On The Ground Leadership

2020 was hard. Uncertainty will continue into 2021. Clear leadership is needed now to reimagine and rebuild our organizations and communities. We call it On The Ground Leadership. One of the things many of us have seen in 2020 is that this kind of leadership must center equity and anti-racism work. Leadership Snohomish County and NewStories have developed learning and unlearning program which we think will do just that.

Is it time for you to discover new ways to offer your leadership? Are you ready to take issues of equity on in new ways? Do you want to discover more about the work you have to do on yourself to be able to lead in times of complexity and confusion? Do you want to learn more about participatory processes which unlock the energy and insights of your system and help people take the next step and the next? This leadership journey starts in2021 and we will announce the schedule soon. There will be 6 Zoom sessions and a cohort of  20 leaders. The plan includes individual coaching sessions with our teachers Zanette Johnson and Rako Fabionar. We invite you into a participatory, not presentational experience. One that is energizing, not pedantic!  


                      • Preparing the Soil – May 25 12-5pm PT 
                      • Pulling the Weeds – June 2 1-4pm
                      • Enriching the Earth – June 7 1-4pm
                      • Planting the Seeds – June 15 1-4pm
                      • Watering the Garden – June 22 1-4pm
                      • Tending the Sprouts – June 29 12-5pm 
Zanette Johnson is an experience designer, facilitator, and researcher, who helps teams make small, powerful changes at three related levels: the workplace context, interpersonal interactions and individual behaviors. These targeted shifts garner big returns in terms of peoples’ intrinsic satisfaction with their own lives and their capacity to make powerful contributions to their work.. Drawing upon her background as a neuroscientist and her 25 years as a mindfulness practitioner, Z teaches people to stay relaxed and consistent as they build alignment between their daily actions and future goals. She uses the power of routines and rituals to bring new practices to life in teams and organizations. 
Zanette has a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Religious Studies, a Master’s in Teaching, and a Doctoral degree from Stanford University’s transdisciplinary “Learning Science and Technology Design” program. Her work has taken her to many communities in the US and around the world, including more than a decade of building new structures for learning in indigenous communities in Hawaii.
M. Rako Fabionar 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, and 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 a graduate degree in interdisciplinary studies and a professional certificate in values based organizational design and leadership. He 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 over the last two decades. He 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.


This course will be over a eight week period, with time off for holidays and with time for some field work between sessions.

  • Begin with a 5 hours  session.
  • We continue weekly with 3-hour sessions, probably with a week break mid-way.
  • We conclude with a 5 hour session
  • Each participant will also have two personal coaching sessions with Rako or Zanette.

We are asking you for a significant hunk of your time. We will make good use of it, together.

  • Cost

The very nature of this course requires an honest and equitable pricing structure which recognizes the amount of money participants have to pay to be part a program like this. Our costs for this program are $850/participant.

  • For those of you with professional or personal budget for learning, we ask that you pay at least this amount and up to $1500 to help cover the costs of others. Training like this often goes for more than $2500.
  • For those of you who would like to pay less, please tell us what you would like to pay and with what payment plan. That will start a conversation. 

If this is your work now, we will work with you to be figure out how you can be part of it!

You will:

  • Co-create and experience a nourishing community of practice and potent learning environment.
  • Learn a new vocabulary of narratives and frameworks for understanding the challenges related to equity and regenerative leadership in our own organizations and communities.
  • Deepen understanding of the relationship between the imbalances we see ‘out there’ in the world, and the inner work of composting/cultivating your own balance and wellbeing.
  • Create multi-step process for pinpointing areas and key actions where you must take greater “self-responsibility” before stepping up to lead change in your community.
  • Develop and commit to a plan, including new habits/routines, for strategic collaboration in a specific area of your organizational/work domain.
  • Gain tools for perspective-seeking, negotiating difficult conversations, sourcing support from your context, and working with emergent challenges while maintaining embodied presence.