I’m Ada Ketchie and I grew up on an apple orchard in the beautiful Wenatchee Valley of Washington State. Though reared in a relatively small town, having a mother from Poland and a father who self-identified as a citizen of the world cultivated in me a much larger conception of home along with a profound curiosity for other people and places. I consequently pursued a BA from Gonzaga University in International Relations, with a minor in Art, and eventually a Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. This mix of disciplines aptly reflects my draw towards diversity and culture, love of creativity and communication, and deep concern for complex social, political, and environmental issues.
Being a multi-passionate person has sometimes felt a hindrance when deciding what to “be” or “do”, however I now like to see it as an advantage, combining my multidisciplinary interests, be they the arts, youth empowerment, health, social justice, and so forth, to integrate and increase impact across various fields.
Professionally I am proud to have worked on inspiring education and community development projects in Guatemala (Los Patojos) and Kenya (Merrueshi Maasai High School), as well as lead numerous facilitation and training efforts in Northern Ireland, primarily working with world-renowned peace and reconciliation centre Corrymeela. Ongoing involvement with mediation and conflict transformation agency Different Tracks Global eventually led me to help co-found and coordinate the 7th Generation Project, which worked to build an “ecology of community” addressing social and environmental issues through education, capacity building, and even the small but powerful act of shared monthly dinners.
Currently I have come full circle back to Wenatchee and am working with Be Clearly, a boutique consulting firm specializing in systems-wide engagement efforts, leadership development, strategic planning and project design. Some of our most exciting work centers around transforming modern education through the initiative I Am New School as well as various endeavors exploring “next generation” thinking through multi-stakeholder collaborations, for example this current project concerning the future of Public Power.
My interests, aptitudes and skill-sets are a varied landscape. I can facilitate trainings on topics ranging from Sustainable Design Thinking (my master’s thesis), to conflict mediation frameworks and techniques, to using yoga for social action. Like many in the New Stories team I am also well versed in participatory engagement methodologies and I love to listen to, learn from, and creatively capture the life experiences and wisdom that every single person possesses. I sing and write songs, which beyond my own music has included a theme song for a prominent environmental activist and an anthem for a live production of the Vagina Monologues.
I am currently developing passion projects around themes of gender equality advocacy, esteem and embodiment, and personal discovery and development. Probably my greatest gift is that I sincerely and expressively love people and naturally help others to feel at ease and see the best in themselves. No matter what the particular work we might pursue together, I want you to know that I am fueled by a deep love of and commitment to the diversity of relationships and cultures that enrich us, the acts of creativity and exchange that connect and sustain us, and the quest for personal transformation and societal/environmental peace that will heal us.