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Marilyn Daniels

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

416 545-7848




What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

How do we build, live and work in community in such a way that helps us more reliably access higher states of wisdom and knowing (and avoids the traps of collective folly) so that we can collectively build a thriving future?

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

I have the experience of breakthroughs, access to Self, access to collective knowing that would not otherwise be possible. And I've had the experience of breakdown, polarization, non-allowing of difference in service of a presumed 'we'. I've also had the experience of that relational field and collective wisdom being bypassed because of the time pressure and urgency of this time.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

I feel called to facilitate inter-sectoral dialogue related to the state of the world, believing that we have the answers to pressing global challenges if we are able to break down the silos of knowing and being which often emerge in different arenas of life (e.g. Academia, business, spiritual life etc.)

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

I am a cultural historian (east, west and indigenous cultures) who later trained as a psychotherapist to understand the intersection between culture and psyche. While studying I worked in virtually every sector imaginable and found both value and limitations of each. My experience with facilitating groups began with university teaching, moved to a more facilitative model (through workshops) and finally to a coaching model which holds that the facilitator's role is to hold the space, listen deeply, and ask the questions which will allow the wisdom in the room to emerge. My most transformative experience related to groups was as a organizer for a conference which brought wisdom leaders from diverse traditions and experiences together to discuss the future of the planet. What emerged was a profoundly catalytic space which changed the course of my career. What I am most interested in now is how to extend these deep, catalytic, transcendent moments that are possible through gatherings of limited time duration into enduring communities which can live, think creatively and act together. On the other end of the spectrum of experience, I have also been part of a therapeutic/spiritual community which moved into profound disarray because of ethical misconduct of the central figure so I am aware of how issues of power (both mis-use and giving away of such) can interfere with community potential. Presently, I am a coach and group facilitator working with a broad spectrum of evolutionary leaders. My most recent research involved interviewing transformative leaders within and around Toronto to determine what they see happening in the present, what blindspots and gifts the community possessed, and how they see the future unfolding.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

As a coach who does transformative work with clients in distant places by telephone, I access and interact with virtual space in a way that has allowed deep and profound friendships / colleagial relationships to emerge without ever having met in person through telephone calls, participation on bridgelines, email, on-line forums. And in person (conferences, gatherings) is always preferable. Meaningful connections could be anything from sharing ideas and resources to actually collaborating. I hold strong intuitive and process awareness of group dynamics so as well as more theoretical discussions, I am able to contribute to an understanding and accessing of the deeper potentialities of the field. My potential contribution will be related to what's already present and what wants to emerge and how that relates to my needs and capacities. I am hopeful that joining with others with similar interests and commitments can help grow our collective understanding and experience of what it means to consciously grow and cultivate the conditions for collective wisdom.

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