We’re a diverse group of practitioners who can help you explore the problems and opportunities you face! Our Core Team has decades of experience in designing and facilitating retreats, conferences, workshops and training programs. We are experienced in web design, graphic facilitation, social media campaigns, storytelling and the nuts and bolts of running nonprofit organizations.
Please reach out to us and we’ll explore what NewStories might offer to you.
Simone Torrey is a certified conflict mediator and integral facilitator who supports organizations and communities through complex transitions. She holds an MA in Leadership with concentration Peace Building and Conflict Transformation from Saint Mary’s College of California and an MA in International Communication from the International University of Perugia in Italy. Simone’s facilitation is strongly influenced by her broad worldview, acquired through 15 years living and working in multicultural contexts in many different countries all over the world.
Allen Myers was born and raised in Paradise California as a third generation member of the ridge community. He left Paradise and gained a global perspective. He traveled the world for a number of years, living and working with communities as he documented those stories and lessons in an art project called, Nomadsight. He is a storyteller and founder and director of The Earth Day Film Festival. Myers is also a founder and director of Regenerating Paradise, an emergent community group seeking to reweave the social fabric of Paradise post Camp Fire. Myers believes in the medicine of laughter and is a member of a sketch comedy team that performs regularly in Hollywood, CA at Second City Theater. He cares deeply for his community. He lives on a small homestead in Grass Valley, CA. in the Yuba river watershed.
Yve is owner/principal of an independent research and evaluation consulting company, Praxis Associates LLC. She collaborates with nonprofits, community-based leaders and government agencies to use data and reflection to think critically about their work and their results in order to continually build effective strategies and programs for organizational and social transformation. Because social and environmental change agents work in complex and dynamic systems, Yve integrates tools and approaches to supporting and studying social innovation.
Susan Virnig has been working with organizations and communities since the mid-70s, helping them come together to tackle tough problems and to create new possibilities. I help people use a variety of participatory processes – dialogue pairs, world café, structured work groups, circle practices and more – to listen deeply to each other and begin to set aside old stereotypes and barriers to collective action. I have worked with small groups overcoming conflicts around nonprofit low-income housing and large groups setting new directions for national forest policies – and everything in-between. I’m passionate about helping people learn how to listen well, find common purpose and move together into action. Susan has an MA in organizational development and leadership, an MFA in creative writing specializing in nonfiction, and a BA in Japanese language and culture.
Mari Shibuya is an artist, muralist and facilitator, passionate about the power of creativity to seed a fertile space for transformation. Coming from a background in psychology and philosophy, Mari fuses their passion for mental wellness with their deep belief in creative self expression as an avenue for individuals to gain authorship in their lives and in their communities by cultivating self confidence and leadership thru self expression. Mari has the honor of leading creative empowerment work for organizations such as Urban Artworks, Gage Academy, Partners for Youth Empowerment (PYE) and Young Women Empowered (Y-WE).
Rako is a process consultant, facilitator, and steward of regenerative communities. He is passionate about cultivating transformational spaces for people to experience deeper connection, insight, and well-being. Rako has worked in the fields of higher education, organizational and professional development, and equity. He has created diversity initiatives and leadership programs for universities, businesses, and community-based organizations, and has advised entrepreneurs, activists, spiritual teachers, and political leaders within the USA, Central America, UK, and Middle East. Rako has also taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in sustainable leadership, psychology, and ethnic studies through his affiliations with Presidio Graduate School, Esalen Institute, and the California State University. He has a graduate degree in interdisciplinary studies and a professional certificate in values based organizational design and leadership. Rako was identified as “one who carries medicine" by elders and lineage holders of three wisdom traditions (including Filipino and West African indigenous traditions) and invited to participate in many healings, trainings, and formal initiation ceremonies the last two decades.
In addition to a vast experience in pedagogics, multimedia and design, Zulma is a passionate facilitator and designer of group dialogues, innovation, and change processes. She is a Colombian kaospilot, a mother, and a traveller who loves learning, leadership, and people. Zulma is constantly searching for new ways of utilizing her skills and knowledge to contribute to the generation positive changes in communities, groups, individuals, and herself. The areas that interest Zulma the most are: sustainability, social innovation and social entrepreneurship as well as multidisciplinary processes and processes of social change with stakeholders from diverse cultural or social backgrounds. Founding member of SOL (Society of Organisational Learning) and Impact HUB Colombia, Zulma is also the founder and director of www.pataleta.net, a graphic facilitation company where her creativity is often put on paper to help others understand complex information. Zulma holds an MSC in Strategic leadership towards sustainability, a MA in Multimedia, a BA in graphic design and a post graduate certificate in Education.
Since the mid-seventies I have worked with people, communities and organizations to help them unlock hidden potential and to step into the new stories that are possible in their lives. I am a facilitator and dialog host and a strategic systems designer. I am a writer, a listener and a storyteller who has worked across North America and around the world. As a PhD researcher, I help people make sense and find meaning out of their own direct experiences of our chaotic times.
Using her experience as a learning scientist, neuroscientist, dancer, and dharma practitioner, Zanette invites the work of designing for life from a place of joy. Through embodied experiences that reveal and connect, Zanette activates teams and community leaders as they co-create specific new habits with the power to make visionary aspirations into reality. The practices of our daily lives are the key to changing our world toward resilience— Zanette’s two decades of work with Indigenous learning communities have taught her that values alignment, embodiment, and deep integration are keys to transformation that lasts. Relationship to place and ecology, relationship to kin and community, and relationship to self and shadow are vital elements that inform how each of us walks upon the Earth. Bringing to life new patterns for relationship, resilience, and regenerativity is the work that inspires Zanette’s multifaceted dance with living systems design.
Charles Holmes is a cultural anthropologist by education. Over the past 25 years he has pursued projects where the need for understanding and shaping culture through dialogue and inclusion have been critical. Charles has skillfully facilitated dialogues with clients from health care to forestry and mining, software and pharmaceutical companies, educational institutions and utility firms, government and not-for-profits from around the world. Charles co-founded the Learning Strategies Group in the Faculty of Business at Simon Fraser University, helped in the founding of the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education, led the creation of the Connecting for Change dialogues that brought together business and NGO leaders in a series of dialogues with the Dalai Lama. As well, he co-created the Connecting for Community dialogues in Cincinnati, in collaboration with Peter Block and co-founded the Academy for Systemic Change where as a faculty member works with cohorts of next generation leaders to address challenges in community development, marine ecosystem restoration, education, global food security, and reconciliation.