Bob Stilger Biography

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I wonder what the world will be like in another quarter century.  Will we humans have discovered how to live in balance with the planet?  Will those of us in positions of privilege and material prosperity have learned to share better with others?  Will we have learned how to build healthy and resilient communities?

I hope the answer to all those questions is a resounding YES!  And I believe the work we will do as we enter the second decade of the 21st century will be crucial.  I’ve spent 35 years working with people who are building communities and building organizations that are strong and vibrant.  Lately I’ve been focusing more and more on the magic that happens when true friendship, curiosity and respect are present in any room.  I work in many ways – conversation host, teacher, speaker, consultant, facilitator and coach.  Many times these different roles simply flow into each other.  In 2009 I entered my “third thirty” and in many ways my work is to simply be Bob, bringing forward the experience I have from many years working with many different groups.

From 2005 – 2009 I served as the Co-President of The Berkana Institute, a nonprofit institute that works with communities and pioneering leaders in all types of organizations throughout the world.  I worked with others to co-entrepreneur the Berkana Exchange – an innovative translocal learning community of leadership learning centres in places like Zimbabwe, South Africa, Senegal, Pakistan, India, Greece, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. I’ve hosted many of Berkana’s Learning Journeys out into the world and worked to develop Berkana’s learning and consulting programs.  I’ve worked as a community and organizational consultant on behalf of Berkana and wrote, made presentations, and hosted conversations on transformative leadership in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Australia.

Before joining The Berkana Institute in 2000, I spent 25 years as the Executive Director of an innovative community development corporation in the Pacific Northwest, Northwest Regional Facilitators.  Along with a small group of other younger leaders all in our mid-twenties, I founded NRF with a great deal of support from older leaders in Spokane, Washington.  My work touched many areas – citizen participation, community organizing, affordable housing, work/family issues, hunger, growth management, community futures, transportation, nuclear waste, community health and nonprofit organization capacity building.

My current work is to support the many people around the world who are stepping forward to provide critical leadership in these times.  My doctoral research and continued inquiry in the world is around the emergence of forms of leadership which create new possibilities in our communities.  I work as a coach to many younger leaders, helping them name their work, connecting them with others, assisting them in supporting each other, and illuminating their work to others who are looking for a sense of what we might do, together.

I am an Adjunct Professor in Doctoral in Leadership Studies Program at Gonzaga University and have served as Adjunct Faculty and Distinguished Visiting Professor at numerous other institutions.  My personal base on the internet is here at

Past Consulting Work

My consulting work has included the following clients: Fuji/Xerox Knowledge Dynamics Initiative, St. Luke’s Health Initiative, Phoenix, Arizona; Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Providence Care, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Municipality of Ethekiwi – Durban, South Africa; National Disability Services – Brisbane, Australia; State of Washington (including Family Policy Council, State Energy Office, Department of Social and Health Services, Community Trade and Economic Development, and Department Of Ecology, Washington State Bicentennial Commission and Alternatives for Washington Program); U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; National Municipal League; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Charles F. Kettering Foundation; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Nebraska State Energy Office; Washington Coalition for Rural Housing; Spokane County; City of Spokane; and, City of Renton.

Teaching Experience

Gonzaga University, Adjunct Faculty, Doctorate in Leadership Studies, 2004-present
Bainbridge Graduate Institute, Adjunct Faculty, 2004-2007
Organizational Systems Renewal Masters Program, Distinguished Visiting Faculty, Seattle University, 2007
St. Mary’s College of California, Adjunct Faculty, Masters of Leadership Program, 2002-03

Current Volunteer Services

Member, Board of Directors, Berkana Institute, 2001-present
Member, Board of Directors, Kufunda Learning Village, Zimbabwe, 2002-present
Member, Board of Directors, The Shire, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2005-present
Member, Board of Directors, UJAMA, Spokane, WA 2008-present
Member, Board of Directors, Pioneers of Change, Johannesburg and London, 2001—2008

Recent Speaking and Hosting Engagements

Art of Hosting Workshops, Events and Speaking Engagements in many parts of Japan
TEDxTokyo, 2010
Art of Change and Dialogue Bar, Tokyo, 2010
Luke’s Health Initiative Keynote, Phoenix, 2009
Systems Thinking in Action Conference Concurrent Session and Post Workshop, Seattle, 2009
World Affairs Summit, Tacoma, WA, 2007
Seattle University, Organizational Systems Renewal Program Distinguished Faculty, 2007
National Summit of the American College of Mental Health Administrators Keynote, Santa Fe, 2006
Systems Thinking in Action Conference Concurrent Session, San Francisco, 2005
Washington Family Policy Council Annual Summit, Vancouver, WA, 2005
The Brazilian Association of Human Resources Congress, Porte Alegre, 2005
Global Village Square at the Shambhala Authentic Leadership Institute, Halifax,2005


Carleton College, Bachelor of Arts, 1971
California Institute of Integral Studies, Masters of Human and Organizational Transformation, 1999
California Institute of Integral Studies, Doctorate in Transformative Learning and Change, 2004


Bob Stilger
924 East Ninth Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 835 4128,

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