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PlexusCalls 2007
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Dec 14 2007 PlexusCalls: Liberating Structures The Processes that Elicit Collective Creativity
Henri Lipmanowicz recently retired from a distinguished career at Merck, where he was president of the Merck Intercontinental and Japan Division, and a member of the Management Committee. Keith McCandless, principal of the Social Invention Group, is a consultant with expertise in strategic planning, leadership, and organizational development. Alison Joslyn, the former managing director in Venezuela for Merck, is now Global Brand Leader responsible globally for all in line products and Phase III development programs within the respiratory franchise, including Merck's largest product, SINGULAIR.


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Nov 16 2007 PlexusCalls: Community approach to preventing AIDS
Helen Epstein is the author of The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West and the Fight Against AIDS. This groundbreaking new book argues that the very institutions designed to lead the global response to HIV/AIDS may in fact be undermining community responses to the epidemic.


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Nov 9 2007 PlexusCalls: Alzheimer's, Dementia, Complexity
Susan D. Gilster, PhD, is founder and executive director of the Alois Alzheimer Center, a pioneering free-standing facility dedicated exclusively to individuals with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


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Oct 5 2007 PlexusCalls: Communication, Medicine, Jazz
Trumpeter Miles Davis Paul Haidet, a physician, former disc jockey and amateur jazz historian who has studied doctor-patient communication, marvels at the parallels between jazz and medicine. Gary Onady, a physician and jazz trumpeter who composes and arranges music, uses musical metaphor to describe patient-clinician interactions.


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Sep 7 2007 PlexusCalls: The Starfish and the Spider
Ori Brafman is the coauthor, along with Rod A. Beckstrom, of The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, a book that has been hailed as a must read by theoreticians and business executives. Jane Wei-Skillern is as assistant professor of business administration in the General Management Unit and Social Enterprise Group of Harvard Business School. June Holley provides consulting, training and mentoring to a wide range of organizations seeking to create healthier communities around the world through a better understanding of networks collaboration, innovation and learning.

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Aug 23 2007 PlexusCalls: Stories, Meaning and Software
Dave Snowden is the Founder of Cognitive Edge, an organisation focused on the creation of an open-source approach to the development and propagation of methods, emergent and distributed forms of research. The Cynefin framework that he created has been acknowledged as one of the first practical applications of complexity theory to management science. He is an acknowledged pioneer in the use of narrative and one of the leaders of the naturalistic approach to sense making in organisations. His SenseMaker software deals with the problem of organizations having to understand interactions and decisions from populations the organization cannot predict or control. Valdis Krebs is a researcher, trainer and management consultant who developed InFlow software for social and organizational network analysis. InFlow maps and measures knowledge exchange, information flow, emergent communities, networks of alliances and connections in orgs.


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Jul 13 2007 PlexusCalls: The Bee Genome
Bees and humans have been closely associated for a millennia. We have been fascinated by bees ever since our ancient ancestors tasted honey. Scientists have a wealth of knowledge about bees, their behavior and their extraordinary social organization, but mysteries remain. Gene Robinson, Scott Camazine and Wayne Grody.


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Jun 28 2007 PlexusCalls: Leadership and Communication
Do leaders tend to have a distinctive style of communicating, and do their choices matter? What elements create the messages they send, about their decisions, their ideals and their goals? How do the action and narratives used and observed in organization impact interaction, collaboration and success? Mary Boone and Dave Snowden.


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Jun 22 2007 PlexusCalls: Complexity View of Quality, Value and the Human Factor
What do we mean when we talk about quality and value? How do we define quality, and where do values originate? Does value arise at the point where economics and ethics intersect? Can ideas about quality and value apply across different professions and environments? And how can complexity science help us get a better understand of what quality means? The guests on this call, who come from different fields, have given serious thought to such questions. Bruce Waltuck, Steven Hagedorn and Cathi Balboa.


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May 18 2007 PlexusCalls: Social Networking and Social Capital
Duncan Work is an independent consultant with the Social Capital Consulting Group. From 2004 through 2006, he was Chief Scientist and Social Responsibility Officer for LinkedIn Corporation.


