Margaret “Meg” Wheatley writes, teaches and speaks about how we can organize and accomplish our work in chaotic times, sustain our relationships, and willingly step forward to serve. Since 1973, Meg has worked with an unusually broad variety of organizations: 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. All of these organizations and people wrestle with a common dilemma-how to maintain their integrity, energy and effectiveness as they cope with the relentless upheavals and rapid shifts of this troubling time. But there is another similarity: a common human desire to find ways to live together more harmoniously, more humanely, so that more people may benefit.
She has written several best-selling books. Her new book, published October 2012, is So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World. This book first explains how this global culture emerged, a brave new world destructive of our good work, opposite to what we intended to create. It calls on us to claim a new role for ourselves-“warriors for the human spirit” and then provides practices and commentary for how to do our work drawing on our best human capacities to serve in this dark time.
Meg earned her doctorate in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University, and a masters in Media Ecology from New York University. She also studied at University College London, U.K. She has been a global citizen since her youth, serving in the Peace Corps in Korea in the 1960s, and has taught, consulted or served in an advisory capacity on all continents (except Antarctica). She began her career as a public school teacher, and also has been a professor in two graduate management programs (Brigham Young University and Cambridge College Massachusetts).
She is co-founder and President emerita of The Berkana Institute, founded in 1991. Berkana has been a leader in experimenting with new organizational forms based on a coherent theory of how living systems adapt and change. Berkana has worked in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment. These pioneers do not deny or flee from our global crisis; they respond by moving courageously into the future now, experimenting with many different solutions.
Meg has received several awards and honorary doctorates. In 2003, The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) honored her for her contribution “to workplace learning and development” and dubbed her “a living legend.” In April 2005, she was elected to the Leonardo Da Vinci Society for the Study of Thinking for her contribution to the field of systems thinking. In 2010, she was appointed by the White House and the Secretary of the Interior to serve on the National Advisory Board of the National Parks System; her primary responsibility is to support the growth of a 21st century culture of adaptation and innovation throughout 400 national parks.
She returns from her frequent global travels to her home in the mountains of Utah and the true peace of wilderness. She has raised a large family now dispersed throughout the U.S. and is a very happy mother and grandmother.