Team Berkana

Margaret (Meg) Wheatley, Co-founder and President

Margaret Wheatley began caring about the world’s peoples in 1966, as a Peace Corps volunteer in post-war Korea. In many different roles — speaker, teacher, consultant, advisor, formal leader–she acts from unshakable conviction that leaders must learn how to invoke people’s inherent generosity, creativity and need for community. As this world tears us apart, sane leadership on behalf of the human spirit is the only way forward.

Since 1973, Meg has taught, consulted, and advised an unusually broad variety of organizations on all continents (except Antarctica). Her clients and audiences range from the head of the U.S. Army to twelve-year-old Girl Scouts, from CEOs and government ministers to small town ministers, from large universities to rural aboriginal villages. She has served as full-time graduate management faculty at two universities, and been a formal advisor for leadership programs in England, Croatia, Denmark, Australia and the U.S. Through Berkana, she has advised leadership initiatives in India, Senegal, Brazil, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mexico, Greece, Canada and Europe.

Meg received her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University, her Masters in Media Ecology with Neil Postman from N.Y.U., and her Bacherlor’s from the University of Rochester (with a year of study at University College London). She has been honored for her ground-breaking work by many professional associations, universities, and organizations.

She has authored twelve books, from the classic, Leadership and the New Science (1992, 21 languages) to Who Do We Choose To Be: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity (2017, 2023 2nd Edition), and Restoring Sanity: Practices to Awaken Generosity, Creativity, and Kindness in Ourselves, and Our Organizations (2024). Her most creative work (2020 with Jerry Granelli) is an audio soundtrack and book, The Warriors Songline, a Journey into Warriorship guided by voice and sound.

Since 2015, she has been training leaders and activists from more than 35 countries as Warriors for the Human Spirit, an in-depth training program and path of service supported by a robust global community. Her website is designed as a rich library of materials for those seeking to lead and organize in life-affirming ways. Learn her Current Thinking here.

 

Julie DeMaeyer, Program Director

Julie DeMaeyer began her teaching career in 1990, as a rotary science teacher at a middle school of over 1000 students, in a multicultural suburb of Greater Toronto, Canada. She spent a year teaching and leading in a remote Inuit fly-in community in the Arctic and progressed through a series of educational leadership positions before co-creating an alternative high school for youth who faced significant challenges in traditional schooling.

With a masters degree in international educational leadership, in 2012 Julie was appointed to high school administration (vice-principal and then principal) where she initiated and led many programs aimed at meeting the diverse needs of staff, students, and families in the three high schools where she served. She never forgot the lessons she learned working with marginalized youth populations and their families. Her passions for experiental learning, creating individual education plans, and for using a strengths-based approach to problem solving fueled her vocation.

In 2020, as the principal of a high school in an impoverished neighborhood, inside a school board embroiled in political and cultural conflict, Julie trained as a Warrior for the Human Spirit with Meg Wheatley, and she’s been working at The Berkana Institute supporting Warriors world-wide ever since.