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May 11 2007 PlexusCalls: Habitat for Humanity Egypt
Habitat for Humanity Egypt has become one of the most successful Habitat programs in the world. The program, founded in 1989, is trying to serve ten percent of the 20 million Egyptians living in poverty while at the same time developing the local nongovernmental organization capacity to serve the rest. David Haskell, Janice Haskell, Jane Wei-Skillern and June Holley.


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Apr 27 2007 PlexusCalls: Corporate Team Learning
Rod Collins recently retired after 33 years with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP)where he held several executive Positions. Since 2001, he had served as FEP's Chief Operating Executive with accountability for providing health insurance for over 4.5 million federal employees and family members nationwide. FEP is a business alliance of 39 independent Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans with annual revenues over $19 billion, and is widely regarded as one of the best run health insurance arrangement in the country today. In this most recent role, Rod implemented a Learning Organization management discipline that emphasizes team learning and cross-boundary collaboration. He also pioneered the use of an original large group meeting format known as "Work-Throughs." Rod will discuss the theory and the practice of Work-Throughs and as a valuable tool for effectively and quickly managing complexity to achieve on-time and on-budget quality results.


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Apr 6 2007 PlexusCalls: Nature as a Design Partner
Eugene Tsui, PhD, is a visionary international architect who is considered a pioneer in implementing ecological technologies and biological processes as a basis for imaginative form and extraordinary function. He has written four books, which the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Building Design have designated as "recommended reading." His book The Urgency of Change and Evolutionary Architecture: Nature as the Basis for Design explains how natural forms offer beauty and stability. He has projects China, Europe and through out the US. As he explains on the web site for, Tsui Design and Research, Inc, his rigorous studies of nature inspire innovative forms that use nontoxic materials and are designed to resist fires, floods, earthquakes and termites.


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Mar 22 2007 PlexusCalls: Electronic Communication
Jane Patterson is director of e-NC, an innovative pubic program designed to get all residents of North Carolina using communication technology, especially the Internet, to improve lives and economic conditions. Donna Sullivan is senior program director. Liz Rykert is presidentof Metastrategies, a Canadian firm devoted to helping public and nonprofit organizations develop web-based capabilities.


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Mar 16 2007 PlexusCalls: Transitional Times, Uncertainty, & the Future
Eamonn Kelly is the CEO of the Global Business Network, the renowned futures network and scenario strategy consultancy. He is also an author and speaker who has spent more than a decade studying the emergence of a new economic, social and geopolitical order and analyzing the impact those changes will ring for individuals, communities and organizations. In his book Powerful Times, Kelly presents persuasive arguments that we are on the brink of the most profound change in human history since the Enlightenment. A student of history and an astute observer of today's world, Kelly believes the interplay of the dynamic tensions of our current social, economic and cultural lives will fundamentally reshape human life in coming decades.


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Mar 1 2007 PlexusCalls: Storytelling & Archetypes
Author and storyteller Kelly M. Cresap, Ph.D., uses the art of storytelling to bring human possibilities into focus. In workshops and seminars he equips participants with a comprehensive four-archetype system, composed of the Sovereign, the Warrior, the Magician, and the Lover. These finite archetypal embodiments have an infinite number of applications. The system is simple enough to remember, light enough to carry, and profound enough to address the most complex of challenges.Sharon Benjamin, PhD, is the principal of Alchemy, a Washington, DC based management consulting practice. She is an experienced executive who has served as a CEO, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Institutional Development and Finance, Deputy Director for Planning and as a grant-maker.


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Feb 9 2007 PlexusCalls: Appreciative Inquiry
How does Appreciative Inquiry differ from other approaches to change? For one thing, it focuses on hopes, dreams and core values. Instead of finding problems and assigning causes, appreciative inquiry looks for the best, and asks participants to find ways to make the best happen more often. Many who have studied and practiced the process say it opens new possibilities for change and transformation. Bernard Mohr, Michael Feinson, Penny Williamson, Timothy Germany, and Keith McCandless.


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Feb 1 2007 PlexusCalls: Complexity and Leadership
What happens when business leaders shift their focus from efficiency and control and begin to understand and examine self-organization and emergence? Some theoreticians and practitioners say the result is creativity and adaptability. But how do we define leadership, and does our conventional language impose a constraint on our learning? Guests with diverse experiences explore these questions.


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