in time,” with bittersweet emotion the artist gently places the work of art on the wall of life.

It is now time to stretch and prepare yet another canvas.

Jennifer Sertl

Here are the links that keep my learning edge sharp:


  1. #learning : Teaching Smart People How to Learn (Argyris classic) | un-learn to learn ∞ #a3r
  2. #learning : Data-> Information -> Knowledge ->Understanding -> Wisdom insight by Russell Ackoff with a deeper dive into systems thinking via @TriarchyPress
  3. #learning: Why do smart people underperform? Overloaded Circuits
  4. #learning : Building personal capacity for #reflection – my point of view with @dramitinspires
  5. #learning : How serious are we about learning?  … sober view @cdnorman #a3r
  6. #learning : Passion & Flow by @jhagel
  7. #learning : TQ vs. IQ in a Digitized Landscape by Michael Schrage | Trainability Quotient
  8. #learning : I had the opportunity to meet @CameronHerold recently. I appreciate his commitment to building strength based learning environments fostering curiosity and passion.
  9. #learning : How reading can increase critical thinking – my POV with @dramitinspires
  10. #learning:  To support the commitment to reading – here is a wonderful portal Project Gutenberg offering over 49,000 free ebooks. Many thanks @gutenberg_org

Dear graduates ALL, wishing you all the best on your next choices and may your curiosity be inflamed as you navigate this next era.



Jennifer #a3r


PS – You Will Know Me By My Lists